The time is coming where I tell those patients who return only in January: "Merry Christmas and a happy new year!". And in nine out of ten cases, they reply with something along the lines of
I do not like this time of year. Everyone is supposed to be happy, or to have a happy relationship. But I feel alone, sad, and empty during this time of year.
Christmas stress: treating loneliness online?
In this specific period of time, the feeling of loneliness becomes much stronger in many people. This is even so for many of those who are in a relationship, because even a relationship will not reduce your loneliness unless you feel deeply connected and supported. These are not the type of people who visit a doctor or a therapist about their issues. No, they keep quiet and suffer in silence. These are the people who sign up at our online self-help program, because they are looking for a solution without feeling like they are able to talk about it to anyone.
Loneliness at this time of year gives silent stress: new year's stress
Loneliness hurts. Loneliness affects self-esteem. Loneliness slowly causes you to sink deeper, into a depression, burnout, or anxiety attacks. First of all, you become sad. After a while, even the negative feelings disappear and make way for an emptiness where you do not feel anything. You hardly feel anything anymore, as it were.
Who looks for online self-help therapy during this time of year?
We studied why people sign up for the online self-help program during this time of year. Only 10% of the participants were looking for a healthcare provider, doctor, or therapist when signing up. 90% of the participants, however, reported that they were looking for a different kind of solution, but were at that time unaware of what solution could help them.
How can you measure your stress?
We developed a special online stress test which allows you to measure if you suffer from stress. if you click here, you can take the test. Normally, you should see 3 stress meters which should be in te green zone after you take the test. If your score is orange or red, it can be so that ou suffer from Christmas stress or New Year's stress.
Paul Koeck, MD