DES MOINES, Iowa — As many families across the country celebrate Christmas this weekend, it's important to realize not everyone can get into the holiday spirit.
Whether it's a recent loss of a loved one, tough financial times, or other issues, the holiday season can be a struggle.
The holidays can be exciting for some, but experts say they tend to see a rise in anxiety and depression this time of year.
Dr. Stacey Pawlak, a clinical psychologist at UIHC, calls it the 'holiday blues.'
She says "healthcare, financial, work, and school stress" can be major triggers, and COVID isn't making it any easier.
First time holidays following a loss can always be hard, also that anxiety," says Brittany Brdicko, a mental health therapist at St. Luke's Hospital. "Everyone wants the holidays to go perfectly. That's not realistic. There's always those bumps and hiccups and just having those expectations so high can create that anxiety and stress.
However, there are ways to help someone get through the season.
Making sure to check in with loved ones and asking them how they are doing can go a long way.
If someone seems unengaged in activities, withdrawn, or even more irritable, those can all be signs that someone is struggling.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services estimate 4.2% of Iowans are living with serious mental illness, and only about half receive any form of treatment.
If you or someone you know is having trouble this holiday season, there are multiple crisis lines you can call.
Your Life Iowa: Call: (855)581-8111 or Text: (855)895-8398
NAMI Iowa: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call : (515)254-0417
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255