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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Rise in Mental-Illness Issues Seen in Holiday Season

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Thursday, December 22, 2022   

Although the holidays are one of the happiest times of the year, people with mental illness may not see it the same way.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 31% of adults said they expect to feel more stress this holiday season compared with last year, which could lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Experts find being around family at the holidays can introduce numerous triggers for a psychological episode.

Dr. Sharon McLennon-Wier, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled-New York, described what some triggers might be.

"Some triggers can be too much alcohol, too much drug consumption around the holidays," pointed out. "Folks who say that they don't necessarily have plans or say that they don't necessarily celebrate, or say that they like being alone during the holidays."

She noted asking about whether a person doesn't celebrate the holidays for a religious reason is important. McLennon-Wier added the holidays also can be a trigger for those dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which the National Institute of Mental Health said affects millions of Americans.

While mental health has become less stigmatized in recent years, McLennon-Wier explained there are plenty of reasons why people might not take care of their mental health, including culture, a lack of mainstream information about it, and the notion people are weak if they take care of their mental health.

"People need to understand that a lot of our emotions are indicative of our level of hormones that do control our level of interaction and engagement with people," McLennon-Wier emphasized.

She added it could be part of a biochemical problem, which may need to be handled with medication. In her experience, McLennon-Wier has observed the holidays can make people question their self-worth or fixate on a career achievement which has not been met. Other triggers she finds are financial problems.

According to a 2021 survey by the American Psychiatric Association, affording gifts at the holidays was a large source of stress for people.

Disclosure: The Center for Independence of the Disabled-New York contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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