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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Coping Skills

Why Old Abuse Still Resurfaces

One of the many ways a person learns to cope with intense trauma or abuse is to dissociate or detach from their immediate surroundings. For some, this is a natural reaction born out of a survivor instinct. For others, it requires effort and practice to shut down feelings, intentionally ignore surroundings, and completely disengage. In the case of long-term abuse (physical, emotional, mental, verbal, financial, spiritual, or sexual), the dissociating can reoccur as...

Coping Skills

What’s Behind a Narcissistic Rant?

The conversation begins so normally. There is good flow from one person to the next. Each hears and understands the topic at hand without any indication of stress. Then out of nowhere, it dramatically shifts. The conversation becomes one-sided, almost lecture-like, the words toward others are harsh and biting intertwined with statements of self-praise, and there is an absence of one discernible topic. It has divulged into a narcissistic rant, better known as verbal vomit.

Sometimes...

Coping Skills

How to Move from an Unhealthy Existence to a Thriving Life

It all begins with you. Regardless of the circumstances, traumas, abuse, injuries, hurts, and situations, meaningful change can occur within that dramatically transforms a life. It is not a natural process as it requires substantial commitment, time, and energy but the rewards are worth the effort.

It is precisely when a person is most vulnerable through a life-altering event, that they equally become aware of the need for change. When this moment is wasted on...

General

Scared to Work with Dissociative Identity Disorder? Don’t Be.

Over the past several years, I have had the privilege of working with a handful of clients who have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or what was once called Multiple Personality Disorder. I use the word “privilege” because gaining the trust and confidence of these clients is difficult but so worth the effort.

Generally speaking, DIDs have endured enormous childhood trauma, almost every type of abuse, abandonment by friends and family, rejection from society and mental health...

Coping Skills

10 Worst Things You Can Say to a Highly Sensitive Person

Highly sensitive people (HSP) are so aware of their surroundings that even the slightest change in mood, tone, or temperature is noted. They have a unique ability to sense the emotions of others, absorb the feelings, empathize deeply, and are keenly aware of how to make things better.

As natural perfectionists, not for the benefit of others but for themselves, they try hard not to make mistakes. They are intense thinkers and feelers, conscientious,...

Coping Skills

How to Identify a Covert Narcissist

The Overt Narcissists are easy to spot as they literally suck the life out of a room and absorb all of the positive and negative attention. They love to be on center stage, need constant admiration, crave affection even from inappropriate sources, and seek adoration affirmation. The Covert Narcissists (CN) or the Silent Narcissists are much more difficult to spot.

On the surface, they present as normal. It is only with a viewpoint of others,...

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....