Keeping Anxiety at Bay during Halloween

Plenty of research has shown us how common anxiety and depression are for those who suffer from chronic illnesses. Add on to that the fact that anxiety disorders themselves can be crippling long-term. While many people with conditions like Lyme disease and type 2 diabetes are afraid of being left out of the holiday season, Halloween does carry some unique risks for them. The spookiest time of year is filled with jump scares, corn mazes, scarecrows that come to life and more. For the average population, they can feel a brief moment of fear and then calm down, forgetting about the scare. With certain chronic illnesses, some people aren’t quite so lucky.

We often think of post-traumatic stress disorder as one of the sensitive and at-risk groups during celebrations. However, individuals with heart conditions, anxiety, and illnesses associated with physical pain can also be suffering. So, with all of this in mind, how do we make sure that friends and family know to take it a little easy during Halloween?

Offer Less Spooky Alternatives

If your friends enjoy going to a haunted corn maze, try looking up related options. Some farms will even have two corn mazes on the same property, allowing friends to split into groups for different experiences. You can still enjoy the pumpkin patch and apple ciders together, of course! You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised to find plenty of friends to join you in the more sedate corn maze, too. In fact, they might even be relieved to finally have the option for a scare-free event.

Let People Know In Advance

Do you have any people in your family or friend group who are well-known for scaring others on Halloween? It might be a good idea to let them know gently ahead of time that it would potentially harm you to be on the receiving end of their antics. If you don’t feel comfortable making the request, you can always check in with a friend or family member who wouldn’t mind talking with them for you.

Know What You Can (and Can’t) Control

Have you ever walked up to a front door while trick or treating completely convinced that the mannequin on the rocker was real? There are some parts of Halloween that are definitely harder to control, and the actions of strangers are at the top of the list. If you’re especially sensitive with jump scares (as many are) then you might want to plan some fun alternatives to going door to door. A Halloween movie night might be just the ticket!


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Photo by Altınay Dinç on Unsplash

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