Family

The Adolescent Brain- a treacherous frontier

My 10-year-old son is the sweetest, most easy going child. Recently, very occasionally and out of the blue, he has had a few moody days. It has been such a shock to me that I have been carefully listening to my friends and patients to hear what it is like to parent an adolescent. It seems as if most times adolescents are just wonderful. They are passionate, enthusiastic and eager to earn. But parents of adolescents also tell me of the dark side. The times when the teenager is moody, eye rolling and door slamming. When they push boundaries, lie and…

Post Natal Depression (PND) Just how am I supposed to feel after having a baby?

Having a baby is such a joyous, happy time. I am not referring to unwanted pregnancies or extreme situations such as abuse, war or poverty. I am speaking of a child that is very much wanted, within a stable and supportive relationship. Most of the moms in my practice with PND are slightly older. (PND can happen at any age, to any socioeconomic group. In this blog, I am reflecting specifically on the patients in my practice.) They chose to study or establish a career before starting a family.  They might have suffered from depression or anxiety in the past; they may…

Help! My boss is a narcissist!

There are many arrogant, grandiose bosses. When I look at the CEO superstars, it seems as if success in many Western corporations requires some level of self-aggrandisement and ruthless ambition. That does not mean that every jerk boss is a narcissist. Narcissistic personality disorder is a diagnosable entity. Its salient features are a sense of deep entitlement and rage when this entitlement is not met. A narcissistic boss who believes that you are not on their side will make your life a living hell. But it usually does not start at this point. The gift that dealing with personality disorders gives us…

Help! My girlfriend has Borderline Personality Disorder

It’s so easy to fall in love with someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The early stages of the relationship are so passionate and intense. Initially, she adores you and idealises you completely. She is much more vulnerable and creative than the other girls you know. (Men can also have BPD, although it does occur slightly more commonly in women. I could just as easily have entitled this blog: “Help! My boyfriend has BPD”). Very soon though, you are the source of all her pain and suffering. You are everything that is wrong in the world. You are not entirely sure…

Personality disorders (Pd’s) and why we need to know about them

We have all been in situations with people who are toxic. Sometimes it gets out of hand and can cause deep psychological distress or can even be dangerous. The critical and belittling spouse (obsessive- compulsive pd), the girlfriend who manipulates with suicide attempts (borderline pd), the boss whose own advancement is at your cost (narcissistic pd). These kinds of situations are repeatedly set up by the same ten percent of the population. The ten percent who suffer from personality disorders. People with severe personality disorders seem incapable of maintaining honest, mature relationships and seem hell bent on self-serving justifications. Considering the…

Obsessional love- when sacred becomes profane

I am sure that most of us can remember a time when we dipped our toes into the murky waters of love obsession. We would practically stalk the object of our love, hanging around their haunts, in the hope of “bumping” into them. Maybe it was more extreme. Maybe we lost sleep waiting for “that” phone call. It was highly intoxicating and anxiety inducing. Hopefully, age has given us the wisdom and experience of love which is easy and nurtures growth and self-esteem. Through the years I have had a few patients in my practice suffering from the throes of…

Let’s talk about self care- introduction

We are biological beings. At a basic level everybody knows that for a plant to flourish it needs water, nutrient rich soil, air and sunshine. Human beings aren’t that different. To thrive and avoid disease we need at minimum a healthy diet, exercise, fresh air and like our chlorophyll infused friends- sunshine. It seems obvious, doesn’t it? When we are hungry, we should eat. When we are tired, we should rest. Yet, for many in my practice, meeting these basic biological needs seems like an indulgence. An unobtainable luxury. Success is often driven by grit, determination and a high threshold…

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