Mental health resources for those dealing with grief during the holidays
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The holiday season is typically a happy time, but for those dealing with the loss of a family member, it can bring back memories that are hard to deal with.
“First is because there’s so much celebration around us and there are so many festivities. It seems like everyone is enjoying themselves and grief can be very isolating. It makes us feel like we’re the only ones who are feeling sad and can’t partake like other people,” “Dr. Lauren Luce, a psychiatrist at Baton Rouge General said.
Luce said, if this is you, it’s important to manage expectations for yourself and be patient.
“Two things can be true at once, so you can feel grief and sadness, but you can also allow yourself to feel joy and sometimes we must give ourselves permission to feel that way when we’re struggling with the loss,” Luce said.
For kids who have lost a loved one, this time of year can also be difficult.
“Remind them of that loved one that you’ve lost. Talk about happy memories with that person and maybe even still partake in those traditions that have been important in years past, so they still know that they’re in a safe environment,” Luce said.
In addition to grief, the colder weather and longer nights can also lead to seasonal affective disorder.
“It starts getting dark earlier when the temperatures start dropping, those feelings start worsening and so that’s what we call seasonal affective disorder, and maybe a reason to seek treatment from your doctor,” Luce said.
A doctor may prescribe an anti-depressant, light therapy, or a vitamin-D supplement.
The city parish also has resources to help.
“The thing that I’d like to talk to you guys about is 988. I’m super excited to for 988, it is a national hotline for anyone in our community who’s having any kind of crisis. It could be mental health. It could be an emotional crisis. It can be substance abuse, and that number is a national hotline. But it’s connected to local resources 988,” Tonja Myles, with East Baton Rouge Parish, said.
You can also visit When You Are Ready BR.
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