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On Your Side: Holiday stress can intensify domestic issues

4:10 PM, Dec 23, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Clay County Sheriff's Office arrested a man accused of a stabbing at Orange Park Mall Sunday night. The incident was a domestic one between a mother and father during a child exchange.

The CCSO says what was supposed to be a child exchange outside of Sears between parents turned into an aggravated battery. It's one of two domestic situations that turned violent over the weekend and family counselors say holiday stress may be a factor.

Oraine Long, 28, is accused of cutting the mother of his child and her boyfriend. The two adults were transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Family Therapist Dr. Matt Borer says during the holidays custody issues can get dicey.

"There's nothing that escalates quicker than custody battles and I've noticed they get significantly worse when the mother starts dating or remarries," Dr. Borer said.

Borer says the holidays add stress to separated parents and divorced families.

"A lot of times it becomes a competition of whose Christmas was better, who gave the bigger presents, who did more," added Borer.

The holidays are also known to be a catalyst for suicide rates. Dr. Borer says it's the time of year where people are trying to connect with others.

"Now is the moment you realize or recognize maybe you don't have as many people in your life as you would like," said Dr. Borer.

In the holiday rush to get the Christmas tree, the presents and get all the food for your guests, Borer says take a minute to make sure you're doing the holiday your way.

"Society, the media, hallmark, all of these companies will create what is supposed to be Christmas or the holidays. I believe that you need to make the best traditions, create the best traditions for your family, regardless of what society says," said Borer.

So how do you cope with holiday stress? First for you, we have some tips. 

- If you're feeling lonely during the holidays reach out to community groups or look for social events.

- Be realistic; holidays will not always be perfect. Adapt to changes every year and make the best of it.

- Stick to a budget: plan out your budget for holiday gifts or food and stick to it.

First Coast News

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