Archive for the ‘Cancer, HIV and Other Illnesses’ Category

Sex, STIs, & Being Clean

May 14th, 2014

A clean bill of health. Those are words most of us like to hear from the doc following a visit. There’s nothing wrong with feeling healthy. But this saying has morphed into a stigmatizing way of viewing STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). If you spend anytime on dating and hook up sites, you’ll see some people write that they’re “clean” and they’re hoping that you’re “clean” too…clean being a euphemism for not having an STI. The implication is that if you have an STI, you are dirty. It sounds awful. And dehumanizing.

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Booker T. Washington & Chocolate Cake: Real World Advice on Coping with Depression & Loneliness, Part IV

March 12th, 2014

Coping with depression, loneliness, and feelings of hopelessness can feel like a solitary activity. When we feel these ways, we often have the impression that we’re on our own. I recently asked my Facebook friends how they get through difficult times – an effort of mine to get more ideas as a therapist and to also help people feel more connected at a time when it’s hard to feel love from others. I received many replies and have published portions of each one.  Following are the final comments I received from my friends. I hope you find these as meaningful as I have.

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Overwhelming Grief

November 7th, 2011

images-2Have you ever experienced overwhelming grief?  If you’ve gone through an extremely difficult loss, you know what I’m talking about.  Feeling on the verge of tears – more often than you’ve ever experienced.  Feeling sad and depressed much of the day.  Or experiencing a surge of sadness unexpectedly.  You find yourself angry and bitter and don’t quite understand this change in your perspective.  Perhaps you react strongly to things that would have gotten a much weaker response from you at a different time.

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When The Going Gets Tough…

November 21st, 2009

dealing with tough timesWhat do you do when things get tough?  When you’re going through a difficult illness, experiencing a loss, or feeling depressed or anxious?  Many people follow the adage – “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”  While there is some value to this, I offer a different path.

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Radical (and Gentle) Acceptance

August 24th, 2009

difficult emotionsHave you ever felt lonely, confused, angry or sad?  Of course you have.  These are all normal, human emotions and experiences.  Are you comfortable feeling this way?  Perhaps not.  So, what do you do when faced with them?  Do you stuff them, avoiding them through negative self-talk, eating, drinking or some other behavior?  If so, there is another way.

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How Therapy Helps

May 21st, 2009

how therapy helpsIf you bring forth that which is within you,
Then that which is within you
Will be your salvation.
If you do not bring forth that
Which is within you,
Then that which is within you
Will destroy you.
~The Gnostic Gospels

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Where Do You Find Hope?

February 23rd, 2009

Life has some huge obstacles that it puts in our way.  Sometimes, the sheer weight of the challenge can be overwhelming.  You might feel like this moment will never pass and that life will always be this way.  You may feel desperate, depressed, and fed-up.  You may want to give up, feeling spent from all of your efforts.  When this happens, where can you find hope to carry you through? 

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Expressing Gratitude

January 4th, 2009

With the start of a New Year, I find it’s a good time to reflect on my life.  What challenges have I overcome?  Where am I making progress?  What am I grateful for?

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You Can Buy Happiness!

November 30th, 2008

According to a study (Dunn, EW, et al. “Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness,” Science (March 21, 2008): Vol. 319, No. 5870, pp. 1687-88.) I read about in the Harvard Mental Health Letter (Sept. 2008), money can buy you happiness.  Specifically, spending money on others can make you happier than when you spend it on yourself.  In one study, the amount spent – whether as gifts or charitable donations - did not correlate with feeling happier.  Just the act of giving made a difference.

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Don’t Forget the Caregivers

November 8th, 2008

Dealing with cancer, Alzheimer’s and other potentially debilitating diseases can be hard for everyone.  Although we first think about the person living with the disease, it’s important not to forget the friends and family – also known as caregivers.

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