Identifying Mental And Emotional Abuse – Part 2



Last week, we left off with signs of mental and emotional abuse. Symptoms like attacking the victim’s self-esteem, control on the person, and displaying accusations without basis. For this blog, more signs will be revealed, signs that you might think is normal, but in reality, it is already abuse.

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Helping Someone In Grief

The experience of grief is different for everyone, and it has no timetable. Grieving, however, is a necessary part of the coping and healing processes. — Jacqueline Pearce, MSEd, MHC

Dealing with the death of a loved one is always challenging emotionally, and it can take a significant amount of time to reach the stage of acceptance and rebuild a life with a “new normal.” However, when the loss is abrupt and unexpected or accompanied by violence and horror, the impact is intense to the bereaved cognitive, physical, psychological and emotional status. These past few years, the world has seen various events that can be categorized as horrifying and senseless death such as mass shootings, terroristic activities, plane crashes, massive vehicular accidents and natural disasters like hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes. Whenever we are put in a situation where we can provide support to bereaved family, friends, and coworker who has been affected by the sudden loss.  It is ideal to take note of the facts about the effects of sudden and unexpected death to the loved ones left behind and how to help them deal with this type of tragedy.


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Identifying Mental And Emotional Abuse – Part 1



Abuse can come in many forms, not all being apparent and physically visible. Mental and emotional abuse is a more nefarious kind of abuse since it’s very hard for others and even yourself or the person being abused to detect when you are in the midst of it.

Abuse of this kind seeks to frighten, isolate, and control a victim and is enacted through an abuser’s words and actions (that are not directly physical). The persistence of these actions to reinforce the abuse is a common trait of emotional abuse and is usually done by someone close to the victim like a lover, spouse, or family member.

Emotional abuse can be every bit as devastating to individuals and relationships as physical and sexual abuse. And the pain of experiencing emotional abuse can be heightened when you feel unsure whether what you are experiencing is normal or okay. —  Betsy Smith, MEd, LPC-S

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Gender Dysphoria:  Not Just About Being Gay Or Lesbian Says Therapist

What is Gender Dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder is the distress an individual experiences because of feeling uncomfortable with the physical or assigned gender and the gender with which they identify themselves with.  They also feel uncomfortable and troubled with the likely role they have to take with their assigned gender.

The general population views sex/gender as binary categories—male/masculine and female/feminine. In contrast, some scholars and activists argue that both sex and gender extend along a continuum. — David Ludden Ph.D.


Gender Dysphoria In Childhood

Confusion or gender conflict affects some individuals, especially children, in different ways.   It may change the way a person wants to express himself and can influence the way he behaves, he dresses, and the way he portrays his self-image.

One couple with a transgender boy told their story that at age two, their son would refuse to toilet train unless they buy him boxers.  He would refuse to be called in his female name but preferred a boy’s name.   They felt troubled by this, but they accepted and respected their child’s decision to be a boy, no matter what other people would say to them.


After their child’s social transition, they claimed that his life blossomed and their anxiety about his coming to puberty escalated.   They said that it’s a long and challenging journey to parent a transgender child.  They had him see a therapist to guide him, and that made a significant impact on their son’s life, who now is living a happy, well-adjusted life.

But it is a different case for Tony, now an adult, who was not accepted by his family when he tried to tell them about his struggle at a young age of nine, and out of fear of his strict father, he decided to suppress his true feelings.  Although he tried to do his best for his father to accept him, he still can’t come out in the open.   He even got married after college just to please his father.  But despite having an almost perfect family, deep inside he was not happy because he was suppressing his true identity.  He felt depressed because the way he was living did not match the way he felt inside.  He was always thinking about how his life would be better if he could live as a female, that whenever his wife was not around, he would try on her clothes.

Recent evidence indicates that thalates from plastic and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are one of many factors predicting gender dysphoria, particularly in the case of male-to-female transgenders. — Nigel Barber Ph.D.

Living an upsetting, unhappy life, he sought treatment from a therapist to whom he can be honest about his life plans.   He talked about how much he desired to be the opposite gender but was afraid to upset his father.  Sharing his life with his therapist, he became more sure about becoming a woman, and he began to tell his closest friends about it and even requested them to address him as “she.”  ‘

She is now in the process of working things out with his mental health provider and preparing herself to have the courage to tell her wife.   She started her hormone treatment but has no plan of having surgery.


Acceptance And Respect

People with gender dysphoria are living in a confusing world, and they are in conflict with themselves and the people around them.   Feeling unaccepted and unrespected cause them to be depressed, unhappy, and some even reach the point of contemplating suicide.

The family must be the first one to understand their ordeal.   Studies have shown that children who are experiencing gender dysphoria recover faster and can live a happier and fuller life when the family shows support than those who are hiding in the closet.


A few very misguided clinicians (and families) have attempted to “cure” a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity with things like aversion therapy and labeling the individual as a sex addict (as a way to explain his or her “abnormal” feelings and behaviors). Again, these tactics are nearly always both harmful and counterproductive. — Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW

There are some with gender dysphoria who are satisfied with just doing cross-dress, some want to socially transition, and there are those who want to consider medical options with sex-exchange surgery or hormone treatment.  Socially transitioning includes use of affirmed gender’s pronouns and bathrooms.

Not all individuals who experience gender dysphoria want to have gender reassignment.  Some are fighting for their right to dress the way they want without being judged, to be supported, and treated fairly and equally, and to be accepted by their family and the society with which they belong.

Gender dysphoria is not just about being gay or lesbian says a therapist, but more about being able to come out in the open freely, be accepted and not be judged because they choose a gender they are not born with.


Effects Of Prolonged Emotional Abuse – Part 2 (How To Recover)



Although it is most often thought of in terms of intimate partner relationships, emotional abuse can occur in other types of relationships as well. Parent-child relationships, for example, can be marked by emotional abuse, sometimes continuing well into adulthood. —  Betsy Smith, MEd, LPC-S

Last week, short term and long term effects of emotional abuse were discussed. This week, it will be about recovery, but before that, a word of advice.

Woman, you are beautiful and precious in your way. You must not let any man use and abuse you physically, mentally, psychologically, and emotionally. Phenomenal woman, that’s you – said Maya Angelou. Remember that.

Continue reading “Effects Of Prolonged Emotional Abuse – Part 2 (How To Recover)”

Effects Of Prolonged Emotional Abuse – Part 1



“You are such a stupid woman.”

“Useless piece of crap, that’s what you are.”

“Worthless wife.”

“Can’t you do anything right?”

These are just some of the words women hear from their husbands, partners, or boyfriends, and yet, they silently accept it. True – words cannot create a physical wound. It can do more than that, for it harms a woman’s heart, mind, and, soul.

Continue reading “Effects Of Prolonged Emotional Abuse – Part 1”

Skateboarding To Recover From Addiction


I have a friend named Joe, who used to struggle with drug addiction, regardless of how many therapists he has seen or how many forms of counseling he has attended. It was like a recurring pattern for him. Joe would tell his family that he wanted to turn a new leaf, then they would ask for referrals from psychologists. Joe could go to therapy for four or five times before feeling the withdrawal symptoms. After that, the drugs would lure him again until such time that he sort of feels awakened and wants to start over again.

In hopes of helping Joe and his family, I looked for alternative ways to recover from addiction. One story I found was that of Tyler Conley, a 24-year-old man in Minnesota who got addicted to opioids at 15. He struggled with treatment as well, but things had gotten better than ever for him when he rekindled his love for skateboarding. Even though he’s not 100% free from the withdrawal symptoms, Tyler can now deal with them without wanting to retake opioids.

If you are like my friend Joe who seems to be in a never-ending battle with drugs, here are some skateboards to buy if you want to try skateboarding to recover from addiction.


Powell Golden Dragon Flying Dragon Complete Skateboard

High praises for Golden Dragon for being able to create a skateboard that is as good as this one. The people who have been skateboarding for decades now have undoubtedly come across some of the finest and grubbiest boards out there. However, this Powell Golden Dragon Flying Dragon Complete Skateboard is one of the best things that you can acquire.

Fans of anything artsy will think that the fire-breathing dragon at the bottom of the maple deck is quite a beauty. Also, you don’t have to worry about the design becoming scratched whenever you go to rocky terrains because it was screen-printed. Its treaded wheels are so firm and efficient, and its grip is fantastic. Anyone can’t help but enjoy the feeling of riding it even when there are bumps on the road.

Zoo York Blue Print Heritage Complete Skateboard

Professional skateboarders love its speed while the beginners are in awe of the stability and durability of this complete skateboard.


What you may admire about Zoo York Blue Print Heritage is that the whole thing can give that feeling that it’s as if you are back in the old days. You know, when skateboarding is just starting to become a big hit. After all, its brand name, Zoo York, is written on every free space of the board, even on its wheels. Furthermore, it does resemble a rolling blueprint with all those markings and lines on it.

It has an incredible grip as well. Even when the rider moves too much on top of it, you will not fall off of it. The trucks’ soft cushioning is after the heart of any skateboarder who wants to move from one direction to another quickly. Whenever you use it, you will almost not need to exert much effort to angle it to the path where you are heading because it is not too difficult to control.

Its hard-rock maple deck is so strong as well that it’s not necessary to get a spare board anytime soon. You will see that it can hold itself on its own with all the hard kickflips and grinds that you may do with this skateboard.


Shaun White Supply Co. Street Complete Skateboard

This cool-looking Shaun White Supply Co. Street Complete Skateboard with a left hand with full six fingers that kind of shows the “Winner” symbol on the deck can genuinely catch your attention. It is made of hard rock maple and more than strong enough to bear any weight.

Aside from being useful if you need to go to school, you may adore how smooth and how fast it glides. Some people said that when they used it the first time on the street park to hang out with their friends, they managed to outrun them with it. Now, they are so jealous of the fact that they own a Shaun White Supply Co. Street Complete Skateboard.

Let me tell you that this skateboard is the real deal for professional and intermediate skateboarders alike. You will be able to feel that you can ride and get off of it still very much alive. Its bearings are designed for more speed; it has aluminum trucks that firmly and effectively grind on when you skateboard. The grip tape can correctly hold your feet on the maple deck as well.

Final Thoughts

Skateboarding to recover from addiction is not the most bizarre thing you can try. Besides, if it’s going to help you get better, you should go for it.

Good luck!

Why Seeing A Psychologist Is Good For Your Physical Health

People who endorse the belief that they can circumvent obstacles that get in the way of their goals are more successful. Not because of magical abilities or thoughts. More simply, people with “pathways thinking” access their mental energy more readily and devote greater effort to pursue the goals that they care about. — Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D.

Many of us turn to a psychologist when we struggle with mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety. This profession provides us with guidance, teaching us proper ways to cope and deal with our problems. However, it’s not just good for our mental well-being. Psychologists can also assist us in improving our physical health in various ways. Let’s take a look at how.

Promotes A Healthy Lifestyle


When we think about psychologists, we often see them as people who help us overcome psychological and emotional distress. Aside from these things, they also provide us with guidance in other aspects of our lives. There are those who assist us in finding our career path, those who assess work environment and needs, and those who help us understand ourselves better.

No matter what they specialize in, they’re likely to lead us to a healthier lifestyle through positive practices. Clinical psychologists, for instance, help us manage our psychological distress. They do this by developing a treatment plan for us. Their plan for us can include getting more sleep, exercising, and eating healthier. In turn, these activities improve our physical well-being. Sleep allows our body to repair itself, exercise releases hormones that make us happy, and a balanced diet keeps us healthy. It’s about staying on track with things that help us both mentally and physically.

Keeps You Away From Harmful Habits


Many of us deal with our problems through harmful coping mechanisms such as binge drinking, smoking, and reckless thrill-seeking behavior. Psychologists don’t just help us start good practices. One of the things that they do is to help you break from harmful habits.

Staying away from these activities is a positive thing for our physical health. Smoking damages the lungs and can lead to several illnesses such as bronchitis, emphysema, and cancer. Drinking can make us dependent on alcohol and cause liver cirrhosis, fibrosis, or alcoholic hepatitis. Being inebriated can also put us in harm’s way. Many thrill-seeking activities can be risky and dangerous, which can physically harm us.

Your most important mission is staying true to your own internal compass since that is what you end up living in the long run. — Teyhou Smyth Ph.D., LMFT

Helps You Express Your Emotions

People tend to give more attention to IQ and forget the importance of EQ. What many of us don’t know is that our emotions can also physically affect us. Our body responds differently to specific emotions. When we’re angry, our blood pressure rises. Likewise, sadness can bring about stress, which in turn affects our hormone levels. With severe anxiety, digestive problems such as indigestion, constipation, and hyperacidity can come about.

Thankfully, we can learn to avoid these symptoms by seeing a psychologist. They’ll teach us that negative feelings such as anger and grief are not inherently evil. We have to learn how to manage and handle our emotions better. They can also help us find underlying problems that cause such feelings and reactions. Once we can control what we feel, we also avoid the harm they can cause to our physical health.

Lowers Your Risk Of Developing Illnesses


While having poor physical health can deteriorate your mental health, the reverse is also true. For instance, those with depression often have poor sleeping patterns. The lack of rest means our body doesn’t have enough time to repair itself for the next day. Over time, sleep deprivation puts you at a higher risk of developing heart disease and experiencing a heart attack.

Depression can also mean skipping meals or loss of appetite, which keeps us from getting the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Malnutrition lowers our immune system and impairs brain function, making us more prone to severe illnesses.

Physicians can help patients feel less alienated by working collaboratively with psychologists who think about the illness experience from a comprehensive and multi-faceted perspective. — Mary-Joan Gerson Ph.D.


Both physical and mental health are parts of our overall well-being. They are linked and worked hand-in-hand with each other. They’re a two-way street, with both affecting the other both positively and negatively. It is the reason why it’s essential for us to remember not to neglect either one of the aspects. Seeking help from a professional can help us develop better habits, break away from negative ones, learn to manage our emotions, and lower our risk of diseases.

Just like how our physicians can help our physical health improve our mental wellness, seeing a psychologist to improve our state of mind can make us keep fit – body and mind.

Why You Need To Give Up Porn Addiction



Pornography is an ordinary part of every person’s life. Both genders can find it exciting and entertaining at the same time. It exists for ages, and a lot of people openly accept it as human’s way of identifying, learning, and fascinating themselves. However, too much of it seems to be a clinical problem. There are instances that porn addiction somehow leads to anxiety, depression, and other psychological illnesses as well. With that, let’s talk about some of the reasons why there is a need for giving up porn for good.

Regardless of its level of engagement to things that trigger sexual desire, people would say that the addiction to porn is not a bad thing. Honestly, (just for the benefit of the doubt), porn does not hurt anybody, it does not create emotional and mental torture to anyone, and it doesn’t bring sadness to those who are not interested in it. Therefore, every one of us can agree that it is only a habit one chooses to have. However, a few things happen when you indulge yourself in too much pornography.

Porn addiction develops much like a drug addiction. After an initially rewarding experience with pornography…, individuals may experience uncontrollable urges to obtain sexual satisfaction through that form of entertainment. — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.

Over Stimulation

Porn addicts become over stimulated. Sometimes, they even watch multiple screens of pornographic scenes only to gain visual satisfaction. The action is very compulsive that they find themselves wanting it more. With that, they usually have a hard time searching for the right clip, video, or visual representation that will give them the desire to become a novelty-driven individual. So there is a need to look for quite good enough scenes that can stimulate their physiological function.


For many individuals with a sex addiction, there is an attempt to seek connectedness through the sexual act, without having to connect on an emotional level. — Wendy Salazar, MFT

Denies A Healthy Relationship

As much as all individuals want to believe that porn is a significant factor that contributes to the relationship, particularly sex life, it doesn’t. A lot of people think that it can improve intimacy. But the truth is, it doesn’t. It only locks the person into having an idea that sex is something incomplete without full arousal and thrill. He views the “basics” of sexual intercourse as a representation of an unhealthy relationship because it’s doesn’t support a mentally dirty and kinky act.

Penetration-Focused Practice

Porn has a desensitizing capability where it can make someone believe that it is an excellent way of pleasuring one’s self. There’s this mentality that even though a person only watches some clips of pornographic scenes on the screen, it fulfills the sexual desire. But in reality, porn only promotes a penetration-focused practice. Meaning, there’s entirely no sensation in it at all. It takes away a lot of the natural aspects of intimacy. These include touching, feeling, caressing, kissing, foreplay, hugging, and holding. Therefore, when you watch porn, you won’t care about anything and will only fast-forward everything right at the end of the action.


Pornographic Dependency

Watching porn for the first time can give everybody a one-time unexplained chill and excitement. That’s practically normal for physical and psychological stimuli to react. However, when there is too much indulgement over time, it becomes impossible to remove it instantly. You’ll then realize that you become reliant on it. There’s always this itch inside that pushes you to watch and get on it. There’s a constant seeking for it that entirely wants you to mentally and psychically release it all out.

Keep in mind the risk may be extremely small when they learn the skills of developing true trust, emotional intimacy, and interdependency with others. — Sam Louie MA, LMHC

Reflection On Respect

Pornographic videos, clips, and images can potentially stay forever with the help of the internet. However, your age doesn’t. Therefore, one thing you might accomplish when watching too much porn is having a reflection of respect.  Because the older you get, the more you’ll realize that the porn actors you will be viewing are more likely young individuals. Perhaps it doesn’t hit you when you were the same as their age. But when you get older, and you tend to watch these “kids” doing it, you will recognize that it doesn’t quite feel right at some point.

There are reinforcing and positive things that can eventually happen when you decide to give up porn. As long as you don’t take these bad signs lightly, you will be able to make way for great adjustments. That goes not only for the benefit of your sex life but for your overall human experience as well. Again, porn is not a bad thing. But getting addicted to it is.

Moms, Depression, And Anxiety: How To Help Your Children And Yourself


Being the light of the home, the mood of the mother will always take a toll on the whole family’s general aura. When she’s in proper disposition, everything is okay. But if it is the other way around because of depression and anxiety, then, you can expect that something would be glitchy in the family dynamics.

When a mother is depressed or anxious, everything would be in chaos. Being withdrawn, always tired, irritable and unreasonable are just some of the many indicators of depression and anxiety. However, not everybody can see that these are signs of said disorders. Eventually, theories on why the mother had suddenly changed would come in and create some devastating issues that could tear the family apart. That is why it is essential that the mothers should be open on how she feels so that the others could help out if they could. Or get professional help if they deem to see that the mother’s condition is beyond their understanding.

The parents should also be careful in relaying the message to their kids. Children, at a young age, could not comprehend the depths of depression. Thus, it should be explained to them in a very delicate way for them to understand. And always make sure to reassure the kids that their mother can overcome the condition.


A Mother’s Depression And Anxiety Influences A Child’s Behavior

Some studies show that, indeed, the mother’s present mood can directly affect the children. That is why when the mother is in depression, it is very alarming since it can change the children as well. Research revealed that kids develop these emotional and behavioral problems especially if their mother has a mental condition like depression or anxiety.

Women are more prone to depression starting from the day she delivered the child. Postpartum depression can take place and may continue as she struggles on her new role as a mother. The transition is not that easy; thus she undergoes an unusual route and in the end, would be very depressed. This is especially true if the woman’s partner is not that supportive or is out of the picture. And this depression would be in her for years up until the developmental years of the child.

If this is the case, mothers should speak up to the people around her or get medical attention to overcome this condition. This is a need and a must for the sake of the child.

Develop a healthy communication structure by providing honest feedback and recognition of skills. — Teyhou Smyth Ph.D., LMFT

Open Dialogue

Being bluntly open about the condition to the child can also be of help. Candy coating it would be no good. But telling what the situation is all about to a child may be shocking and confusing at first, but in the long run, he would learn to cope up with it.

This is true to all ages. When a child is aware of his mother’s condition, he has this tendency to make things better for the mother. He would do things that could lift the mood like comforting, hugging and even kissing the mother. As young as they may be, they can understand what is going on with their parent.


 Illness means that symptoms alter relationships, sense of self, and the possibility of future planning. What illness means to a patient is deeply impacted by how dependence was tolerated, and care and support were offered throughout the patient’s life. — Mary-Joan Gerson Ph.D.

Ask For Help

Once the symptoms surface, it is best to act on it at once. Ask for help. Identify the people who can help you out, initiate action and get help immediately. Time is of the essence here. Once you take it for granted or set it aside for a while, it could root into more complications that could ruin the relationship between the child and the mother.

Depression On Fathers

Depression occurrence in women is high compared to that of men. But when depression strikes on the fathers, this, also, should not be taken for granted for it can affect the family as well.

If mothers have this postpartum depression, fathers have this perinatal depression. This kind of depression takes place when the father gets frustrated while trying to understand his partner’s postpartum depression. This kind of depression may not have a significant number on the charts, but it does exist.

The good thing is that there are group supports for this. These groups will help the fathers sort out their current emotional and psychological state; help further understand the new situation. Same is also right with mothers.

The body has innate intelligence and grounding in nature, and once we become skilled at accessing our inner wisdom, we may be able to awaken an impressively wiser aptitude, which can allow our hearts and nature to provide an organic inner compass for our next best step(s) forward. —  Michael Picucci, PhD, MAC, SEP

With these findings, it can be said that the root cause of depression amongst parents has to do with parenting. And studies revealed that such dilemma takes place mainly on new parents who are still in shock with the changes and their new roles.

Depression should be combatted. Whatever kind it may be, setting it aside does no good to the person. The effect can be damaging and even fatal in some severe cases. Thus, it is always recommended to seek help at once.