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Coping with Holiday Depression Without Painkillers

A woman stresses about the holidays
The feeling that you’re spending too much money can contribute to the holiday blues.

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Expectations are high this time of year.

You’ve got to buy and wrap presents, string lights, put up the tree, bake cookies, travel or host guests, cook the turkey, send out cards, clean the house and, oh yeah, pay for it all.

The only thing that’s worse is when you’re alone—and have nothing to do.

It’s easy to see why 1 in 5 Americans feel down during the holidays, which can escalate drug and alcohol use.

And when it comes to painkillers—whether you have a prescription for them or not—addiction can happen quickly.

Even scarier is the risk of overdose and death, which increases significantly when drugs like Vicodin or Percocet are mixed with alcohol (which, as we all know, is everywhere this time of year).

Beating Holiday Depression—Without Painkillers

The first thing to realize is that you don’t have to be merry. If you’re sad or lonely, it’s OK to experience those emotions. Don’t make it worse by beating yourself up about it.

If you’re more stressed than sad, take a look at your to-do list. Traditions can be wonderful, but they can also drag you down. There’s nothing wrong with changing things up from year to year.

Do you have to bake eight dozen cookies? How about paring down the number of people you buy presents for? Why do you have to go to your great aunt’s huge holiday gathering on Christmas Eve if you’d rather spend the evening with close friends?

If you’re feeling lonely, remember that you’re not the only one. (Take a break from social media, if it’s making you feel like everybody is having a blast but you.) Isolation can feed depression, so put in the effort to connect with others. Invite a friend to dinner. Volunteer your time. Go for coffee with a co-worker you’d like to get to know better.

Finally, seek the endorphins that nature provides through sweat and sunlight. When you’re feeling low, it’s hard to muster the energy to exercise, but doing so can help you launch an upward spiral. Is it sunny out? Kill two birds with one stone by going for a brisk walk outside.

Treating Painkiller Addiction at The Raleigh House

If you’ve lost control over your painkiller use, it’s time to get help. At The Raleigh House, our first goal is to make you feel safe and comfortable. You’re then assigned your own master’s level therapist who will work with you to come up with a plan for rehab—and to rebuild your life. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the painkiller addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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