anxiety

  • Dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    Dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

It is not uncommon for people to refer to their idiosyncratic tendencies as “my OCD”. Youtube comedians Rhett and Link even wrote a hilarious song describing a person’s preference for things to be parallel and clean. While the song and video are funny, they don’t begin to capture the anguish experienced by individuals who actually suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If you are wondering what it is like, imagine that when things are the way you like them, such as the bed being made just right, or the doors closed and locked, everything is at peace in your mind. However, when a corner of the sheet isn’t flattened out properly, a high-pitched screeching noise pierces your eardrum, causing blinding pain. If the only way to remove the offending noise was to flatten the sheet, it stands to reason that you would be highly motivated to do so. While this isn’t literally what happens in the OCD brain, it is the metaphorical equivalent. One man, suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome, which shares many commonalities with OCD, stated that the compulsion to yell out inappropriate comments or make twitching movements with his shoulders was as strong as the desperation to breathe if someone […]

  • Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1 Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1

    Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1

Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1

Things won’t get better I’ve experienced darkness in my life. Deep darkness. When I was a kid, I was in boy scouts. One time, on a day trip, our scout leaders took us to an abandoned mine shaft. I know, this story has a very promising beginning, just like the last one. Because we didn’t know anything, and apparently neither did our leaders, we wandered into the mine shaft, deeper and deeper into the mountain. Our way was lighted by an actual torch, not a flashlight or lantern. One of our leaders, who just happened to be the one holding the torch and also happened to have the most severe case of ADHD of the bunch of us, thought it would be a funny trick, once we were several hundred feet into the mine shaft, to knock the torch on the ground, extinguishing the flame. The tunnel that we were exploring had curved to the left, meaning that when the torch was gone, the entrance to the shaft was out of sight around a corner, leaving us with absolutely no light. In review, we were 12 year old kids in an abandoned mine shaft and it was so dark, we […]

By |April 23rd, 2015|Blog, Insight, snippets, things I was wrong about|Comments Off on Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1
  • So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression? So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression?

    So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression?

So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression?

I got a lot of feedback about my previous post on what not to say to a depressed person. I, myself, realized, after I finished writing, that my list seemed to eliminate most of the seemingly helpful things people actually say to depressed people, along with some of the more useless pieces of advice. So, have I thrown the baby out with the bathwater? I don’t think so, but let me explain. The purpose of the list was to describe, for people who don’t suffer from depression, what the mind can do to even objectively harmless and pro-social encouragement when it is weighed down under a cloud of darkness. The most positive and encouraging sentiments are quickly corroded in the acid bath of negativity, rendering them unhelpful at best and harmful at worst. This naturally leads to the question, “So, if I can’t even tell them that I love them, what can I say to them?” Check out this list of suggestions: 1. That must feel terrible… I’ve written before about the importance of validation, especially when it comes to getting someone to listen to your perspective. Much of the usual feedback given to depressed people is intended to be […]

By |October 10th, 2014|Blog, Insight|Comments Off on So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression?
  • Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit. Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit.

    Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit.

Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit.

Is Online Counselling a Good Fit for You? For many people, the idea of engaging in counselling online gives them cause to wonder what the world is coming to. “Even the highly personal helping professions have gone the way of technology,” they may lament. “Whatever happened to the personal touch?” While it is true that for some, online counseling maybe a step backwards in terms of progress, for others it might be the perfect solution to a number of problems. Below, I will review some of the advantages and potential disadvantages of online counseling and then you can decide for yourself. Advantages 1. Easy access When counselling takes place online, it removes a number of possible barriers. The first of these are lack of time and inconvenience. A recent client survey revealed that the biggest barrier to continuing the change process was not lack of progress but lack of time. The time commitment is not just to the hour spent in the session but also in getting ready for the appointment, fitting it in around a busy schedule, etc. With online counselling, many of these logistical factors are eliminated from consideration. Heck, you don’t even have to wear pants, though […]

By |May 23rd, 2014|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit.
  • Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing) Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

    Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

Fight, Flight and … Freeze? Most people have heard of the “fight or flight” response. It is the body’s naturally hard-wired way of dealing with threats to one’s safety. I have written about it before, a few times, so I won’t go into it again but today I’m going to mention the third part of this response: freeze. In nature, animals typically go to flight first, since they are free of ego and have nothing to prove, only to enhance their own chances of survival. If they can’t go to flight and escape danger, they will go to fight, posturing and growling in hopes of scaring off the threat. If this fails, they will actually engage in aggressive behavior, albeit defensive aggression. Once these two options are unsuccessful, or if they are unavailable, most species have a form of reflexive behavior that could be termed “playing dead”. Playing Dead Emotionally Since most of the threats people face in our neck of the woods are social or emotional (although many do face actual physical threats in many forms), the freeze response may look a bit different than it does for a possum or cat. In our case, we tend to play […]

  • Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 2) Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 2)

    Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 2)

Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 2)

Attachment Injuries Now that we have a rudimentary understanding of the necessity for, and basis of attachment behavior, we can begin to discuss attachment injuries and their effects. The term “attachment injury” refers to trauma that occurs within the context of a relationship. In order to understand the impact of relational trauma, consider an analogy from the field of physiology. Lessons From Physiology Proprioception is the body’s sense of where it is in space. It is the cumulative interpretation of the body’s various internal and external sensory systems that allow it to have an accurate assessment of the external enivronment. In layman’s terms, it is the body’s sense that allows a person to walk up the stairs or type at a keyboard without the necessity of visual information. When areas of the body are damaged or injured, this vital sensory ability is one of the first casualties. Musculoskeletal injuries result in impaired functioning of this vital sensory feedback system. This results in the increased likelihood of future injury, as the body has a reduced kinesthetic (body movement) awareness of the injured limb or joint. The parallels between this sensory system and the attachment system are easy to see. Attachment theorists […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Blog, Education|1 Comment
  • Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1) Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

    Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is diagnosed when an individual displays a cluster of symptoms that include various manifestations of the following: dissociation (feeling removed from reality), re-experiencing (flashbacks), and increased arousal (heightened stress response). In order for a diagnosis of PTSD to occur, however, these symptoms need to be as a result of the individual having been directly exposed to an event that threatened their life and/or safety or that of another individual. This criterion is known as the A1 criterion, since it is the primary criterion that must be present in order for diagnosis to occur. Amongst the general population, 7-8% of people will end up with PTSD at some point in their life. Within certain groups of people, however, such as individuals with substance-use disorders, the rate of diagnosis is much higher. For example, in one sample of substance-abusing psychiatric patients, researchers found that 90% had experienced physical/sexual assault and at least 50% met the diagnostic criteria for crime-related PTSD. However, there is a new direction of understanding with regard to trauma-related stress reactions; it is referred to as complex PTSD (CPTSD). Individuals in this category meet all of the same diagnostic criteria as […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Blog, Uncategorized|1 Comment

A Virtual Slap: How Words Can Hurt

By |August 20th, 2013|Blog, Education, Insight|Comments Off on A Virtual Slap: How Words Can Hurt

Facebook for Neurons: The Science of Anxiety

By |August 17th, 2013|Blog, Education|Comments Off on Facebook for Neurons: The Science of Anxiety
  • VLOG #1 Completing the Trigger Chain Exercise VLOG #1 Completing the Trigger Chain Exercise

    VLOG #1 Completing the Trigger Chain Exercise

VLOG #1 Completing the Trigger Chain Exercise

By |April 9th, 2013|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on VLOG #1 Completing the Trigger Chain Exercise