Chances are that you know a woman who has had a miscarriage. It can be difficult to know how to respond when a friend experiences such a tragedy.
I recently offered my professional insight on the topic to a Woman’s Day article entitled “9 Things Never to Say to a Woman Who’s Had a Miscarriage.” Here’s a quick review of what not to say in this situation:
In light of Robin Williams recent suicide, I wanted to share a colleague’s anonymous story of her own battle with depression and suicidality.
There are two things I’d like you to know about me. The first is that I’m a therapist, a clinical social worker with well over a decade of experience. I run a successful private practice and am very happily married with three children. The second is that for many years in my early twenties, I suffered from severe, treatment-resistant depression.
For close to four years, I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals, emergency rooms, and therapy offices. I was voluntarily committed, involuntarily committed, and at one point I escaped from an ER when my police escort thought it safe enough to leave me.
I remember the horrible feeling of my stomach being filled with a thick charcoal and then being emptied out, the stitches that were sewn on my skin. I recall waking up and dreading that I was still alive rather than dead.
No matter what medications they tried or which therapists I was sent to, I remained determined and desperate to end my life. At my lowest point, I called my parents from the psychiatric hospital and told them I was sorry, but I was going to kill myself again once they let me out. As a mother, I cannot fathom getting a phone call like this from my child.
In my mind, there was no future. I had been kicked out of two graduate schools for attempting suicide. I could not imagine how life would ever be tolerable. All I wanted was for the pain to stop.
I rarely think about this time in my life. None of my colleagues and very few of my friends know about it. I haven’t told my children yet, although I know that this time will come.
As I recall those days, I am truly thankful for those who interceded. But this was not always the case: For a long time I was so angry at the roommate who came home early and called 911. I was furious at the paramedics, the police and the therapists, because they didn’t understand that there was nothing left for me on this earth.
I thought it was my right as an adult human to choose if I wanted to die. I knew in my heart that I was not insane or stupid or incompetent. The problem was that I could not think clearly because depression held a vice grip on my entire being. I did not know at the time that I would find a treatment that worked, and that the demons I struggled with would eventually leave.
During my darkest days, I needed people in the world to fight for my life, because I could not.
I do not talk about my own past or current struggles in the therapy room. But when someone comes in who is hurting deeply and considering suicide, this is my message: “I know you cannot see a future for yourself. I know you don’t have the strength right now to hope for something other than what you’re feeling in this moment. So I will be strong for you. I will hope for you, until you are able to hope for yourself. “
For those who have run out of hope, we must hope. For those who have run out of strength, we must be strong. And this is why I am a therapist.
Next month, I have a wonderful opportunity to participate in Affirmation, a conference dedicated to fostering a loving discussion among LGBT Mormons, their friends and family, and the LDS community. The conference is non-political, but is instead focused on providing healing, love, and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters.
Do you get very upset or angry easily? Have you ever been accused of being hot-headed? If you respond with intensity and emotion that is disproportionate to the situation at hand, you are overreacting.
I recently had an article published in the August edition of Community Orange Magazine where I discussed strategies to keep calm and appropriately respond to stressful situations. Here are a few basic ways to keep from overreacting.
Click here to read the full article about ways to keep your cool.
I was invited by Tresa Edmunds, blogger at Feminist Mormon Housewives, to share thoughts about the importance of self-care during times of grief and loss. In this fMh podcast Tresa and I talked about how to process emotions, deepen spirituality, embrace complexity, and practice radical compassion, and prioritize self-care as tools to process difficult emotions surrounding the excommunication of Ordain Women’s Kate Kelly.
In this podcast I mention Riane Eisler’s Cultural Transformation Theory and the continuum of dominator and partnership models of social organizations. For more information on cultural transformation theory visit RianeEisler.com Read more
On Studio 5 a brave Utah woman shares her story of her husband’s struggle with mental illness. Because those who suffer don’t “look” ill, they are often misunderstood and don’t get the support offered to those with a visible illness. Here are 5 ways we can better support friends and family members struggling with mental illness.
Anyone can make a difference for good. Anyone. This list is proof. I’m a social worker in Salt Lake City, UT on a mission to create meaningful online conversations about my passions: mental health and relationships. I love social media because it allows me to have a voiceand share helpful and inspiring information across the globe. Me? I write and blog and tweet and post and share because I want to help make your life better by sharing trusted resources, helpful articles, tips, humor, and answer your mental health and relationship questions.
It’s not like most people set out to be grouchy, says therapist Julie de Azevedo Hanks, author of The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women. “People are born with constellations of personality traits and dispositions that, when coupled with experience, can lead to a less than agreeable disposition,” she says. “If you have a temperament that is less agreeable than those around you, you may be labeled a grouch just because you’re experiencing life differently.”
In some ways, people who are moody or pessimistic may be at a health advantage. Research has shown that older adults who are pessimistic about their future actually live longer and are less likely to live with a disability, says Hanks. And people who tend toward pessimism may use negative thinking as a motivational strategy, she says. “While they may be a drag to be around, they may actually be trying to improve themselves.”
Still, if you’re not happy with your mood (or with your resident crankypants), consider these 6 ways to un-grouch a grump.