Got the holiday blues? You're not alone - WFLA News Channel 8

Got the holiday blues? You're not alone

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Erik Libby Erik Libby
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL - The images are everywhere, happy families sitting around a table full of food, enjoying the holiday.  Reality can be quiet different for many.

Erik Libby is the clinical coordinator for the Employee Assistance Program and Managed Behavioral Health for BayCare.

He sees the impact of the holiday blues all the time.

"People are spending more time with each other. Sometimes there is excessive use of alcohol and tensions erupt. It's not unusual for there to be an increase in domestic violence calls.  In fact sometimes there is physical and emotional violence," said Libby.

Related content: Domestic violence resources

For people who are feeling lonely during the holidays, Libby tells people to reach out to others.

"One of the things we encourage people to do is to reach out to their family members, friends, maybe neighbors and if there are some family tensions, maybe looking to repair those relationships," said Libby.

There are more than twenty thousand employees for Baycare Health System.  If any of them have problems during the holidays, Erik Libby and his staff will get the call.

"It's not uncommon for it to be quiet during this period of time, but immediately after spending several days with family members, there is usually a big increase in volume," said Libby.

Libby says people should try to work out their differences during the holidays, but if there are severe problems, such as violence he says people should seek shelter at any number of domestic violence facilities.

"There are higher expectations for families to be happy and enjoying the holiday and in some cases that may be unrealistic in certain situations," said Libby.

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