Why mentally ill patients get worse during the festive season. Why are holidays hard for people with mental illness? The holiday season is often considered a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, for individuals with mental illness, this time of year can bring unique challenges that may exacerbate their conditions. Dr. Shradha Malik- CEO and founder of Athena Behavioral Health said, “It is important to understand that the festive season can be especially hard for people with mental illness for several reasons, contributing to the reported worsening of their conditions. 64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse.” The festivities may also be upsetting, particularly for those who are grieving, as it may serve as a reminder of the loved ones who have passed away.