by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
When my grandfather was depressed, he would tell me things like:
“Dane is so funny. I’m going to miss that about him. I’m really going to miss all of my grandkids. Her smile. His sense of adventure.”
Although this was a painful time, the experience taught me the gift of listening. If I hadn’t paid attention, for example, if I had told him to, “keep his chin up, “tough it up,” “deal with it,” I would never know what my grandpa thought of us. It was a bittersweet lesson, but one I’m grateful for.
Sometimes we unintentionally ignore those who are suffering because it’s uncomfortable. But listening to them is surprisingly freeing. It connects us to others. It rids us of shame. It allows love and meaning back into our lives. The key to being a good listener, however, is being a good listener to ourselves.
If you’re struggling with the topics our bloggers are covering this week, you’re going to need a good listener. Find it in a friend, therapist, spiritual guide or be the friend you need and find it in yourself.
Overcoming Obsessive Thinking
(Anger Management) – While it can be detrimental to our success to fall into negative thinking, it’s how most of us deal with fear. Find out if you’re sabotaging your own efforts with pessimism and self-judgment….
by Keith Fraser
After reviewing most of what I’ve written about my obsessive-compulsive disorder in the last year, I came to the conclusion that vocational rehabilitation systems that succeed in putting recovering mentally ill people back to work are rare. Some would say this is too complicated and costly for the government. I say this is ridiculous.
I have been through many vocational rehabilitation scenarios — job coaches, agencies or programs that send me leads. All of these have led nowhere.
The real problem is finding people who actually care about getting you a job. They are few and far between. Or they don’t want you to get a job that is better than theirs even if your resume is a good one.
by Kristine Jenkins
Addictions are never easy to deal with, but they become even more challenging during the holidays. Holidays bring with them tremendous pressures, sometimes good and sometimes bad.
But the one thing that’s true for most people is that the holidays always make the stress much worse, and that increased stress can make it hard for you to hold fast to your goals and your recovery plan.
Despite the fact that the holidays add enough stress to make many people consider alcohol or drugs just to wind down, it’s possible to deal with the stressors and difficulties. You just need to remember a few key points to help you cope.
by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
The widespread perception among many Americans is that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is overdiagnosed. This was fueled by a regular update to a dataset the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases every few years called the National Survey of Children’s Health. The recent data showed — not surprising to anyone — that diagnoses of ADHD in children 2-17 years old increased since the last survey.
This release caused the New York Times to blare in a headline that 1 in 5 of all boys in the U.S. had ADHD. (Which turned out not to be true, but you wouldn’t know it unless you scrolled all the way to the bottom of the article and read the “correction.”)
In fact, if you looked at all the data the CDC released, you’d notice similar increases across the board of childhood diagnoses — increases in the rate of diagnosis of autism (up 37 percent from 2007), depression (up three percent from 2007), and anxiety (up 11 percent from 2007). But for some reason, the New York Times only covered the changes to ADHD diagnosis rates.
So is there an actual overdiagnosis in ADHD? Or is it more complicated than that? Let’s find out.
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
“Holidays require exquisite skills in executive functioning,” according to Terry Matlen, ACSW, a psychotherapist and coach who specializes in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). That’s why adults with ADHD can have a harder time navigating the holiday season.
ADHD impairs executive functioning, making everything from planning to prioritizing to organizing that much more challenging.
But there are many ways you can simplify the holidays, shrink your stress and enjoy yourself. Here are eight tips to try.
by YourTango Experts
Have you ever had this feeling…? You’ve started dating a guy who’s really good looking, sexy — and you two have a lot of fun together.
However, there are many things you don’t agree on. In fact, sometimes he has a really bad attitude. You wonder whether your relationship is right or not. You want it to work out, but you’re not sure if you can stand his behavior.
But every time you look at him, you get turned on. He’s one of the most beautiful people you’ve ever seen in your life. Before you know it, you’re having amazing sex. Now you’re thinking to yourself, “I love him. I could love this man forever. I want to be with him till the day I die.”
by Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CST, CSAT
While people may admit to having struggles in their relationships, including difficulty with intimacy, it is sometimes hard to admit that you struggle with love addiction.
But what if you have come to terms with love addiction, and realized that you are struggling with behaviors that are a source of upset and unmanageability in your life?
What if you want change, and you want to do things differently so that you don’t fall back on unhealthy behaviors that can sabotage your well-being and happiness?
by Danielle B. Grossman, MFT
Do you feel stuck in chronic self-punishment? Do you reflexively turn against yourself with anger or scorn whenever you feel embarrassment, a lack of control, rejection or failure? Do you yell at yourself, call yourself names, cut off from people who care about you or neglect your physical needs? Do you sometimes even feel compelled to inflict physical harm on yourself?
Have you tried to tell yourself that this pattern is not constructive, but find that you still cannot seem to stop beating yourself up? Do remind yourself you are lovable and valuable, but still continue to self-attack?
You are not alone.
by YourTango Experts
I’ll bet you’ve heard at least one of these statistics about divorce, such as 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce and that more than 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
Every time I read stats like these divorce statistics, I’m reminded of a grad school buddy of mine, Cheng Ling. When I joined the research group, Cheng was one of the senior grad students. He’d been in the group for a couple of years and had a reputation for being a comedian.
One day after I’d been a part of the group for about a year, he walked into my office and asked what I was doing. I told him I was working on my statistics homework. He started laughing and told me that statistics were all lies. I assumed he was joking with me again, but he assured me he wasn’t and kept on laughing.
I was shocked! How could statistics be lies?
by George Hofmann
I’ve written much about the benefits of meditation, from stress management to mood stability, from increased creativity to breakthroughs in psychotherapy.
Mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation are all the rage right now, and they seem the therapy of choice for many of our ills.
But it’s a lot of work.
by Jeff Emmerson
There I was in 2011, ready to hang myself in the cold, dark basement as my wife worked upstairs in her home office. I was wearing my robe, crying profusely, and had quietly walked down to the bottom floor where our home gym was. The cold cable that was used to pull weights down while working out felt horrific as I put it around my neck — as my brother had done three years before.
He was successful in killing himself, and a piece of our family died that day as well. Perhaps I hadn’t gotten the help I needed from a counselor after my brother’s death, since the statistics of family members who commit suicide rises once another does it.
Sure, that played a part. But the deeper issue was that I had been living with undiagnosed adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And it almost killed me.
by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
Someone told me recently that I strongly identify with labels. Instead of saying, “I’m worried,” for example, I might say, “I have anxiety.” Instead of saying, “I’m down,” I might say, “I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
In hearing this, I realized that not only did I begin to associate “I am” with illness, but that a lot of people in my life did the same thing. We were jumping from symptoms to diagnosis. We were categorizing experiences in neat, little file folders like good and bad, as if life could be placed that way.
Just because you received a diagnosis or are labeled as “troubled,” or “broken,” you don’t need to accept and embrace that title. You have an illness. But you are not your illness. Defining yourself by a disorder or illness will end up limiting your life.
You may be struggling with symptoms of anxiety and worry. You may be dealing with a difficult relationship with others or yourself. The key is to let in what is and then let it go. How do you do that? Read on to discover how to be more open to whatever you’re experiencing without putting a label on it.