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Holidays Aren't Enjoyable For Some People

Phillip Chard

A Waukesha-based practicing psychotherapist, columnist and book author says this time of the year often brings out feelings that seem out of tune with the theme of "Happy Holidays".

Philip Chard says people sometimes have to deal with stress, especially in dealing with family or if someone has recently lost a loved one. This can lead to someone feeling not well.

Ken Krall spoke with Chard about what some people might call the holiday blues...

A Waukesha-based practicing psychotherapist, columnist and book author says this time of the year often brings out feelings that seem out of tune with the theme of "Happy Holidays".

Philip Chard says people sometimes have to deal with stress, especially in dealing with family or if someone has recently lost a loved one. This, and other daily pressures, can lead to someone not feeling well.

Chard says there are some symptoms...

"...Would be along the lines of just feeling disconnected from other people, a kind of persistent sadness, often withdrawing from social events. Sort of cocooning and being by yourself. Sleep disturbances are not unusual in accompanying depression and holiday stress. It's sort of a symptom complex we look for that would indicate something is not right...."

He says a clear indicator is if the stress or depression is getting in the way of going about their daily lives. Chard says if the 'not right' feeling goes on and on without change it is another indicator that someone should see professional help. Chard says the expectations around the holidays and reality is a factor in a person's depression...

"Festivals and celebrations and lights and gift-giving and all this, not to mention all the cultural activities that go with the holidays. We should be having a great time. When you see that outside yourself and then see this tremendous contrast between that outer brightness and your inner darkness, that makes it much worse..."

He says talking to a trusted friend might help first, but seeking help is important.

His website is philipchard.com