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 Holiday Blues

Article Date: 09 Dec 2010 – 4:00 PST

With the holiday season in full swing, many people find themselves battling a form of the “holiday blues.” According to Ronald M. Podell, M.D., a Los Angeles based, board certified psychiatrist who served over 20 years as a clinical faculty member at UCLA, a host of factors produce this well-known phenomenon.

What are the underlying causes, symptoms, and valid treatment options for this syndrome? According to Dr. Podell, who authored the book Contagious Emotions Staying Well When Your Loved One Is Depressed, there are two different kinds of holiday blues. The first affects those who are alone. These individuals have no nearby relatives or are estranged from their families. They may be new to a community or their friends may lead extremely busy lives or are visiting relatives for the holiday. Internally, they feel isolated and abandoned. The holidays blues hits them hard as they feel singled out and terribly alone. They often wonder if they are unlikeable or emotionally disturbed. The second form, Podell states, “comes from forced reunions with family during the holidays. Such ambivalent reunions often relive the same dysfunctional family relationships that have been operating for decades.”

“When we are young,” Podell explains, “the emotions of traumatic experiences are coded by the brain into neuro-chemical messages and stored in memory nodes. They become a permanent part of the brain–an example of the plasticity of brain function the brain’s ability to be permanently changed by experience. When something happens that awakens that trauma, whether it is actual or merely symbolic, the memory node is stimulated and the neuro-chemical messages are released.” A person then re-experiences the same emotions that came from the childhood trauma–and the blues set in. The feelings are those of a hurt child and were likely experienced with the same family he now finds himself visiting as an adult.

Read in Full:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/210777.php

 

Cash Still Tight Around the Holidays? A 3 Step Solution

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Dec 9th 2010

The unemployment rate edged up to 9.8% in November of 2011. Millions of Americans are still without jobs and many more have been living with some form of pay cut. Many are still facing a harsh financial reality and it can be challenging to stomach. Not being able to afford the gifts we used to buy or the trips we used to take may trigger feelings of shame and guilt, especially if we have kids.

During the course of history, it’s been the case that recessions come and go. While the government tells us that the recession is over, many are still feeling it quite acutely and need to tighten belts, so to speak, and often times change spending habits, not fulfilling the material desires quite so much. During this time it is a mental health practice to give ourselves permission to scale back, understanding the reality of the situation, not just for you, but for millions of people. Although this “past” recession may be hitting us on a personal level, it’s important to understand that we are not alone, that many others are in the same boat.

Read in Full:  http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=41328&cn=117



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