Tag Archive: relationships

Apr 07

Support a Loved One with Bipolar – Gina

Many family members I speak with struggle with the question of how to best support a loved one with bipolar. As a loved one, it can be incredibly stressful to battle with unknowns, one’s own anxiety and feelings of helplessness. People are understandably eager for information that can equip them with tools to help. I have …

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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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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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Sep 21

It Takes Two to Fight

“I just can’t believe what my mother told me on the phone, she said I was a bad mother, can you believe it? I wasn’t going to put up with that, believe me…” A delightful and pretty feisty mother came in the other day brimming with frustration. We spent the entire session talking about how …

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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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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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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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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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Jul 23

Friends and Family Don’t Understand – Bipolar Communication Problems

news

Sometimes those without the challenges of bipolar neurochemistry simply “don’t get it” – how moods can shift abruptly and dramatically, and often without warning, or with subtle hints of the mood shift about to confront you  – and at what might be the slightest trigger a sudden onslaught of  overwhelming sensations due to hypersensitivity to stimuli, someone chewing can sound …

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Jul 08

How Mood Can Influence Events

What I do for a living often involves asking dumb questions. For example, we all know our moods are usually affected by events. In fact, if we happen to notice we’re in a bad mood, the first thing we start to do, often unconsciously, is try to figure out what caused that bad mood. It’s …

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Jun 11

Seeing the Other – Kelsey

“I see you.” That is one of the many profound concepts in one of my favorite movies, Avatar. “I see you.” For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, “I see you,” is the greeting of the Na’Vi, which expresses a sense of being aware of being seen by another.* Whoa. To be seen …

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May 21

Irritability and Coming Home from Work

I feel bad about it but at the end of the day I end up in a fight with my husband. It starts with me telling him that I am anxious about the work I am doing… there are lots of things going on and I feel anxious about whether I am doing a good …

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May 21

Friends: Who to Tell and Who to Keep – Lyndsey

If you are like me, the life you created for yourself pre-diagnosis is probably not going to be the healthiest influence during this time of transition.  Remember that old adage about birds flocking together? Now is the time to be aware of which birds you are flying with. Family. So you can’t do anything about …

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