Archives for August, 2011

Anxiety and Panic

Social Networking and Your Partner’s Mental Health

@PostSecret had a Twitter post from one of its followers recently: "I set my status as widowed when my husband pisses me off."

Ouch.

A client knew her (now) ex-boyfriend's Facebook password, and used it to login to his account and read all the messages he had sent another woman. She didn't need the extra incentive to break off the relationship, but that certainly didn't help.

Another client complains that all of her friends are posting exciting, happy...
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Anxiety and Panic

When Anxiety Meets Addiction: Help for Partners

Does your partner “need” that glass of wine before meeting friends for dinner?

Is your partner dependent on marijuana to “relax and unwind”?

Has your partner’s use of prescription medications increased over time, sometimes to the point where they run out before it’s time for a refill?

Many people who experience anxiety, whether it's diagnosed or not, use alcohol, OTC meds, or illicit drugs to help them through the moment. Unfortunately, using substances for this purpose...
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Marriage

Making It Work When Your Partner Has Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has a bad reputation in the world of mental health. Many clinicians refuse to treat people with BPD, claiming that these patients are too challenging, too time-consuming, too volatile, too unstable, too emotionally draining, etc., etc.

But what if the person you love has BPD, either formally diagnosed or not? Is the only solution to walk away?

No, it's not.

Walking away is one solution, but my hope is that if you...
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ADHD

Sleep and Your Partner With Mental Illness

Sleep is one of those things that we take for granted when it's going well, and spend a lot of time complaining about when it's not.

Sleep issues are one of the top complaints my clients have when talking about what's not going well in their lives. It's estimated that 65-90% of people with depression experience insomnia, while on the other end of the spectrum, people who are in a depressive phase of bipolar...
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Anxiety and Panic

Men’s Anxiety vs. Women’s Anxiety

Statistically speaking, women experience anxiety disorders at twice the rate of men. This fact is not limited to just one type of anxiety disorder, either: women outnumber men in being diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia, PTSD, and different kinds of specific phobias.

However, men absolutely also experience anxiety, and are often overlooked or not treated appropriately by the medical profession.

Depending on whether your partner is male or female...
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Marriage

Loving Someone With Asperger’s Syndrome

We've all encountered the brilliant artist who creates incredible, creative pieces of art, but does not pick up on your cues that you are ready to leave the conversation and move on. Or the person who can tell you absolutely everything you ever wanted to know about summer weather patterns, but totally missed the joke you just told and is now looking at you like you did something offensive. We walk away from these encounters...
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Marriage

Is Your Partner Avoiding Recovery?

We all know people who call the doctor's office frantically at the first sign of a sniffle or sneeze. Other people wait until they are sure there's a real problem that isn't going to disappear on its own. Then there are the people who will never see a doctor or health professional, no matter how bad it gets, even though they are feeling the negative impact of their illness, both on themselves and their loved...
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Anxiety and Panic

The Impact of Partner Anxiety on Your Relationship

I recently came across a survey that was conducted in 2004 by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) that assessed the impact generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has on relationships. Not surprisingly, the disorder has the biggest impact on romantic partnerships, followed by friendships, then work relationships.

Some of the findings were pretty eye-opening, even for me, a clinician who sees clients with panic and anxiety disorders on a daily basis:

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Partners

Affording Your Partner’s Mental Health Treatment

Among the top reasons I hear from clients about why they stop taking their meds or coming to therapy is the cost of their mental health treatment. It's no secret that psychiatric medications--especially the ones that are not available as generics--and psychotherapy costs are high.

For people who are low-income, on disability, or cannot work because of their mental health, the prospect of paying for appropriate treatment can be overwhelming. Even for people with insurance and...
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Depression

Sex and Your Partner With Depression

Probably the number one reason patients give for stopping their antidepressant medications are that they have no libido while taking them. They say, "It's bad enough that I'm depressed--I'm not willing to give up my sex life, too!"

For the healthy partners, this presents a conundrum: you want your partner to feel relief from the depression, but hey, you've got needs, too, right?

According to a 2009 USA Today report, the amount of Americans using...
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