Coping Challenge: Holiday Season = Mood Swings and Sleep Deprivation


This is maybe the first time I am going into the beginning of what many call “the holiday season” with acute awareness of my mood changes and sleep deprivation as the symptoms start.  That said, I am not sure how to format this post.  Using a a Q/A interview format this time.


When does my holiday season start?

The week before Halloween

When does it end?

Maybe the first week in January

How do the holidays affect your mood?

Holiday seasons bring back a lot of memories in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, and emotional escalation that cause panic attacks.  Sometimes body memories get involved, but not always.  Adults feel a lot of stress.  The young alters get scared all the time and always on alert for monsters in human disguise.  The adolescents are stressed out and angry and upset.  This shows in how we are not as talkative or friendly sometimes.  Have to be internal more than external to maintain calm.  And our trigger buttons are pushed much easier.

When does the sleep deprivation start?  How do you stop it?

The sleep deprivation starts with the nightmares.  Alters wake up at night and stay awake to make sure they don’t come back.  Sometimes body and mind are not in sync so brain sleeps while alters get active in the evenings.  It means not much real sleep even though the hosts do not know what’s happening until someone tells them.  Other times, sleep gets interrupted by constant switching among alters who are asleep and awake.  There is no way for us to stop it.  We cope as best we can using the tools discussed in earlier posts and others that come our way.

Does it happen every year?


What happened before?

Dissociation and traumatic amnesia for months at a time.

Does life get easier after the holidays?

Not. really.  January to May is another season of bad memories related to school, holidays, vacations, and birthdays.  By holidays I mean Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc.

What is the best part about this season?

I am going to remember what happens this year.  So will my alters.

Do you celebrate?

We celebrate the spirit of the holidays rather than the holidays themselves in blissful solitude.