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Stress And Bipolar Disorder During the Holidays

Stress during the holiday season is like a weight added to our shoulders which are already weighed down with bipolar disorder symptoms. I can’t handle stress. It always comes before an episode or a breakdown. (Do not worry, I am cool right now). I thought I would write about some of the things that are stressful, regardless of their impact.

I love a good party. I also stress out about parties – so many people, what if I do not know people? As a former fashionista, I worry about to wear. Recycle something old, buy something new (which I can never afford), what looks good? Too dressy, not dressy enough? Once that is settled there is always the matter of who to bring. It is easy if you have found a partner in crime, but if you have not, is asking a friend going to give him or her the wrong idea? Sometimes bringing your best friend is the way to go. He or she will relax you and how could you not have a good time? Then there is the gift. Is it for a hostess you do not know? How about a plant like a cute air fern in a lovely holder or perhaps a poinsettia? Homemade cookies?

This is a huge stressor for a lot of us. Unless your an online shopper (great idea, by the way), you have to deal with the crowds of others who are also trying to find that special gift. It may be easy for us to buy for the kids, but what about Grandma? Or if you are in a relationship? Aggghhh! I am getting stressed out just typing this. What we need to remember is to keep it simple. What matters is that we tried, it is the best we can do. If they do not like it, take it back for yourself.

This time of year is quite expensive. We do not only have to buy presents, but what about buying cards and stamps to send to our friends and family? Mailing presents to those we love is expensive, as well. For a lot of us, it is getting colder out and we need to buy some cozy accessories and coats. Also, a very expensive tradition a lot of us forget to factor in is the holiday meal. Food is not free, especially if you are the host. There is tableware, decorations, etc.

It is inevitable that you will, this season, see someone you rather not. If you share friends, seeing an ex at a party can be difficult, especially if they are with someone new. Seeing family you have not seen in a while can cause anxiety. One Thanksgiving, everyone in the family was seated at the table and I started balling. It was simply the stress of the day, I could not handle it

This can be a very hard time for us if we are missing someone from our life, someone with whom we used to celebrate the holidays. If someone in our lives has passed we may feel a hole in our hearts with missing them. It may not even be a someone who has passed, it may be someone who was in your life and is no longer. I lost a few friends this year and it broke my heart that they did not want to be my friend anymore, but that is life.

Among all the chaos of the holiday season is life. Work. Family. Friends. Pets. My dog, my heart, Hope, had a recent vet bill of $399. During the exam we found that she had eaten two bits of artificial Christmas tree. I am still in search mode as she goes potty. Last year, it was about two feet of garland she threw up. No more tree this year (there was no garland this year). I have lots of other life stressors I could list, but we all do.

Remember your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Let us not forget our meds.  Do the best you can and take a lot of deep breathes. More holiday blogs to come. Hang in there.




Stress And Bipolar Disorder During the Holidays

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2019). Stress And Bipolar Disorder During the Holidays. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Dec 2019
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