“You and this show have been the greatest love of my life.”…Oprah’s words to her millions of viewers in 150 different countries during her finale show yesterday.

So it is no wonder that for the past 25 years many, many people have grown to believe she is their friend, that she loves them, they trust her opinions, look to her for guidance, and believe she is the inspiration for their success and ability to live life.  People find a consistent comfort and relational connection to her every day when they watch her show.  Many people watch at the same time every day and have done so for many years.

The reality is that the Oprah show will not be on at 4:00 today.  Suddenly, today, many people’s daily lives will change.  Their normal routine of something they have done for many years has ended.  People may start to feel sad, confused, lonely, desperate, and angry.  Most likely, many people will suffer from Adjustment Disorders that include symptoms of depression and anxiety.  An Adjustment Disorder is a clinical diagnosis resulting from the development of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor(s) occurring within 3 months of the onset of the stressor(s).

Below are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing from adjusting to the Oprah show ending that are normally expected when a change takes place during your life.

Shock                                               Denial

Anger                                               Sadness

Excessive Crying                        Confusion

Depression                                    Anxiety

Fatigue                                            Irritability

Loneliness                                     Panic Attacks

Changes in Sleep Pattern       Weight gain or loss

3 Things to do when Adjusting to Life without Oprah:

1.   Realize Change is Normal: Allow yourself to feel what comes naturally and realize you may be grieving the loss of that personal connection you felt with Oprah, which is totally normal and expected.

2.  Expect the Future to be Different: Understanding that change brings about a different future will help you avoid being depressed and anxious while you are adjusting to the change.  For example, Oprah will have new shows and still be accessible to you, but the way you interact with her will be in a different format than in the past.  Remember change is not necessarily always bad or good, but is always different.  How we adjust and perceive the change is the key to being healthy mentally and emotionally.

3.  Know When to Seek Help: If your symptoms continue for several months or you begin to realize that these symptoms are interfering with your normal everyday activities and relationships or ability to function, you may need to talk with a professional counselor to help you through this time of adjustment to develop healthy coping skills and a sense of independence to go forward.

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