Posts Tagged ‘self-love’

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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“F*ck it…might as well do the dishes”: Real World Advice on Coping with Depression & Loneliness, Part III

March 5th, 2014

About a month ago, I posed a question to my Facebook friends, asking them how they cope with periods of depression, loneliness, and hopelessness. I received many wonderful, honest responses.  Studies have shown that therapy and counseling are an effective ways to deal with depression.  But I know that there are others ways too.  So, I continue to share with you the variety of ways people get through the tough days, months, and years.

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Dance Party for One: Real World Advice on Coping with Depression & Loneliness, Part II

February 26th, 2014

Feeling depressed, lonely, and hopeless are not unusual emotional experiences for many of us. Yet it is something we rarely talk about in public or with our friends. We read books – often in the solitude of our homes – which can be helpful. But books connect us in a different way then discussion. In an effort to destigmatize this part of life, I asked my personal Facebook friends for their thoughts on how they cope when they find themselves in difficult emotional states. Here’s the second installment of their lovely responses.

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Beach time & Quilting: Real World Advice on Coping with Depression & Loneliness, Part I

February 19th, 2014

I so often write about dealing with depression, loneliness, hopelessness, and other difficult, dark times. I do this because we all go through challenging periods, but many of us rarely talk with our friends and loved ones about how we cope and find our way. Usually, I’ll write about the suggestions I give to clients, the ways my clients cope, or advice from other clinicians. This time, though, I’m doing something different, with the hope that this will be helpful as well.

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Be You!

February 10th, 2014

Trying to be authentic in this world can be hard. We feel pressured to conform…even by such simple questions as “How are you doing today?” – which we often answer with a pasted on smile and the word “Fine”. Some of us work in jobs we hate, fearful of what it would mean, what people would think, and how we would get by, if we changed careers. People in their 40’s and 50’s realize that they have much they still want to do, contemplate making changes, but don’t make them because they’re fearful that they will be seen as going through a “mid-life crisis” – a patronizing, and simplistic concept. Others are fearful to express their sexuality whether it is a same-sex attraction or a BDSM desire. And some present themselves as a gender that they know they really aren’t. Of course, the list goes on; I’m sure you could add your own ways in which you feel coerced  into “fitting in.” 

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Be Good to Yourself

June 10th, 2009

self-compassionWhen parting with folk, I often say something like “Be good to yourself.”  I thought the meaning of this statement was self-evident.  But when someone asked me what I meant, I realized that I needed to be clear.

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Sex and Self-Esteem

February 13th, 2009

The December 2008 Journal of Health & Science reported that gay men who feel sexually undesirable are more likely to have risky sex (The Advocate, February 2009 issue).  Gay men with positive body images are more likely to insist that their partners use condoms.  In other words, gay men who feel good about themselves make better decisions about their health.

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Overcoming Marginalized Experiences

December 21st, 2008

Almost any day, when I read the newspaper, I am confronted with the ways social forces try to marginalize minority folks, their experiences, and opinions.  Women, People of Color, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual folks, and Transgender people are often told to quit complaining.  “You’re taking things too seriously.”  “It’s not as bad as you make it out to be.”  “You’re ridiculous.”  All of these messages, from my point of view, are the greater culture’s effort to maintain status quo and keep others from living their lives the way it was meant to be.

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