*Not their real name
Patricia* come home early one day and was shocked to find that her husband, Larry*, cheating on her with their helper. She feels betrayed, angry, and confused. She fired the helper and the couple began couple therapy.
*Not their real name
Research has shown that women are twice as likely to be affected by panic attacks. The mean age at onset for panic attack in US is approximately 22-23 years old. This is more related to a weaker autonomic response to emotional states in older individual compared to younger individuals. Negative affectivity (i.e., proneness to experiencing negative emotions) and anxiety sensitivity (i.e., the disposition to believe that symptoms of anxiety are harmful) are risk factors for the onset of panic attacks, as well as worry about panic. Childhood experiences of sexual or physical abuse are more common in panic disorder. Smoking is a risk factor also for panic attacks and panic disorders. Personal stressors (e.g., interpersonal conflicts, diseases, or death in family, use of illicit drugs) are often identified as stressors before the first panic attack.
ADHD & Executive Functions
Executive Functions are complex cognitive processes that we need for social, goal directed and efficient behavior:
• Emotional Regulation
• Working Memory
• Self Monitoring
It helps us:
• Remembering the instructions (working memory)
• Finishing task within given time (planning & self-monitoring)
• Think of solution when confronted with a problem (flexibility)
• Staying focused despite external distractions (inhibition)
• Check work on possible mistakes before handing it over (self- monitoring)
• Remember the steps when solving a math calculation (working memory)
• Being on time for the school bus (time management)
Let’s Talk About Sex
Sex is important in a marriage as it is an expression of the intimacy of the relationship - you cannot get any closer physically to another person. Good sex is very much interrelated with intimate trust, friendship, and conversations that create emotional connection. Evidence is very clear that if people feel good about sex, they feel good about their relationship in general. Research has shown that in marriage, sexual satisfaction is related to relationship satisfaction, stability and love commitment. When sex is non-existent, it has a significant impact on the relationship.
5 Common Problems We Face
As we step into the new year, let's look at 5 common problems people face and what we can do about it:
Closing Generation Gaps
Some of the most common issues faced by elderly folks at home, with regards to their kids and grandkids are loneliness, lack of sense of purpose, relevance or importance, being disregarded, etc. While the elderly are trying to still contribute and assert their role in the family, others are not necessarily accepting that. There may also be generation gaps where each are operating under different perspectives, information, beliefs, and values. For some, the family had also change the main language of communication so there might also be language barriers.
Divorce is always stressful. In this article, we look at what are some of the unique stresses and challenges that expats face when they are going through a divorce.
Post Natal Depression
All mums experience an intense emotional and physical transformation during pregnancy and the first year of a baby’s life, but for a significant proportion of us, this can lead on to full blown depression and anxiety and for a very small number, postnatal psychosis. The Baby Blues are a common expression for what happens to approximately 80% of all mums around the third to tenth day after birth. Because it is so common and temporary, we do not associate the Baby Blues as being a mental illness, but rather a natural state that is sure to pass once we settle into our new role as mothers. Symptoms include exhaustion, tearfulness, mood fluctuations, anxiety and irritability. Baby blues is thought to occur as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy, the labour, breast feeding and lack of sleep.
Many parents would like to get a headstart for their kids by enrolling in pre-school. However, apart from their ambiguity about having their kids leave their side, they also have some questions. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
7 Types of Love
Many of us is focused on pursuing love. Are we aware of the different type of love and how to identify true love? Look at the relationship you are in and consider which of the 7 types of love you are in.
Adult Children of Divorced Parents
With the prevalence divorce rate, many of us are now growing up to be Adult Children of Divorced Parents. Having gone through the turmoils of our parents' divorce, we now feel the past is over and we can focused on living our own life, cutting our past and leaving it behind. What we may not be aware of the continued effect of this hurt in our current, present lives as adults.
Tricia* just realized that her husband, Kent*, doesn't want children, and she does. Emotionally it's hard for her to accept. Doubt start creeping into her mind: should spell the end of the marriage? While they did not have clear plan about having children, but Kent had made some indication that gave her the impression that he wanted children too. Why have he changed his mind?
*Not their real name
Julia* and Tom* are having a secret war over money. Tom is angry with Julia because no matter how much he earned, she spent it all. Every month, not only do they not have any saving, she managed to rake up even more credit card debts. Tom has no idea where the money went or how he is ever going to be able to pay off the debts. Coming from a family where the man is expected to be the breadwinner and provider, Tom decided it was his responsibility to provide for all of Julia’s “needs”. His solution for the situation is to work harder to provide but he is getting very resentful that Julia has so much needs. Julia, on the other hand, felt neglected and ignored by Tom and decided that she needs to spend to make herself feel good. This is a habit she learnt from her mother. Julia also noticed that Tom is working a lot and decided that since money is the most important thing for Tom, she’ll hit him where it hurts so maybe he would sit up and pay attention to her.
*Not their real name
Dealing with Holiday Stresses
Yes, that time of the year is upon us again! The upcoming holiday season can be a time of joy and peace. However, it can also be extremely stressful. There is increased pressure to put on a happy face and be merry, and that only makes things more difficult. Getting ready for the holidays means looking forward to good times, but it also means more work. It also means more time spent with relatives you may not really care to be with. Holiday parties, social gatherings, gift giving, family commitments, and personal responsibilities all require attention, planning, and energy - and these stresses can quickly damper your enjoyment of the holidays.
But there are several simple things you can do to make the holiday season more relaxing, meaningful, and stress-free for you and your family. Here are some tips for coping with holiday stresses:
Talking to Children About Sex
One of the most important but probably the most awkward conversation as parents we need to have with our children is on the topic of sex. In discussing the topic of sex, parents need to realize that it is not one conversation. Real sex education is a lifelong pursuit, talking to your kids about sex is a lifelong conversation. How can we tackle this discussion successfully?
After the initial stage of dating, finding time to be together is a huge challenge for many couples. This is especially so for those who have the additional demands of children or demanding jobs. However, couple time together is important for the relationship to remain strong, and the closeness and intimacy to continue. So how can we have time for each other given the busy lives we have? Here are some suggestions in terms of ritual we can put in place in our lives as a couple:
Seeing our friend or family member going through their struggle with eating disorder is not easy. Many of us feel helpless and lost in terms of how we can be of support and help to them. Find out some do's, don'ts, and preventive tips for eating disorder.
Having looked at the goals of coparenting, let's look at how we can communicate so as to facilitate this process.
In a relationship, couples weather many problems and issues. For couples where 1 partner is struggling with some mental health issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, Asperger, ADHD, OCD, etc.), they experience additional stressors which other couples do not have to undergo. Many of them, however, do not have awareness about these unique stressors. Instead, blame would often be attributed to the affected partner personally, i.e., being uncaring, selfish, unkind, or even abusive.
Coping with Anger
How do you cope with your anger? Do you know that there are 4 predominant styles and with each there are associated ways to change and manage our anger? Come and identify your specific style(s) and what to do.
For those who had divorced, parenting will have its challenges. However, may be even more difficult is co-parenting your child with other involved adults in the child’s life (be it your ex, new partner, grandparents, etc). Relationship stress often occurs when one or both people can’t agree on who is responsible for fulfilling what needs the child may have. Conflicting co-parents are often unable to nurture the child successfully. Effective co-parenting is required to help your child develop to be holistically-healthy, balanced, socially productive, and reasonably content (happy).
To nurture well, the co-parents need to evolve from their conflicts to having clear goals, plans, priorities, “job description” (roles), and rules based on consensus. Although individual co-parents will have unique goals, most parents will strive for some general, basic long-term co-parenting outcomes.
“For better or worse, through sickness and in health, till death do us part.” Extra-marital affair, without a doubt, would be categorized under the “worse” part in the marital vow. Its damaging effects are due to the fact that it shakes the very foundations of the relationship: Trust and Commitment. The discovery of an affair in a marriage often leads to a crisis full of emotional struggles for all parties involved. Eventually, should a couple decide to continue their marriage, some of the questions that would surface are “Where do we go from here?”, “Will things ever get back to normal?”, etc.
Whether a marriage would survive an affair is dependent on the strength of the couple’s emotional bond, as well as the efforts both put in the recovery process. The tasks facing the couple are two: rebuilding the marriage and personal healing. Here are some tips on rebuilding a marriage after an affair:
Repeated Unhealthy Pattern in Our Lives
Often we seem to be trapped in the repeated cycle of doing unhealthy pattern of behaviours, over and over again, despite the pain and suffering we go through. Sometimes we might even have the insights that these behaviours came from unresolved issues from our past and yet felt helpless in changing them. Here's a poem for us to reflect upon.
More Than Parents! Part 2
We continue to look at challenges new parents face to stay focus as a couple.
Sometimes Love is Not Enough???
Many of us enter into marriage with this fog of love, passion, and dream. One day we wake up from this fog and start wondering where did our love go? This is often a crisis point for some individuals, and in turn their marriages, where doubts and despair start setting in. The fears that grip them are “Am I able to stay married if I don’t feel love?” and “Must I remain unhappy forever?”
Hollywood movies and romantic novels are culprits in contributing to this crisis, where all these love stories depict the hero/prince and the heroine/princess getting married and hence live “happily ever after”, communicating that just feeling “in-love” is enough to conquer all. What they fail to show is what happens afterward where reality, routine, chores, mundane day-to-day tasks, and other people’s (in-law, children) presence set in.
Ms Ho Shee Wai