In his thoughtful Op-Ed from The New York Times, psychotherapist Avi Klein reflects on the men who come to him for therapy. He says many are grappling with “layers of […]
In contemporary culture, as portrayed in commercials for pharmaceuticals, family members are portrayed as bystanders to suffering, having to “manage” the symptoms of their bi-polar loved one, or “suffer” the effects of the depressed person’s symptoms or behavior. But families, couples, all of us, can unwittingly get stuck in patterns, sometimes destructive patterns, of which we are unaware. Those patterns can cause distress in ourselves and others, which can show up as a “symptom” in one person. This is rarely intentional, more a product of the tricky, powerful and subtle nature of relationship dynamics.
Eating disorders are no exceptions. Most of the clinical writing and popular assumptions about anorexia and other eating disorders note that these conditions are characterized by the need for individual “control”. There’s truth to this. But if you expand the lens to include the family, you learn a lot about what this “control” can look like.
From today’s New York Times: “Long-term use of antidepressants is surging in the United States, according to a new analysis of federal data by The New York Times. Some 15.5 […]
Depression is not a straightforward problem; it typically doesn’t yield to straightforward solutions. Here Dave consults on a case of an elderly depressed woman. His seemingly crazy intervention brings surprising results. Enjoy.
Women who feel depressed often see this as a purely personal struggle, believing they have a “chemical imbalance”. They may feel burdened and alone, and responsible and/or guilty for their depression.
In fact, depression is rarely a simple personal affair. Most often, the roots of depression can be found in that person’s intimate relationship sphere, where important parts of our happiness/unhappiness live. Here’s one woman’s story of how she moved from depression to owning her own power.
We have become a nation of fixers. We want to fix stuff as soon as its broken, including our moods. We don’t have much tolerance for ambiguity, or lack of resolution. Or emotional pain. What’s the problem with that, you might ask? Because often our attempt to “fix” our moods, or our pain, ends up making the problem worse, or more long-lasting. Here’s another way to do it.
We all know about Family Group Psychosis. We just never had a name for it. Check out Dave Keith’s description of that heightened state of (often disguised) insanity that occurs around important holidays–like Christmas–and significant events, like weddings. Here he tells us about a madcap clinical case where Family Group Psychosis led to a woman’s surprising transformation.
Many doctors feel under pressure to prescribe medications to patients with even moderate anxiety or depression. But it doesn’t have to be that way: Here’s a case of a physician with courage and imagination who takes an unexpected path to help her patient.
In this post, Dave shares his clinical story about a young woman with severe depression and her recovery, without the use of medications. It again reminds us about the power of relationship, and the power of creative caring.
“Chemical Imbalance” has become a generally accepted way to think about psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. But David Keith offers another perspective: In fact, emotional problems may be a sign of mental health.
While it’s always tricky to try to understand how someone becomes an alcoholic, stories from patients “in recovery” reveal some patterns. In this post, we get a glimpse into a couple’s therapy, where we learn what “pre-alcoholism” looks like. It can tell us a lot about some of the ingredients that go into making an alcoholic.
In our current pharmaceutical-based culture, we forget that how we feel, our “moods” are strongly shaped by relationship dynamics. This holds true even for depression. Here’s a case that shows how this works.
This Family Medicine hospital consultation involved a mute patient who had just had her leg amputated. The hospital staff was angry at her. Then this young doctor took the time to learn what was going on and everything changed.
Dr. Dave on How To Love Your Very Self: He shares his reflections on how we lose our self-love and how to get it back.
How Mental Distress Can Masquerade as Disease: Here’s a live case story which shows how grief can manifest as abdominal pain.
In this session from “The Mean Dad” (first installment on 12/4/16), the wife reveals the source of her resentment toward her husband.