For some people, holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas add to their anxiety.
More than 19 million Americans suffer from SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is the most common anxiety disorder in the United States and can be induced by the changing seasons.
For many people, symptoms of SAD start when fall arrives and usually last until April or May.
“With holidays, people tend to feel that they have to be perfectionistic,” said Dr. Sanford Silverman. “Things have to work out perfectly. Holiday dinners, planning, being at every party or meeting everyone’s demands. That in itself causes stress.”
Silverman said people with anxiety try to cope by self medicating through alcohol or eating poorly. He said good sleep patterns, eating healthy, exercising and proper breathing are better ways to deal with anxiety.
“You’re going to see family members and see people you may have some difficulties with,” said Silverman. “Try to bury the hatchet and try to realize that its a time of year when you want to let these things not upset you and realize not everyone is perfect.”
Silverman said when family stress builds to take a deep breath and try to relax.