Anxiety and Depression bought about by the Holiday Season

Annette Wright

For every picture perfect family group getting together and celebrating the festive season enjoying each other’s company there is sure to be another group living the old saying “You can pick your friends, but not your relatives”. The people in the latter group would much rather be out celebrating with friends but find themselves forced to spend time with family out of obligation.

These forced gatherings are perfect breeding grounds for the re-opening of old wounds and quarrels, usually after alcohol has swept away the social niceties like a roadway in a flash flood. Sometimes all it takes is one drink too many , but the resulting name-calling, shouting and drama spoils what is supposed to be an opportunity for everyone to come together in the spirit of peace and harmony.

As a result of this behaviour, for many people this celebratory time of year is not looked forward to with excitement but with dread. The build-up to the family get-together is approached with apprehension and anxiety, and avoidance strategies are mentally rehearsed, all the while knowing that they can never be utilised.  The feelings of powerlessness, generated as a result, can be the start of a slide into depression or anxiety, unless symptoms are recognised and professional help is sought. It is better to seek help sooner rather than later as these mental health issues can have a snowballing effect if left untreated.

Be Proactive and change negative outcomes

AusPsychology specialises in helping people by providing psychological services for a wide range of emotional issues. These include the anxiety and depression bought about by that holiday season stress. As families age there can be sadness that loved ones who have passed on will not be there for the celebrations they once enjoyed. There can be feelings of emotional abandonment if family members have not been supportive over something, and resentment of the expectation that all these feelings will be set aside to keep everyone else happy.

Even making the decision not to attend a family gathering to avoid all these negative emotions can trigger feelings of anxiety and guilt. People can feel quite trapped when thinking that, either way, there is nothing in it for them. It is important that these feelings and emotions are recognised as real, and if they are getting out of control, that professional assistance is sought to overcome them. The qualified psychologists at AusPsychology will work with people who are struggling at this time of the year to find something meaningful for themselves out of these occasions.

To do nothing and hope it will all subside after the holidays is to ignore long-held and often erroneous beliefs that, if challenged, are usually found to be based on false evidence. This is a sure way to spoil many more family gatherings, when the best option is to deal with it now. Taking this step will lift the cloud over future family get-togethers and allow people to look forward to them, instead of dreading their approach.


Annette Wright

Annette Wright

B.A Psych (Hons). MAPS
Annette has been practicing for over 20 years and has broad experience in the counselling, forensic, clinical and vocational fields. She has considerable experience in helping people with difficulties in the areas of anxiety, depression, work-related stress, anger management, and substance misuse, and in particular, relationships. Her areas of interest include building resiliency to stress, Emotional Intelligence and increasing effective communication and problem solving skills. She has particular expertise in the psychological management of stress and relationships. Annette’s strengths include strong intuition, the ability to engage and challenge clients, to get to the heart of self-limiting beliefs and to work creatively with clients to support them in making the desired changes they choose for their lives and their relationships.

How We Can Help

We offer a comfortable, therapeutic experience so you feel safe and secure when reaching out for help.


Anxiety and panic attacks can be very debilitating. There are a number of types of anxiety disorders and our trained psychologists can help in overcoming them.

Work Stress

Workplace situations can add to an individual’s personal stress levels. We can offer interventions and methodologies to assist in dealing with these stressors.


Successful healthy relationships take work and can be difficult to succeed with. Our counsellors can offer guidance and assistance in helping you and your partner get there.


A very common problem which ranges from mild depression to clinical depression of which there are a number of types. Along with counselling – relaxation, positive thinking, diet and exercise can also help.

Self Esteem

Problems with how satisfied we are of ourselves can be changed. Individuals can do this but sometimes the help of a professional is needed, especially if low self worth is the result of other problems such as depression or anxiety.

Book Your Appointment Now

AusPsychology offers in person and virtual sessions. Call 07 3367 0333 or book online.


Our caring and highly qualified professionals in Brisbane are university trained, registered with the psychologists board and members of the Australian Psychological Society. They have extensive knowledge, skills, and experience in understanding people and their behaviour.

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Milton Village Medical

Level 1/36 Baroona Road

Milton QLD 4066

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