As the holiday season approaches, many of us begin to look forward to spending time with family and friends, and to sharing in the joys of the season. However, for people who have been exposed to a traumatic event, the holiday season may bring up negative feelings. Especially at this time of year, thinking about loved ones who have died can be painful—particularly for those who have recently lost someone.
Even for people who have not been exposed to trauma, the holidays can be a stressful time. Besides the stressors of buying gifts, travel expenses and hassles, and family interactions, the short days and lack of sunlight in winter can trigger bouts of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Findings from a 2008 poll on holiday stress conducted by the American Psychological Association, revealed that eight out of ten Americans anticipated stress during the holiday season. In the APA's 2011 Stress in America survey it was found that 75 percent of Americans attribute their stress to money related concerns and 67 percent attributed stress to the economy.
To help people cope with grief, stress, and depression during the holiday season, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers the following resources for educators, families, and mental health professionals.
Click here to see the Resources available. (There is a great section for families)