WWL>Topics>>12-17-13 1:10pm Angela: on depression during the holidays

12-17-13 1:10pm Angela: on depression during the holidays

Dec 17, 2013|

Angela talks with Jan Kehoe of Season's Grief and Loss Center about how to handle holiday depression and WWL host Scoot about the tough times he's had to endure.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Another perfect game look out the sun is shining it's cool it's Chris it's the holiday season. And that's what we're gonna talk about today. The holiday season often brings unwelcome guest stress and depression. The weeks leading up to Christmas Day can be overwhelming. And exhausting. The anticipation of a special moment can sometimes be a real letdown. And if you are alone the holidays can be unbelievably sat. For the next hour we're gonna talk about holiday blues what they are and what we can do to avoid them. If you have suffered from this or facing it right now don't hesitate to call us at 2601870. Jan K ho -- clinician with seasons grief and loss center is with this as is our own script. Host of the Scopes show on WWL. Who has had his own story facing a holiday blues. I think both the view. Very much for being here I truly believe this is far more pervasive than any of us -- even think about out. And I'll give you very brief example I don't know if you've seen the new apple. Commercial. Christmas commercial for apple products. Beautiful story of the family gathering. One driving in on personally for buttons. Little kids I -- just one family piled into another and you see a kid who looks about fifteen or sixteen and he's taking things with this. And you think he's detached from the rest of him one scene after the end of the making of the cookies and getting -- the tree doing. And he's always doing now and Christmas Day Iran and -- all around the tree. And he stands up and hits the television and what he's been doing with that phone is capturing those moments -- I totally. Stopped. Watching it and I realized everybody's emotions are like there. I mean it was huge. It came on again I had to turn -- but I wanted to make sure it was about apple but it to me sort of put in pictures. Those many emotions that we feel. The mother -- the father of three it was almost too much. Okay I'm just bring in Canada because again it's a very emotional time and we kind of set ourselves. Scoot has one of the most touching stories. And I just want him to tell the story. And -- touching it is split that is you know I've I've I've. You know as it is a very sentimental person. I even struggle with Christmas when things were good I mean this has always been holidays Thanksgiving and anybody who knows me or has been close to me. Knows that there's sometimes I'd venture off into. A move that's that's different. Somewhat reflective somewhat melancholy and you know I had a -- -- with the exception of -- You know OCD which -- my -- my childhood but it that's that's that's over. But I've always been sentimental around Christmas on after him. The breakup of his sixteen year relationship and -- moved back to New Orleans are relieved literally had nothing and I had started off right give -- radio. A couple of years but before that -- I really didn't know why why is it and I was relieved by I was very -- I -- -- wasn't side and I was very lost. And in coming back I just didn't you know I would -- -- -- Scrooge and he wanted to Christmas away for anybody else but I just didn't wanna be around it. I want any I couldn't give anything to anybody and I didn't want anybody to give me anything. And I just wanted to escape Christmas I had done I had an airline ticket on southwest. And a voucher for a hotel room. And it's 630 Christmas Eve I was on a flight to Las Vegas. And I thought what better way to escape Christmas -- going to Las Vegas. And I looked around on the plane that Christmas Eve night and -- by wondered who I -- hearing this this plane flight to Las Vegas with. I would say that was disproportionate number of Asians which are also noticed in. In Vegas and their culture wouldn't celebrate Christmas -- this would be a good time to -- to travel. -- there where the party yours on the plane who obviously we're just going to party because they had they had time off. I'm not a gambler. I didn't go to any shows. It was an escape for me. And I just enjoyed. Being away from Christmas and and now while that's a rather lavish escape for Christmas for most people. For it for those who are having a difficult time. There are things you can do to to escape it. On maybe are on on a more local level you could you know -- go somewhere locally to escape to do something. That in falls on. Something with them another culture you know -- eat sushi Chinese food just tried to try to escape it. But that was a really hit it turn out to be very memorable I was really happy I was totally alone I didn't know anybody. Nobody knew me. And at midnight I went to midnight mass I wasn't I wasn't ignoring what Christmas met in terms of the celebration of the birth of Christ. And midnight mass in Vegas was rather entertaining I mean a priest came up before the -- started and did about five minutes of what I consider to be a standup routine. And then they talked about you know welcoming on chips in -- collection plate. And you know I'd -- stayed up late and I just really walked around again and I did have any money to gamble with. So it was really just they are kind of surviving but it was a great. It was a great escape and while this should not be down for anybody this holiday season I couldn't help but think that the contrast between where I am now and I'd just love everything Christmas but. I had a hard time going to the grocery store because you hear. Christmas songs that and it just ignite these these feelings that were really really difficult. But in Iraq is it because because your pet happy Christmas is your life as a child. -- -- happy Christmas yes oh yes yes and all of a sudden your life had changed radically the loss of the relationship. Many many your relationship you know loss of the job and your identity. Perhaps. And all of a sudden you're back in the city not -- don't know anybody that you use and lost. So. It it was I'm gonna run away get away you know from what I think I should be doing is supposedly having this happen now. I was trying to get away from me I I was just trying to survive if I was trying to get away from. That the sights and the sounds and the smells. That. That brought back memories of of of childhood and end of the wonderful time of -- and again it. There are people who were going through that right now and I guess the best news is it's not gonna always be this way. You know you don't have to assume that every Christmas is going to be the way Christmas is for you right now and it it's okay do I think it's okay to to not always embraced Christmas. Okay muschamp. -- you're listening to this. You're doing little psychoanalysis of both look at the -- But again. -- tell us about sort of what's. I think it was brilliantly did -- happen to have that ticket he had a voucher he didn't have any other money but you just said common -- Many. You know I'm just echoing what what's gates said many grieving families. Particular the first set of holidays after the death of a significant one will often escape. Get -- Disney World. Sort of changed the venue like Vegas is another place like this team room where when you go there you lose track time and place and -- can forget for a bit. I being too distracted with the fine. Frivolity. So oftentimes grieving families -- We'll decide to do that. Around holiday time again particularly if one or two holidays after the death of a significant problem so that's Stephanie technique people used. I also think it's interesting that. You -- you said -- you wanted to get away from the smells in the memories of childhood. Christmas is that were happy for you here. So there's also that dilemma there's a lot that you probably want to connect with now that you're a better place when it. Yeah those memories and -- So again as I said at the outset is it a very sentimental person and even win -- life -- really good for me I still. I don't know why but I still struggled with hosts in the middle times you know if you -- A very sentimental person sometimes it's difficult to to deal with the celebration is it worth it for. They were family they were. And that. Just so meaningful to you as a child and you know I was alone last Christmas. And I remember walking around the French or live downtown has talked -- it was kind of a foggy night and I walked up to two river walk in place that nobody was out. And the quarters usually buzzing but Christmas Eve I was I was alone last year but I was really happy and I was embracing Christmas and you know that the French Quarter lights were glowing in the event the fog and the cathedral was shrouded in in in in fog and I just I I couldn't help -- just smile and just think about how happy I was even though I was. Alone and not with those that I might wanna be with on Christmas Eve but I I found real pleasure and even in the even being -- Your story says volumes and I have a feeling some people who are listening can totally understand that I hope we hear from them. But when we come back I'd like to talk about something that -- hitting on. Part of the senate -- it is I can't replicate. What wise. Stay with the signing into law into the W well we're talking about the holiday blues. Something that I think I'm actually hearing more and more about. Not everybody wants to be happy during holidays hopefully you have moments of happiness but there's certainly the element for whatever reasons. Where it can be -- center. And we're just listening to Jan K hotel to scoot about. And that incredible story you told of this moment in your life. And you kind of did something very different and got through it and found a little happiness. And that should be -- that should be a metaphor. For just doing something different largest it's okay to escape and I mean I was OK again I've recognized. The the birth of Jesus I understood what Christmas was all about. But I wanted to escape the that the pageantry I want -- to escape those things suggest. And made me feel even more alone because of what I was going through that particular Christmas. -- I got a lot of reaction to a blogger pro which is stowed on the script web page under her recent blogs it to be to google.com. It's it's of it's about this it's the holiday season is is difficult and it it was for me and not I did it did when a bomb anybody out. But but if you hit it sometimes if you know somebody else has gone through it or is going through it if you're going to a tough time right now you are not a phone and it won't always be this. Now and I think that's the message genital system. Absolutely -- -- the the fact that you can find comfort and just like group we are today than brick just sharing their stories and and some of the things that kind of trigger our sadness at this time -- -- him -- And when I'm doing the show it to the right here -- WL I I couldn't help but think I'm so excited about Christmas and I'm gonna have it's much fun listening to their people out there that might find this very irritating. Might find did that they can't even relate to me being happy. And to so I want to it just at least bring up this idea that you know it's it's okay and you and me and you know you are gonna get through it. And two at the beginning you brought up something a published report and that is the expectations that we have. You know when we're kids we grew up with this idea of of Christmas meaning hope we hope we're gonna get that -- as kids we hope we're gonna get that president. That is so ingrained in us is this. Via these these great expectations. And debts you know that that's a that's a big mistake for -- for us to. You know it and in this goes on -- family's older kids expect a certain thing for Christmas and and somehow. That gets that the real meaning of Christmas gets lost in this. Commercialism and -- I know that's almost a cliche but. The Truman to get Christmas needs to. And you know and maybe that's the focus and it was good in Las Vegas should go to the -- Yes and finding the origin of really what Christmas is yes. But in reality today it's also surrounded by traditions. And it is that holiday meal it is going to grandmothers it is seen family members -- see once a year. It's the exchange of gifts it's that whole it's listening to choirs and music. It's all of that. And so as you said Jan it's the trigger. You listening to us in San Antonio to a choir singing no well and you well up. Because it's an uncomfortable times you wanna get away from him if you've lost somebody whether it be your mother father. You're going through a divorce you've god forbid lost a child. Or you've lost your job. Those kinds of losses than skew. Those traditions. Yes go back to that math. Go back find that walk by the cathedral and you see the beautiful liked that can be the new sent. But it's getting through that transition. That is so difficult. And and scant mention this to an historian in. The practice mindful muscle with my clients because what's important when you're grieving and when you're having to -- Time is try to watch which -- thinking about and it sounds crazy but -- Notice if you're thinking about. All of the lost the past I don't know I'm not a not a psychotherapist and I'm not suggesting people Venus supplement their feelings and stuff them against them. Asking people to cope with -- look you're thinking about how far ahead in the future you're going to anticipate a special day that that you think it will be difficult. So I guarantee you it's always in the anticipation our minds that's harder on the actual day. And likes cute when you walked through the French Quarter and you're able to just mind police he. What was right in front of -- in that very moment here and as you said Angela it it's it's not the expectation. Of of what I'm not. To a knot winds -- where I think I'm going to be tomorrow or tonight. You were able just to enjoy the preciousness of the moments of just how the street -- -- looked and -- church looked and it has some asking people sometimes. Shy away from expectations about what I have to face coming down the line next week -- it might be just try to be right here where you Warren and that's a practice really is this it's not easy now. But it's also again trying to replicate something that's never gonna be again. Right that you're not gonna go home to mom again you're not going to the grandmother or whatever the traditions are. But they evolved. And can change and I think that if you're just a personal opinion you took the bull by the horns -- Is said in a lot of that that tickets -- last -- it's Christmas Eve and again on that plane it was last it was very last minute I just but it was great. Regret and so if somebody is sitting there listening -- you know is there anything you can do. That can be a brand new tradition. A brand new thing. Weather's just walking along the river. And and I look forward to doing that again. This year I'll I'll I'll take -- to our guys have a couple places to go but I'll I'll do that same thing again this year and I I love that the quarter is just so. And there was I don't even remember anybody being a morning call. Or kept a -- and downtown and that was it justice since I'm in the quarter a lot -- -- and and so east activity but it was. It was it was. Erie and in a way but it was. It really I guess it was. It was every peaceful to be an attempt to make that somewhat of a tradition. And -- and I liked -- -- I do things that might you know wanting a particular that my grandmother always says it is the holidays which make black cherry jello with tart cherries and and so that's a tradition that I have have maintained so I liked that link with the past -- you know keep this keep this going keep this the president and and yet dent but -- except Christmas for what it is right now and the the western mind on always thinks about the future and what -- and and more and one thing I learned in in reading about sin was just that the moment and just in showing. We are you -- Enjoy the gifts of the problems that the problems you have are are actually you're gonna look back and they're going to be gifts and you're gonna learn from you gonna learn from these problems. And -- argued today. Stay with -- were gonna come back we're gonna continue talking about the holiday blues and if you have any thoughts on maybe how you've conquered them or if you're going through that -- like to talk to -- Give us a call at ten to 601870. But now let's go to Chris Miller in the newsroom. We're talking about a very special time here all too often. Something else happens and we and fast and it blew it -- Talking with. Being alone and it said time -- this life and met with the very best of it. One also talk about those men many many many who feel compelled. Not just to keep traditions going which is a decent thing. But it's I will do all the shopping I would all the wrapping element all of these nine million cookies. I will do all the house will be -- -- -- on and on and on to the point of exhaustion. And then it's no fun. It becomes really Burton. And how do we get. Where we can continue some of that but just say you know -- delegate which is hard for people. We're looking for two edged. Up shut up solve our problem and where we live we live in cultured and. Where we can multitasking at 7000 things down and in one minute I guess I learned the hard way in my life that time that really was working for me and I I was at a point where there were wasn't a whole lot of joy. In life as he sat. When it's just obligation and sort of staying on the the assembly line. So yes I mean we talked at break about self care I think it's a vital this time of year more than any other to really look at what is what are your priorities what's really important for you spiritually. What's important for you and in terms of connecting to the holiday season. -- mentioned some of the things that I -- more important to him honoring these traditions if you can. And bringing them into today. And and really paying attention to nurturing yourself. Again getting enough rest knowing when you're not eating well taking walks continue your exercise meditation if you do it. Times to be quiet and -- I'm just reading in -- -- -- waiting room -- Emma Thompson said what would you do more -- in your life if you had delivered and she's had to take more deep -- Say just slowing down and that the holiday -- means so much more because you'll really enjoy you know again we talked about mines minister earlier being in this movements that that's the precious -- Not everything got done in the in the check off the long list of things and applications are you talked about expectations that's not part of that. I'm looking at its face you've got something on your mind what you don't. I I like would you you addressed and that is the the expectations and that the of the routine and this is a very I don't know people right now who -- trying to make everything perfect and get all the gifts that they -- they need to get. And in -- in looking back on and on my life when I went through that time when I literally could not give anything. It it's strips away those routines in the commercialism of it. When you I guess when you when you can't gears than you realize that you can go through Christmas and maybe pay more attention to. Would it really means this time of year that the really as opposed to getting caught up in in it it in in making everybody around you unhappy and you know when you when you can't give I guess you learn. -- you can not -- if you don't have to give and and we really it it no matter. What you have what you're able to give your kids or what you're able to give the person who supported your life you really should make sure that that's not the focus of not only Christmas but any time -- year. Correct. And you know there are all kinds of things I think that. Can bridge so that you feel good about yourself and you feel good about this season and is sometimes giving anonymously. And we certainly -- a recent reports about that but I'm talking about if you go to church and you know there's a family that hit hard times. Don't let them. And go to the minister in saying you know what here's I have a hundred dollars. You know for that can be something like that their organizations. To mean that is the essence of it it is from the gift it's the gifting. One of the most touching moments that I remember with my son it was at the bit to mall in Slidell. And I remember one year I don't remember how he wants. But I I -- so touched and in almost -- choked up. When we had there was a gives a giving tree I forget the XX situation which you would go buy gift and and put it under the tree for somebody as it was going to be distributed -- Watching him. Going with him to buy the gift in and watching him put that gift under the tree for somebody else was just so. Touching to me. And that's the him. What you taught in the moment what he understood and that moment. And then -- pick -- up to be 2623. In funny idea and named the start bugging you early on mom. I put the quick toy can we give ten to some kids are where's the -- minor Rick in Atlanta with this year. So that you know let -- -- this really does think and it really does -- and yeah it can converse. And I'm laughing about it but I lost another year and a half ago it was tough. But even in her much later in her late -- -- -- -- it every Christmas spam attack. I am getting stalking him. And I'm in mind you know what and she's in her -- she's looking yeah for a we're gonna keep that to the end and by golly she did and it just you know there's the child always and. Absolutely and it's their traditions with -- their moms and grand -- that they you know that's a difficult time for grieving families actually it's a good point because. They've lost a loved one so the last thing they want is anything changed in the holiday traditions because that feels like more loss. And yet for the adults sometimes say same traditions are difficult to replicate this year particulates and if the death just happened so. This -- the kinds of things it really need to be cup talked about. You know among family members what can I tolerate what we know what do you want what are your expectations what can we all agree on so that's important in terms of the grieving family here. Stay with this'll be right back on Angela under the February. Jen K home with seasons grief is our special guest as his scoot him we're talking about holiday blues. And really let's talk specifically about things you can do. What's your sense that -- I dread on my gosh it's next week it's gonna happen. You know that's building up. Where do we start well again -- just a truism about grief is that come when we start to dread and we anticipate something coming on the line what I encourage my clients to do. Is trying not to do that so confidently try to look to you that you're going to Wednesday and it's it's only you know Friday. Because this is always the case potential that the anticipation. Of those days that we dread is always harder. And more complicated than the actual day so clients -- come back after the event -- you know that they really was that that I got through it all right you know we kind of rallied together and I got through it. On so remember that it's always the work you're doing beforehand that's really the hardest staff about that but I'm. Yeah again self care. Honor your feelings acknowledge when nations in new you're experiencing about it if it's sadness. I can honor the sadness be mindful of that too. I also believe that when we -- That that that is it difficult feelings were -- -- experience aren't really that hard we just again on their culture were afraid to feel sadness were afraid to feel. On the grief of that the left one not being with this this year I think sometimes if we could just acknowledge -- they passed they don't stay with us for. -- for our street you know that kind of -- reach out for help asked people to listen to you. On go for walks. Try to meditate about it journal it. Talk to your minister talked to your priest talked to someone that you know that's been through the experience. Let your family in on the fact that you're having difficulty and can they be close to this this holiday time. Sometimes we need to be the teachers ever grief that's not so difficult we're not only experiencing at the we have to tell people what it is that we need from and what it is. Ironically that we don't need from them to you know sometimes well meaning people can be intrusive -- had to do it. And then we need economic their lives and that's just not helpful. Have and -- Well or really referring more to those who have lost a lot. May not need last month that the so this time of year brings all of that baca. For people who may not have lost somebody but have other issues during the season such as well there's the family dinner and the real. Sometimes toward dynamics of some family members. I dread going to the dinner because it'll just be a fight and this is gonna happen in a and you start building that figure applying the same things absolutely. And yet anticipating. Doesn't really help us a whole lot because again we're having expectations set their minds and more sort of rehearsing already how awful something's going to big. And again self care when you're sitting at that dining room table and -- and that the family. Individuals in the family are playing out that the family drama. Okay which which often happens most families are pretty dysfunctional as far as I am ending my god if you really need to kind of step out and see where you begin and they and and so you don't have to be reactive to it can really answer to be more self containing around that stuff. You know I often wonder because we have invited over the years not recently. People who worked in the newsroom for instance who were new ruling didn't have family here and had to work. Come on over and we would in corporate and if that in fact deters family drama because you've got to. And they've got a buffer and you know just an idea it's equipped with an innocent by -- actor -- it but we've got pummeled by. A hit it. So that's an idea to do you know again and bring people think -- One an invitation sit with the -- in the corner and keep them busy and I think it was I don't bring up obamacare think. About how you feel about it but I've got to look at is going to be an argument. Stay with us. Now we're laughing about holiday blues and right after this. No we really do want everyone to have the Merry Christmas and happy holidays in the whole rollout since. And it is about sharing and that's about oftentimes being with people but sometimes. At the longer we live of the more experience as we have those things that used to make this very happy now can turn and they make is very sad for what we're talking about is let's look at that and what can we do to. To get going and another pack. Where we can find happiness again during this time of the year well again. I think I am thinking a couple my clients that I'm I'm currently working within and they're very deep end and their grief because the loss was very recent. So again not to happen expectations that you're going to be happy I think that's a place to start her mom. And again as we talked earlier in the show to be very careful to enjoy the minutes that you're in. To reach out to those people that are in your life -- you -- and -- you feel safe around. And two Escude said Syria to enjoy just the mind finesse of a beautiful walk -- being in the city or nature. On. Again connecting with people who have less than you so so giving to others who are less fortunate is always. I think a really wonderful. Lesson this time here and it sort of the point on. Honor your feelings and emotions and that sounds crazy but allow them to be because I think when we try to supplement impression -- -- and I -- is when we do. Acting out behaviors that you know make things worse for ourselves so so it's it's complicated I know that. -- I think telling family members and friends what is the -- from them too is really important and we're not very good at that that's another self care thing that. Don't ask people help me and I don't delegating she -- earlier and afraid to ask someone should sit with -- me -- cry with them. Can't answer for someone to hold hold you and another thing just this is this is about you lost you talk to a loss of job loss of a loved one. I think this time they fear it's difficult when families feel like they're walking on egg -- and they can't bring up. You know the loss that the person who is no longer there and it makes creators feel even more isolated and alone which on top of everything that's really difficult so. I encourage families and friends took to mention of -- -- Harry how are you with with your grief from I think one of the neatest things that I read. Recently was a friend asked her mother whose child had died. You're going through such an extraordinary time. What are you learning. And I thought that was a really nice nice way to check in with her friend who's right. And so often in life we we don't control. What happens in life but we can't control how we deal with it. -- the veteran and I think it you know not for the one who's just lost somebody but. If you're really talking about gee I've lost my traditions because of the losses that the of making that choice and that's what you're saying Jayne is we do have a choice and it is saying you know what I'm gonna recreate something. And this may be very simple. And it may be just on this every Christmas on and go listen to him sing in the -- the Jackson square it's free it's beautiful it's people. And I can do that on myself I can just take one person it's a tradition. An escape saying we can't control what happens to us we can do something about to end and. And and if you're if you're not in the mood here Christmas carols prepare yourself for going to the store and hearing prepare yourself in advance what I know good to hear this -- when I when I hear this -- -- to. I'm just gonna think about something else so I'm gonna cry get through it all right we're gonna cry you can outrun a cardinal watch a commercial in front. Thank you both for being here now let's go to Christmas.