Marie’s 75-year-old husband was losing his memory. At first, he forgot small things. But over time, it progressed to larger, more significant memory problems. He became disoriented and would get lost. A trip to the neurologist brought a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Marie and her family were devastated. But Marie had the hardest job. Day in and day out she took care of her husband who became increasingly disabled. Marie was exhausted and depressed. Not only was she losing the husband she loved and knew, her daily responsibilities of coping with his disability were overwhelming. She felt alone... Read More
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Single Moms and Dads have a rough go, especially over the holidays. Working full time to make ends meets, giving kids the attention they need and deserve, keeping the fridge stocked, nutritious meals on the table (at least some of the time), staying ahead of the laundry, and keeping work demands at bay is exhausting. I have great admiration for single parents that are the custodial parents—they can and do leap tall buildings in a single bound—every day!
While I admire these amazing, capable and competent parents, I also know they have their share of suffering too. Sometimes they try... Read More
I was at a meeting recently where the presenter talked about the importance of creating “goodwill” in the workplace. Some work environments are healthy and positive, where employees and administrators feel supported. But many companies have a work atmosphere that is tense, negative, and unhealthy—even toxic. In these organizations, workers feel negative about their company. They find themselves complaining and feel disengaged. They don’t like going to work.
There are many factors that contribute to both a negative and positive work place. The culture of the organization has a big... Read More
Some years ago, a middle-aged patient of mine, Joe, walked into my office, and pleaded, “Paul, please talk me off the ledge”. He had struggled through a long period of work and relationship disappointments and problems with his youngest daughter. He grew up in a family with domestic violence and verbal abuse. He was at the very lowest I had seen him for a long time. He was experiencing the suffering of clinical depression.
Robin Williams’ recent suicide has brought the spotlight to this painful, but relatively common condition. Dr. Kay Jamison, a well-known psychiatrist, who has... Read More
Today I returned from two weeks of caring for my mother in Florida as she slides towards the natural end of life. In the last two and half months I have been by her side for five weeks. It’s been hard. It’s painful to watch her dwindle, like a candle that is barely flickering, but still lit. I have had the opportunity to hold her hand at 3 a.m. in the morning, as she lay in her hospital bed at home, short of breath, frightened, waiting for the liquid morphine to work that I dropped under her tongue. I have been able to give her comfort in this final chapter of her life. I have been able to... Read More