Sue Scheff: Holiday Stress and Depression

Caron Institute released a new study regarding how the stress and challenges of the holidays can effect people. With today's struggling economy and job loss on the rise, many people are feeling the blues during this holiday season. Take moment to learn about ways to cope if you are having a difficult time.

Here is a portion of their survey: As Economy Slowly Recovers, New Study Shows Americans Expect Much Higher Stress Levels This Holiday Season than Last Year....
The survey, "Holiday Stress Index" was commissioned by Breakthrough at Caron and conducted by Harris Interactive. This online omnibus poll was based on a nationwide sample of 2,173 adults in the U.S. aged eighteen years and over. Based upon survey findings and the institution's vast experience with this issue, a package of free educational materials and tips was developed and can be viewed at

In general, 90% of the respondents said they experience some level of stress and/or anxiety about the holiday season. However this year more than a third (38 percent) said they expect to feel more stress and anxiety this holiday season due to the current economy."One problem is that we have gotten away from the most important part of the holiday season - the connection with those we love," said Ann W. Smith, Executive Director of Breakthrough at Caron. "People think that spending money and buying gifts is a substitute for intimacy. Ironically, our study indicates that, given a choice, most would prefer family intimacy and connection as opposed to material goods."Family Conflict at the HolidaysSeventy-seven percent of respondents who attend family holiday gatherings said their family experiences conflict during holiday gatherings.
The reasons why people continue to spend time with family during the holidays despite conflict included:

50% because they still want a connection to their family even though they have problems

28% work hard to make their family feel good so things will go more smoothly
25% keep hoping their family will change for the better

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