Anxiety and Panic

A Sense of Loss: When My Therapist of 10 Years Retired

When I found out that my psychologist of ten years was going to retire, I was a little panicked. What would I do without her? She’d literally helped me raise my only child. She’d been there when I was up from a manic high and down when I was low from a depressive drop. She listened to my paranoid fears and my optimistic prayers.

But we had never touched each other. Not even a handshake. I had refrained from bodily contact with her on purpose. I hadn’t wanted to make her uncomfortable. Didn’t want to threaten her.
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4 Disorders that May Thrive on Loneliness

Identifying and diagnosing a mental health issue is never an easy process. Most mental health struggles do not take place in isolation, and many of us have negative thought or mood tendencies that, while challenging, do not qualify as a disorder.

As a relationship coach, I’ve found that loneliness is one of the tendencies that often come along with a diagnosed mental health disorder. While correlation is not causation, it seems that loneliness could be more of a cause than a symptom in some of our commonly recognized mental health issues.

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Uncomfortable with Feeling Sadness? These Tips Might Help

When we’re upset, many of us do everything but cope with our sadness. We work. We shop. We eat. We drink. We clean. We run errands. We organize. We simply don’t stop moving. And we convince ourselves that we’re too busy to feel sad.

We just can’t pause when there are piles (and piles) of things to do. We try to avoid sadness at all costs. Maybe we’ve learned to see sadness as an emotion we definitely don't want to feel.
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Starting Off the New Year as the Best Partner You Can Be

Most of us want to be the best partner we can be. But often we get caught up in work and attending to day-to-day responsibilities. We get caught up in the continuous buzzing of our own worries and what-ifs.

“We go, go, go until something requires us to stop,” said Robyn D’Angelo, a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Laguna Hills, Calif. You might stop because of a fight with your partner, colleague or family member. You might stop because of your own illness or someone else’s. Or you might stop because of a major loss -- everything from your job to a loved one.
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New Year’s & Coping with Loss

As soon as the Christmas rush subsides and the wrapping paper is thrown away, we start to think about how we will ring in the new year. Images of smiling faces, popping champagne corks, and fireworks tell us how we might be behaving, thinking or even feeling. Yet for many, the persistent feelings of loss and sadness about a person, a relationship or life once lived limit the awareness that a new year is truly a new start.

The spotlight that is placed on our lives at New Year's creates a make-believe time where we imagine that the thoughts we engage with can assist us in navigating the year ahead. While the powers of intentional thoughts have their place in our emotional well-being, for many facing lost loved ones or relationships, their desires can be beyond their grasp.

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Grief and Loss

The Top 7 Ways You Can Make Your Pain Work for You

Grief can be the garden of compassion. -- Rumi
Have you ever had lower back pain? I once wrenched my back and walked at snail’s pace for weeks, crippled by pain. Lower back pain troubled me for years, until I found an exercise that reliably switches off the pain.

Have you ever lost a loved one? The anguish can seem unbearable.

Abolishing pain might seem a good idea, but please pause to consider this story.

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Sadness in the Midst of Gladness

It’s a happy time of year. A time to be joyous. A time to be together with family. But I'm listening to a sad story. A young woman died in an instant. A bone got stuck in her throat. A stupid, senseless, useless death.

A mom is in shock. She can’t believe what has happened. People come to pay respects. They bring food. They shed tears. They embrace. They offer their deepest sympathies. They ask if there’s anything they can do. But they all know that the one thing they wish they could do, they can’t.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Get Out of a Work Rut or Career Slump

Have you ever had a day when things felt off? Maybe you continually lost focus, had an utter lack of motivation, or simply couldn’t rally to get anything done. We’ve all had unproductive days here and there, but occasionally, these slumps can span days, weeks, or even months.

A single bad day is one thing, but a lingering work rut can be detrimental to your happiness, well-being, and career. When you’re in a slump, you don’t produce your best work and may become disengaged from the tasks that used to excite you.
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Coming to Terms with a Chronic Illness

It can be difficult to deal with a diagnosis of a chronic illness. News of a long-term or lifelong condition can take its toll on both your physical and mental health. It can also affect your relationships, home, career and finances.

Each person diagnosed with a chronic illness likely will react differently. There will be challenging times ahead, but adopting certain strategies and knowing that you are not alone can help you cope in the best way possible.

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Setting Boundaries Around the Holidays

The holidays are a good time to set boundaries. That’s because there are a lot more demands coming from all directions, said Meredith Janson, MA, LPC, a relationship expert and therapist in private practice in Washington, D.C. This might include everything from buying gifts and sending cards to traveling and attending get-togethers to hosting people -- just to name a few.

By setting boundaries, you’re able to focus on the real meaning of the holidays: gratitude, spiritual traditions and family togetherness, Janson said.

A boundary is simply a “dividing line,” she said. “In psychological terms, it's a catch-phrase meaning setting limits or asserting your thoughts, feelings, and needs even when these are in opposition to the person with whom you're interacting.”
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