Tag Archives: depression

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse leaves little or no physical scars. Its victims suffer no black eyes, broken bones, torn flesh or spilled blood. Still, those who are emotionally beaten down might describe it as the most painful and destructive form of domestic violence.

While statistics are elusive, experts agree that emotional abuse—for mostly women, but some men as well—have reached epidemic proportions. And despite its everyday occurrence, few of us recognize it, identify it or even do anything about it.

Here are a few questions that might help you recognize it:

  • Are you walking on egg shells around your partner or spouse?
  • Are you worried, anxious or nervous about your partner’s attitudes or moods?
  • Are you concerned about you’re their criticism, sarcasm, frowns, glares, gestures, silence or other behaviors?
  • Are you concerned that they will withdraw or give you the cold shoulder?
  • Do you feel tense when you hear the car pull up in the garage and hear the door open and your partner comes home?
  • Does your partner uses economic, sexual or other power tactics to control you?
  • Are you happy and feel free when you are alone?
  • Do you think that if you tried harder that things will be better?
  • Are you mostly defensive about your actions? Are your reactions on automatic pilot?
  • Do you sometimes feel trapped in your relationship?

So what is the impact of emotional abuse?

Here are a few that are easily recognized. The emotionally abused individual will exhibit:

  • Loss of self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Increasing levels of self-doubt leading to the inability to make normal life decisions
  • Signs of anxiety and depression
  • Inner fear and anxiety that he/she ‘is losing it’
  • Loss of enthusiasm for life, decreased involvement in normal social activities, and decreased involvement with friends
  • Feeling of a loss of power and control over one’s life
  • Development of a very critical internal voice
  • A desire to avoid, escape, or run away
  • A false sense of hope that ‘everything will be OK’ when…
  • Increasing self-blame for everything that goes wrong
  • Pervasive feeling of ‘not being good enough’
  • Defensive of the ‘other person’ to friends who ask questions and show concern

What can victims of emotional abuse do?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Reach out to other people who you know care.
  • Read a good book on the subject as a form of bibliotherapy. See my article on this subject here.
  • Realize that you cannot change your partner… you can only change how your respond.
  • Develop a list of how you are affected by the emotional abuse.
  • Get professional assistance.
  • Make the decision to deal with the situation.
  • Develop your internal emotional and cognitive strengths and focus on emotional health.
  • Emergence of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
  • Change your self-talk from self-criticism to self-empowerment.
  • Look at your own behaviors and decide what you need to change and what new behaviors you need to adopt.
  • Decide on what you want and how you want to live your life.
  • Decide on and then set some personal boundaries and clear expectations for the other person to change their behaviors. Also describe the consequences.
  • Follow through on your decisions.
  • Make an internal commitment on your ultimate decision if the person does not change. In other words, are you willing to say goodbye to the person and hello to a new, more vibrant life?

At this blog we recommend tens of books that will help you through the process of confronting the emotional abuse and then starting to move towards emotional health. Here are some that we specifically recommend to help with emotional abuse.

                                                         

Mood and Depression

In the past 15 years, the number of people seeking treatment for mood and depression in the U.S. has doubled to 25 million a year. That’s bad news, but what is worse is that according to recent research, 90% of these people left their doctor’s offices with a prescription for antidepressants. It is downright frightening that prescription drugs have become the treatment of choice instead of psychotherapy and other less dangerous and more effective therapies.

We are in a bad mood epidemic and in a pharmaceutical/drug epidemic and crisis! We need other ways of treating people for this exploding mental health disorder.

One in four women will have a severe or major mood and depression disorders in their lifetime. For men it is one in eight. And, 35 million Americans each year suffer from SAD according to JAMA. One in five Americans are depressed or unhappy, and report high levels of stress, anxiety and sadness. And internationally, 121 million people have been diagnosed with mood and depression disorders while countless others remain undiagnosed because of low access to mental health services. Depression can affect a person’s ability to work, form relationships, and destroy their quality of life. At its most severe mood and depression disorder can lead to suicide and is responsible for 850,000 deaths world-wide every year.

How do you know if you need help? Answer some of the question below. Caution: The questions below are not clinically diagnostic questions. They are being shared as information only and to provide you an incentive to get additional information on mood and depression from other resources.

  1. Do you have a tendency to be negative, to see the glass as half empty rather than half full?
  2. Do you often experience a dark mood and pessimistic thinking?
  3. Do you really dislike the dark, dreary weather, or is your mood triggered by a fall/winter depression (SAD)?
  4. Are you often worried and anxious?
  5. Do you often feel guilty, critical of yourself, have low self-esteem, or suffer from a lack of confidence?
  6. Is your drive, optimism and motivation low?
  7. Do you have difficulty concentrating and focusing, and is your will-power low?
  8. Are you easily upset, frustrated, irritated, and snappy while under stress?
  9. Do you often feel moody, pressured, stressed, uptight, overburdened, and that you don’t have enough time to complete your tasks?
  10. Do you tend to avoid painful issues or situations where you will experience painful emotions?
  11. Have you experienced a great deal of emotional pain and hurt?
  12. Do you have the feeling that your emotional health needs to be boosted?
  13. Do you have crying spells?
  14. Do you have intermittent mental confusion, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating?

If you answered yes to five or more of the above questions, then you might consider reading the Mood Cure for more information on how to move from emotional hurt to emotional health. This is information that might help you avoid the nightmare of having to use prescription drugs to treat your condition for the rest of your life!

The Mood Cure provides the good news that we can recover from mood and depression disorders and feel better
emotionally, without the use of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or anti-depressants-and the even better news that we can begin to see the results in just one day.

The Mood Cure is a comprehensive natural approach that jump-starts your personal program to uplift your moods and boost your emotional health with brain-fueling amino acids combined with a high-protein, healthy-fat, veggie-rich diet and other nutritional strategies.

Beginning with the 4-part questionnaire to identify your mood type, The Mood Cure will help you to:

  • Lift the dark cloud of depression, sadness, grief and low moods
  • Blast the blahs and moodiness
  • Cool and clear up feelings of anxiety and stress
  • Comfort oversensitive feelings of moodiness, frustration and irritation
  • Let go of emotional eating and progress to emotional healing
  • Recover from addictions
  • Boost your emotional health with alternatives to the nightmarish scenario of having to use potentially dangerous anti-depressants for the rest of your life!

         Read The Mood Cure here now!

Bibliotherapy

 

The Reading Cure!


As a Clinical Psychologist, I am always looking for low cost yet very effective ways in which my clients can help themselves. Most clients meet with a mental health clinician a couple of times per month. Between those sessions clients ought to be busy working on healing themselves by practicing the strategies and techniques and making facilitating changes in their behavioral, cognitive and emotive processes. Most successful mental health outcomes are generated when people are focused on helping themselves.

One very useful method of self-help for emotional pain such as grief and depression is reading books. Reading books? Absolutely! Reading therapy!

The idea that reading can make us emotionally and physically stronger goes back to Plato. Plato said that the poets gave us the arts was “not for mindless pleasure” but “as an aid to bringing our soul-circuit, when it has got out of tune, into order and harmony with itself”. The Greeks had it right! Additionally, I don’t think that it was a coincidence that the Greek God Apollo was the god of both poetry and healing!

These days “reading therapy” is officially called bibliotherapy! Bibliotherapy is defined as an expressive therapy that uses an individual’s relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words as therapy. In some studies, bibliotherapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression and the results have been shown to be long lasting. Bibliotherapy is also an old concept in library science. The ancient Greeks put great faith in the power of literature, posting a sign above some of  their library doors describing the library as a “healing place for the soul”.

The idea of bibliotherapy or reading therapy seems to have grown naturally from the human inclination to identify with others through their expressions in literature and art. For instance, a grieving child who reads (or is read to) a story about another child who has lost a parent will naturally feel less alone in the world. Bibliotherapy is often used very effectively with children

Among adults, reading groups (book clubs) seem to serve many purposes. They serve as social gatherings for like minded people to discuss issues, ideas and topics relevant to their collective interests. Reading groups however also help to bring people together so that they feel less isolated and so that they can build their self-esteem. Reading groups also seem to be an experiment in individual and collective healing.

In one study, there was an indication that involvement in reading groups helped some members to deal with depression, loneliness and grief. Some book clubs specifically help members who are going through the loss of a spouse through death, while it helps others deal with those experiencing the pain of separation and divorce. Reading specific books as biblio therapy is also a feature of meny self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Books seem to help everyone… whether as individuals or in groups. No matter how ill you are, there is a world inside books which you can enter and explore, and where you focus on something other than your own problems.

The benefits of bibliotherapy or reading therapy as a ‘reading cure’ are threefold: Identification, Catharsis and Insight. Simply stated, when reading the appropriate book, a individual has the opportunity to:

  • relate to the main character and his predicament
  • become so emotionally connected to the story that their own feelings are revealed
  • realize that his/her problem is solvable or, at the very least, that he/she is not alone
  • process possible solutions to his/her problems
  • develop hope based on the positive outcomes from the lives of the characters in the book
  • bring an added positive dimension to the self-talk that goes on inside

As a result of reading certain books, people are uplifted, positively influenced motivated and inspired to heal themselves from the inside out.

The key to making all of this work is making sure you have a great book. With so many out there, how do you know which one to choose? In this Blog – Heal Your Hurt – we provide you with lots of suggestions – all of which can be seen through the lenses of reading therapy (biblio therapy). All of the books recommended in this blog can help with emotional pain, depression, sadness, grief or other devastating emotions that people can experience.

Here is another great book suggestion: The HelpThree ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

In The Help, author Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town. And it forever changes the way women – mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends – view one another. This is a deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope.  The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

I found The Help to be therapeutic. My clients all rave about the many benefits that reading it provides them. You too will find it beneficial when you read it.

 

Emotional Health

Our negative emotional patterns of suffering will continue to make us sick throughout our lives until we heal ourselves from our core and gain emotional health and wellbeing.

Did you know that our cells hold memories of our emotional patterns of suffering? These deeply embedded cellular memories continue to feed anger, jealousy, fear, helplessness and general disenchantment with life. They contribute to emotional drama in our lives; they are linked to unsatisfying relationships; and they power a downward trend in our emotional health.

Good emotional health is aligned with high levels of emotional well-being. Recent research by such people like biologist Bruce Lipton shows that our emotional health directly affects our physical health. For instance, depression can correlate to heart attacks, anxiety can create digestive issues, and anger over stresses our heart.

Western medicine tends to ignore the impact of such negative emotions on our physical health. Many of us are in denial of the impact of these negative factors on our emotional health.

Improving our emotional health is crucially important if we are to feel more empowered, have better relationships, and achieve high states of personal wellness.

In Michael David Lawrience’s book “Emotional Health – The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma and Pain” readers learn how to break the cycle of suffering, heal emotional pain,  overcome sabotage of your happiness, removing things which sabotage success, and awaken their excitement and joy. Emotional Health is really an owner’s manual which describes practical methods to release physical and emotional chronic pain, suffering, and stress.

When you get “Emotional Health”, you will read stories of people who healed their emotional suffering to gain greater freedom, including a former CEO of a major company, a therapist for teenagers, a minister, a medicine woman, an author and spiritual coach, a horse whisperer, a quadriplegic, a life consultant coach, a core energetic healer, a psychotherapist, a former nurse, a transpersonal therapist, and the founder of spiritual organization. Now just from reading this book and following the steps laid out be the author, you, like these people, will find, learn and apply the solutions you have been looking for and get the benefits you deserve.

Now if you want to read more about how you can find your way from emotional hurt, pain, suffering, trauma and drama to full emotional health and wellness, then I suggest you get “Emotional Health – The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma and Pain” here now.

On Grief and Grieving

 

The last two days were quite unusual for me.  I had a talk with not one, not two… but three friends who are all experiencing the same thing: grief.  That by itself is unusual. But even more unusual is the fact that all of them are grieving the loss of two close family members.

As a Clinical Psychologist when faced with clients who are grieving the loss of loved ones, I normally move to the professional side of me that is focused on counseling, educating, inspiring, teaching, coaching, influencing and motivating clients how to deal effectively with their grief. I teach them cognitive, emotive, behavioral and process oriented strategies and techniques that are geared to help them to transition through the grief process and stages.

However, when my friends call, it suddenly becomes more personal. And it is more difficult to become the professional. Even though I am a clinical psychologist, I ask myself… “Are they asking the psychologist or are they talking with their friend? Or do they expect some of both?”

This presents a struggle since it is difficult, particularly in these situations to be a friend and psychologist at the same time. From the professional perspective – there may be an issue of ethics… I cannot serve a dual role. I am not supposed to serve as friend and clinician. From the personal perspective there is also a struggle… I cannot see my friends hurt emotionally and not help. What do I do?

Well… having gone through this type of struggle as long as I have been a clinician, I have developed a few strategies that helps me to help them. I refer them to some of the same resources that I useto prepare myself to help others.

Some of the most powerful resources that are available to help people who are grieving are the writings of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  Her last book, On Grief and Grieving, penned with David Kessler just before her death in 2004 cannot be described as anything less than a treasure for those who are grieving.

According to Marianne Williamson, “Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross left us one last gift, and it’s a masterpiece. Having illumined the subject of death, she has now illumined the subject of grief. She and grief expert David Kessler have written a modern classic, the kind of book that all of us will want to keep on our bookshelves because we know it speaks to our deepest hearts.”

And Stepahnie Manley in her review of On Grief and Grieving, said that “this book goes through in depth the stages of grieving and the misconceptions that we may have about those stages. For example, acceptance does not mean, we are ok, and moving on without our loved one. In reality, it is knowing they have passed away and adjusting our lives around that loss, and guess what, you don’t have to like moving on. I like how this book helps you explore the palette of grief that we all have with the deaths of loved ones. “

Manley continues that, “I honestly found myself weeping and remembering the deaths of my loved ones that I had recently lost. It was refreshing to read that the depth of the loss of my loved ones was normal, healthy, and even healing. This book is a real blessing in the healing process of the death of a loved one.”

On Grief and Grieving gives readers sage advice and counseling in abundance. For example, the authors contend that, “If you do not take the time to grieve, you cannot find a future in which loss is remembered and honored without pain.” This is powerful and exhorts people to follow the clear steps and process that they outline in the book. These steps are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. On Grief and Grieving applies these stages to the grieving process and weaves together theory, inspiration, and practical advice, including sections on sadness, hauntings, dreams, isolation, and healing.

For those who are grieving, I lovingly suggest that you get On Grief and Grieving here.

Emotional Freedom

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What is Emotional Freedom? Here is what Dr. Judith Orloff says:  Picture yourself in a traffic jam but feeling utterly calm. Or not letting your supervisor’s bad mood frustrate you. Imagine being peaceful instead of worrying. Or enjoying nurturing relationships and a warm sense of belonging in the place of loneliness. This is what it feels like when you’ve achieved emotional freedom.”

Emotional freedom is one of the answers that you need in order to heal your hurt and to deal effectively with emotional pain. To achieve emotional freedom you must learn how to understand and protect your own inner sensitivity. You must discover the secrets of how to empower yourself from the inside out. You must also develop ways to understand why you feel the way you do. Even more importantly you must learn how to change your feelings to those that sustain and uplift you.

Achieving emotional freedom involves learning how to face your inner fears, confront them and build unstoppable courage that leads to finally doing all the things that you have ever wanted to do and have never been able to follow through on.

Other benefits of gaining emotional freedom involves developing the ability to be sensitive to and read people’s emotions. You begin to combat the many emotional vampires in your life who have been sapping you dry, draining your energy and diminishing your spirit. You learn to stop other people’s emotions from dragging yours along with them.

One of the greatest benefits of emotional freedom is that you learn how to transform anger, jealousy, frustrations and disappointments into the positive energy of patience, hope, love and inner excitement.

Judith Orloff has written a powerful guide that encapsulates all of the above. In her book Emotional Freedom, she shows you how to identify the most powerful negative emotions and how to transform them into hope, kindness, and courage. Emotional Freedom is a road map for those who are stressed out, discouraged, or overwhelmed as well as for those who are in a good emotional place but want to feel even better.

Here are some reviews of Orloff’s Emotional Freedom by some well known individuals:

“Helping people free themselves from fear, worry, and anxiety is what we have to do. It’s hard work but we manage to get positive results. I’m enjoying reading your book on kindle.”
Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Peace Activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner

“A must read for anyone who’s tired of feeling frustrated, lonely, jealous, or emotionally tense. Dr. Orloff shows you how to achieve a lightness of being and feel more positive and peaceful. Highly recommended.”   Deepak Chopra

Emotional Freedom combines neuroscience, psychology, and spirituality to present a new approach for freeing yourself from negative emotions. This book offers you a path to greater health, intimacy, and compassion.”
Dean Ornish, M.D., author of The Spectrum

“A heartfelt, accessible guide to the graceland of peace and calm–regardless of our parents, our past, or our present. It’s loaded with nuggets of practical and profound healing wisdom.”
Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom