THE NATION IS GRIEVING

I happened to see Deepak Chopra on a news show this morning. He was bring interviewed about COVID and said that he believes the nation is grieving. So startled, I stopped walking to listen to the rest of what he had to say about that. I know about grief and grieving, have had my fair share, but it never occurred to me that the nation is grieving. I thought, dissolving, having a collective nervous breakdown, using violence as a coping mechanism, and being submissive trying to survive fear itself, but not grieving. Yes, I thought, that’s right, the nation is grieving. It is going through all of the stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In other dire situations, the stages of grief aren’t linear, and they can overlap. The nation is grieving for itself, no matter what you believe, no one is getting what they want, no one. Before I saw that news clip, I was going to write about despair, and how difficult it is and has been these past months, how in the beginning, we thought it would be over maybe not sooner but for sure later. No one could imagine being quarantined for six...

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DURING THE TIME OF CORONA VIRUS

People are scared, anxious, depressed, feel helpless, feel hopeless. It’s all true. Most of us have been on some type of quarantine for months. We’ve learned to wear masks and talk, to stay six feet away from everyone we’re not living with, and to use tubs of hand sanitizer along with washing our hands frequently. We scour stores looking for toilet paper and paper towels, a box of Kleenex is a real score. We didn’t sign up for this, nor did wet see this coming. We couldn’t have imagined the nightmare we’re living through, but like all nightmares, no matter how horrible they are, eventually they are over, we put them away and try not to look back. We go on, shaken up, having learned a new way to live, learning things about ourselves we didn’t know before we were called to courage, hope, faith, and a whole lot of grit to get from the first announcement of a world pandemic to where we are today. Instead of reading a Steven King novel that scares us witless, we feel like we’re inside of a Steven King novel, unable to find our way back out of those pages of life that...

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ANXIETY IN THE AGE OF CORONAVIRUS

On December 10, 2009, the CDC reported an estimated 50 million Americans or 1 in 6 people had been infected with the 2009 A H1N1 Virus, and 10,000 Americans had died, by which time the vaccine was beginning to be widely distributed to the general public by several states. H1N1, also called the Swine flu, was the last time the world had a pandemic. It began in the spring of 2009. Today we have a vaccination to help protect us against H1N1. Maybe you're wondering why I'm talking about the Swine flu when I'm supposed to be writing about the Coronavirus. I am because, at the time of the Swine flu, I purchased one box of Tamiflu for every member of my family. I was so anxious I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. I alternated between planning my funeral (bad) or one of my children or grandchildren's funerals (much worse). The tab for Tamiflu for all was considerably higher than a luxurious weekend at a ski resort. I didn't care. I couldn't bear the thought of losing a loved one. Never mind that, had anyone developed the Swine flu, their doctor would have prescribed Tamiflu for...

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Ever Wonder if You’re Losing Your Mind?

Most people do from time to time or feel some version of the same. Another version is believing you have an undiagnosed condition that's killing you but no doctor can figure out what it is. Chances are that's because it's psychological and not physical. That's because some counseling could help you, with getting some support and empathy, with having someone on your team, getting good suggestions and ideas for areas of your life you're finding are a struggle right now. Check out this article. You'll enjoy reading about what the differences are between insanity and other forms of distress. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/am-i-crazy#2

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The Value of Sadness

This is a very interesting talk that resonates with my observations over more than than twenty-five years as a therapist, that humans don't seem to grow emotionally without some form of pain or anxiety. So, when you're struggling with something it's likely that you're also growing. The talk also discusses sadness as opposed to anger or violence bringing people closer to each other. In my office I educate people to say what they need to say coming from the place of sadness or pain and not from anger, which is adrenaline dumped into the body as a way to get out of pain. Sometimes that's important but when attempting to communicate strong emotions with another it's pretty useless. Follow this link for the entire talk by Courtney Stephens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8li-3pRrA5Y

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HOLIDAY BLUES OR SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER?

This is the time of year when it gets dark earlier and the skies are gray and it's raining or snowing or it's freezing outside or any combination of these. During and after the holidays many people feel depressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes it's because they're lonely and wish they had people to spend the holidays with and sometimes it's because people are trying to accomplish a lot while they continue to tend to their already busy schedule, trying to buy presents on a budget for everyone they would like to give a gift to or because, in their enthusiasm, they put way too much on their credit cards and now they're trying to figure out how to get them paid along with the bills. So there there are factors like weather, holidays, and money that do create stress and sometimes depression. However, there is another type of depression that occurs during winter months. It's caused by having fewer daylight hours and fewer sunny hours. This condition is referred to as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. I'm going to put a paragraph in this article that I've quoted from a Medscape article about this type of depression and also give credit...

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