Family

5 Suggestions for Navigating a Contentious Divorce

Any divorce is difficult, even when the split is amicable. After all, divorce is a major transition, and change is tough. When your divorce is contentious, not surprisingly, things are harder. A lot harder.

“People are often caught off guard by the enormity of the divorce experience,” said Krysta Dancy, MA, MFT, a therapist who specializes in working with couples and families in Roseville, Calif.

If your marriage was contentious, you probably see your divorce as a relief, so you might feel blindsided when your stress skyrockets. You might feel utterly exhausted, anxious, depressed and unfocused, Dancy said.
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General

How to Forgive Yourself after Divorce

Divorce guilt comes in all sorts of mutating forms. It is normal for many of us to feel like we are somehow to blame for the divorce.

Culturally, we are taught that keeping the household and marriage successful was our responsibility, without so much a thought that it takes two people in a partnership. And naturally, because there was a lot of pressure on us to be perfect, when the marriage unraveled, our reaction was to blame ourselves for it.

It is time to knock it off. In order to overcome guilt, you must forgive yourself.

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Addiction

How Sex Addiction Can Change Mental Illness

I was married to a sex addict narcissist for close to 20 years. My father was a sex addict. I was a stripper many years ago and worked for many years around sex addicts. It started when I visited my father’s house on his weekend to have me after my parents' divorce. He was at work and I was a nosy child. I found a Playboy magazine. I remember it well. Suzanne Somers was on the cover. I slowly turned each page, looking at and soaking in the beauty and perfection of these women.

My immediate thought was that these women looked nothing like my mom. They were doing things my mom would never have done. I think I was only 8 or 9 years old. In that moment, I knew in my mind, like it was complete truth, that if I grew up and became a woman like that, I would be able to keep a man.

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Addiction

Best Ways to Deal with Pain

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa

Pain is an equal-opportunity phenomenon. It strikes the rich and poor alike, is not dependent on age or gender or socio-economic status. Pain doesn’t care if you’re a college graduate or a high-school dropout or if you’ve never even gone to school. When you experience pain, however, you join the millions of others in one common thought: How can I deal with this and get it to go away?
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Bullying

Bullying: Schools’ Dirty Little Secret

Meet Eric. Eric was every parents’ dream: motivated, sincere, and well-rounded. He excelled in music and theatre. High school teachers lauded Eric for his intelligence and compassion. But thin, introverted, and painfully self-aware, Eric’s classmates at Mentor High School preyed on the boy’s sensitivity.

At first, Eric shrugged off the name-calling, better to ignore the merciless teasing. But, sadly, the harassment escalated into something more sinister. Pushing, shoving, and physical threats were daily realities. Teachers looked the other way, implicitly condoning the bullying. In a math class, a student glared at Eric and coolly remarked, "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself? No one will miss you."

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Disorders

Are You Seeing a Good Therapist? 5 More Tell-Tale Signs

If you aren’t in the psychology field, it’s hard to know what you should expect from a therapist. After all, choosing a therapist is different from looking for a surgeon or chiropractor or dermatologist. Therapy is a unique process; one that requires you to be vulnerable. In fact, you might share things with your therapist that you’ve never shared with anyone.

So how do you know if the therapist you have or one who you’re considering is actually a good clinician?
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Depression

Suicidal? 10 Tips for Keeping Yourself Alive

I remember having my first suicidal thought at the age of 13. At that time, I had discovered that my brother was gay and my sister and father completely abandoned him because of it. I had been molested by a female when I was young, and this revelation about my brother made me wonder if I was going to be gay, too. At the time, I had no clue how a person became gay.

I went on to have tragedy after tragedy arise in my life. To name just a few, I have lost two children and both of my parents; breast cancer at the age of 40, double mastectomy, chemo, two reconstruction surgeries, discovering at the end of my treatment that my husband had been living a double life for many, many years which led to my divorce, and an almost-successful suicide attempt.

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Brain and Behavior

Mom Knows Best: Overcoming Life’s Hardships

Life bruises. For others, it cripples. And, for a select few, it empowers.

As we marvel at others’ resilience during uncommon adversity, what lessons are applicable to our lives?

On a gloomy October day, the doctor’s diagnosis numbed us. “Pancreatic cancer,” he spat out. My aunt and I recoiled. The word -- cancer -- buzzed in our ears. Shoulders slumping, our mist-filled eyes met. We were dazed; cancer happens to others. Not our familial matriarch.
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Caregivers

The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Adult Children

I recently viewed the 2013 comedy, "A.C.O.D," starring Adam Scott, Clark Duke, Richard Jenkins, and Catherine O’Hara. "A.C.O.D" showcases a serious storyline in a comedic light, while addressing the psychological impact divorce can have on adult children. While I can’t speak to such an experience firsthand, I was intrigued by the subject matter. Even though they’re no longer kids, adult children may still carry the weight of divorce and unresolved childhood issues on their shoulders.

Maybe such effects manifest in their romantic relationships. They may be wary of long-term commitment. Maybe they encounter heightened stress when they’re sifting through their parents’ leftover anger and resentment, still feeling as if they have to choose sides.

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