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Psych Central Professional


General

Top 10 Misguided Perceptions of Therapy

Do you wonder what it is like to go see a therapist? Perhaps you're in is a troubled relationship that is rapidly deteriorating? Or you have a boss who can’t be satisfied and who chooses to verbally assault employees? Or you've experienced a traumatic event that never seems to leave your current thoughts? Or you've had a recent loss that is so overwhelming, it feels as if will forever change your future?

Therapy is very useful in these cases and...

Exhaustion

10 Hidden Lies Said about Love

Cupid arrows, chocolate covered cherries, cute stuffed animals, huge balloons, and red flowers have blossomed all over the stores. There is hardly a store (including gas stations) that has not been inundated with Valentine’s Day paraphernalia. But this does not represent true love. This is romantic fantasy love which is highly elusive.

Unfortunately many people have twisted definitions of love born out of dysfunctional parenting, misguided youth, or hurtful connections. These erroneous perceptions of love can...

Coping Skills

An Interesting Mix: Male Borderline Personality Disorder

Typically Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is viewed as a female disorder but it is not. Just like their female counterparts, males also have an intense and persistent fear of abandonment that permeants nearly every relationship. It could manifest in a marital or partner relationship, a father to a child relationship, or an employer to an employee relationship.

Early on in life, male BPD is often confused with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit disorder, intermittent explosive disorder,...

Coping Skills

Trouble in the Making: Personality Disorders Mixed with Depression

Depression has its own signs and symptoms but when mixed with a personality disorder (PD) it can be more elusive. Each PD has a different manifestation of depression with varying levels of intensity. While not all depression becomes homicidal or suicidal, the risks for this possibility are presented as a word of caution. The following are the PDs most likely to raise a red flag.

Anti-Social PD (Sociopath and Psychopath): This is the hardest of...

Coping Skills

How Not to Cope with a Narcissist

Dysfunctional behavior applies to everyone. It’s not just the narcissist who is flawed in their perception and responses. The people around them frequently utilize maladjusted coping mechanisms (or defense mechanisms) in an attempt to handle the toxic situation or manage the narcissism.

Here are some real life examples: An employee realizes their boss is a narcissist but idealizes their success and strives to be just like them. A child knows their parent is different, controlling, reactionary...

Coping Skills

A Borderline’s Emotional Reaction Cycle

One minute everything seems fine, even happy, and then in an instant things turn. The joyful mood is quickly replaced by hurt, dramatic expression, and anger over what appears to be a small matter. After that, things escalate rapidly as accusations fly, feelings intensify, threats heighten, and absolutes accelerate.

For those experiencing this for the first time, it can be shocking. For others, this pattern regularly manifests when in a relationship with a person diagnosed with...

General

Projective Identification: How Narcissists Project Their Identity Onto Others

A client walked into my office for the first time and began to describe her husband as a narcissist. They had been married for 15 years, had two children, were well-established in the community, and were both very career oriented. She came across an article about narcissism and concluded that her husband fit the profile. Not interested in getting a divorce, she wanted to learn how to manage his narcissism.

But something seemed a bit off...

Family

Why Marriages Fail After 25 Years

It’s shocking. After 25 years of marriage, a couple decides to get a divorce. From the outside looking in, things could not be any stranger. The pressures of establishing a career have subsided, the kids have grown-up (and hopefully moved out), and a desired lifestyle has been obtained. After all, surely this couple has been though just about everything and survived it. Or have they?

It is precisely when a lack of distractions from career, kids,...

Family

The Aging Narcissist: Adding Dementia to the Mix

Despite what a narcissist will pontificate, even they are subject to the effects of getting older. Becoming elderly is a normal part of the developmental stage of life for most people, but not for the narcissistic. They view aging as an ultimate evil. Some will engage in ridiculous plastic surgery in an effort to look as young as they feel. Others will begin a new career while their peers are retiring. And still others will...

Coping Skills

Can a Narcissist Be Remorseful, Empathetic, or Forgiving?

Try to point out a narcissist’s mistakes and the attack is likely to be returned with force. Expect a narcissist to show understanding during a difficult time and the conversation will quickly be turned back towards the narcissist. Ask a narcissist to forgive an error in judgement and a detailed accounting of all blunders will be recounted.

Within the definition of narcissism is a lack of remorse, empathy or forgiveness. Narcissists have a fantasy view...