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www.wmfd.com - As the government shutdown enters its third week, experts say that some furloughed workers could be entering an emotional danger zone. }}" />

   
 
 
Shutdown Blues A Danger Zone For Furloughed Federal Workers

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 10/15/2013 As the government shutdown enters its third week, experts say that some furloughed workers could be entering an emotional danger zone. Sunlen Serfaty sat down with one furloughed worker who is struggling with the financial and emotional impact of the shutdown. "My wife gives me a kiss in the morning, and goes to work and I stay laying in bed." That kiss for Matt Williams now stings of the shutdown. "I don't really like that," he says. "I don't really have a place to be. I don't really have anything to do." Williams faces his third week home from work. The financial pain is sharp. "Sadly, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how much the things I won are worth and if i had to, what would I have to do to try to pay the rent," Williams says. But the emotional pain is severe. "It's a horrible feeling not knowing when this is going to let up," he says. The third week, with no end in sight, experts say, could be a real danger zone of depression for the furloughed. "Some art expressing a great deal of anxiety and almost panic," says Dr. Mary Alvord, a psychologist. That panic cam be manageable. Experts advise: Sleep, but not during the day. Be active. Seek social support. Have a plan, make a budget. Visualize, try meditating. And, control your own time. "What other tasks can you do that you haven't had time to do before, so you look at it as an opportunity, rather than a punishment," says Dr. Alvord. For Williams, that's a daily struggle. "I've just been focused oon trying to distract myself, whether it's doing crafts to keep my hands busy, reading, walking," he says. "My wife discovered the joy of a 'honey-do' list." For now, Williams tries to keep his mind off the problems of Washington he can't solve. "I try to think about how to solve these small achievable things, how am I going to make the next payment," he says. "It's little things to make yourself feel like you're progressing, even if they're not, I can still move forward."
   
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