General

How to Reject Rejection: Ice Cream Not Included

“It’s not you; it's me,” she coos. You grimace, swallowing the bitter words.

From romance to career advancement, rejection is a cold, cruel mistress. It pierces our identity, plunging us into a well of despair. We question our value, lamenting life’s unfairness. Even cruelty. Some people internalize its pain while others lash out on an unsuspecting family member or significant other.

The common denominator: You were wronged. And it hurts.

But instead of sulking or scowling, here are strategies to compartmentalize rejection for what it is: a temporary setback.
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General

Grief & Loss After the Election


After the historic election of 2016, where underdog businessman Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton for the presidency of the United States, many people are in distress. There have been large anti-Trump protests of thousands of people in major cities across the country chanting, "Not my president."

Large groups of people were grieving yesterday, trying to come to terms with the failure to elect the first woman president. How do you cope with grief and loss after a contentious election like this?

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General

Dealing with the Looming Cloud of the Possibility of Early Death

Five years ago, I had breast cancer. To rid myself of it, I had chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy.

Flash forward five years. One day, I noticed a strange, bright red splotch on my breast, the breast where the cancer had been. The doctor did a biopsy of it, and the results came back malignant. It was an angiosarcoma, and the suspected cause was the radiation treatment I’d had five years before. This was a very rare form of cancer that, again, results sometimes from the radiation itself. That which was meant to heal me, made me ill.
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Grief and Loss

Using Social Media to Deal with Personal Tragedy

From May-September 2016, I battled cancer. The cancer had formed from prior radiation therapy for a previous bout of breast cancer in 2012. The 2016 cancer was called angiosarcoma. Treatment for this angiosarcoma was drastic surgery to cut the cancer out of my right breast. Luckily, I would not need chemo or more radiation.

One of the ways I endured the stress and the strain of the cancer was to use Facebook to communicate my...
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Depression

Beyond Ending the Stigma: Radical Compassion for Suicide Prevention

When my dad ended his life, it felt like I arrived somewhere I had always been headed. I was 13 years old when I first saw the signs. I was 15 when he was hospitalized for his first attempt -- his life thereafter owed to the vulnerable courage he demonstrated by calling 9-1-1 on himself. I was 26 when, after a long recovery, he spiraled downward again. 27 when we intervened and got him to go back to therapy. And then, I was 28 when I stood in front of his house last year -- just before Thanksgiving -- and learned that his life had ended. That our brave fight was over.
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General

7 Tips for Coping with Life After a Hurricane

Life after a hurricane or other natural disaster is rarely easy. Not only do you have to meet your basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter, but such events also take a significant emotional toll. Losing your home or coming back to a home full of water, or that's been significantly damaged, can be devastating.

Six years ago, I wrote some helpful tips on how to cope with a hurricane. I'm updating and expanding upon that list now, as Hurricane Matthew threatens Florida and the entire eastern seaboard of the United States. Here are some helpful ways to cope with life after a hurricane.

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Celebrities

What Tig Notaro’s New Show Gets Right about Child Sexual Abuse

In the new Amazon series One Mississippi, loosely based on the life of comedian Tig Notaro, she finds herself living back home in Mississippi following the sudden death of her mother. Staying in her childhood home with her stepfather, Bill, and her adult brother, Remy, Tig isn’t just facing the grief of losing her mother, she’s recovering from breast cancer, which resulted in a double mastectomy, and suffering from a C. diff infection. She’s also dealing with the ghosts of her past. Tig -- as she's also called on the show -- was molested by her grandfather throughout her childhood.

Although it's estimated that
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Anger

Moving on from Dysfunctional Relationships

Not so long ago, I joined a Facebook group for abuse survivors, in hopes of finding support and encouragement. While I was encouraged and supported in the best way an anonymous person on the Internet could be, I felt there was too much reliance on the word “narcissist.” As I tried to find intelligent solace in reading members' posts, I discovered many people playing the martyr. (I had observed that behavior in my own mother). Many of these people seeking and offering advice probably suffered from some mental or personality disorder as well.

I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I have also been told I have low self-esteem. Despite my plethora of issues, I am still able to see myself and others through a clear lens.

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Anger

How to Stop Hurting When You Have a Narcissistic Parent

“If I accept that I can never have a real relationship with my father, it feels like I don’t have a father. If I accept that, am I still a son?”

Jack’s Story:

Jack is a 45-year-old architect, recently married for the first time. He came to therapy to deal with long-standing feelings of depression. His wife, ten years younger than Jack, wanted to start a family. Jack had spent years keeping a cool and cordial distance from his critical father. Now, as his wife pressed him to become a father himself, he felt flooded by sadness and insecurity. Could he be a good father? What if he messed it up?
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General

Recovering from Your Affair

If you are the one who cheated, you are probably dealing with emotions of guilt and shame. Perhaps you are even angry with yourself or your spouse. You may also be experiencing grief from the loss of your affair partner or fear of losing your spouse. Dealing with all of these emotions is essential for putting the pieces of your life back together and for your affair recovery. Attending therapy with a Marriage and Family Therapist with vast experience in affair recovery can be indispensable in the recovery process.
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Anxiety and Panic

5 More Tips for Navigating a Contentious Divorce

Contentious divorces can do a number on your health and well-being. You might find that you're struggling with symptoms of anxiety and depression or a worsening of these symptoms (if you had anxiety or depression before). You might find that you have very little energy and you’re constantly on edge. Maybe you can’t concentrate either. Maybe everything feels more challenging. Grueling. It’s hard to breathe when you feel like you’re suffocating.

But even during such a chaotic time as a contentious divorce, there are things you can do to improve the situation and to feel better. You can be an advocate for yourself and your family.
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