Celebrities

Authenticity: The Deep Hurt of Hiding Your True Self

"If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, 'You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,' and I don’t want that to happen." - Caitlyn Jenner, Vanity Fair
We've all heard the expression, "live your truth." It means knowing and being yourself without the need for external validation. You're honest, you don't make excuses for yourself and you're not looking for something outside of yourself to complete you. You set healthy boundaries, care for yourself, and live your principles. You are yourself fully and respectfully, and you don't "turn it off" just to suit others' needs or desires.
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Brain and Behavior

Bruce Jenner’s Journey to His Authentic Self

Bruce Jenner, renowned for winning the 1976 Olympic decathlon and widely recognized as part of the Kardashian family, recently disclosed a deeply personal endeavor: He has decided to change his gender and finally embrace his true self. He has been fighting internal unrest his entire life.

He recently sat down for an interview with television journalist Diane Sawyer, letting the public in on his journey.

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Anger

Stigma Is Contagious


We all need to STOP infecting others with our own stigma.

I was recently scanning through the world’s favorite past time (Facebook, of course) and saw a post by one of my gay friends. That boy had called forth his inner diva and was on a roll about the stigma towards people with HIV.

I commend him with being so forthright about his status, but it also made me realize something. The way he was talking about the stigma of his illness can be applied to so many people of all different conditions.
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Marriage and Divorce

Relationship Troubles? Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Couples counseling is great, but actions always speak louder than words.

Many of us have been in a work meeting that went on for waaaay too long. The same people, saying the same things, over and over again. The same people complaining ad nauseam, using the meeting structure as an opportunity to vent about everything that is wrong with the company, its policies or their co-workers.

And they don't just state their complaint once and move on. Oh no. They state their complaint several times, often launching into long, drawn-out anecdotes to illustrate in excruciating detail just how bad things are.

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Migraines: Personality Inhibition and Sexual Repression

In my previous post, I discussed the underlying emotional environment that can trigger migraines, or keep people who struggle with chronic migraines consistently close to the migraine threshold. There are many possible triggers for migraines, and, for people who struggle with non-organic chronic migraines, emotional history may have significant relevance to this picture.

In my practice, I work with people who struggle with chronic migraines, utilizing a specialized form of psychotherapy that I refer to as "Migraine Therapy." While each person who comes in is an individual with her or his own history, there are certain themes that tend to accompany the migraine struggle.

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Family

18 Tell-Tale Signs You’ve Crossed the Emotional Affair Line


Has your flirtation gotten out of hand?

In this day and age, most of us have friends of the opposite sex, whether they are co-workers, casual acquaintances or close confidantes. The question is: how close is too close when you're in a romantic relationship with someone else?

Here are some signs that your so-called friendship may be entering the not-so-gray area of emotional infidelity:

1. You dress up for him.

When you buy new clothes or change your hairstyle and wonder what he'll think (instead of how your partner will react) that's a danger sign. We all consider our audience when we're getting ready to go out, but doing so with a particular other in mind -- not your significant other -- suggests there's something more here than meets the eye.

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Caregivers

Transference in Therapy

I dreamed of giving him my bone marrow. I offered him poetry, homemade cupcakes, passionate sex and a basket of Honey Peanut Balance bars, his favorite. I even proposed to repaint and decorate his waiting room -- at my expense.

I was in love.

His name was David. David was my therapist.

I started treatment with him after my mother’s death from a six-month bout with cancer. Her death left me broken open, bereft. My three-year-old marriage hadn’t quite found its footing and I felt alone in my grief. So I began therapy with David expecting a psychic sanctuary.
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Anger

Loneliness within a Marriage

Many of my clients discuss a feeling of loneliness within their marriages. Often their spouses look at them with confusion or contempt. They ask how it’s possible to feel alone when they are in the same house or even the same room much of the time. Mr. and Mrs. Just Not Feeling It may also be helpful in explaining how you feel.

When you feel lonely within your marriage, you don’t feel like you’re part of anything bigger than yourself. You feel alone, and there is no “we,” only you and your spouse, completely separate entities. You may or may not seem to be a happy couple to others, and you may or may not be able to keep a united front for the kids. Either way, when it is just you and your spouse talking to each other, you don’t feel close, connected, secure or safe.
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Addiction

Is Masturbation Bad for You?

Masturbation is a funny word. It might make you giggle thinking about the first time you got caught by your parents or caught your little brother in the act. It can be a great way to release tension, or a way to stay satisfied when you can't be with a partner. For most of us, it's simply a part of life and a component of healthy sexuality.

For others, however, this harmless behavior crosses the line into a compulsive activity that is anything but benign. Some become so dependent on the behavior that they lose hours and hours of their day, unable to leave the house. Others masturbate to the point of injuring themselves.
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Depression

Hang On, It Does Get Better: On Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide Note

Before dawn on Dec. 28, 2014, a transgender 17-year-old in Ohio allegedly wrote a suicide note on her blog, walked to Interstate 71 and stepped in front of a tractor-trailer.

"Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in … because I’m transgender," Leelah Alcorn wrote on her blog.

Leelah's story has gained worldwide attention with Twitter users under the hashtag #LeelahAlcorn calling for acceptance and an end to the stigma surrounding gender nonconformity. But there is another group out there, the younger members of the LGBT community who need to know definitively that life does get better. It will get better.

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Anxiety and Panic

Studies Show We Find Stressed Out People Less Attractive


Your libido, appearance and more things that take a hit when you're feeling too overwhelmed.

If being stressed out of your mind didn't feel bad enough, there's a study that will make you want to chill the eff out even more: Researchers discovered that men find stressed out women less attractive.

After men rated women's faces for attractiveness, the study found that the prettiest faces consistently belonged to the women with the lowest levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
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Children and Teens

4 Tips for Teens Who Are Dating

Recently, a mother asked me for advice on how to keep her teenage daughter, who just started dating, from getting hurt.

First, I assured her that her daughter will get hurt. I don’t know anyone who has loved without pain.

Even more important than trying to avoid pain is helping our sons and daughters (and ourselves) to know that they are strong, capable, and powerful -- and that they can overcome hurt.

Resiliency, self-respect, self-esteem, confidence, perseverance, and wisdom are the things to focus on instilling in your children, as these things will both help them to avoid pain and to recover from it quickly.

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