The “most wonderful time of the year” can quickly turn into the most stressful time of the year for many. When compounded by a mental illness, common holiday pressures can create a perfect storm of exacerbated stressors, symptoms and setbacks if not proactively addressed.
The reality is that potential hazards exist at every turn during the holidays. These situations can trigger heightened difficulties for people suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental illnesses. The holidays can also introduce additional stressors such as complicated relationship dynamics at family gatherings, grief over losing a loved one or simply trying to live up to the unattainable expectations of the “perfect holiday.”…………………………….
The first time it happened, I was nine years old. My fourth-grade teacher asked me to go to the administration office to pick up some papers. When I arrived there, a strange and terrifying sensation came over me, like I wasn’t sure what I was doing.
Am I really here? Is this me or someone else I’m watching? Is this real?
I was freaked out, but managed to tell the woman at the desk what my teacher needed. I sat in a daze while she gathered the papers. It felt like the color had drained from my face and my body was numb. I hoped no one noticed that anything was wrong. There was no way I was going to tell anyone, it was too weird. I wouldn’t have been able to describe it, and I assumed no one would understand. I rushed out of the office and felt better outside……………………………………………..
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