Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Embarrassed? Do You Do This?

posted by Linda Mintle

supriseYou walk in to a room full of co-workers and trip.

Everyone stops what they are doing and stares at you for what seems like hours. You are embarrassed. Really, you just tripped through the door in front of your peers!

How to you cope with this? New research may have some surprising answers!

Do you…

A) Laugh nervously

B) Reach for a pair of sun glasses

C) Go buy face cream at a store

ANSWER: A surprising all of the above. Sure, the nervous laughter we all understand. But sunglasses and face cream?

Researchers at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto looked at how people coped with embarrassment. Because the subjects were Asian, they were especially interested in this idea of losing and saving face.  What they found was that people who felt embarrassed were more likely to buy large, dark sunglasses as a symbolic way to cover that embarrassment.

In a second study, the subjects wrote about an embarrassing story and then were given a list of products to buy. They selected products that concealed and restored their faces. That’s right, face creams to restore the face.

So when embarrassed, you can lose face (put on those large, dark sunglasses) or save face (apply the face cream)!

Hmmm. gives a whole new meaning to the phrase!

The Dangers of a Sexless Marriage

posted by Linda Mintle

coupleAaron and Holly were like many couples in the early years of having children. What was once a hot romance between the two of them seemed to fizzle to barely an ember. When they came to see me, they reported not having sex for the past year.  Somehow, in the busyness of their lives, it just happened and they knew this wasn’t a good thing.

The danger of withholding sex is that it births feelings of resentment that can accumulate over time. Touching, conversation, laughing and other ways of connecting dwindle as well. If not attended to, the risk of infidelity and divorce become a reality.

Couples who avoid each other by going to bed at separate times, blame and argue over sex and make excuses for being uninterested are worsening the problem. I’ve heard couples say things like, “You no longer excite me” or “If you would be nicer, maybe I would be more interested.”

The danger in these types of remarks is that they only blame and do not result in a way to resolve the issue. Blaming is criticism and criticism is the first step on that road to emotional distance.

Finally, if you need motivation to get back into a healthy sex life, consider this. Sexual climax has an antidepressant effect. Yes, just like an antidepressant, climax calms the same part of the brain. People who have regular sex tend to be less depressed because that part of the brain is stimulated![1]  Want to improve your mood, have more sex in your marriage. And more than your mood will improve as well!


[1] Men’s health http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/understanding_sex_and_the_brain/Why_Her_Orgasms_are_Like_Paxil.php

 

What Does Anger Do For You?

posted by Linda Mintle

whyOne of the reasons we hold on to anger even when it troubles our relationships is because we think it works for us. We don’t’ like to give up things that serve a purpose.

So ask, what does anger do for me? Is it motivated by some deficiency or a reflexive response to unfair treatment?  If so, will anger bring me the purposes I desire—reconciliation, growth, better relationships and fulfillment in life?

Anger is often used to falsely think we are correcting wrongs. We hold on to the belief that life must be fair in order to cope with the fact that it is not. When we continue to believe and act like life must be fair, we collect a rich supply of injustices that only fuel anger.

Sometimes anger serves the purpose of self-pity. Anger is a strategy to manipulate others to feel sorry for us. So we complain and hassle people. This backfires in that people don’t want to be around complainers or someone who feels sorry for him/herself.

Anger also serves the purpose of covering vulnerability. Rather than showing the “weaker” side of our emotional lives, people use anger to appear strong. Letting go means being vulnerable.

Anger is also a simple solution to more complex relationship issues. It is a very narrow and rigid way to respond to issues that take time and thought to process and work through.

Whatever function anger serves for you,  be willing to give it up and do things differently. For example, if anger covers your vulnerability, be willing to be vulnerable.

The less dependent you are on anger doing something for you, the better your relationships will be.

Veterans Who Have Paid A Price With TBI and PTSD

posted by Linda Mintle

militaryToday we honor our veterans who have served in our armed forces. Every day we are thankful for the freedom they secured, but today especially, we honor them as a nation.

As we appreciate the service of so many women and men, we realize the personal price paid. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have left approximately 22% of Veterans who fought in combat with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). This is almost double what was experienced in VietNam.

TBI results from blasts, blast plus motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s), MVA’s alone, and gunshot wounds. When a soldier has been exposed to a blast, he/she may experience the post-concussive symptoms for longer than a civilian and have residual symptoms for 18-24 months after the injury.

A tag along disorder is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), previously known as shell shock or battle fatigue. It is a condition experienced after someone has witnessed a trauma, physical event or terror so often seen in war. The reactions of shock, anger, fear, nervousness and guilt can be relived or avoided when something triggers the memory. PTSD can cause a Veteran to be moody, irritable, startle easily and cause problems with sleep, concentration, showing affection and more. Add to PTSD and TBI, chronic pain and substance abuse as potential problems as well.

But there are treatments available through the VA system. There are four  Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers and 21 Polytrauma Network Sites dedicated to treating TBI. Veterans may need ongoing cognitive and vocational rehabilitation, case management, and pharmacological intervention to return to their highest level of function. Treatments that seem to work best with PTSD and TBI include cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure and/or use of medications.If you are a Veteran or know someone who is and needs treatment, contact the VA for help.

Also be aware of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a Department of Defense initiative dedicated to providing cutting edge evaluation, treatment planning, research and education for service members and their families dealing with psychological health issues and TBI. Here is the link. 

And again, thank you for your service!

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