swirl of worry

Why Can’t I Stop Worrying?

Many people would describe themselves as "OCD". In reality, many of us aren't suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder so much as suffering from obsessive-compulsive worry. Obsessive-compulsive worry is like a negative spiral. The longer you focus on your anxious thoughts, the deeper you go into them. A hypnotic-like trance is developed by the repetition of these worries. What's important to realize is that obsessive-compulsive worriers tend to be very sensitive, intuitive, and bright people who tend to be more aware of what is happening around them then most other people are. This special ability to "pick up" on things can be scary. It...
grief loss worry

Dealing with Grief and Loss

Grief and loss happens over time and involves one going through a number of feelings from denial to overwhelming sadness. We may go through the various stages but they do not happen in order. This can leave us bewildered, confused, and feeling trapped. The process of grief over a loss is known to take much longer than was thought at one time. Some types of grief only last for brief periods of time when we are not strongly bonded to a particular person. When the loss is very personal to us it take a much longer time for it to resolve. Each of us experiences grief...
tree in background scene

Do Not Stop Until You Have the Answer

The philosophy of Star Trek can be far reaching and profound. In many ways, through the inspiration of a story we can often learn more about ourselves and the world around us. Oddly enough, it can also introduce us to concepts that help us battle our own codependency. "Perhaps the key to understanding your experience is to stop looking into other sources for a meaning. When we look at Michaelangelo's David or Symnay's Tomb and we don't ask what does this mean to other people. The real question is, what does it mean to us? Explore this image, Data. Let...
tablets

The Best Way to Take Pain Medication

Over the years there has been a great deal of research and practical experience around the issue of how best to take one’s pain medication. Understanding a few issues might assist you with having the best response to your medications. Society and Medication We live in a society that has mixed feelings about the use of medications. On the one hand we "expect" that physicians should be able to prescribe medications that will provide quick and effective "magical cures" that will solve all our problems. In fact, the media, through television and news, is always talking about "new discoveries" for medications...
steps steep path

Crisis Points of Relationships and Marriage

Marriage is most open to crisis when it is rigid and inflexible. Whatever won't bend will break, or push others away. Rigid people, who expect specific roles in relationships only create more crises at different relationship developmental points. When the relationship demands that there be isolation from outside supports, such as family, the focus becomes one of control and fear. Problems can also develop when the relationship is seen as needing to be on the high of a romance. Romance seduces people into expecting too much. Romance after courtship can fade fast. Some people have never learned the difference between love, romance, sex, and growing...
archery board

Choosing SMART (not Perfect) Goals

Setting realistic short-term behavioral goals can help you achieve your long-term plans. To do this effectively, you must be aware of the critical difference between having dreams vs. having goals. Dreams are vague, non-specific, and and often lead to frustration and setbacks. Goals are specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and have a timeframe for completion (aka “S.M.A.R.T.”). You should be able to describe your SMART Goals to 10 strangers on the street and have all of them agree on what your goals are. If even one of them disagrees with you, your goals lack one or more of the SMART...
Thought Lightbulb

How to Choose a Good Psychiatrist

At some point, you may find yourself in need of a good psychiatrist. There are three critical rules in doing this. Understanding the terminology in distinguishing between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychiatric mental nurse practitioner is the most important step. Setting your expectations appropriately and not sabotaging your approach is second. Third is the rule of not forgetting your ultimate goal. Rule 1: Know the Terminology If you are in need of general mental health medications, approaching your primary care physician (PCP) is a good first step. These tend to be general practitioners or family practice doctors. The advantage is one of accessibility; chances are,...
Marital Business Relationship

Developing a Marital Business Plan

Marriage is when two people come together because of a mutual attraction and desire to spend their lives together. The problem is that situation is not always as easy as it is portrayed on TV and in romance novels. The marital relationship is much more difficult than we can ever imagine for a number of reasons. It is helpful many times to helps “reframe” some of the ideas about marriage if we are to make it work. Physical Attraction When we first meet someone, we find that we have a physical attraction to that person which “pulls us” toward them. We...
Grief

Grief & Growing Through Difficult Times

It takes an enormous amount of energy to remain stuck in chronic grief, resentment or sadness. Often, we try to resist these genuine emotions by keeping a stiff upper lip or a cheerful demeanor when we’re really seething inside. It can be made worse by worries we have ‘pushed back’ in our mind, old traumas and unresolved past issues. However, the present journey of grief can offer us lessons we can grow from. What we Resist... Persists Instead of trying to talk yourself out of how you feel, harness the courage to acknowledge uncomfortable emotions. Accept your regrets, anger or sadness...
People gathering around a table to work

The Myths of Human Behavior

Codependency is a difficult thing. It influences our point of view and affects our feelings of how others react. As full-fledged "adult children", we often are confused and dismayed by the behaviors of other people. Here are eight of the more common myths that we, as codependent individuals, tend to believe. 1. We believe that people will do what they say.  The reality is that most people are caught up in their own lives and reality, and words often do not reflect their intent. 2. We believe that other people think and feel like we do.  As a result, we feel...