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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

General

The Unfortunate Connection Between Lyme Disease and Mental Illness


Carol has been a patient of mine for over five years. We have walked through some of the most difficult times in her life as she dealt with her failing marriage and then divorce, a move, significant career changes, undiagnosed medical issues, and co-parenting teenagers.

Yet during our discussions, there was an undercurrent of, “I don’t feel right.” Her feelings were understandable given her life circumstances. But when life settled down, her complaints of pain, stress,...

General

9 Ways to Manage an Anxious Person


Veronica was looking forward to coming home, having a glass of wine, and watching the latest episode of her current binge. Work was particularly difficult today with two key employees on vacation, an extra crisis project, and a demanding client. She called home to let her husband and kids know that all she wanted to do was unwind and watch something mindless.

But as soon as she got in the front door, she could feel the...

General

7 Indicators of a Narcissistic Friend


Dawn ran into the grocery store to grab a few things after a long day of work when she bumped into a friend. “Where have you been? It’s so good to see you?” her friend inquired.

“You know … work, family, kids. We’ve been so busy lately,” Dawn quickly replied while knowing that what she said was wrong. Unable to examine it at that moment she put the thought out of her head until she was...

General

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?


It is normal to feel anxious when traffic goes from 60 mph to a screeching halt in seconds. Or when your child’s school gets lock downed for some local police activity. Or when the credit card bill is larger than expected. These are anxious moments and feeling anxiety is not unusual.

However, Maranda’s anxiety didn’t stop even after the anxious moment ended. Instead, it escalated. When the traffic picked-up again, she stayed at high alert convinced...

General

15 Common Causes of Depression


“Depressed” is a combination of ‘de’ which means down and ‘press’ which is to flatten. Thus the meaning is a deep flattening down. It is stronger than sadness which is a short-term condition. Rather, depression lasts for a notable period of time and is present regardless of surroundings, people, lifestyle, and abilities. Contrary to some pop-psychology, depression is not a sign of weakness, a lack of purpose, not living in the moment, or an unstable...

General

3 Common Brainwashing Myths


Brainwashing can happen to anyone, in any place, and at any time. This is not the extreme type of brainwashing commonly spoken about with prisoners of war. Rather, it happens in everyday circumstances, to very intelligent people, in the safest of places, in amounts so incremental that they are hardly recognizable. Whenever a person puts aside their own safety in favor of another person or organization, there is a potential for mild to severe brainwashing....

General

Narcissists and Their Flying Monkeys


Art imitates life and so it is with “Flying Monkeys”. The term was coined from the movie “The Wizard of Oz” in which the Wicked Witch dispatches monkeys to fly and get Dorothy and her dog. The monkeys obey her command, doing her dirty work for her, taunting and terrorizing Dorothy as she tries in vain to get back home. And so it is with narcissists and their flying monkeys.

As if a magical spell has...

General

Why Some People are Naturally Attracted to Narcissists


After her second failed marriage, and several dysfunctional relationships in between, Jamie began to see a pattern. She would fall quickly and deeply into the new relationship eagerly believing that this person was “the one”. Her emotional attachment would be so strong that she lost view of herself and often put aside her personal boundaries. This led to her missing key red flags about her new mate, even going so far as to put herself...

Family

Growing Up in the Shadow of a Narcissist


Marie’s first response to her therapist when asked about her childhood was “It was fine, my dad was perfect”. Now, this statement is gold for a therapist and begs to be mined further. After indulging Marie in the perfect father fantasy for a few minutes, the therapist took things on a different approach and asked about her mother. Marie described her as highly anxious, a bit of an alcoholic, stressed for no apparent reason, and...

Coping Skills

The Portrait of a Cult: NXIVM


The self-help organization called NXIVM was founded by Keith Raniere who was found guilty of numerous charges including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and attempted sex trafficking. NIXIVM was a front for the secret DOS organization in which women were slaves, branded with Keith’s initials, and told to make self-incriminating videos.

These women were professionals with well-named leaders including a nurse, actresses, and an heiress. Several interviews with...