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Archives for February, 2012

Eating Disorders

5 Ways to Answer “Do I Look Fat in This?”

When your partner, friend, sister, or other person in your life asks the question, it might seem as if the only appropriate answer is "No." It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't moment because it's also likely that if someone is asking you that question, she isn't going to believe your answer anyway.

What you need to know is that the person asking the question isn't actually looking for...
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Eating Disorders

Support For Your Partner During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2012

February 26th through March 3rd is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and the posts on Partners in Wellness this week will address how eating disorders may be impacting your partner and your relationship.

The theme for this year's NEDA Week is "Everybody Knows Somebody." As the incidence of eating disorders increases, it is likely that everybody knows somebody who has (or has recovered from) an eating disorder, whether that...
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Are You In Love With a Sociopath?

Sociopaths are all around us. When we hear that term, people like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Bernie Madoff come to mind, but reality is that most of us will encounter someone who is a sociopath during our lives. Some of us will get sucked into a relationship that is very hard to get out of and is very dangerous; others of us will escape unharmed, but potentially have interesting stories to tell...
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Anxiety and Panic

Is Your Partner Obsessed With Invisible Flaws?

Katy spends hours each day in front of the mirror, focused on her nose. She applies and reapplies makeup several times before leaving the house, and checks herself in her car's mirror again before driving to her destination.

She is never satisfied that her makeup hides her "ugly" nose. Throughout the day, she feels compelled to look in the mirror again and again, and has recurring thoughts that people are staring at...
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Partner’s Depression Treatment Not Working?

If your partner has been taking medication and going to therapy, yet is still struggling with severe depression, there is hope. Sometimes, therapy and medication for depression is not enough. Treatment-resistant depression does not have to be the life sentence it sounds like, however: there are other options that are safe and effective.

Recently, The Dr. Oz Show did an episode on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression. My department chair at Duke,
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Tips for Telling Others About Your Partner’s Illness

Bringing up the topic of a partner's mental illness with family and friends can feel tricky. In some cases, it might be obvious that there is something wrong, but many mental illnesses can't be detected from the outside. However, that doesn't mean you and your partner don't need and deserve support from understanding family and friends.

Asking for that support can feel uncomfortable, though, given the stigma that still exists around mental illness,...
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Does Your Partner Have Adjustment Disorder?

You may have noticed changes in your partner after a significant life event, such as a job change or loss, the development of a physical illness, death of a loved one, having an accident, having a baby, or surviving a traumatic event.

Some of the symptoms you may have noticed in your partner are a low mood, trouble sleeping, little or no appetite, anxiety, stomachaches or headaches, missing work or school, and less...
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Wondering If Your Relationship Is Normal?

Oh, that tricky word: "normal." What does that mean, anyway? When I hear my clients ask, "Is it 'normal' for [fill in the blank] to be happening?" or "Why can't my life/relationship/job/thoughts/feelings/etc. be 'normal'?", I always ask for what their definition of "normal" is. Of course, there is no definition that fits every scenario. What is "normal" for one person would be "abnormal" for another.

Many clients come to counseling because...
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