The holidays can be a wonderful time for some of us but, for many others, they can be incredibly stressful and upsetting. Here at House Call Doctor Los Angeles, we tend to get more calls than usual for urgent care from a 24 hour doctor from early November to early January. Many of these patients are under stress, often directly or indirectly related to the holidays.
The problems often come down to too much of something: too much drinking and recreational drugs, too much anxiety, and too much sadness or depression. (We deal with the issue of too much food in this post) These problems can worsen a variety of chronic and long-term health issues, but they can also lead to acute situations on their own.
While some amount of holiday stress and even a little excess may be hard to avoid for many, thinking about a person’s vulnerabilities and managing them can reduce the risk of a crisis while also improving the odds of an actual happy holiday.
Emotional Stress and Loneliness
For people with families to take care of and who are hosting events, the holidays can be extremely stressful. The added stress of getting around a congested megalopolis like Los Angeles doesn’t help. Combine this with other stresses related to work, family relations, or other matters, and it can be deeply problematic.
For many single people, those going through break-ups, grief over recent personal losses (including pets), or estrangement from family, however, the risk of higher anxiety over the holidays can be accompanied by sadness or depression. These may be marked by anxiety or by lonely feelings and sadness which can sometimes harden into a clinical depression. Moreover, the social and traditional media reminders of all the fun we’re supposed to have during the holiday can foster an intense feeling of missing out on life; severe FOMO may not yet be in the DSM, but it’s a thing.
If you are dealing with excessive stress, loneliness, anxiety, or sadness/depression during the holidays, please seek medical treatment quickly. Please do not resort to self-medication with alcohol and/or drugs that will only make things worse in the long run. It’s always best to start with a skilled medical professional to cover your situation and help you decide on a safe and sane approach to the coming weeks. If, however, you feel you may be experiencing a psychological emergency or are considering harming yourself in any way, please call 988 for immediate emergency treatment.
For those in less urgent situations who need help but who want to avoid the stress of traffic and urgent care centers, both house call doctors and telemedicine for Los Angeles patients can be an excellent start on managing emotional and psychological problems over the holidays.
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Sometimes we use drugs and alcohol because we have problems; other times, we have problems caused by using drugs and/or alcohol. Often, it’s both. For those of us who only overdo things occasionally, however, problems may be more acute than chronic.
Holiday overindulgence, and the hangovers and other discomfort that can follow, are as old as holidays. While many folk remedies and products claim to end hangovers promptly, people who want to feel their best as soon as possible often trust IV treatments for rehydration and restoring the body’s overall balance. In these cases, it may not be safe for patients to drive, so services like those provided by the House Call Doctor Los Angeles team that offers mobile IV hydration care with Myers’ cocktail and other treatments on a mobile basis.
Sometimes, holiday excesses reveal more serious problems with alcohol and other addictive recreational drugs that can become matters of life and death. While the idea that suicides spike over the holidays turns out to be a myth, it can be either an emotional low point or a chance to reverse course for a patient in distress.
The holidays can also be a challenge to people in recovery. If someone may be feeling shaky, this may be a time to attend extra meetings and take other steps that may prevent a relapse. If a relapse happens, however, it’s important not to be too hard on yourself but to simply do whatever is required to get back on track; reaching out to a physician is one of the best favors patients can do themselves in these circumstances. If you are already in a 12-step type of organization, remember meetings are happening all the time, including or especially over the holidays.
If you are not yet in recovery but understand that you are unable to stop drinking or are addicted to very dangerous drugs such as fentanyl and crystal meth, please seek treatment immediately. You have an illness. Contacting a doctor as quickly as possible is crucial, and mobile medicine offers an excellent means of ensuring patients in a crisis can get the help they need quickly and with minimum additional stress. (If you need additional support immediately, there are numerous drug and alcohol addiction helplines.)
House Call Medicine for Holiday Health Issues
Thanks to mobile technology, house calls and telemedicine are increasingly available nationwide. If you are in the Greater L.A. area, House Call Doctor Los Angeles is the leading name in mobile care. Led by noted board-certified internist and mobile Los Angeles doctor, Michael Farzam, M.D., the service provides the full range of non-emergency care on a 24/7/365 basis.
For more information or to set up a call, please phone us at the number on your screen or complete the form on our contact page.