Preventing Compassion Fatigue When Caring For Your Partner

Living with the Ghost of Anxiety

Tons of people in the United States and beyond cope with moderate to severe mental health disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In addition, 1 in 13 people globally suffer from anxiety. Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated, making mental illnesses one of the most prevalent health issues worldwide. It goes without saying that the impact can be widely felt by those who surround them.

If your partner is struggling with their mental health on a daily basis it can feel like you’re living with the ghost of that illness.

For people that support a loved one with a mental illness, the impact of that disorder can be extremely difficult to deal with.The stress resulting from consistently supporting a loved one can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. This is what psychologists refer to as compassion fatigue, a condition that can be as debilitating as the illness your partner is battling, if you don’t take steps to prevent it.

Continue reading Preventing Compassion Fatigue When Caring For Your Partner

Dear Therapist: Can I Drink Myself to Mental Health?

Dear Therapist: Can I Drink Myself to Mental Health?

“The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.”
– Brendan Behan

Dear Therapist: Can I Drink Myself to Mental Health?

I’ve always been pretty educated about the health benefits of exercising and eating right. Having doctors in the family resulted in my having way too much knowledge about various health issues, and the impact of maladaptive behaviors that can cause them. But, strangely enough, I was never taught about the overwhelming health hazards of not drinking enough of plain and simple water.

The fact is the brain requires proper hydration to function properly, because brain cells have to maintain a delicate balance between water and other elements. If that balance is disrupted, cognitive health may be negatively affected. Continue reading Dear Therapist: Can I Drink Myself to Mental Health?

What do you get out of it? Compassionately Understanding and Changing Dysfunctional Behavior

What do you get out of it? Compassionately Understanding and Changing Dysfunctional Behavior

Guest Blog by Gary Trosclair, DMA, LCSW / Psychotherapist and Author of I’m Working on It in Therapy: How to Get the Most out of Psychotherapy.

We all do things that we wish we wouldn’t.We regret giving too much or not enough, being too passive or too impulsive, being too critical or not critical enough, or getting too angry or not angry enough. But with each of these, we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t feel like we were getting something out of it.

What do you get out of it? Compassionately Understanding and Changing Dysfunctional Behavior

Most often, at the deepest level, this “something” we feel that we get is protection against vulnerability. But that comes in lots of shapes and sizes—many of which may appear to be completely different from protection against vulnerability. Not to mention that it might be creating the very situations we fear. I’ll get to all that, but first let me clarify something essential to understanding this. Continue reading What do you get out of it? Compassionately Understanding and Changing Dysfunctional Behavior

5 Ways to Support the Family and Friends of a Loved One With Cancer: Keep Hope Alive When The Path Is Uncertain

5 Ways to Support the Family and Friends of a Loved One With Cancer: Keep Hope Alive When The Path Is Uncertain

By Carrie Miller, LCSW / Talkspace Therapist

Imagine someone you love dearly – your child, parent, sibling, or another relative – being diagnosed with cancer. It’s hard to place yourself in that position, and to think about what you would do if it were to happen. What support would we need in place? What would we do if that were our family member?

Childhood cancer is a topic that is close to my heart, as my now 6 year old nephew is a survivor of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. He was diagnosed at the age of 2. The moment that my sister and her husband got the news that “something isn’t right”, their hearts sank. They were terrified and had questions that the doctors could not yet answer for them; they were stuck in a hospital two hours away from home and had to leave another child with the grandparents to be there. The worst part was they were not sure about what came next. Calls went out to other family members, friends, and anyone else who could send support and offer a helping hand. Continue reading 5 Ways to Support the Family and Friends of a Loved One With Cancer: Keep Hope Alive When The Path Is Uncertain

What Should I Do? The Difference Between Advice And Therapy

What Should I Do? The Difference Between Advice And Therapy

“Words of comfort, skillfully administered, are the oldest therapy known to man.” – Louis Nizer

– by Ken Fields, MA, LMHC / Talkspace Therapist

There is a big difference between advice and therapy, and this blog post will address that difference. As a therapist, I have received a fairly large amount of inquires from people asking what they should do in a particular situation. For example, “My spouse is having an affair, what should I do?” Or, “I don’t like my job, what advice can you give me?” Continue reading What Should I Do? The Difference Between Advice And Therapy

Dear Therapist: Have Any Good Reading Suggestions For My Bibliotherapy?

Dear Therapist: Have Any Good Reading Suggestions For My Bibliotherapy?

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”
– Rene Descartes

Like many others, I went through a turbulent time during my adolescence. Much of that had to do with standard growing pains, but there were also many external factors involved. This caused me to occasionally go into seclusion for days at a time in an attempt to get my bearings and come to grips with all of the diverse feelings, emotions, and thoughts that flooded my system. It was my way of recharging, regrouping, and preparing for reentry into the world. But I didn’t spend this time moping around. Instead I read, ferociously.
Continue reading Dear Therapist: Have Any Good Reading Suggestions For My Bibliotherapy?

Why Do People In Committed Relationships Cheat? (Part 2)

Why Do People In Committed Relationships Cheat? (Part 2)

An interview with Talkspace Therapist and Head of Clinical Development, Nicole Amesbury, MS, LMHC

When you talk about the excitement someone feels when he or she begin to cheat, what chemicals are at work?

You have adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine at work. Oxytocin comes in later – it helps create a stronger attachment, a long-term attachment. That is, “I can trust you to continually get my needs met.” Continue reading Why Do People In Committed Relationships Cheat? (Part 2)

Hallucinations, and the Passing of Oliver Sacks

Hallucinations, and the Passing of Oliver Sacks

When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.
– Oliver Sacks

It’s always hard when you realize that someone you respected and admired has passed away, and that is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I read that Oliver Sacks died at his Greenwich Village home on Sunday morning (August 30th) at the age of 82. The cause of death was cancer. Continue reading Hallucinations, and the Passing of Oliver Sacks

Dear Therapist: Do You Believe In Free Will?

Dear Therapist: Do You Believe In Free Will?

“We must believe in free will, we have no choice.”
– Isaac Bashevis Singer

When I was a kid, I used to think that life was predominantly joyful, that people were for the most part self-less, and that age would make the majority of people a whole lot wiser – I was wrong. Life is beautiful, but it’s also heartbreaking, complicated, worrisome, and definitely not as uplifting as I once thought it was. People can be kind, but kindness is often conditional and in short supply. And becoming a grownup seems like nothing more than being a bigger kid with a bigger vocabulary, in a bigger playground facing bigger bullies. Continue reading Dear Therapist: Do You Believe In Free Will?