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Tips for dealing with mental illness during holidays

December 23, 2019 posted by Vidant Health News

This time of year is filled with reminders of the holly-jolly feelings we should be experiencing with family and friends, but the reality is many are struggling. A lack of joy may cause some to slip into depression. Those already dealing with mental illness or substance may fall deeper into their disease.

It is important for people to realize they are not alone with these feelings and it is okay to ask for help.

Knowing where to start is a big part of the battle. Here are some tips on how you can help someone struggling this time of year or any time of year and what you can do if you have a mental illness or substance use disorders.

How to help those that may be struggling with negative emotions:

  • Be aware of family and friends who may be disinterested from holiday activities, they could be hurting.
  • Reach out to see if they want to share or talk.
  • Offer a sincere inquiry. Not “What is wrong with you.”

For those that may be feeling down or have a mental illness or substance use disorder:

  • There is nothing wrong with spending time alone if you want to, but seek out others if being alone is not healthy for you.
  • Avoid over-indulging on sugars, carbs, caffeine and alcohol as they can negatively impact your mood. Alcohol is a depressant.

It is also important for us to be there for those that are helping others struggling. They needs support as well.

Anyone in an emotional crisis can reach out to talk to a trained listener at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Mental Health America at 741-741.

Glenn Simpson, administrator for Behavioral Health at Vidant, recently appeared on WCTI to talk about holiday blues.

Read more on Mental Health America for tips on a holiday that may not be uplifting.

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