Originally posted in Psychology Today
“Only in relationship can you know yourself, not in abstraction and certainly not in isolation.”
While alone-time can be a welcome break from the noise of life, a truly wonderful chance to recuperate and concentrate, loneliness is always a downer. We can rationalize away loneliness when we are indeed alone. It seems to be a grounded response. There might even be hope for the future. On the other hand, feeling lonely in the presence of a life partner is the type of loneliness experienced in underground dungeons where “tomorrow” makes little sense. It is painful to feel estranged when looking at the one with whom we share a bed. Coming home full of impressions without being able to (more…)
There are many reasons for feeling disconnected from one another, reasons that many seek to understand in psychotherapy. There may have been trauma in the past, be it in childhood or adulthood, leaving you too scared to stick out your head and risk to be injured again. Even when you have merely learned that revealing your true thoughts and feelings is somehow “wrong” and uncomfortable, you may shy away from connecting with others. (more…)
1. Everyone wants happiness in our lives. The more the merrier they say. How does happiness play a big part of our life?
I am glad you ask. Most people think of happiness as “feeling great” and that’s indeed an experience of which we can never get enough. Happiness is much more to me. It’s my answer to all of life’s questions, miracles, and conundrums. Life goes up and down, and I want to be present with everything it brings. (more…)
According to Leo Tolstoy, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” As a clinician I find the same goes for depression, which may be what Tolstoy meant in the first place. We know depression hurts. It’s not good for us to try to function with a low mood as our effectivity is greatly diminished, not to mention our subjective well-being, overall health, and longevity. But what triggers a depression differs very much from person to person. Loss of a loved one, trauma, stress, childbirth, the feeling of not belonging to a social group or to this world, failure, drugs, a medical condition are just some of the causes. And the way depression unfolds also differs very much from person to person, that is how long and intense our depression is, whether or not it goes hand in hand with anxiety, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, loneliness, sleeplessness, rumination, lack of focus and fulfillment, et cetera. (more…)