Patrick, a 430-pound gorilla, is being shipped off from the Dallas Zoo because he is in dire need of therapy. Because of his inability to get along with the other gorillas (especially the ladies), Patrick will be moving to the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina, a zoo specializing in working with animals with behavior problems. He will live alone, as he seems to prefer.
“It’s not like we haven’t tried, he’s been here for 18 years,” said Dallas Zoo spokeswoman Laurie Holloway of their attempts to get Patrick to breed.That didn’t go over so well. He bit one female and “sneered and nipped” at the others. The odd thing is that Patrick gets along exceptionally well with humans. So what’s his issue? It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. A brief peek into Patrick’s history points to the root of the problem. Keep reading »
Soldiers returning from combat get diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. So do people who live in violent war zones. And, apparently, models. At least according to former model Jennifer Sky, who says her years as teen model led to panic attacks and an anxiety disorder.
Sky started her modeling career young — at 15 — and was thrust into a strange and unfamiliar place when her modeling agency sent her to Japan unchaperoned and unaided. She lived a similar life in New York, where she was sent next, sharing a loft apartment with five other teenage girls, who were all expected to book jobs, feed and care for themselves without any adult supervision. After two years of this, Sky booked the cover of Sassy magazine’s 1994 prom issue. It would be her last modeling gig. She quit because, she told New York mag’s The Cut, she no longer recognized herself: Keep reading »
Therapy has done me good. Off and on ever since I was 14, I’ve seen a couple therapists for a couple of years at a time each. They’ve helped me through family craziness, adjusting to college, adjusting to life after college, a boss possessed by Satan, and bouts of depression and anxiety.
Therapy isn’t about “solving” problems; it’s about learning ways to cope with them. It’s a credit to my most recent therapist that the few problems in my life feel manageable. In extraordinary circumstances I’ll feel anxious or depressed, but I’m proud to say that I’ve been living my life better than ever. So much so, in fact, that I’m not sure that I’m getting much out of therapy anymore. It feels less like an essential part of mental healthcare and more like a relationship I’ve been maintaining (and let’s be honest, paying for) out of guilt and habit.
So I decided to cut the cord. And my therapist … well, she didn’t take it so well. It felt like a breakup. Here are the five stages you can expect your therapist to go through when you’ve quit their services: Keep reading »
“Go to therapy. Clean up all of the shit. Clean up all of the toxins and the noise. Understand who you are. Educate yourself on the self. You can undo a lot of things. If you’re not happy, you can become happy. Happiness is a choice. That’s the thing I really feel. Like with friends who refuse to get happy, who refuse to rise above the discomfort of where they’re at.”
–In an interview for her Glamour cover story, Jennifer Aniston offered up these wise words in response to the question, “What advice would you give yourself in your thirties?” Gossip mags are latching onto the fact that Jen, now 44, was going through her very public divorce from Brad Pitt in her thirties, but I don’t think that’s what matters — this is damn good advice for anyone at any age, no matter their circumstances. [Us Weekly]
“What do YOU think?” That’s the number one phrase I hear in therapy over and over — usually because I’m asking my therapist for her opinion about some shit that is going down. But as those of us in therapy know, a therapist is not there to give advice or to tell you how to live your life. He or she will listen and offer observations about the way you talk about your life. But dishing out advice and tips is a big no-no. After a year-plus of asking my therapist, “What do you think?” and getting the response “What do YOU think?”, I’ve come to realize that what she really means is Stop asking me this because I’m not going to tell you.
Of course, that’s not the only thing my therapist says that actually means something else. Here are just a few things* that your therapist is saying to you and what it really means:
Keep reading »
If you’ve ever been depressed or if you’re currently depressed or are wondering if you’re possibly depressed, walk — no run! — to the blog Hyperbole & A Half, where blogger Allie deftly, and sometimes hilariously, chronicles what it’s like to live with depression. In a new entry, posted today, Allie explains how depression can at first make you feel powerful in its detachment, and then slowly make it difficult to even approximate human emotions.
I could no longer rely on genuine emotion to generate facial expressions, and when you have to spend every social interaction consciously manipulating your face into shapes that are only approximately the right ones, alienating people is inevitable. Keep reading »
Fighting cancer is difficult for anyone, but especially for people who lead particularly active lives before their diagnoses. John Wilson was an avid hiker, biker and basketball player before being diagnosed with Epithelioid sarcoma in 2006. A rare and aggressive soft tissue cancer, treatment required that Wilson’s left leg be amputated. Undaunted, within months, Wilson was back to some of his favorite activities, and quickly realized the therapeutic power of sports and nature. In 2010, he founded the AKP — Always Keep Pedaling — Foundation, dedicated to helping other cancer survivors regain their zest for life via outdoor adventure activities. “At AKP we believe that the best way to build confidence is to take healthy risks,” says Wilson.”The purpose of the AKP Foundation is to build the confidence of young adults who have suffered physically altering trauma due to cancer by helping them find adventure through adaptive sports.” Twice a year, Wilson and AKP host a retreat, inviting young cancer survivors who might not otherwise have the means or access, to come together and bond while taking part in fun physical activities like skiing and biking. The experience has been life-changing, and many participants say that it’s what’s helped them move on from surviving to really living again. I dare you to get through this video without tearing up. And to find out how you can help cancer survivors click here. [AKP Foundation]
I work from home, so I spend a lot of time alone. Eight hours a day, actually, and often more than that. I miss having coworkers (especially because my Frisky coworkers are so freakin’ awesome), but my ADD makes it really hard to get anything–especially writing–done anywhere other than a totally controlled, calm environment. When I tell people about my work schedule, they usually say something like, “I can’t believe you spend all day alone. I would go crazy.”
“Thank you,” I say stoically. “It’s hard sometimes, but it’s really good for me.” And then I go back to debating the finer points of gun control with my quesadilla.
Spending so much time alone led me to the logical conclusion that I’m pretty good at being alone. I mean, not everyone can work all by themselves day after day, right? I figured that made me some kind of professional loner. But recently I realized that maybe there’s more to this whole “being alone” thing than the hours you put into it, and maybe I’m still learning how to truly be alone. Keep reading »
In this weekend’s New York Times, clinical psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman grapples with the question: should therapists play matchmaker for their patients? The answer he arrives at is no: “Looking to your therapist to set up a date is as ill-advised as it is to look to Match.com for help with depression or an eating disorder.”
Friedman admits to be tempted to fix patients up but ultimately decided against it because it “would involve crossing useful boundaries. And would bring my personal life in conflict with my job as therapist, which, among other things, is to help patients understand themselves and discover how to make their own lives as full and rich as possible.” Keep reading »
I consider myself a fairly patient person. I grew up in a house with four siblings and three pets—I can put up with a lot. But if you want to set my foot tapping and my eyes rolling, just start complaining about your life.
Recently, for example, I caught up with an old friend. Last I talked to her was several months ago, and things weren’t going great—she wasn’t happy in her job, wasn’t thrilled to be single and felt an overall uneasiness about her life. I felt her pain, and was ready to listen, encourage, and lend a shoulder to cry on. But when we talked again, and I started the conversation with a simple, “How are you?” her immediate response was, “Meh.” What followed was a string of complaints reminiscent of our previous conversation—nothing had changed, and it seemed she hadn’t tried to make it.
You hate your job, but aren’t even looking for a new one? You want to meet men, but refuse to join an online dating site? You’re upset with your weight, but won’t change your diet and exercise? I can’t help you. Only you can. Keep reading »