Burn Survivor and the Holiday Blues

By: Michael Appleman, M.S.


Many individuals suffer from negative feelings during the holiday seasons. Some burn survivors suffer from anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, intestinal problems, sadness, restlessness and needless conflict with family and friends and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Due to these issues we might not want to get together with others during the holidays. In order to successfully repair and gain control of the holiday blues we need to understand what might be causing them. Everyone is an individual who may suffer from similar issues but the causes and the way to rebuild your life from them might be different.

In order to understand if you are suffering from the holiday blues you might want to pay attention to your specific issues and situation(s). How and what you pay attention to is very important. The holiday blues are recognizable. So many people to dwell on how bad they are feeling, or they put their attention on escaping their undesirable feelings. It has been found that for most people neither process will resolve your issues. There is a chance that you may cause your feelings and/or situations to become worse.

It is very important to understand that the negative feelings you suffer from may not be the definite problem. The negative feelings may be an indication or indications of a problem that needs to be resolved. If the problem(s) are not resolved it may become worse and you may increase your suffering. Also the recovery time may be longer and more intense because you did not deal with the issues earlier.

You could be suffering from something that has happened when you were a child, a teenager or is presently happening to you. You may need to deal with your actions, beliefs and thoughts. The issues may be what someone else did or did not do to or for you. With the help of a counselor, family member, or support group you should try to look beyond the negative feelings and let yourself understand what you are reacting to and how it can be dealt with. The answer to many of the problems may be apparent once the matters or actual difficulties are understood. Try not to oversee potential underlying medical problems like the burn injury or any other type of injury. If you are on prescription medications, other drugs or alcohol you may be suffering from side effects. Finally you might want to look into Seasonal Affective Disorder.


Common Causes of Holiday Blues

So many people see the holidays as a time for a family get together, happiness, parties and even presents. During the holiday get together or just the holidays themselves you may be reminded of unresolved issues. Some samples of these type of issues are:

- Contrast between then and now
- Difference between image of holiday joy and reality of your life
- Displeasure about your current situation
- Expecting a significant loss
- Feelings of increased loneliness and separation
- Previous loses of loved ones or friends
- Unresolved grief

During the holiday season we usually become busier. That may cause stress both emotionally and financially. Many of us have more things that must be completed prior to the holidays. We must go shopping and prepare food for the holiday get together. By not waiting until the last minute to prepare for the upcoming holiday you may be able to make the upcoming holiday a more enjoyable time for you.

Remember that what might work for one burn survivor may not work for another burn survivor. We all have our own personal issues that were with us before we suffered a burn injury and issues that came about due to the trauma we suffered from.