The holiday season has arrived in all its festive glory. What is generally thought of as a joyful period, parties, celebrations, and time spent with loved ones; can, for some people, be a much gloomier prospect.
Many will find Christmas and the New Year a stressful time, full of tension and conflict. For others, it will mean loneliness and grief. And for those in addiction recovery, it can be a minefield of triggers, and potential relapse.
Trying to please everyone (which, btw, is totally impossible). The stress of attempting to buy or afford just the right gift; of spending enough “quality” time with all the extended family. All the often completely unrealistic expectations we put upon ourselves, and others; make what should be a time for peace and happiness, instead frantic and habitually draining. Subsequently, we are left feeling both exhausted and disappointed.
Alcohol is everywhere at this time of year. Days of heavy drinking are followed by hangovers and fractured tempers. The festivities mean it is the ideal time for a problem drinker to really let loose. A month where it is okay to have a drink in the morning or come home wasted, because others are doing the same. For families living with someone who has an alcohol use problem, this can mean broken promises, tears, drama, and even violence, and is not something to be looked forward to or welcomed.
An excess of alcohol and strained family relationships are just two of the biggest stressors at this time of year.
There are families and individuals who have lost someone. Christmas and the New Year bring up memories of past celebrations. Grief can be overwhelming at any time, during a season when it feels like everyone else is happy and joyful, it can be devastating. It can also mean some people have no one to share the holidays with, leaving them completely isolated and cut off from any type of emotional and physical connection or support.
For those in addiction recovery, it can feel like it is almost impossible to avoid alcohol and drugs; at times, it seems like they are waiting around every corner, ready to pounce. If you are new in recovery, then it feels like you are constantly explaining why you don’t drink (“no not even just the one, thank you”), or what happened in that rehab centre you went off to? (And why did you have to go anyway?) Much as you might really want to tell that distant relative to mind their own business, it is probably prudent to find a gentler way of expressing the sentiment.
It is not just the massive spike in alcohol and drug use during this period. Depression is often at its worst in the cold winter months, and anxiety can be through the roof when having to deal with everything that the season entails.
It can be enormously tough to acknowledge that you, or someone you love, has a problem with alcohol, drugs, or is struggling with a mental health illness. Whilst the idea of a happy family Christmas may seem idyllic, the reality is often far from it. Accepting that the holiday season is going to be difficult, or that the fallout following it may mean making changes is an opportunity to look at alternative options for going forward.
Could this be the time you decide to make a change in your life, or in your family’s?
At Ibiza Calm, we have a team of highly professional and experienced doctors, nurses, therapists, counsellors, and wellness experts. We treat a range of psychological conditions, behavioural and substance addiction, and emotional, process, and mood disorders.
Some of the most commonly presented mental health conditions include:
Alcoholism, medically referred to as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is the excessive and repeated use of alcohol in a compulsive and addictive way. Alcohol is a toxic and psychoactive substance which can cause physical and psychological dependency.
Drug addiction and prescription medicine dependency
Whether it is to illicit street drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, or prescription medication, drug addiction is painful, debilitating and can be deadly without treatment. The dependency caused by certain substances means that often a medically supervised, physical and psychological withdrawal is necessary.
Anxiety disorders can be crippling for the sufferer. They can range from mildly annoying to severe and life-altering. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalised, social, and separation anxiety, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias.
Bipolar and depression
Mood disorders – including depression (such as major depressive disorder) which is characterised by a constant feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest- destroy the ability to act and live normally and engage in everyday activities. Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. These include highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Substance-induced mood disorder, and depression due to the impact of medicine, drug abuse, and alcoholism.
In addition to the addictions and disorders discussed above, the rehab centre also treats –
Rehab clinic in Spain
Are you dreading the holiday season? Will you be turning to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism? Are you in recovery but worried about relapse?
If you have been suffering from any of the conditions described above, then give yourself a break and get the support you need. Don’t wait until it gets worse or you do something you regret, get in touch now.
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