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MU psychiatrist gives advice about holiday stress


The holiday season can bring an extra layer of stress to people's lives.

"Typically the holiday period is very difficult for a lot of people," Dr. Ashish Sarangi, of MU Health Care - Geriatric Psychiatry, said. "You know for most people, it is a time when they rejoice and celebrate with family, but for a lot of folks it can be anxiety provoking."

Thanksgiving is the first of the many holidays coming up, and Sarangi said there are some tips and tricks people can do to avoid holiday fallouts.

"Try to avoid certain topics which you know trigger you, or the other person," Sarangi said. "Like politics or religion, or maybe even talking about certain sports because that can trigger some folks."

Picking where you sit at dinner can also prevent arguments and reduce stress.

"You have to kind of plan ahead. Maybe even sit in a strategic position," he said. "You probably don't want to sit right next to the person you have a history of huge conflicts with."

If you regularly see or talk to a mental-health professional, Sarangi says you shouldn't stop before the holiday season.

"One thing I do recommend is if someone is established with a therapist or a psychiatrist, maybe checking in more frequently during this time, and making sure that they are on top of their treatment plans," said Sarangi.

Sarangi also advises anybody who is taking prescription medication to make sure they have enough to make it through their holiday plans.

"A lot of folks are going to be traveling, you know. Maybe out of the country or moving to a different state for the holidays, just making sure you have that regular supply of medication that you need," Sarangi said.

The Missouri Department of Mental health has a 24-hour crisis line. If you or somebody you know need mental health assistant, you can contact the hotline for free.

Boone County's hotline number is 800-395-4405

Cole County's hotline number is 888-237-4567

Article Topic Follows: Columbia
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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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