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Handling PTSD During the Holidays


Christmas is a season to be jolly and enjoy time with family and friends. For a veteran with PTSD Christmas can be a challenging time. The Holidays are usually centered around large crowds and celebrations. This can make a veteran suffering with PTSD feel overwhelmed. I am a veteran and I also suffer from PTSD. I avoid large crowds at all costs. This makes it difficult for myself and other veterans with PTSD enjoy the holidays because most holiday events involve a crowd of people.

The holidays may also remind veterans with PTSD of a loss they had during their service. I was deployed on the holidays before. When Thanksgiving and Christmas come around every year it makes me remember my deployment and it makes it very difficult to enjoy myself. That brings me to another point. Veterans with PTSD may find it difficult to enjoy the holiday because they suffer from survivor’s remorse.

The veteran is alive and able to be around for the holidays while a fellow soldier died in combat. It doesn’t seem fair to have fun and enjoy themselves when their buddy is dead and not able to enjoy the holidays.

Whatever the issue a veteran with PTSD has during this holiday season there is all kinds of help and advice out there.

  • A veteran can talk with family and friends about how they feel. This doesn’t mean that the veteran has to tell them everything. Just let the family and friends know you are feeling stressed.
  • A veteran can set limits for themselves. A veteran should know their limits and not engage in an activity that will create undo stress. Just stay at a holiday event for a short period of time.
  • A veteran can take breaks from holiday events. They can go be by themselves for a bit. Get a breath of fresh air.

These are just a few helpful hints for veterans with PTSD to cope with the holidays. Just don’t ever forget that you are not alone. You can also call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 .

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