When this couple first came to therapy the husband was certain that he was being victimized by his wife and her anger. As it turns out, he couldn’t have been more wrong.
It’s part of the human condition that we may be unhappy, unfulfilled, or overly stressed without even realizing it. That kind of unconscious distress can spill over to the marriage. Without realizing it, we may look to a relationship to fix what’s wrong with our life. That’s a recipe for disaster. Here’s the case of a couple where the wife was so unhappy she had begun contemplating divorce. Then she made an unexpected discovery.
In this post writer Kelli Maria Korduki chronicles her encounters with the psychiatric profession. She vividly captures the way the complexity of her and her life was reduced to a set of symptoms to be measured, rather than treating her as a person to be understood. Along the way, none of these professionals appeared to pay attention to the healthy parts of her. She learned to see herself as broken, in need of fixing.
Depression is not a straightforward problem; it typically doesn’t yield to straightforward solutions. Here Dave consults on a case of an elderly depressed woman. His seemingly crazy intervention brings surprising results. Enjoy.
Women who feel depressed often see this as a purely personal struggle, believing they have a “chemical imbalance”. They may feel burdened and alone, and responsible and/or guilty for their depression.
In fact, depression is rarely a simple personal affair. Most often, the roots of depression can be found in that person’s intimate relationship sphere, where important parts of our happiness/unhappiness live. Here’s one woman’s story of how she moved from depression to owning her own power.
We have become a nation of fixers. We want to fix stuff as soon as its broken, including our moods. We don’t have much tolerance for ambiguity, or lack of resolution. Or emotional pain. What’s the problem with that, you might ask? Because often our attempt to “fix” our moods, or our pain, ends up making the problem worse, or more long-lasting. Here’s another way to do it.
Surgeon Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, has a lot to say about the unintended consequences of doctors’ failure to acknowledge the dying process. Here’s a case of a young woman whose complicated grief over her mother’s death reflects this failure.
“Chemical Imbalance” has become a generally accepted way to think about psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. But David Keith offers another perspective: In fact, emotional problems may be a sign of mental health.
In this post, Dave talks about his work with a depressed young female patient. Through the therapy, which “opens up a little dormant space of weirdness where we can feel more free”, this young woman’s depression lifts as she begins to experience herself in a new way.
In our current pharmaceutical-based culture, we forget that how we feel, our “moods” are strongly shaped by relationship dynamics. This holds true even for depression. Here’s a case that shows how this works.