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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Coping Skills

Overcoming Pre-Hurricane Storm Anxiety

The shifting projections for Hurricane Irma have caused resulted in the largest evacuation for the State of Florida. Those of us who choose to stay behind watch each update with anxious anticipation wondering which forecast will be correct. Having survived other storms in the past, I have come to appreciate the difficulty in accurate predictions.

As the storm approaches, the roadways are bare, the shops are closed, and many homes are boarded up wondering when the...

Coping Skills

What is Pre-Hurricane Stress?

As Hurricane Irma, with shifting center winds of 150 - 185 miles per hour, heads for Florida, anxiety in residents builds with every shifting forecast. The topic of conversation at check-out isles in grocery stores is which storm have you lived through. Those who have survived the many storms have already completed their shopping several days ahead of the arrival. While others who discount or minimize the storm mockingly comment on the over-response of others.

There...

Exhaustion

Relaxation: The Anti-Narcissistic Medication

After being married to a narcissistic wife for over 10 years, Ben had enough. His whole body started to reject his spouse’s self-centeredness by plaguing him with intense pain and repeated anxiety attacks that he could no longer ignore. He went to doctor after doctor for a quick fix, but after dozens of tests and hundreds of dollars in medical bills, his doctor concluded that the pain and anxiety were psychosomatic.

This, of course, infuriated him...

Family

The Unspoken Rules for Living with a Narcissist

Every family has unspoken rules like: don’t wake-up mom when she is taking a nap, no matter what it tastes like say dad’s cooking is good, or always clean before grandma comes to the house. These guidelines are followed without question to keep the family running smoothly.

However, when a narcissist is added to the mix, the rules take on more intensity. The consequences for not following the guidelines are severe such as giving a person...

General

The Meaning of the Word, ‘NO’

Remember when then-President Bill Clinton defended his improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky by saying, “it depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is”? That classic line sounds almost ridiculous as there is only one meaning to the word is. It stands to reason that other simple words such as ‘yes’ and ‘no’ would likewise have only one meaning. However, to some people, ‘no’ does not mean no.

A teenager hears the word ‘no’ after asking to...

General

How NOT to be a Scapegoat


Monica came into her counseling session crying. The position at work that she worked so hard to obtain was now in jeopardy. She couldn’t understand how this happened so quickly. One day she seemed to be everyone’s favorite new employee and the next day she was an outcast. But as she began to recount her story, a few things became clear.

Her new boss was so charming in the beginning that she wondered why others had...

Children & Teens

A Counselor’s Journey through Postpartum Depression

It is one thing to study postpartum depression as a professional and it is a whole different matter to experience it personally. As a counselor, I knew the signs of the disorder but while experiencing it, I was oblivious to their symptoms. Fortunately, I had a wonderful doctor who quickly and accurately assessed the different situations following the births of my three children.

Baby #1. I’ll never forget the moment I realized something was wrong. Our...

General

How to Know If You Are in Danger

It had been years since Stephanie heard from her ex-husband. He would send the occasional random text messages with some type of mime or joke, but nothing of substance until today. Today’s remarks came across brash and accusatory. Hidden between the lines of communication was a demand for a face-to-face meeting and a threat if she didn’t. Puzzled by the verbal attack, Stephanie anxiously began rehashing and questioning her previous actions. But what she failed...

General

Gaslighting: How to Drive Someone Crazy

A man obsessed with stealing valuable jewels murders one woman and attempts to drive the other one (his wife) crazy. His single-mindedness, driven by selfish motives, caused him to deceive and manipulate in order to obtain what he wanted regardless of the cost to others. Fortunately, he is discovered just before he tries to commit his wife to an insane asylum.

While this is the dramatic plot of the 1944 movie Gaslight (starring Ingrid Bergman) it...

Family

Wise Words for Those Living With a Narcissist

Shortly after their marriage, Jack became aware of the narcissism in his wife. At first, he thought it was immaturity but after their child was born, things escalated. Unable to fully attach onto their child, she became more demanding and self-absorbed. There were times when life seemed to be a series of competition over who would get more of Jack’s attention.

Twenty years later and now divorced from his wife, Jack’s relationship with their child was...