8 Signs It’s Time to Seek Help For Depression

All of us feel depressed from time to time but how can we tell the difference between the blues, a mild depression and a depressive episode that requires outside help? To answer this question, we first need to come to a basic understanding of what depression is.    Depression can either consist of a collection of certain symptoms or a concentration of a few symptoms.  Some of the more common symptoms of depression include: Frequent crying or an overwhelming feeling of sadness, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, self-loathing, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, loss of pleasure in things that used to give you pleasure, anxiety, anger, difficulty concentrating, a lack of interest in things that used to interest you and even thoughts of suicide. The symptoms of the blues usually only lasts a few days.  With a mild depression there are usually breaks in the depressive feelings and oftentimes, the depression can be linked to a specific incident.  In a depressive episode, the duration is much longer with rarely any respite from the symptoms.  Chances are that if you need to seek outside help, you are either experiencing a severe mild depression or a full… Read more »

Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Right for You?

Have you ever paid attention to the chatter or thoughts that go on daily in your mind? If your thoughts  include taking things personally, lots of “should’s” and “ought to’s”, getting stuck on the worst possible case scenario, very black and white thinking, putting yourself at fault if things not in your control turn out wrong or mistaking your feelings for reality than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, just may be the thing for you. These types of thought patterns, or “cognitive distortions” can lead to depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress, low self-esteem as well as a host of other problems that can really have a negative impact on the quality of your life.   Utilizing a cognitive behavioral approach, both you and your therapist will identify the problem areas in your life, look at your thought patterns and emotional beliefs stemming from those thought patterns and develop a plan to reshape negative or inaccurate thinking. How does this help you?  It’s fairly simple but very powerful.  When we can identify and change our inaccurate thinking, our actions and how we deal with the world around us changes in dramatically positive ways.  Thoughts truly are the things that govern our behavior. Cognitive… Read more »

Self Love, A Help For Depression? Easier Said Than Done!

By Susan Menahem, LCSW Clinical Executive Director Did you just roll your eyes when you saw “Self Love” in that title? I’m sure you did. The truth is, we’ve all been told that if we just learn to love ourselves everything will just get better. That’s great information, and not only is it true and a vital aspect in depression treatment, but has anyone ever mentioned to you just how to go about doing it? Randomly deciding one day that you are going to love yourself is nothing short of ridiculous. This isn’t a Nike commercial, you can’t “Just Do It”. Besides, if it were that easy we’d all be engaging in the world’s largest self-lovefest and there would be no need for depression treatment anywhere. Here’s the key to real self-love. It has 3 basic stages and the good news is, after you get good at the first stage, the other two stages happen all on their own. They are actually by-products of the first stage!! The first stage is to understand self-acceptance. Notice I did not say self-approval, I said self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is realizing that you are who you are and you are where you are at this… Read more »

Top 10 Sure Fire Ways To Fix The Intimacy Problems In Your Relationship

By Susan Menahem, LCSW Clinical Executive Director   No matter how long you’ve been together, who doesn’t want the excitement and intoxicating feelings of love, romance and intimacy lingering throughout their relationship? Well, have no fear, because if your relationship romance meter is stalled in the dead zone, I’m here to help you revive it. As a therapist, I can’t tell you how many people come in for couples counseling asking me to help fix the intimacy problems in their relationship, so have no fear, you’re not alone! OK, so here goes, the top 10 sure fire romance spicer- uppers…. Ready? Well, the truth is — I don’t know. Wait a second now, don’t click out just yet. The truth is, I don’t know – but you do! Here’s a story…. I was in a couples therapy session with a couple I’ll call Mary and John. Mary was just beside herself. In an effort to spice up the romance in their relationship, she purchased hundreds of dollars’ worth of lingerie from a very expensive shop. Much to her dismay, John barely noticed. When I asked John about it, he said “Lingerie??? I have never been turned on by a woman… Read more »

50 Shades of Hysteria: Why the Feminist Critique of the Movie ’50 Shades of Grey’ is Erotophobia in Disguise

by Margie Nichols, Ph.D. The Internet has been blowing up about the movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ and most of the commentary I’ve seen is negative. Tracy Scott-Flore wrote a piece in Salon called ’50 Shades of Coercive,’ accusing the movie of contributing to the rape culture, And SFist.com published an article misleadingly called ’50 Adult Stars and Professionals On Why They Hate 50 Shades of Grey’ – misleading because many of them actually liked it and were happy to see BDSM mainstreamed. I had a hard time plowing through the book – not enough sex scenes – and wasn’t planning to see the movie. But overall, I’ve felt the book was great – because 100 million people bought it, most of them women. And tons more women bought sex toys associated with the book, implying they might be trying to make some of their sexual fantasies into reality. Because I’m a feminist and a sex radical who feels that by definition, any erotica that women likes is – feminist. Because I’m a sex therapist who feel women already feel way too much shame about their sexuality and I’m happy to see anything that validates and allows women to express… Read more »

10 Things You Might Not Know about Bisexuality

Bisexuality is widely misunderstood—by heterosexual and gay/lesbian people alike. Here are some things we are beginning to understand about bisexual people. READ MARGIE’S NEW BLOG HERE: “10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT BISEXUALITY”

Facebook’s Fifty Shades Of Gender

by Margie Nichols, Ph.D. Five decades of interaction between “mainstream” and LGBTQ subcultures made Facebook’s much-publicized profile change inevitable. READ MARGIE’S NEW BLOG HERE: “HOW WE ARRIVED AT 50 SHADES OF GENDER OPTIONS ON FACEBOOK”

The Real Treatment Issues for Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Kids

by Margie Nichols, Ph.D. A nuanced, flexible, and tailored treatment approach to gender identity issues in childhood and adolescence is the prudent approach. Read Margie’s latest blog HERE: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/transgender-and-gender-nonconforming-youth-the-real-issues-0414145

Sex Is Queerer Than We Can Imagine—Really

by Margie Nichols, Ph.D. The neatly categorized notions most people apply to sexual orientation, expression, and gender identity may not be inclusive enough. Read the full blog, published on GoodTherapy.org, here!