Category Archive: Relationships

Mar 23

Support for Depression – How to Get More

Many of the people I see feel that it’s very hard to get support for their depression. They may find it hard to talk about the subject altogether or they may have had some experiences that suggests that “people just don’t want to know.” This morning I saw several people with depression and bipolar and …

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Mar 05

Sustained Attention and Denial

What to do when a loved one is refusing necessary medical care? Is an “intervention” the answer, or can sustained, loving, attention accomplish the same goals?

Feb 11

Loving Someone Bipolar

Loving someone bipolar can seem like an overwhelming challenge at times. A quick survey of the internet combined with years of conversations with loved ones struggling to navigate the sometimes stormy waters, yields a great diversity of perspectives. Julie Fast, a well known bipolar writer, describes her experience living with her partner during a manic …

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Jan 28

Interpersonal Effectiveness and DEAR MAN

For many people with depression, it can be hard to find an assertive, but not hostile, way of dealing with conflict. Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) addresses many practical problems such as this with straightforward answers. This comes from the “Interpersonal Effectiveness” module of DBT. The acronym to remember is DEAR MAN: Describe Describe …

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Nov 18

Avoiding Heartbreak in a Relationship

An attractive, intelligent young woman asked me, “Why can’t he show me any love, what is wrong with me?” The two of them have been having a difficult time recently and she was feeling sad about how their relationship had changed in the last several months. She told me that she was in the shower crying …

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Oct 31

4 Ways You Can Help a Loved One Cope with Addiction and Mental Illness

Mental illness and addiction co-occur more than some people may think. People with a mental illness are more likely to abuse substances while those with addictions are likely to either develop the symptoms of a mental illness or a full-blown mental illness. If there is someone in your life struggling with these two problems here …

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Oct 29

Dealing with Denial

Someone you love is no longer the same. They may be moody, angry at times, irrational, paranoid or they may act in ways that are harmful to themselves or to you. Trying to help loved ones deal with this situation is one of the most perplexing and difficult things that I do as a professional. …

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Oct 24

Friends and Purpose

Maff Potts spent his professional life working with charities for the homeless in England. But he was frustrated that all of his work did not seem to be changing outcomes for the people he was working with. The result of his reassessment is a program that focuses on addressing what Maff feels are the two psychological …

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Sep 24

Living Alone and Depression

living alone and depression

“I just really want to live in my own home with my own garden and without having to deal with all of those jerks.” A young woman living with several roommates told me that she was thinking of moving to a house in the country. The idea seemed very appealing to both of us, since we …

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Jan 12

Breaking Up without Depression

Breaking Up - Couple Arguing

Some people seem to find it much easier to weather the breaking up of a romantic relationship than others. Sure they may feel sad, they may worry about what it means that their relationship ended, but relatively soon they’re able to move on. Others get mired in doubt and find it hard to reenter the dating …

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Nov 26

Thankfulness – A Meditation

Gratitude and Thankfulness

On this Thanksgiving 2015 we received a link to the section of Rick Hanson’s Foundations of Wellbeing course that talks about thankfulness and gratitude. Rick talks about how thankfulness and gratitude promote long term well-being, reduces anxiety, and improves mood. He introduces the notion that it is possible to grow this sense and change our …

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Oct 08

Controlling Crazy Behavior

Controlling Crazy Behavior

A young man came in and wanted to talk about his friend with bipolar, who, when he gets manic, can become uncontrollable. I said that the idea of controlling dangerous behavior can be problematic. The need to control someone else’s recklessness can lead towards confrontation and anger, which often does not work out well. I thought …

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May 15

Treating Mother’s Depression Helps Kids

treating mother's depression

Sometimes the very best way that mothers can help their children is by helping themselves. Fascinating study just published in the American Journal of Psychiatry by renowned psychologist Myrna Weissman adds to an extensive literature showing that maternal depression affects children in negative ways and that treating maternal depression can have profound benefits for the …

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Apr 04

Romance and Depression

Romance and Depressin

Jack is a delightful older gentleman who loves sailing and beautiful women, but who has also been wrestling with depression for a year or more. We recently had a fascinating conversation about how romance and depression relate to each other in his life. He has a loving girlfriend who’s been very supportive to him during …

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Feb 23

Kathy Leichter and Here One Day

We had the absolute pleasure of talking with director Kathy Leichter about her experience of making her movie, Here One Day.  Here One Day is an intimate look into Kathy’s mother’s experience with Bipolar Disorder as well as her own experience, as her daughter. Question: How did you come up with the idea of Here One …

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Jan 28

Effective Communication

A friend recently asked for my advice about how to talk with his manager about some concerns he was having at work. He explained that these concerns were growing in intensity over the last few weeks, and he had yet to mention them because he did not want to “cause waves,” didn’t want to offend anyone, and didn’t …

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Jan 21

Lucky Marriage

Lucky Marriage - Ivan

What is a lucky marriage? Last week we were talking to a man who has had a year of challenges in his marriage. Ivan is a thoughtful and articulate man we have been seeing for about a year, and during that time the subject of his marriage has come up many times. He suggested that …

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Jan 18

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: 2 – Depression Assessment

Cartoon

  …I’m returning to do the test suggested by my therapist in our previous meeting – the Beck Depression Inventory II. Tremendous. Doing a test sounds like something you see in those silly magazines that tell you how good a lover you are are some such other rubbish, but apparently this test is rather serious. So I …

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Aug 27

A Bipolar Couple

This morning one of the clients we have worked with for several years came in with his wife. It was a surprise that she joined the weekly session. They had just returned from a vacation in Mexico. And neither of them had had any fun on the trip. When he left for Mexico, he was very mildly hypomanic …

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Aug 20

Blowing Things Up: Self-Destructive Responses to Frustration

Why do we sometimes come up with self-destructive responses to the unpleasant feeling of being trapped or the anxiety of an unhappy life situation? I talked about this a little bit in an earlier post that was based on an article in the New York Times. In that article, it was noted that many people  may find it so hard …

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