Holiday Depression | Connecting Point | Dec. 28, 2016

Holiday Depression | Connecting Point | Dec. 28, 2016


SO MUCH HAPPENS, SHOPPING,
WRAPPING, BAKING, PARTIES. IT’S EASY TO FORGET THAT FOR
MANY, THIS CAN BE A STRESFUL, LONESOME TIME. THE SICK OR THOSE REMEMBERING
LOST LOVED ONE. CAROLEE McGRATH SPOKE WITH
DR. STUART ANFANG, CHIEF OF
ADULT PSYCHIATRY AT BAYSTATE MEDICAL CENTER TO HEAR FROM HIM
HOW TO COPE WITH ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION.>>SO, THAT’S PRETTY COMMON,
SOME DEGREE OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION. REMEMBER, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
THESE THINGS, ANXIETY’S A NORMAL EMOTION. THERE’S A REASON WE HAVE
ANXIETY. THE PROBLEM IS WHEN IT BECOMES
SO SIGNIFICANT THAT IT CAUSES FUNCTIONAL IMPAIRMENT AND THAT’S
WHEN CONCERN SOME COMES. IT’S OBVIOUSLY A HECTIC TIME. PEOPLE ARE PLANNING THINGS,
BUYING THINGS. SOME PEOPLE FIND THE FAMILY
TOGETHERNESS STRESSFUL. THERE IS FOOD AND ALCOHOL
AROUND. IT CAN INCREASE ANXIETY AND MOOD
ISSUES. AT WHAT POINT DOES IT CAUSE
FUNCTIONAL IMPAIRMENT WHEN IT MIGHT BE MAKING IT HARD FOR YOU
TO FUNCTION AT WORK OR SCHOOL OR DOING YOUR EVERY DAY ACTIVITIES.>>SO, WHAT TO YOU DO IF YOU
FEEL LIKE YOU’VE HIT A WALL OR EXPLODED? YOU DON’T ALL THE PRESENTS, YOU
DON’T HAVE THE MONEY?>>THE FIRST THING YOU TO IS
STEP BACK, PAUSE AND TAKE A BREAK. AND A BREAK COULD BE, YOU KNOW,
A TWO-MINUTE BREAK. A BREAK COULD BE A TWO-HOUR
BREAK. MAYBE UNPLUG FROM WHAT YOU’RE
DOING. PUT THE SMARTPHONE AWAY, STOP
WRAPPING PRESENTS, GET OUTSIDE. GO EXERCISE. RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES. SEPRATE YOURSELF. THAT WOULD BE THE FIRST
RECOMMENDATION. THE SECOND THING IS, DO
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. DON’T TRY TO OVERDO IT WHETHER
IT’S EATING OR DRINKING OR SHOPPING. IF THOSE KINDS OF THINGS DON’T
HELP, YOU ALSO WANT TO BE MINDFUL OF YOUR SLEEP. MAKE SURE YOU’RE GETTING REST,
ALL THE THINGS WE KNOW ARE GOOD FOR HEALTH. IF YOUR TRY ALL THOSE THINGS AND
THAT’S NOT HELPING, THEN MAYBE THAT’S SOMETHING YOU WANT TO
BRING TO THE ATTENTION OF YOUR PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER.>>I THINK, FOR MOMS IN
PARTICULAR, THERE’S A LOT OF PRESSURE TO GET EVERYTHING DONE
AND MOMS MIGHT PUT PRESSURE ON THEMSELVES. WHAT ADVICE COULD YOU GIVE THEM
ABOUT EXPECTATIONS? SOMETIMES WE HAVE EXPECTATIONS
THAT ARE UNREALISTIC FOR GETTING THINGS DONE.>>MOMS ALWAYS HAVE A DIFFICULT
JOB. MOMS MIGHT BE THE UNSUNG HEROES
OF FAMILY LIFE ALL THE TIME, RIGHT? YOU’RE EXACTLY RIGHT. OVER THE HOLIDAYS, THERE’S A LOT
GOING ON. THERE’S INCREASED EXPECTATIONS
AND PRESSURES AND MOMS SHOULD CUT THEMSELVES A LITTLE SLACK
AND PROBABLY WE SHOULD CUT MOMS A LITTLE BIT OF SLACK. ALTHOUGH THE REALITY IS, MOMS
WILL SAY, IF I DON’T DO IT, IT WON’T GET DONE. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE
EXPECTATIONS MORE REASONABLE? YOU DON’T WANT TO WORK YOURSELF
TO THE BONE OR WORRY YOURSELF FROM THE BONE, THAT WILL DETRACT
FROM THE EXPERIENCE AND JOY FROM THE HOLIDAYS
>>THAT BRINGS UP A GOOD POINT ABOUT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE
THIS JOY DURING THIS HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY WITH YOUR FAMILY. HOW CAN YOU HELP PEOPLE WHO HAVE
LOST SOMEONE DURING THE HOLIDAYS, GET THROUGH THIS TIME
AS THEY’RE TRYING TO CELEBRATE WITH OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, BUT
OF COURSE, THEY’RE MOURNING THE LOSS OF THAT LOVED ONE?>>SO, WHEN YOU SAY, YOU’RE
SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPY AMONG THE HOLIDAYS. THE REALITY IS, NOT NECESSARILY. THERE IS NOT A SHOULD, OR
SUPPOSED TO BE. IF PEOPLE HAVE LOSSES, FAMILY
STRESSORS, THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO IGNORE THEM AND PRETEND THAT
THEY’RE NOT THERE. IT’S OKAY TO FEEL SAD AROUND THE
HOLIDAYS. IT’S OKAY TO MISS LOVED ONES AND
RECOGNIZE THE PRESSURES THAT YOU’RE UNDER. AT THE SAME TIME, THE GOAL IS,
IS TO SORT OF TRY TO PUT IT INTO CON
CONTEXT. ATTEND TO THE THINGS THAT ARE
MORE POSITIVE. IF SOMEBODY IS HAVING THOSE
KINDS OF FEELINGS, SAY, MISSING A LOVED ONE OR DEALING WITH A
DIVORCE IN THE FAMILY, REACHING OUT FOR SUPPORT TO OTHER PEOPLE
IN THE FAMILY OR FRIENDS OR PROFESSIONAL HELP OR A CLERGY
MEMBER. PEOPLE SHOULDN’T SUFFER IN
ISOLATION. IT ONLY MAGNIFIES THE STRESSORS. REACHING OUT AND MAKING A
CONNECTION AND HAVING A LEVEL OF SUPPORT AND VALIDATION.>>DR. STUART ANFANG, THANK YOU. VERY GOOD ADVICE.>>THANK YOU.

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