3 Tips to Manage Anxiety About Money

man woman couple looking at finances

Stress and anxiety about money is inevitable. When people have too little, they are anxious to make more. Even when they are earning enough, it can be difficult to save or effectively invest.

But despite the ubiquity of financial concerns, there is a tendency — even among family members and romantic partners — to avoid the subject entirely. Sometimes people view openly discussing money as gauche or taboo. Nonetheless, avoiding these conversations only exacerbates financial anxiety.

There are three simple steps you can take to alleviate money stress. Taking action or having conversations about finances may be awkward, but it is better for your mental health than avoiding the subject. Continue reading 3 Tips to Manage Anxiety About Money

Are You in a Codependent Relationship?

couple man giving sick woman pill glass of water

There is a phenomenon therapists often see in couples counseling when one partner gets “better” in some way, but then, paradoxically, the relationship actually deteriorates rather than improving. This can happen when a partner recovers from depression or learns to manage their anxiety more effectively.
Often when there is one partner with obvious “issues” such as addiction, the other partner falls into an enabler role, and a codependent relationship can result. When one partner is no longer struggling with this issue, the relationship structure must change entirely. Sometimes, the relationship does not survive this shift.

Some couples, however, are able to navigate this change and develop a healthier and more interdependent — rather than codependent — relationship.

In my practice I find it useful to recommend books and movies to help clients learn more about relationship dynamics and psychological issues. To understand the dynamics of codependency and how relationships change when one partner is in recovery, my favorite movie to recommend to clients is When a Man Loves a Woman with Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia.

Note: This post will contain movie spoilers. You can also choose to watch the film first and then return to this article. Continue reading Are You in a Codependent Relationship?

Tuesday in September: The Lingering Effects of 9/11

911 memorial freedom tower skyline in background

Tuesday in September. I remember what a beautiful day it was. It made everything else that happened seem all the more surreal. I had woken up to go to my first day of grad school at NYU’s uptown Institute of Fine Arts. On my way out the door I turned on Howard Stern, talk radio being my low-tech burglar deterrent after a recent break in of my Bronx apartment. Someone had called in about the first plane crash. Howard didn’t know if it was a joke and neither did I. I turned on CNN and saw the second plane crash. And then I headed out the door to the subway. It was terrible, but the towers were still standing and I didn’t want to be late on my first day. After all, the city kept working when the Trade Center had been bombed years earlier.

I got as far as 86 St. on the 5 train, everyone talking about what was happening. But, from there, the MTA was sending all the trains back uptown, so I got out and walked south, the sky a clear and perfect blue, marred only by black clouds of smoke to the south. As I walk I heard the radios of parked cars, the 1010WINS news station dopplering as I passed each car. The first tower was down. Continue reading Tuesday in September: The Lingering Effects of 9/11

Suicide Prevention Toolkit: Ending the Negative Cycle of Addiction

suicide prevention yellow ribbon hand wood

In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day, we wanted to provide useful resources for people who have struggled to see how valuable their lives are. Let’s help them remember they are not alone. 

A life of addiction can lead to a lonely, isolated path. Pair that with the fact that more than 50% of suicides are directly related to drug and alcohol dependence, and the negative cycle of addiction becomes glaringly apparent. Whether people are addicted to drugs, prescription medication, or alcohol the first step is acknowledging that a problem is present.

If you are one of these people, do not make the mistake of thinking you are stuck and beyond repair. You can break free from your addiction or suicidal thoughts through the use of inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, a positive mindset, and a strong support system. Use this toolkit of helpful resources and tips to start along the path to recovery. Continue reading Suicide Prevention Toolkit: Ending the Negative Cycle of Addiction

7 Signs Your Partner Is A Narcissist

woman with narcissist man partner smug expression

Narcissism, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, has hit the mainstream. Although narcissism was always prevalent in about the same percentages of the population, the disorder is more widely discussed now than ever before. Because of the prevalence of discussions about narcissism in the political sphere — and its appearance in books and articles shared on social media — many clients wonder if their partner meets a criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Nobody can be diagnosed without being evaluated by a professional, but there are some clues in your everyday life that your partner may, in fact, be a narcissist. I will use the male pronoun here, but narcissists can be any gender. Continue reading 7 Signs Your Partner Is A Narcissist

How To Get Over A Breakup

woman crying in bed arms folded smartphone

Breakups suck, whether you’re the one who’s dumped or the one doing the dumping. When overcome with such intense emotions, it can be difficult to keep your mental health in check and figure out how to get over a breakup. Already plagued with depression, breakups are particularly difficult for me, often leaving me bedridden and writing bad poetry.

My first serious boyfriend made my biggest fear come true when he broke up with me because he could no longer handle my mood swings and depressive episodes that were “bringing him down.” I thought he was the man I’d marry…and then that was shattered. My next boyfriend broke up with me for strange reasons I can’t begin to get into, and then drove across the country to move to California. This split left me unable to be awake for more than a couple hours at once, let alone eat.

I’ve experienced some pretty serious heartbreak that really messed with my mental health, but I at least learned how to get over a breakup. Here are my pointers to stay well during a turbulent time. Continue reading How To Get Over A Breakup

Debunking 4 Myths About Schizophrenia

different color faces collage illustration

Schizophrenia is perhaps the most misunderstood of all mental illnesses, mostly due to the sheer amount of misinformation out there. Some of this is due to movies and TV, while some can be attributed to stereotypes about mental illness. There are several cultural and demographic myths regarding schizophrenia — these are the four most common.

Myth #1: People with Schizophrenia All Have the Same Symptoms

There are many different types of schizophrenia, and they can all affect a person in different ways. Symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, such as delusions that someone is out to get the sufferer, are different from catatonic schizophrenia symptoms, which include a lack of emotion and decreased motivation.

Mental illnesses affect people differently. It is possible to encounter two sufferers with the same type of schizophrenia who behave differently. Schizophrenia isn’t all about being paranoid and hearing voices. Continue reading Debunking 4 Myths About Schizophrenia

5 Signs Your Fear of Failure Is Keeping You from Your Best Life

failure dreams quote forest sunrise background

Inside every human being is a desire to pursue wild ambitions and discover new possibilities. There’s a would-be entrepreneur, motivational speaker, freelance writer, stage performer, or off-the-grid traveler in all of us.

But unfortunately most people spend their lives in a routine, nondescript comfort zone because they’re too intimidated to chase a goal that seems uncertain and prone to fail. According to a 2016 survey, an estimated 34.2 million Americans experience some type of phobia. The most common is a fear of personal failure, which most of us define broadly as unemployment, financial ruin, and isolation from others.

Also called “atychiphobia,” this fear of failure often becomes so debilitating it can hinder a person from attempting any goal that is not a guaranteed success. It feels safe and secure, but functioning in this state of rigidity will hold you back from opportunities, experiences and overall happiness.

Here are five potential indicators that a fear of failure has come between you and the life of purpose, excitement, or satisfaction you dream about. Continue reading 5 Signs Your Fear of Failure Is Keeping You from Your Best Life

The Experience of In-Person Versus Online Therapy

man holding smartphone on couch

The majority of clients at Talkspace are trying therapy for the first time. With only online therapy as a frame of reference, they can’t draw comparisons to in-person treatment. This fact demonstrates, however, that online therapy removes barriers — high cost and inconvenience — that typically deter people from seeking professional mental health support.

Nonetheless, many users have extensive experience inside a therapist’s office. Some commuted to weekly therapy sessions for years before switching to online therapy. Others have continued their in-person treatment and used Talkspace as a complimentary service.

To illustrate what it is like to navigate the differences between in-person and online therapy, we surveyed our clients who had been open about their experiences with both. Here is what they taught us: Continue reading The Experience of In-Person Versus Online Therapy

How Therapy Helps You Recover from Childhood Trauma and Abuse

woman client therapist talking

If you experienced trauma or abuse during childhood, you might wonder if you should seek therapy. But maybe you are too busy to commute to appointments. You don’t even have any time to feel everything, much less talk about it.

Then there are the plethora of worries people sometimes have when they consider working with a therapist. You might think, “What if I end up feeling worse? What if the therapist thinks I don’t have any problems? Am I exaggerating my experiences?”

Then you start wondering why everyone else seems so happy, while your head swims with worries and you slog through each day. You are not alone, and there are ways to feel better. Continue reading How Therapy Helps You Recover from Childhood Trauma and Abuse