The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Coping Skills

How to Survive the First Set of Holidays without a Loved One

Perhaps a new custody agreement has the kids spending the holidays with their other parent. Or perhaps this is the first holiday after the death of a loved one. Or perhaps a family member is deployed with limited contact. Or perhaps a recent break-up in a relationship immediately changes the plans already made. Whichever the story, this is the first time things will be different and it is a bit scary.

Be honest. It is...


How to Work with a Narcissist

Narcissists can be frustrating at work. Their constant need for attention, admiration, appreciation, and affirmation exhausts everyone around them. Yet without these, they become agitated, angry, and even abusive. Satisfying their essential needs is not as difficult as most think but it does require some basic understanding of how narcissists operate. The reward of a peaceful work environment is well worth the slight effort.

Attention. Being ignored is one of the ultimate evils for...


10 Ways to Manage the Holiday Chaos

The holidays should be several days of reduced work activity set aside to celebrate with family and friends. But all too often, these days are jam-packed filled with obligations, deadlines, expectations, responsibilities and crisis. Instead of letting the exhaustion take over, try these ideas to simplify.

Make a list and check it twice. The first list is all of the must do’s, have to’s, and want to’s. This is not about order for now;...

Coping Skills

10 Things to Avoid with Alzheimer’s Patients

My dad had Alzheimer’s. Watching him fade away was one of the most difficult experiences on my life. It challenged my ideals, tested my patience, expanded my knowledge, and wore me out. These are the some of the things I learned along the way.

Don’t say they are lazy. They are not; this is part of the disorder. As Alzheimer’s progresses, the brain losses its ability to process, recall, and reason. What took seconds to...


The Lies of Suicide

Sixteen years ago to the date, my best friend committed suicide. She was beautiful inside and out with a compassionate heart too large for her physical body. As one of the smartest people I knew, she loved to engage in passionate discussions about her favorite subject: politics. She had more energy and could cram more things into one day than most could in a week. She was lovely, generous, clumsy, sarcastic, determined, enthusiastic, and feisty.



Ten Reasons People Consider Divorcing

Getting married is often an easier decision than getting a divorce. Marriage brings pleasurable feelings of excitement, passion, and desire. But divorce stirs up feelings of anger, rejection, and betrayal. Severing ties with a person is challenging and great consideration should be given. Here are ten reasons a divorce should be considered.

Abandonment/neglect. There are several forms of abandonment or neglect. Physical desertion is leaving a spouse for an undisclosed period without an agreement for return....


20 Things to Consider Before Marriage

It is hard to know if a person will be a good fit as a spouse. It is even harder to stop and evaluate a potential spouse from a logical, non-emotional point of view. Yet this is precisely what needs to be done.

Friends and family can be helpful in pointing out some concerns but their excitement for the couple may cloud judgement. Even the best premarital counseling can't detect all of the potential pitfalls. Instead, present...


How to Survive the Holidays with an Addict

Addicts plus holidays usually equal disaster. This is because addicts have a tendency to divide family at a celebration, not unite. Relatives fall into one of three categories: those who see the addiction and have no tolerance, those who see the addiction and tolerate it, and those who don’t see the addiction at all.

An addict will take the path of least resistance and be charming with the last two categories while ignoring the first. This...


Having a Nervous Breakdown?

One minute everything seems fine. Then in a flood of intense emotion and erratic thoughts, it all changes. Life becomes a distorted kaleidoscope, with nothing familiar from before. Even speaking is difficult. It is impossible to explain what is happening because the event is so unlike anything experienced prior.

In the past, the term nervous breakdowns described such an event. But this is not a diagnosable disorder; rather it is a cultural euphemism. Instead there...


Why Loneliness Is Worse Around the Holidays

Feeling lonely is bad enough but add the holidays to the mix and instead of helping, the feeling intensifies. This strange phenomenon tends to isolate even further and can bring about a more profound depression. In some cases, the hopelessness may lead to suicidal thoughts.

The contrast is shocking. Everyone else seems to be happier. There is extra stuff crowded the store aisles with bright and cheerful colors screaming “buy me”.  The aroma of scented candles...