Depressed on Holidays and Birthdays... is this normal?


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So it seems like no matter what I feel sad or depressed on holidays.
My birthday is monday and it seems like today, and every on today I start to feel super empty and alone. I'm surrounded by beautiful folks, but i feel i don't know unhappy.
I thought that id feel different this year as i finally started to pursue makeup and doing my favorite things, but i still feel blah.

anyone relate?


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I can relate and it is normal. Plenty of people get the blues for various reasons. There's winter blues, holiday blues, birthday blues and plenty of others, I'm sure.

I, myself, suffer from winter blues. I live in NJ and the winters can be rough. Seems like when it starts getting dark outside at 4pm, I don't feel right. Usually around November is when it kicks in. I also suffer from general acute depression. With medication, it's gotten easier, but I still have my days.

You just have to remember that it'll pass. Maybe try talking about it with someone you trust.


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I agree with shontay. Sometimes we have the blues for things that others just seem to fly right through with a smile. I have been on anti-depressants for years. But still on every freakin holiday, b-say whatever I get this empty feeling. My birthday was this past Thursday and same thing for no reason. I feel this way on Mother's Day, Christmas, Valentine's Day, all of them. I have a great hubby and two healthy children.

I've often wondered if it is because holidays were always a super big deal in my family growing up. Christmas was huge with my mother baking all kinds of stuff and homemade candy and all. I'm the youngest of four kids so I guess everyone spoiled me a bit. But my husband's family is quite frankly kind of bla with such things. He said they generally had like one gift each at Christmas and birthdays and nothing really special. I guess we didn't get lots of stuff other than holidays so it made them exciting. But my mom always made a pretty cake and decorated (nothing fancy, just fun) and our b-days were our day. She took our pic with the cake and gifts and we were made to feel really special. I guess I just want to be made to feel special again. At 48 I miss my mom and daddy.

Even when money was tight my parents made things a big fun event. So I wonder with me if deep down I have high expectations and always feel let down when they are not met. Even though we've been married 23 yrs and I tell myself don't expect anything and be happy with whatever, the feeling is still there. On most of these times I could easily go off by myself and just cry my eyes out. I don't because I feel selfish. This may not be the reason for my holiday sadness but it's all I've been able to come up with.

But I know it's tough when you're thinking WTF? I have so much to be thankful for and surrounded by loved ones. Good Luck Sweetie. I wish you all happy feelings. Thanks for posting I always felt I was the only one that felt this way and figured it had to be my fault somehow.


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I haven't got a big family (just one sister living in another town, my parents are divorced, no contact to others) and my relationship to them is not easy.

Birthdays and holidays always mean a lot of emotional stress for me - I know this depressed or sad feeling.

I try to enjoy the rest of the year!


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i understand what you all mean. like Shontay i get the winter blues, even the smell of rain makes me depressed and i start to feel very sorry for myself and get snappy. the feelings always pass. it's just good to keep occupied and to try and spend time with your friends


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Thanks ladies. I started to perk up a bit today, and felt good about getting 'older'. I'm glad you guys told me its not just me, i was beginning to feel a bit dark and twisty.
Thanks dolls!


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I get those feelings too and for me I think it's because these times of year makes us very introspective. I really look at myself and my life and wonder what will be different this time next year or if I am where I thought I would be. It seems like I can never really move along in life enough to be happy, I just need to learn to slow down and appreciate what I have. Maybe because they are easy mile markers in our year that we naturally think about them and assign values or places we'll be by then. For example.... for my birthday in November every time I start planning and imaging the event I can't help but make plans with other ideas in mind, like I will have lost 10 lbs by then, I'll be so close to graduating, I will have time to make my birthday dress and my birthday cake, etc. In reality, I may not be able to do all those things because things change and the unexpected happens.

I guess my solution is be realistic with your life goals and don't tie to them to a specific date. I need to define success by making progress. And, be in charge of your own happiness! If you want to feel celebrated on your birthday then plan a celebration, if you want a homey Christmas then do it for yourself and your loved ones. Be the change we wish to see in the world, no?

Hope you feel better! Happy birthday =)


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I'm late here --- glad to hear you're feeling better!

I think that if you are identifying the fact that you have a history of becoming depressed on holidays, you should make sure to plan those times to be full of activities and friends that you know will prevent you from getting too introspective.

Choose something that will require that you be present and engaged in what you're doing. I know it sounds cheesy, but something like a board game is good because you have to pay attention. Rock Band. Going to a pottery cafe with a bunch of people. But don't be alone, and don't allow yourself to do stuff where you can mentally check out and start over-analyzing.

If you have a history of depression on these days, you should also try to avoid alcohol or pot consumption (not making any assumptions about your behavior --- you may never consume either, but I'm just tossing out general advice). Although they might initially relieve the depressed feelings, alcohol/pot are both depressants and you'll end up feeling twice as bad afterward.


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No, I totally hear you and appreciate your advice. In the midst of all this I came to realize it wasn't just birthday blues but ptsd, survivors guilt, and a hormonal imbalance. But I'm learning to process.


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I usually don't feel that on holidays, but birthdays, yeah. It's a special day, I know, but it feels weird when it's like your special day, you know?


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I get depressed on my birthday, too. I think it's because some part of me wants it to be amazing, and wants to do something I'd never usually get to do, and the day usually ends up being pretty mundane. If people aren't being nice to me, or there's no surprises, I feel intense disappointment.

This year was pretty good, though, because it was my 30th, so there was an actual party.

Usually, though, I can't help but feel a little blue every year. I'd love for someone to surprise me one year, plan something for that day, but people always expect me to come up with my own birthday plan. I know I should just tell them that I never wanted to plan my own birthdays, but I worry that something like that won't be well-received.

Paint&Ink Chick

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Ugh! I totally relate. Most of the time I'm always depressed:( That just looks sad typing it out lol. Most of mine is my weight, since I had my last baby 4 yrs ago! I just can't seem to get the weight off and sometimes I just cry cause I dont have anything to wear or belive or not my hair. But the holidays to me is just another day. I have to work and my children with be with their dad, so that makes me lonely & I really don't prefer to just sit and eat with my mom...sigh. So yea, I know how ya feel. Maybe that's why we love make-up so much, atleast it gives up sometime to do:)


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i definitely relate. i can't stand the crass consumerism associated with xmas. i always wish i could just hibernate through the entire month of december. also i am an atheist so xmas doesn't have special significance to me aside from spending time with family, which i do love. i just hate the crush of people in every shopping center, the screaming children, the stress, the sales, the money (or lack thereof), the building-up of it all. i got really depressed about it this year, actually. i do tend to get depressed around my birthday as well... once you're past 21, birthdays don't seem all that special, you know? i'm turning 26 next month and it just reminds me that now i am in my "late twenties"... meh. aside from the age bit, it is weird, i have always felt a little strange about my birthday and can't quite put my finger on why.


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I definitely feel depressed during the holidays, and somewhat on my birthday. To me I think it's the fact that typically you're "supposed" to be really happy during these occasions, and that there's a pressure to "perform" and live up to those expectations. If I stop thinking about how happy I SHOULD be, and just focus on the fact that I'm spending time with people I really love and sharing laughs, I feel much better.

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