Shyness And Social Anxiety Category
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Back to School & Sleep Depression
Back to School and Sleep Deprivation With many children returning back to school in the upcoming weeks, one battle that many...
When Bitterness Invades
No one wants to be bitter. It creeps up on us. Bitterness is unforgiveness on steroids. The more we hold onto past hurts the ...
Teaching Kids: To Know God
Parents may at times feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of teaching their children about all there is to know about being...
Catastrophizing - 5 Steps to Calming Calamity
Catastrophizing - 5 Steps to Calming Calamity (part 2)Suggestions to help limit catastrophizing and to alleviate self-destruc...
Psychopath vs. Sociopath
Psychopath vs. Sociopath Retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole, Ph.D. poses the question, “Think you know how...
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Own is defined as- Belonging to oneself
What does it mean to belong to oneself?
I randomly came across a documentary on Diana Vreeland. She was a powerful force in art, fashion, media, and overall American culture from the 1920’s until 1989 when she died. She was extremely innovative and powerful. She was never formally educated, was not “traditionally beautiful”, and didn’t have a remarkable amount of advantage or privilege in her life. Yet she is AMAZING. Watching footage of her was mesmerizing. She was a truth-teller, truly creative, and an ideal example of someone who “owned” herself.
In the 60’s she was associate editor for Vogue and made “embracing your flaws” a fashion statement. She took physical characteristics that are not considered ideal, decorated them, and celebrated them. Diana is a person who owned it. She owned herself, her life, her strengths, and her flaws. She was captivating to others because she embraced the...
[From the Downtown Therapy blog]
A common issue many men face is that they often have few examples in their life of being vulnerable – and having that be ok (i.e. not criticized). By vulnerable, I mean sticking your neck out and opening yourself up emotionally to others, even if that means taking a risk of embarrassment or having what you share not accepted as readily as you would like. Risk. But not the sort of risk that men are traditionally expected to aspire to (you know, the testosterone-hued kinds we read about in magazines or see in films: climbing treacherous mountains, bare knuckle fighting in a basement). Vulnerability is a different sort of risk-taking. It means extending yourself outward, sometimes a little beyond your day-to-day comfort level.
Many men find themselves fighting against a dichotomy: the self-sufficient, emotionally stoic man vs. the weak, needy child. What kind of a choice is that? Sheesh. And yet, this perspective is prevalent and infused in...
(From the Downtown Therapy blog. Check it out to see more)
I found myself on vacation recently. My partner and I went to France. It was equal parts charming and idyllic. It was also curiously stressful.
You see, in Toronto – at the best of times – when I go out I will inevitably have a selection of personalities to encounter: the barista making my americano, the TTC operator at the front of the streetcar, the person operating the cash register at the local grocery store. Ideally, in this sequence of events, even if I’m not consciously aware of it, I’ll be seen, heard, and understood.
These are three very important things to experience in day-to-day life: it feels good to be recognized, to be listened to, and to feel that the person on the other side of our dealings-with acknowledges our existence. Sadly, this doesn’t always come to be. The barista may get my order wrong, the TTC operator might be a bit gruff, the person operating the cash might...
(From the Downtown Therapy blog. Check it out to see more)
I bumped into an old acquaintance the other day. We had both worked for a rather chaotic company years earlier. The so-called “survivors” met for dinner once a year to catch-up and share stories of our time in that company. He asked why I couldn’t attend the most recent dinner. I guessed that, because I’d changed my email address a while back, the invitations were being sent to an account that was no longer in service.
When I asked him how it went, he shrugged and smiled. He said: “Oh, you know, (x) is still high-strung. (y) is still gloomy. (z) still acts like everyone’s Mom.”
“People don’t change.” he said, shaking his head. It felt like a definitive statement for him.
We parted ways and his words echoed with me. After all, what’s my purpose as a therapist if that statement were true? I believe in change: I’ve experienced it myself and have seen it s...
How group therapy can help you improve with others:
Safety and comfort in commonality
Increased speed of healing breakthroughs
Support of othersInvolvement in positive change for others
Group counseling is a very powerful and effective way to engage in personal change. While some people are initially hesitant to share their struggles or concerns with a group of strangers, participants in group counseling soon understand that the group is intentionally set up so that all members of the group are accountable to being respectful and keeping all information confidential. This allows members to quickly become comfortable within the safety of the group, and therefore gain tremendous benefit from the support of not just a therapist but an entire group of people. Common benefits of group therapy include the speed with which breakthroughs and change can happen, the knowledge for each member that he/she is not alone in their struggles, the growth that comes from being able to receive support ...
You can feel great at time, even for long stretches, but then, often after a difficult encounter with someone, you feel sad or anxious. The sadness or anxiety is like background music, always there, though sometimes at a low level. Where most depressed people have insomnia, you LOVE sleep. Where most people with depression can't eat, you can't stop eating, especially carbs. And you struggle with your weight.
I call this "anxi-pression," or emotional eating. The clinical name for it is Atypical Depression. The full list of symptoms includes:
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness or feeling tearful
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Increased appetite
- Unintentional weight gain
- Increased desire to sleep
- Heavy, leaden feeling in the arms and legs
- Sensitivity to rejection or criticism that interferes with your social life or job
- Fear of rejection that leads to avoiding relationships
- Having depression that temporarily lifts with good news or positive events but returns la...
It is so nice to connect with people. I try to make connections with people every day. It's so easy to do if you just smile and if you are always 'yourself.' This means treating people as you'd want to be treated. It's easy, It's fun and it's effective!
What is depression? It is a common and sometimes serious mood disorder that can be quite intense. It affects and mind and the body at the same time. It may be associated with an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that carry communications between nerve calls which control mood and other basic bodily functions, such as appetite and sleep. Other factors may also come into play, such as negative life experiences such as stress or loss, medical illnesses, and genetic factors.
What are the symptoms of depression? It can include the following: persistent sad or empty mood, loss of interest in usual activities, changes in appetite or weight, inability to sleep or oversleeping, restlessness or sluggishness, decreased energy or fatigue, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, feelings of guilt/hopelessness/, or worthlessness, thoughts of death or suicide.
The extent of the problem: between 17 and 20 million Americans develop...
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