The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC


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...


The Dark Tetrad: Possibly THE Scariest Boss

No matter what the profession, if a boss has this personality combination, they are terrifying. The Dark Tetrad is composed of four parts: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism. Sadism is the addition to the Dark Triad which has narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. For either condition, this means a person possesses the characteristics of all of these personalities.

The Dark Tetrad shares two major characteristics: extreme selfishness and a lack of empathy for others. This combination affords...

Coping Skills

Who are Machiavellians?

“Anyone compelled to choose will find far greater security in being feared than in being loved.” This famous quote from Prince Machiavelli is one of the guiding principles of Machiavellians. Machiavellianism is a personality construct and not a personality disorder like narcissism or anti-social (sociopath and psychopath). It is a way of looking at the world which influences behaviors, feelings, and thoughts.

Prince Nicolo Machiavelli wrote the Italian book The Prince in the 1500s. It outlines...


Eight Steps to Positive Change

If a fairy godmother could grant a wish, what would it be? The answer is most likely an area of life needing some type of change. It could be financial, professional, relational, spiritual, physical, mental or emotional. Whatever the topic, it is possible to change without the help of a fairy godmother.

Change can be negative or positive. Positive change often requires intention and focus whereas negative change frequently is an undesirable or unintentional outcome....

Coping Skills

Understanding Personality Disorders

Eventually, in everyone’s life, they will come across a person with a personality disorder (PD). It may be a family member, co-worker, neighbor or friend. Usually, it is hard to discern if a person has a PD at the beginning of the relationship, but eventually, it comes to light. Having an accurate understanding will keep frustration levels to a minimum.

What is a personality disorder? It helps to begin with the visual image of a bell-shaped curve....

Coping Skills

Understanding Depressive Personality Trait

Depressive Personality (DP) is not the same thing as depression.  The two can look the same as the symptoms are similar.  The major difference is that a DP person can also have depression but a person with depression is not necessarily DP.

One type of depression is situational such as grieving the loss of a friend. Another is chemical such as overproduction of certain hormones.  By contrast, DP is a personality trait and is not...


How to Overcome Expectation Exhaustion

An expectation can be positive or negative, realistic or unrealistic, about behavior or performance, increase anxiety or relieve stress, and result in disappointment or surprise. There are two sources of expectations: internal and external. Internal expectations are rooted in beliefs, grounded by experience and flourish though thoughts. In contrast, others impose external expectations based on their beliefs, experience or thoughts.

It is easy to see how a negative expectation would increase exhaustion. Anticipating the death...

Coping Skills

Understanding Antisocial Personality Disorder

The name “Antisocial” does not adequately explain the disorder.  It is similar to calling an aggressively trained pit bull, an unfriendly puppy.  The former names of psychopath or sociopath are much more understandable and create a more immediate comprehension.  Since APDs (Antisocial Personality Disorder) tend not to care too much about what other people think, this name is not likely the result of political correctness.

So what is APD?  Here is the technical...