Driving to Death

Taking the long way through trauma Why do trauma victims re-experience their trauma in flashbacks and nightmares? We need some help from Freud to explain. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Freud noted that, in their dreams, flashbacks, and patterns of behavior, trauma victims compulsively repeated their horrible experiences as if they were happening in theContinue reading “Driving to Death”

Create Problem-Free Zones

When Problems Take Over a Relationship If you’ve been hurt and a Problem has taken over your relationship, there’s plenty that you can do, other than succumb to the Problem yourself. Just because your boyfriend wants to get stinking drunk every time he goes out, doesn’t mean you have to clean him up when heContinue reading “Create Problem-Free Zones”

Is Your Doctor Going the Way of the Family Farm?

I used to be a farmer. I should say, I used to be a farmer the way farmers used to be. I raised pigs, chickens, goats, and cows. I tried to raise ducks and geese, but they flew away. I had a quarter acre garden and grew acres of buckwheat and corn. I helped theContinue reading “Is Your Doctor Going the Way of the Family Farm?”

Feed the Person, Starve the Problem

One Halloween when I was a kid, I came home from trick-or-treating with a plastic pumpkin full of chocolate. My mouth had been watering ever since the second doorbell, but my costume prohibited taking an early snack. As soon as I got home, the mask came off, and I had my first piece of chocolate.Continue reading “Feed the Person, Starve the Problem”

When Problems Take Over a Relationship

Even when people are firing on all cylinders, relationships can be tricky. When there’s a persistent problem, like an illness or an addiction in the mix, they can be impossible. Persistent problems can be the source of much harm. The alcoholic you can’t rely on. The gambler you can’t trust with money. The depressive whoContinue reading “When Problems Take Over a Relationship”

Combat Veterans and Fireworks

Tip toeing around PTSD The neighborhood where I live has its own Facebook page where people post announcements and searches for lost cats. Last year, about this time, a post appeared from a neighbor who said he was an Iraq War veteran. Fireworks triggered his PTSD, he said, so could we please refrain from shootingContinue reading “Combat Veterans and Fireworks”

How Normal is Abnormal?

Just how common are mental health problems? According to researchers following more than a thousand New Zealanders for 35 years, they’re extremely common. By age 38, they say, 83% have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their lives; in most cases, a mild depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder. Also,Continue reading “How Normal is Abnormal?”