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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Coping Skills

How to Differentiate between Different Personality Disorders

It can be a daunting task to differentiate between personality disorders (PD). There is so much cross-over from one type to another that a person may appear to have multiple PD’s. While the DSM-V chose not to use the five model factor as described in Widiger and Costa’s book, Personality Disorders and the Five-Factor Model of Personality, that doesn’t mean it is not a useful tool for current diagnosing.

The table below summarizes the five model...

General

Take Time to Be Still before a Big Change

For Floridians, hurricane threats send people scurrying around town collecting water, batteries, and can goods. The stores are flocked with people as the shelves begin to go bare. Preparations are made to homes and offices to protect landscapes, windows, and possessions. Anyone who lived through the four hurricane year of 2004, remembers the unpredictability of the path, the weeks without power, the displaced people, the intense traffic, and massive devastation that took years to recover....

Coping Skills

The Emotional Pain from Loving Someone with Alzheimer’s

Watching the deterioration of a mind infected with Alzheimer's is emotionally draining, physically exhausting and mentally challenging. The disease steals parts of the brain in random patterns turning a functioning person into an adult like a toddler. What they can do one day, they can’t another, then they can again briefly, only to lose the ability once more.

The hard part is that the closer a person is to the Alzheimer's patient, the worst they...

Exhaustion

Can Too Much Breaking News Cause Psychological Harm?

The short answer is yes. Breaking news tends to be highly dramatic, less specific, emotionally driven, and very current. Just this past week, our area’s breaking news included: bomb threats at several area schools, fatal car accidents, several homicides, discovery of burnt body, missing child, severe child abuse charges pressed against parents, and the latest in political upheaval. Any one of these events can trigger psychological issues.

The first noticeable response is usually anxiety....

Coping Skills

How to Tell a Narcissist by Their Writing

It is easy to spot a narcissist by their speaking. The constant references to self, comparing them with others always coming out on top, the verbal assaults to disarm and belittle others, and insisting they deserve admiration for some achievement are all indicators. But when it comes to writing, it might be harder to identify.

To make a far assessment, the DSM-5 criteria for Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD) will be used. In bold are brief...

Coping Skills

The Power of Balanced Thinking

As a natural optimist, I’m great at seeing the glass half full. However, life has taught me that there are times when positive thinking can do more harm than good. For it is through the pain, suffering, hurt, sadness, and discouragement that a person gains strength, character, courage, determination, and perseverance.

Optimists. It is natural for an optimist to overlook the negative. However, dismissing uncomfortable topics arbitrarily without allowing the opportunity for self-reflection, leads to a...

Exhaustion

Try This One Change with a Passive-Aggressive

One of the most frustrating experiences is to live or work with someone who is constantly passive-aggressive (PA). Their refusal to accept responsibility even for the most minuet things is aggravating. At home or work, there is a constant flow of tasks needing completion which are outside normal expectations. PA’s will not take the initiative and they refuse to see that the task needs to be done in the first place. When they finally...

Exhaustion

What Is Emotional Blackmail?

Movies love to portray the inner and outer conflict that arises from being blackmailed, especially when someone’s life hangs in the balance. There is the villain (the blackmailer), the victim (the target), a demand (what is being asked for), and a threat (what negative thing will happen if the victim refuses to comply). But blackmail does not have to be a life or death threat to be real. It can be more subtle than...

Children & Teens

Ten Tips for Successful Back-to-School

This school year can be the best one yet for parents and children. Here are ten tips for a successful back-to-school.

Be an active parent. Passive parents don’t engage in their child’s school activities or volunteer at the school. Helicopter parents are too involved with every aspect of their child. Neither approach is healthy. An active parent knows the child’s teachers and volunteers occasionally but doesn’t micromanage either the teacher or the child.
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Family

The Primary Purpose of Parenting

The primary purpose of parenting is to raise fully functional adults who can take care of themselves and make a positive contribution to society. Generally speaking, this should be accomplished by eighteen. After this age, parents have less verbal influence but can still be a positive role model through actions, not words.

It is with intention that marriage and family are not mentioned. According to Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development, the sixth stage,...