What Are the Signs of Falling in Love?

For many—though not all— “falling in love” is the catalyst that leads people to decide on a long-term relational commitment.

Long-term relationships can be scary and many simply wouldn’t commit to something so life-altering without a significant “chemical reaction.”

So, what are the signs of falling in love? Here are some.

If You Aren’t Sure, Then You Likely Haven’t “Fallen in Love”

Though all peoples’ experiences are a little different, once you’ve fallen in love, it’ll be obvious.

You. Will. Just. Know.

Your thoughts will constantly go to your person of interest. You will do all you can to spend more time with them. You will go to great lengths to please that special person even if it comes at great personal sacrifice.

Is it possible for a great relationship to form without “falling in love”? Absolutely. But if it happens to you, you’ll just know.

You Feel Great Around Your Significant Other

It doesn’t really matter what activity you’re doing. When you’re in love, the more important thing is who you are with—namely the one who holds your attention more than anyone else.

You feel great, confident and elated. You just click with this person who you feel completes your puzzle.

You feel more alive than you’ve ever felt before. You feel happy, find it easy to smile and have a sense of humor around your favorite person in the world.

You feel the need for this person like you feel the need for oxygen.

You Find It Easy to Overlook Faults

When you’re in love, you have an amazing capacity to overlook faults. At this stage, you may find the faults of your significant other cute—the same faults you could grow to dislike later.

The in-love experience is wrapped with intense and often pleasurable feelings. But it’s important to remember that those feelings can lead you to the right place or equally lead you astray if you’re not careful.

For instance, you may end up going too deep with someone because you find it easy to overlook their faults. Those faults should be serving as red flags but you explain them away because of your infatuation.

Those in-love feelings can result in a committed relationship but they also can cause you to throw away a valuable long-term relationship because someone else made you feel better for the moment.

A Healthy, Long-Term Perspective

For anyone who’s experienced the feeling of falling in love, they can tell you it is the greatest high you can experience in life.

They will equally tell you that it can be lost as quickly as it came. “Falling in love” is a good description because it’s more something that happens to you than anything else.

The phenomenon itself is wonderful and leads to a powerful reason to commit to someone. However, that in-love feeling won’t sustain you over the long run.

Like a You Tuber going viral can be compared to the thrill of falling in love, there is a tremendous rush and seeming return. But eventually that “high” ends and daily “work” and commitment needs to take place for success.

Although falling in love is a great starting point, if you want a relationship that lasts longer than a few weeks, months or years, it will need to be based on more than mere feeling.

Debra Fileta well described what you need after that in-love feeling fades when she said the following:

“Love is deep. Love is commitment. Love is selfless. Love is costly. Love is life-giving. And ultimately, love is a choice. Because maybe anyone can “fall in love,” but more meaningful than that is when we choose to stay in love.”

That’s the kind of commitment that must replace falling in love for a relationship to survive and thrive.

Need some help sorting out your current relationship? We are here for you and happy to help you work through this process!

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Deal with A Cranky Spouse

Living with a cranky spouse can feel like a constant stone in your shoe. If you’re especially bothered by this trait, you likely have a chronic case on your hands.

We all have our moments of being grouchy, grumpy, ill-tempered and testy (Those are a few of the many synonyms for “cranky”).

But living with a spouse who has a chronic case of crankiness can make your life uniquely miserable. It’s hard enough to keep a positive life attitude aside from living with Mr. or Mrs. Negativity.

Unfortunately, cranky attitudes and actions come out at home more than anywhere else. We feel more comfortable there. That’s where we use the release valve more often than not.

As a result, you tend to suffer from your spouse’s attitude more than anyone else. If your spouse’s crankiness is getting the best of you, here are some ideas to help.

Are You Dealing with Situational Crankiness?

In other words, has your spouse always been unhappy and testy or did something trigger it?

If you can think of a time they were happier, try to help them figure out what has made things so difficult.

After all, crankiness is really just an outward sign of not being able to handle stress in a healthy way.

An endless number of things can make it difficult for your spouse to have a positive attitude. Some include the loss of a loved one, a high-stress job, living in a harsh climate, an ongoing health problem, poor sleep, relationship stressors and financial challenges.

Usually, cranky individuals are dealing with a whole bag of potential triggers all at once.

Not fun. Not fun at all–For your spouse or anyone else.

If you can identify the cause, work at finding ways to minimize that stress. The most basic of these include proper sleep, necessary free time to pursue an enjoyable hobby, a healthy diet and consistent exercise.

Also, try complimenting your spouse about three things each day or consistently sharing a positive perspective on life.

This helps to neutralize the “acid” of a cranky attitude.

For Ongoing, Habitual Crankiness: See a Therapist

Maybe you can’t find a trigger and you’ve been dealing with this problem for a long time. If so, you likely feel like this is just the way things have to be at this point.

But if you were honest, this is not how you want to live your life. And deep down, your cranky spouse wants and needs something better.

Seeing a therapist can help you sort out these challenges. If the pattern of negative thinking is advanced enough, you’ll have a cranky spouse even in the best of circumstances.

A therapist can help you and your spouse work together to lessen stressors. But more importantly, your therapist will help your spouse think differently about problems instead of always jumping to the negative, worst-case scenario.

Even if you’ve decided that the cause of your cranky spouse is situational, a therapist can help, too.

Behind all that crankiness is a loving, supporting spouse. By seeking help, you and your spouse can find the relief and happiness that you so desperately need.

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

You May Be More Stressed Than You Think – 5 Quiet Signals

Stress can present itself in a wide array of symptoms from physical to emotional. Some of those symptoms scream that something is wrong. Others are far stealthier than that.

These signals are invisible, ignored or even joked about.

One thing’s for sure, though.

A joke they are not.

What are some quiet signals that your stress levels are worse than you thought? Here are five.

Poor Sleep/Insomnia

Everyone has an occasional crummy night of sleep. That’s just par for the course.

Maybe you’re awakened by a barking dog, sick child or a significant other who wants you to check on a noise they just heard.

After events like that, you may have trouble falling asleep. Those are “textbook” dilemmas.

But those occasional nights can slowly morph into more. You can quickly find that a good night of sleep is the oddity and not the other way around as things should be.

Don’t let that gradual slide to sleeplessness fool you. You could be dealing with some serious stress.

Perhaps you even lay awake at night trying to solve complex family and work problems. These are all stress indicators you don’t want to ignore.

Digestive Problems

It’s easy to just figure that digestive problems are due to food intolerances or genetics. While that may be the case, it isn’t always so.

Part of the problem can be exacerbated by the fact that many who are stressed out also eat unhealthily. You eat food on the go, binge on late-night sweets or find too much comfort in food.

Combine the less-than-optimal food choices with a digestive tract that’s taking on stress, and you could be in for some sickness or inconvenience at the least.

Too Busy to Do Anything for Yourself

If you’re a naturally driven person, you likely view busyness as a good thing, perhaps even a badge of honor.

Busyness is good to some extent. But if you’re too preoccupied, you become unable to tend to the needs of yourself and your family.

Small signs of neglect in other areas are a good sign that your stress levels are becoming too high.

It’s time to reprioritize so you can get back to a balanced life again.

You Don’t Laugh Much Anymore

When’s the last time you had a good belly laugh?

If it’s been a while, it’s not because there was nothing funny to laugh about.

It’s more because you haven’t taken notice. And why haven’t you taken notice?

There’s a good chance that’s because your stress levels are too high. It’s easy to convince yourself that healthy, responsible people don’t partake in laughter but that’s just not true.

A good laugh actually de-stresses you. And, ironically, the time you least feel like laughing is when you need it the most.

In fact, stress breeds more stress because, as it gets worse, an increasing number of healthy habits get thrown along the wayside.

“Hobby” is a Foreign Word to You

If someone asks you what your hobby is and a long awkward pause with plenty of “ums” follows, this could be a quiet stress symptom.

It could be that you’re so overwhelmed with life that the idea of a creative outlet or hobby is the furthest thing from your mind.

Healthy people find things to do that they look forward to and that help them relax.

If you’re striking out on the hobby question, think of something you can try from hiking to flying kites. The idea is to find something that makes you forget your anxiety and pressures.

In Conclusion

Not all stress symptoms are obvious. Make sure that signals aren’t slipping by unnoticed. Life is too short to let stress get the best of you.

Feeling stressed but not sure what to do? We would count it a privilege to help you come up with a plan to destress.

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Invite Your Partner to Couples Counseling

Feeling like you could benefit from couples counseling? If so, you may fear that your partner won’t want to participate.

That’s a common concern. You obviously can’t physically force your partner to go. Still, there are some things you can do to increase the likelihood they’ll oblige.

What exactly is the best way to invite them? Here are some ideas.

If You Blame, You Lose

Maybe, first, we should look at how not to invite your partner.

This is important to bring up because it’s likely the number-one thing that’ll make your partner shut down, resist and run for cover.

Here’s some dialogue to illustrate the point.

Imagine if your partner requested that you go to couples counseling like this:

Your Partner:

“(your name), I’m really concerned about your anger outbursts lately. You don’t help out around the house like you used to. Worse yet, you don’t engage with our family in a meaningful way.”

You:

“Ok.”

Your Partner:

“I think we should go to counseling to work through these issues.”

How do you think you would respond to that scenario? Would you want to go to counseling?

Probably not.

Why?

Because you feel attacked. You feel singled out.

This “invitation” can feel more like an ultimatum (do this or else). Human nature is to rebel.

By zooming in on the shortcomings of your partner, be very surprised if you get what you want.

Be Transparent About Your Own Struggles, Too

Even if you feel that most of your relationship problems are because of your partner, there’s something important to remember.

You both still have challenges you could use help with. Everyone in the world can say that much.

Approach your partner about some of your failures and weaknesses. Ask if they would be willing to help you work through them. If you hurt your partner, admit it, apologize and share how you want to do better.

The truth is that we can only change ourselves so this is a valid way to go about things.

A bit of caution, though. This will backfire and badly if this strategy is used as a manipulation technique.

If you focus on your challenges to get your partner through the “counseling door” and then dump out all the reasons your partner is the problem while in session, that won’t go well for obvious reasons!

Let your partner’s problems come out in the session naturally.

Focus on the Good with the Goal of Better

Focus on the positive and inviting your partner to counseling will be way easier.

Instead of zooming in on all the flaws of your relationship, talk about what’s good already.

Focus on the prospect of counseling as a way to go from good to better instead of a way to fix a relationship “on the edge of the abyss.”

One great way to set this tone is to plan something fun to do after your counseling session to build your relationship. Find something out of the norm from what you do that you’ll both look forward to.

Just have fun. After all, it’s pretty hard to fight when you’re having fun!

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

What Depression in Men Looks Like (and What to Do About It)

Most men experience significant roadblocks when it comes to treatment for depression. The greatest challenge is that men are more likely to mask their problems or not to talk about them as compared with women.

Depression statistics for men are pretty sobering. While women are twice as likely to experience clinical depression in their lifetimes, men are four times more likely to commit suicide because of it.

As a result, it is imperative for men to be properly diagnosed when clinically depressed and to receive the help they need as quickly as possible.

What Depression in Men Looks Like

While all men are a little different in how they exhibit depression, here are some tell-tale signs:

Physical pain: The saying that depression hurts is true of men. They may experience back pain, headaches, general body aches, digestive issues or sexual dysfunction. Men with depression who go to the doctor because of physical pain may become frustrated because there is no physical explanation for their health problem. These men also may receive medication to help the physical symptoms of depression instead of depression itself.

Self-Destructive Behavior: Many men try to make themselves feel better in unhealthy ways. They may self-medicate through an excessive pursuit of hobbies, substance abuse, alcoholism, or risky sexual encounters.

Hopelessness: Helpless or hopeless feelings are common and can lead to suicide without proper intervention.

Loss of Interest: Activities and relationships that once were fulfilling aren’t anymore.

Fatigue: Men may feel like they are way more tired than they should be for their age. This is another reason for a loss of interest in activities and friends. Some men are too tired to keep those things up even if they wanted to.

Sleep Disturbances: Men may either lose sleep due to high anxiety levels or sleep too much because of fatigue. Sometimes, they experience a combination of both in turns.

Anger: This doesn’t necessarily mean explosive anger or aggressiveness though it can. Sometimes it means a “slow burn” of consistent irritability and low-scale anger. Other times, it simply presents itself as the absence of happiness, inability to have a sense of humor or difficulty smiling.

Appetite Changes: Depressed men may either eat too much or too little. The result, not surprisingly, is either weight gain or loss. The fatigue factor already mentioned can contribute to weight gain as energy for exercise is in short supply.

Difficulty Concentrating: Some depressed men struggle with concentration, staying on task and overall productivity. Job performance may suffer as a result.

Negative Thoughts: This isn’t just the occasional negative thought. Negative thoughts often control depressed men, exacerbating their symptoms in many other ways. It becomes difficult to step back and objectively evaluate negative thoughts and find the truth anymore. These persistent thoughts high jack a previously healthy and well-balanced thought process.

How Depression in Men Can Improve

As already shared, men usually attempt to hide their depression whereas women are more likely to talk about it.

To a lot of men, it’s considered taboo or just not manly to open up about depression.

The opposite actually is true. It takes great courage for a sufferer to admit such a personal struggle.

That being said, the very first thing a male sufferer must do is admit they are depressed. Even if nearly everyone around realizes there is a problem, there is little help until this happens.

Once, arguably, the greatest barrier is scaled (awareness) men can start doing battle with the disease in pointed and intentional ways.

Here are a few things that are helpful:

Increased Social Support

Men, by and large, are not as verbal as women. They struggle more to be in touch with their emotions and identify pitfalls. Men also tend to have greater difficulty forging and maintaining deep friendships.

This is especially a problem when depression presents itself. The natural inclination to isolate or handle things by oneself is already present by nature. Add to that the greater desire to isolate because of the illness and it’s easy to see how quickly things can unravel.

Depressed men need added social support. The occasional banter at work or with a neighbor simply isn’t enough.

Men need to find several “safe” people to share their struggles with who won’t judge them.

Equally, men need to do what they can to avoid overly critical individuals who could create a toxic environment and thereby sabotage their treatment.

In our disconnected society, counseling can help men get their feelings out with less risk of their honest feelings and fears being used against them.

Counseling is also beneficial because deep friendships take time and many men don’t have the time or energy to forge those kinds of friendships (At least at first).

Physical Exercise and a Healthy Diet

In our sedentary culture, depression is far more prevalent. Too often, our bodies become obese and simply don’t work right.

The physical strain on the body can increase risk. Even small amounts of physical exercise can go a long way in improving your mood and making your body function correctly.

Men need not be “macho” and start out with an exercise routine that would scare away an Olympic athlete.

Small, daily consistency is far more important. You need something you can stick with for the long haul. In time, as your symptoms lessen, you’ll be able to increase your routine.

In addition, most men will greatly benefit from a diet free of processed foods. Sugar is also something to steer clear of as it can cause emotional highs and lows.

The best foods are fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Avoid foods that would require a chemist to explain the ingredients to you!

Visit a Therapist

As already shared, therapy can go a long way in helping depressed men to open up about their struggles.

Sometimes just having a nonjudgmental, trustworthy person to listen improves quality of life significantly. Your therapist can also help you come up with a plan to help you fight depression in a variety of ways.

Although depression for men can seem like an insurmountable challenge, there is help and there is hope.

By taking consistent, small steps over time, the suffering of depressed men can decrease dramatically.

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Save a Marriage

How do you save a marriage? That’s a heavy question but an answerable one.

Is your relationship going up in flames, flatlined?

There is still hope if you and your spouse don’t want to give up. New houses are built on top of the charred ground every day. Flatlined people come back to life with a new, fresh and hope-filled perspective on life.

Every day in all walks of life, things literally come back from the dead and marriages are one of those things.

Here are some quick emergency tips if your relationship has reached a tipping point.

Do Damage Control

A relationship that’s near death, is sustaining a lot of damage and fast.

Everyone starts jumping on the destruction bandwagon. It’s even common for family, friends and co-workers to join in. These people feel your hurt and want to protect you so they may tell you to ditch that “loser” otherwise known as your spouse.

The problem is, you may not be convinced this is the right choice. After all, you realize you’re being a jerk, too.

Ever hear the saying, “hurting people hurt people”?

Well, you’re living proof of that. So is your spouse.

You and your spouse are beating the crap out of each other—if not physically, at least emotionally.

You have to break the damage cycle no matter how much you want to hit back.

Stop.

You have to and quick.

If you don’t, your marriage simply won’t survive.

If you feel your relationship is worth keeping, apologize and say something nice even if it feels hokey at first.

Get that snowball rolling in a positive direction instead of the opposite.

If you’re in a relationship with someone other than your spouse, that relationship needs to end immediately.

Distance yourself (at least for a while) from those who tell you to throw in the towel. Surround yourself with people committed to the restoration and success of your marriage.

After Damage Control, Start Rebuilding

It took two to tear things down and it’ll take two to rebuild.

Don’t be disillusioned into thinking this process will be quick and easy.

It won’t.

But also don’t believe for a minute that the hard work won’t be worth it.

It most certainly will.

Yes, it’s way easier to destroy a relationship than rebuild one, but it’s possible for things to get better in many cases. And the result can be a relationship that’s stronger than ever before.

If you’re both committed to making things better, you can begin the healing path together.

Set safeguards on internet and phone usage to regain trust if that’s needed.

Set goals together. Find a trusted professional to help you come up with a plan and stick to it. Don’t get discouraged if the process seems slow. Schedule time to do things together.

Just focus on small victories. Over time, those small victories will turn into big ones.

If you knew that someone you loved was stuck in a burning house and needed help, would you have the courage to rescue them?

That someone who needs to be rescued is your spouse. They need to be rescued from their own destructive tendencies and so do you.

That sounds like a good team.

Don’t you think?

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Good Stress and Bad Stress – Your Body May Not Know the Difference

You’ve probably heard by now that not all stress is bad. But have you ever stopped to wonder if your body processes good and bad stress the same or differently?

There are two different terms for stress depending on what kind of stress you have.

Distress is used to describe stress that isn’t healthy. Eustress is the term given to stress that’s good.

Let’s take a look at distress first.

Distress

You could easily come up with a long list of things that could cause distress. These negative events or thoughts break down your body and mind. Every day is loaded with these great and small.

Here are a few examples:

  • Divorce
  • Debt
  • Conflicts with people
  • Negative/self-defeating thoughts
  • Death of a loved one
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Poison ivy
  • Auto accidents
  • Job loss
  • Depression

You likely could relate to several on that list. No one lines up to go through junk like that though everyone experiences their fair share of distress.

Eustress

When it comes to eustress, we can be glad for it since it’s considered a positive pressure or need to change. Ironically, the absence of eustress would actually cause distress.

We wouldn’t have the feeling that we’re achieving all we can, moving through life and making a positive difference without it.

What are some examples of eustress? Here are a few:

  • A new baby
  • Moving
  • Taking a new job
  • Rigorous exercise
  • Getting married
  • Education
  • Meeting new people
  • Stepping into the batter’s box
  • Traveling
  • Going on a date

As you’ll probably notice, some events are difficult to just slate into one category.

For instance, a new baby would be considered eustress for most people but events surrounding that baby can cross over to distress.

If you don’t have proper support or your baby experiences health problems, that could be upsetting, distressing even.

Also, to simply say that “moving” is a eustress event isn’t completely true. Someone selling their home and moving to a “bigger and better” home will probably experience eustress.

But for someone who has to move due to home foreclosure, they’ll likely feel much differently about the situation.

Even in the best-case scenario eustress event, there are distress events sprinkled in.

Or imagine the anticipation of a great date that turns out to be an epic disaster. That eustress event quickly morphs into distress!

So, Does Your Body Know the Difference Between Eustress and Distress?

It actually doesn’t.

What that means is that if you had no distress and only eustress, there could still potentially be a problem.

An overabundance of eustress would cause the same health and emotional problems as distress would.

As a result, when assessing your stress levels, it’s important to include necessary adaptations and changes in your life even if you don’t view them as negative.

We can all be thankful for eustress and can’t avoid distress though we’d love to be rid of it for good.

The best we can do is manage our stress levels so they don’t get out of control. By better understanding the body’s reaction to any kind of stress, we’ll be better equipped to do just that.

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Neutralize Your Spouse’s Defenses

How do you neutralize your spouse’s defenses? That’s both an easy and difficult task.

It’s easy because, deep down, you likely know what you need to do. It’s difficult because actually doing it takes work and intentional action (at least at first).

If your spouse is always on the defense, there are some things you can do to minimize that.

Figure Out Why They’re Defensive

People aren’t always justified in their defensiveness or the amount they exhibit. But the fundamental reason people are defensive is always the same.

They’re trying to protect themselves. You may be knowingly or unknowingly hurting your spouse.

A negative childhood without enough praise and affirmation would also make it harder not to be defensive, too.

Even someone being confronted about an affair is defensive (though for selfish reasons) because they want to protect themselves. They may fear losing their reputation or a committed relationship among other things.

So, your goal is to crack the case for why your spouse is defensive.

Maybe it’s because they’ve screwed up in a big way and don’t want to admit it.

But it equally could be because they feel nagged, disrespected, underappreciated or that trust has been broken.

Step back and evaluate when and why your spouse becomes defensive.

It’s also valuable to ask your spouse why they are defensive and sincerely tell them that you just want to help.

The challenge may be for you not to become defensive if you don’t like the answer!

But at least you’ll know where you stand.

Compliment Your Spouse About Something

A relationship can turn adversarial and stay that way for a long time. Just like fish living in a toxic river or a cat hoarder living in filth, you start thinking that is normal existence.

Well, it’s not!

There’s is a much better way to live and it begins with “small” things like a well-aimed compliment.

Isn’t a large ship directed by a comparatively small rudder? Compliments or criticism are the rudders of your relationship.

Generously compliment your spouse and watch the toxicity drain right out of your relationship. Watch your relational “ship” take you to places you never dreamed of going before.

Do Something Besides “Paying the Bills”

Life can quickly become a never-ending cycle of responsibilities. It easy to become “business partners” in your relationship instead of soul mates.

Just the everyday stress of life can increase the defensiveness in others. Knowing this, intentionally schedule some times for you and your partner to de-stress together.

Pick a location or activity that you both enjoy. This can help you and your spouse let your guard down in ways that normally can be difficult.

Although spouse defensiveness is a real problem, things can get better little by little. As this area improves, expect the quality and quantity of your communication to soar. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

What Depression in Women Looks Like (and What to Do)

What does depression look like in women?

First, let’s acknowledge that it’s twice as likely to happen to women as compared with men.

Women, by and large, are “feelers.” They’re generally in better touch with their emotions and the emotions of others.

This gives them a greater capacity to be caring and nurturing. There’s one challenge, though.

Having a front seat to all those emotions and feelings can weigh a person down and become overwhelming.

One of a woman’s most endearing qualities can also add to her suffering.

Common Symptoms of Depressed Women

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating and a foggy mind
  • Difficulty with memory
  • Consistent feelings of sadness, crying, loss of hope and despair
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, including sex
  • Consistently negative feelings and comments
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • High levels of anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep/sleeping too much
  • Loss of appetite or increase in appetite
  • Ongoing physical problems that can’t be diagnosed (stomach, headache and pain)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicide attempts

What Makes Women Susceptible to Depression

A number of factors can increase the likelihood that women will experience depression.

Many experts think the periodic hormonal changes caused by menstruation and pregnancy make women more susceptible.

Therefore, it has nothing to do with women being weak. Women must be innately strong to manage the multitasking of being a mom, often juggling a career and much more.

Other factors that increase chances of depression include environmental and hereditary considerations.

Uncommonly stressful events such as experiencing the death of a loved one as a child, pregnancy, job loss and sexual abuse only add to the likelihood depression will present itself.

Depression in Women: What to Do

There is a long list of things that can help women with depression. What treatment is right for you will depend on the reason for your depression (if you can identify one), the severity of your symptoms and how long you have suffered.

Some women are able to manage their depression with lifestyle changes such as leaving a stressful job, simplifying their schedule, improving their support systems, eating healthy, exercising and getting proper sleep.

Some women also respond well to an antidepressant.

Something else can’t be stressed enough:

Most women are people of words. Most women are drastically more verbal than the typical man. They have an innate need to express themselves.

It should come as no surprise, then, that getting those words out is an extremely therapeutic process.

For some, that involves journaling, talking with caring friends/family and visiting a therapist.

A combination of these can help dramatically with feelings of guilt, shame and low self-esteem. This helps women to realize they’re not alone in their suffering and that they don’t need to silently feel misunderstood. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Coping with Spousal Abandonment

It felt like you were in a war zone—because you were.

The enemies were closing in around you. You knew you couldn’t fight alone. But you weren’t alone–thank God.

But just when enemy fire was strongest, that someone you depended on abandoned you. Left you all alone to fend for yourself.

You were going to do this together. You were going to fight together against problems, not fight with each other about them.

If you’re drawn to this topic, there’s a good chance you’re hurting right now. Your feelings are understandable. Here are some thoughts on coping.

Seek Stability Alone (At Least At First)

Is it possible your relationship could be restored? Anything’s possible.

But is it guaranteed? No.

Definitely, own any shortcomings you find in yourself without beating yourself up. After all, you’re the only person you can change.

Trying to control a spouse who walked out on you is the surest way to make yourself miserable.

Whatever you do, though, don’t make a knee-jerk reaction.

Keep your distance from easy ways to fill that spousal void if it’s unhealthy.

That temptation may run the span from risky relationships, overeating, substance abuse, to pornography among many others.

Take small steps towards stability on your own. That means (as soon as possible) setting a new and healthy routine.

That healthy routine will involve meaningful work, adequate sleep and time with those who want to help you, not exploit you.

Stay Away from Exploiters

Speaking of exploiters, they come in many forms and are the last thing you need right now.

There are certain people who can smell suffering like sharks can sense blood in the water.

They often dress themselves up as someone who’s genuinely concerned.

But watch out. Appearances can be deceiving. These are the “scab pickers” who always attend deep suffering.

Exploiters have many specific names: Moral-superiority specialists, Abusers, Gossipers and Controllers.

They make your life worse.

They kick you while you’re down.

If you find a romantic admirer like this, you especially need to be vigilant and quickly show them the door. Such a person can make your life a living hell.

Just like looters creep in and steal after disasters, these people see your emotional wreckage and look for what they can take from you. Helping you rebuild isn’t on their radar.

Find people who actually care about you and allow them to help protect you from the “wolves”.

Get Your Hurts Out

You don’t need to cut yourself–Bleed words instead. You have to get those emotions out or you’re in trouble.

Journal, talk to people you trust and consider scheduling time with a trusted professional.

Getting everything out is, at first, part of your survival strategy.

Eventually, it will be your healing and happiness strategy. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.