Battling holiday depression? How to cope
We're told it supposed to feel like "most wonderful time of year," but for many ... it doesn't.
It's a problem many try to ignore and push under the rug this time of the year: seasonal depression.
Anyone who has lost a loved one knows what it's like.
"The holidays are stressful for everyone, but it can definitely be more stressful if you've lost a loved one," said Lisa Schoonover, who lost a son.
"Many people are blue and yet they seek to hide it because they don't want everybody else to know they aren't joyful like everybody else," said Rev. Gerry Giles of Marvin United Methodist Church in Tyler.
Schoonover wants to help others who struggle getting through the holiday season.
She and her friend Carol Johnson, who also lost a child, are steering committee members of Compassionate Friends of Tyler, a support group for those who have lost their children.
"We're (all) in the same situation and it really does help," Schoonover said.
Marvin United Methodist holds a special service every year around Christmas for those struggling with seasonal depression.
"It's a service of hope and healing, " said Rev. Giles. "It will be about an hour service, we gather to formally acknowledge our losses, to celebrate members we have lost, and allow people to grieve."
Rev. Giles also suggests changing up those holiday traditions by making new ones.
"If you try to do those family traditions, you are going to be staring at an empty chair and that's just going to bring back that hurt that much more," Rev. Giles said.
For more information on Marvin Methodist's service, click here: http://marvinumc.com/