Depression

/Depression

HOW CANADIAN BORN CHINESE CAN CONNECT WITH THEIR CHINESE HERITAGE

“You don’t understand. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I need you to be compassionate.”   In that moment, she felt the all too familiar feeling of what it was like to be a Canadian born Chinese wanting to connect with her Chinese heritage.   When Ming* (name changed to protect privacy) first came to see me, her back was hunched forward as if she was carrying too heavy a burden on her shoulders. She nervously pushed her glasses up the tip of her nose before letting her long black hair drop forward to cover part of her face.   When I asked this young Chinese woman what she needed, Ming made the following comment:   Through my talking with Ming, I found out her Chinese grandmother had been the one primarily responsible for her caregiving while she was growing up. Her grandmother, who was living with

HOW TO FOSTER RESPONSIBILITY IN TEENAGERS

"Show responsibility!  This is all your fault!” I said to my 16-year-old son who had just come home with a zero on a school paper he had handed in late. Showing very little compassion, I pointed my index finger to his face to justify the anger and shame I was feeling inside. “How could you let that happen?” I insisted.   While my parenting tantrum was taking place, my son kept looking outside the kitchen window, verbally acknowledging zero of my questions. Mostly, he remained silent, probably waiting for the storm to boil over. His behaviour showed how I had trained him to ignore his own feelings and emotions and the feelings and emotions of others. He was behaving as I had taught him: like a victim.   ‘How was that possible?’ you might ask.   It is my belief …   When a parent is unaware of their conditioning and

HOW TO HEAL FROM A PARENT UNAWARE OF THEIR ADDICTIONS

(PART ONE OF A TWO PARTS SERIES) “You’re just like your father/mother!” “Why can’t you ever do anything right?” “What is wrong with you?” are some examples of what an unaware parent might keep telling their child(ren) out of their addiction to emotional patterns. When we think of the word addiction, many of us tend to list alcohol, sex, drugs, and gambling as the most ‘obvious’ ones while at the same time probably defending our position saying things like, “Others have addictions! Not me!” How do I know that? Because I used to be the sort of parent who claimed ‘Not me!’ when the word addiction was mentioned; I had a very narrow perception of what an addiction actually is. ‘So what is an addiction?’ you might be wondering. I believe the answer is, An addiction is anything that is consistently detrimental to the human spirit. If that is true

HOW TO DEAL WITH AN EMOTIONALLY SICK PARENT

I didn’t ask myself ‘Is she emotionally sick?’ I was eight years old and like many other kids, I just wanted to go play outside and make sure I had a clean pair of pants to wear to go to school the next day. Plus, what does ‘emotionally’ even mean to a kid?   I didn’t even ask if she was sick. I mean, she looked fine on the surface.  She could walk and talk, though she said and did things that even I found strange by moments. Like that time she put my hands on her tummy and told me she had a baby inside. She said she was the Virgin Mary and she was going to give birth to the child of Jesus Christ. As strange as she sounded and behaved at times, my mother was not running a fever or having a drippy nose.   When I

HOW TO TELL BETWEEN SADNESS AND DEPRESSION

  I was sitting under a tree. It was early morning and the area was deserted at this time of day. It suited me just fine, this isolation, because I now felt safe enough to let tears run down my cheeks. I was feeling sad inside and this so-called sadness seemed to have swallowed my entire life. Touching a tree root with my left hand, I begged it to help me move forward, to give me energy, for I felt tired, wary, drained.   This tree where I hid from the world was located in a kids’ park of all places. To my left were swings with sky blue seats. In front of me were earth brown curvy slides. To my right was this kind of roped knitted dome where little ones exercised their climbing skills.   A little boy accompanied by an adult comes running into the park. He

HOW TO OVERCOME MONEY CHASING SYNDROME TO FIND TRUE HAPPINESS

When Cassie* came to see me, she said money was practically everything to her and money was driving her crazy.    Through my talking with her, I found out she mostly determined the importance of people based on the money they made, the financial savings they had, event the type of food they ordered in restaurants. Defensively, she added she also paid a close watch to her own bank account. When hungry for her favourite food in a restaurant, if the price was not right according to her (meaning, the item could be found cheaper elsewhere), she refrained from ordering it, choosing instead to deprive herself of happiness from eating her favourite dish.   Have you ever been in a situation where you deprived yourself of happiness?     Though she and her life partner were professionals who made good salaries, she dressed simply, barely any make-up or jewelry on,

HOW TO STRAY FROM ANXIETY TO LIVE FROM A PLACE OF WELL-BEING

  When Dixie* came to see me, her hands trembled a little as she talked about her husband’s anxiety. She shared how he apparently often sat in their apartment’s living room feeling overwhelmed, his eyes sort of absent, all because he seemed not to know what to do next. Dixie continued by saying she was getting fed up with her husband’s perceived inability to ‘get a grip’ over his life and she was now coming to see me to find ways for him to deal with his anxiety. What I asked her next became a game changer for her. I asked,   What about your anxiety?   Dixie’s mouth opened in a big O. I could tell she was trying to grasp what I was asking her because she said, shaking her head, “No, it’s not about me, it’s about him!”   Once again, I turned her attention back to

HOW TO ELIMINATE A OO7 DOUBLE LIFE

When James* called upon me, he asked that we meet in an open restaurant downtown Vancouver. Asking him why there instead of my office, he laughed and said, ‘Because I need it this way.’    On the agreed upon date and time of rendez-vous, James sat down in front of me and immediately placed his hands under the table where I could Not see them. This gesture alone told me a lot about James, how easily he pretended to be emotionally open yet felt the want to hide once in front of me.   Through my talking with him, I found out James was one of nine children from a very large Catholic South American family. He grew up being an altar boy, going to Sunday school, and saying prayers. But something was Not working for him… In his teenage years, he realized he was gay and being gay is

HOW DO WE KNOW WE ARE TRULY SEEKING WHAT WE DESERVE

Have you ever walked by a supermarket check-out and seen packets of gardening flower seeds for sale? When I was a small child, I did, quite often, and I found the flower pictures on flower seeds packets wonderful to look at. I did not know the flowers’ names, the kind of soil they needed, or the kind of care they required. What fascinated me most was the sheer amount of flower varieties, all of them within the grasp of the gardener enthusiast!   My mother often found me contemplating these packets of flower seeds, standing in front of them with my mouth open and my eyes big. Gently touching the pictures on the packets with the tip of my small fingers, I wanted to know if their petals were velvet soft and their fragrance sweet. I even thought of taking a bite from the grown flowers to see if they tasted

WHO DO YOU CALL TO ADDRESS EMOTIONAL LEAKS? 

Have you ever experienced a gushing water leak in your home? Where was it? Was it underneath the kitchen sink? Was it in the basement where water pipes tend to run hidden in the dark? What did it cost you to repair this leak?   In 2001, I bought a showroom townhouse. It had many upgrades like granite countertops, wooden kitchen cabinets, and so on. I loved this house house very much, it looked great on the surface… until the day I had my first water leak.    The day it happened, I did not know where the water valve was, so I ran panicking to my next door neighbour. He calmly came over, turned the water valve off, and told me to call a plumber. I had never had to call a plumber before and it made me feel deeply anxious and stressed out. Ever been in that situation?

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