Holidays Require Some to Know Their Limits

Holidays Require Some to Know Their Limits

It is almost time for the holidays, and many families will be getting together to celebrate the occasion.  But for some who are suffering from PTSD, going to family reunions or even shopping can be stressful.

Dr. Stephanie Erickson, who oversees the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Program at VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, says those who know they have PTSD may want to make special plans before going to holiday gatherings….

[‘’You know, having a cue or a word that you guys could say to each other, and just make an exit without causing a big scene,’’ said Dr. Erickson. ‘’It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you have to have the appropriate expectations for what you can and cannot do for the time when you’re not sleeping as much.  Your routine is off.  Hopefully you’re not using more alcohol.  But it’s o.k. not to have it be perfect (and) not to stay the whole time and to really try to take care of yourself.’’]

Meg Cambron works with the suicide prevention program at the Danville VA….

{‘’The interesting thing is there was a survey done by NAMI – which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness – and they found that 64-percent of us struggle with holiday blues,’’ said Cambron. ‘’So somebody who is struggling with these things is not alone.  We’re all doing it together,’’ said Cambron.  

Cambron noted on WDAN Radio’s Newsmakers Program that going to war is not the only thing that causes PTSD.  She says other causes for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder range from natural disasters and serious car accidents to sexual assaults.

Veterans and others can get help 24-hours a day, even on holidays, by calling the National Suicide Prevention hotline.  The number is 1-800-273-8255.


{Those in the photo include Dr. Stephanie Ericksen, who oversees the PTSD program at the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Meg Cambron, who works in the suicide prevention program there, and Dr. Stephanie Holt of the VA’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention office. You can click on the photo to enlarge it.}