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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

General

Can You Be Addicted to a Person?

The short answer is yes. While this might seem like a strange concept, those who have been victims understand it all too well. An acquaintance starts sending excessive messages, magically showing up unexpectedly, asks too intimate or probing questions, gives inappropriate gifts, and seems to immerse themselves into environments or other friendships just to stay close. At first glance, this might be innocent but over time it becomes something quite different.

In order to better understand...

Coping Skills

How Narcissism Changes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Recently a teenager came into my office complaining about the anxiety they were experiencing from their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) parent. They gave me a few examples. The compulsive handwashing that led to dry and sometimes bloody hands were imposed on everyone in the household. There was a sense of superiority that this family did things such as proper cleaning and sterilized laundry better than others. The excessive rituals before and after people would leave...

General

10 Common Mistakes Therapists Make During the First Session

Not everyone who comes into counseling truly wants to get better. Some are present because of a relationship, an employer, or the legal system mandates it. Unfortunately for the therapist, this is not always transparent initially. Or is it?

In Galvin De Becker’s book The Gift of Fear, he identifies patterns of behavior that can be seen at a first encounter which help to discern the difference between a safe and unsafe person. The same concept...

Stress

30 Preemptive Signs of Abuse Turning Deadly

Abuse has a pattern similar to an addiction. Once the abuser has utilized an abusive method for a long period of time, the victim develops a tolerance to the abuse so it no longer has the same effect. This aggravates the abuser who then escalates.

It should be noted that there are seven primary ways a partner can be abused: mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, verbally, and sexually. So abuse is not just about physical violence.

However,...

Coping Skills

The Dangerous Lure of Narcissism

The media loves to cover narcissists almost as much as a narcissist loves to be covered by the media. And why not? The narcissist’s stories are colorful, prone to exaggeration, intentionally divisive, and feature them as the star. It is easy reporting because it is naturally interesting, requires limited verification, and is emotionally charging. A person either loves the narcissist or intensely hates them; there is little area for grey which makes for a great...

Coping Skills

The 9 Stages of Sexual Harassment

Twenty years ago, men were the thought of as the main perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment with women as their victims. Having been one of those victims in two separate work industry environments, with a boss and co-worker, the demoralizing encounter left a scar. It was frustrating to be recognized not for my hard work but rather, my appearance and naivety.

But as with everything else, times have changed. There are now mandatory trainings on the...

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...