The Cleveland Clinic has issued a list of risk factors for holiday depression, and if you are alive, you basically have all of them.
According to USA Today, the risk factors include the following:
Connecting the holidays with family problems or painful memories.
Did a bad thing ever happen to you around the holidays? Or did a bad thing happen to you at some point, but you associate it with the holidays because that is when you are back in your hometown and forcibly confronted with all your memories? Go ahead and check the box next to this one.
Expecting that you should feel happy.
You mean like what happens when every store is playing, extremely loudly, a song that says "it's the most wonderful time of the year"? That thing?
Developing unrealistic expectations, or thinking about negatives that have occurred during the past year.
The holidays are when you are culturally encouraged to take stock of your life and find it desperately wanting. Conveniently, this also happens when the days are short and cold, thus casting your hopelessly flawed existence in the bleakest possible light. So, check.
Drinking too much alcohol during the holidays.
How else are you supposed to cope with the above three things?
Basically, you are screwed. If you are a human being, and you have feelings, you are going to be depressed during the holidays. The only solution is to sleep until February (which sounds like a pretty good idea no matter what), or possibly some combination of thinking only positive thoughts while expecting only misery. How do we do this? Tell us, Cleveland Clinic — how?
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