Holidays are a difficult time for some in Las Vegas

It’s that time of year for singing songs, gathering around the table and opening gifts. But when not everyone feels the tingle of anticipation for old Saint Nick.

It’s also the time of year for the holiday blues, and causes include the time change; lack of sleep; lack of planning; crowds at stores; and lack of time for oneself.

Sasha DeCania has additional reasons to be sad this time of year. She lost her older sister Dawn to a chronic illness four years ago Dec. 3 and now raises Dawn’s teenage daughter. DeCania is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

“So, my holidays can be bittersweet. … But’s not uncommon for people to experience (the holiday blues),” she said, “where there’s a sense of fatigue, a lack of excitement. But people can still enjoy this time of year.”

It’s OK to fondly recall loved ones, but not to linger in those feelings too long, DeCania said. She also suggested asking oneself, “What’s good about right now?”

It’s also all right to turn down invitations so you’re not over-stressed, she said.

Bob Gabbay is a psychiatrist and the medical director for Destinations for Teens in Henderson. He stresses getting outside, as sunlight is a huge way to combat the blues. The center is aimed at helping teens feel more centered with yoga classes. Gabbay suggested creating family traditions.

“We have a lot of service workers here who do not get Thanksgiving or Christmas off work,” he said. “It’s not the date. It’s the intention.”

Michelle Paul, a psychologist and the director of UNLV’s mental health clinic, The PRACTICE, said there is no clinical definition for the holiday blues.

“But as clinicians, we pay attention because the holidays can be significant for some people,” she said. “The holidays represent memories that are unpleasant, or they trigger remembering a past trauma, or you feel the loss of someone who you used to spend this time with.”

There’s no telling who’s more prone to the holiday blues; Paul said that the commercialization of the holidays doesn’t help, that we are bombarded with messages to buy the ultimate gifts.

“Culturally, we’re told everything should be perfect,” she said. “There’s a lot of marketing, a lot of messages. … We call it ‘compare and despair,’ right? Our minds judge us negatively; there’s a frustration of the ideal and we’re not meeting it.”

To overcome the holiday blues, Paul said, people should allow themselves to honor and mark the memory of the person they’re missing. They should seek out a sense of community, whether through their church or with family. Paul, like Gabbay, suggested families could start new traditions.

“Some families completely change up how they celebrate the holidays” (after losing a loved one), she said. “They don’t do it the old way anymore because that’s too painful. It’s too much of a reminder of the person who’s not there.”

Psychiatrists note that the holiday blues can be a signal of something more serious: depression.

The University of California, Davis, reports that as many as one-third of people already coping with a major depressive disorder see their symptoms worsen in winter.

Alcoholism often accompanies depression. People feeling blue are advised to limit their drinking, according to UC Davis.

Food also can be a pitfall, especially combined with a lack of exercise in winter. Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones. It’s OK to eat a little more as long as one exercises a little more to make up for it, Gabbay said.

Other triggers for the blues include lack of sleep, scheduling too much into the day, a lack of planning and family issues, according to UC Davis.

Contact Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 702-387-2949.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Life
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like