Search Results: Depression

You are browsing the search results for depression

Starting Over

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestTumblrShare

Name: LD
Gender: Male
Age: 38
Location: Atlanta
How do you jump back into the game when your partner passed away suddenly? Getting really horny but its still awkward to actually do it.

Good question, LD. You say you’re feeling awkward. Why exactly? Is it because you’re out of practice with the whole dating thing? Are you concerned that people might think you’re jumping the gun, trying to get back into the game before your partner is cold in the grave? People can be pretty heartless about this. Or, is your awkwardness associated with your grief?

Grief has a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. Yet there is hardly any literature on the effects grief has on our sexuality. To my mind, grief is the leading causes of sexual dysfunction for those who have experienced the death of a partner.

Allow me a bit of time here for one of my pet spiels. Healing and helping professionals often misdiagnose grief. I want to make one thing clear, grief is not depression. Treating grief with an antidepressant is counterproductive. It can actually take away the impetus to resolve the grief and get on the rest of one’s life.

Making sure that you have processed your grief may eliminate some of your awkwardness you are currently experiencing. This is something I’m pretty familiar with. A good portion of my private practice is with sick, elder and dying people and their friends and family who survive them. I know the impact a terminal illness and dying process can have on the surviving spouse or partner. We often go into survival mode, shutting down so much of ourselves in an effort to have the strength to cope with this life-altering experience. Of course, trying to kick-start our life afterwards is often a monumental effort. Without the support and guidance of a professional or a group of similarly challenged people, some of us just sink to the lowest common denominator.

I believe in the resilience of the human spirit. I believe that we can honor our dead and continue to live and love. It sounds to me like you have a desire to get on with your life, LD, to fill the void, to make new connections, but you simply don’t know how. Acknowledging that fact is a real good place to begin.

Perhaps you could start by reawakening your sexuality through self-pleasuring. Reconnect with your body and the joy it can bring you. Reestablishing a social life will no doubt follow, slowly at first. But the inevitable tug of the need for human-to-human contact will draw you, if you let it. Remember the best testament to those who have died is to continue to celebrate life itself.

Allow me to draw your attention to my latest book, The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying; Enhancing The End Of Life. Actually it’s more of a workbook then a text and while its primarily target are those currently facing their mortality it’s not exclusively for them. Concerned family and friends, healing and helping professionals, lawyers, clergy, teachers, students, and those grieving a death will all benefit from participating in the interactive environment the book provides.

Of special interest to you will be Chapter 6, Don’t Stop. My good friend and colleague, Dr Cheryl Cohen Greene, joins me in presenting this chapter on sex and intimacy concerns. Like I said above, there is a dearth of information about this timely topic for sick, elder and dying people as well as those who are grieving. So I am delighted that my book helps break this deafening silence.

I hope you take the time to write back, LD. I’d very much like to keep tabs on how you are doing.

Good luck

Libido Disparity, A Common Problem

Name: Chris
Gender: male
Age: 29
Location:
I’m 29 and I’ve been married for the last 3 years. I was seeing my wife for 5 years prior to being married so I guess it’s been a total of 8 years that we’ve been together. When we first got together everything was great the sex was outstanding ya know 69 all types of positions tons of oral, tons of foreplay and she had an orgasm every time. It seems that just in the last couple of years everything has dwindled away to the point where it’s her on top for a little bit, me on top for a little bit till I finish then we go back to the living room and hang out. Whenever I bring up the subject she gets very uncomfortable and won’t talk about it. And it’s really starting to freak me out in every aspect of our relationship. I love the girl, so I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m wondering if there’s any hope to get things back to the way they used to be that fresh hotness and spontaneity. How can I bring the heat back?

Like I always say, If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this same complaint from a frustrated and desperate man or woman trapped in an undersexed marriage, I’d have enough money to lay down my keyboard, give up my status as the most fabulous and revered sexpert in the universe and retire to Maui.

Despite the frequency of the grievance, it still breaks my heart to hear the despair. I mean it’s one thing to have the sexual connection between partners drift away by mutual consent. It’s another thing all together to have one partner dissolve the sexual connection unilaterally while leaving the other partner bewildered and disoriented.

And what gives with a partner who refuses to talk about why the sex has taken a nosedive? That is so wrong. I can understand not knowing exactly what to say about things goin’ south, or even how to say what may be on your mind, but to clam up all together, that’s just unfair. Suppose the problem had to do with finances instead of sex. What if one of you decided to start splurging on major purchases without consulting the other? There’d be hell to pay then, huh? There’d be no duckin’ out of the responsibility by clamin’ up in this instance, I’ll bet. But when it comes to sex, somehow the same rules for accountability don’t always apply. Why is that?

Sexuality is both a personal expression and a means of bonding with another. Thus sexual wellbeing in a relationship is way more than just the old in and out. It means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of relationship. Sex is a way of expressing one’s self as well as our love for the other. The confusion, unhappiness and anxiety that results from the breakdown of this fundamental tenet will, as you suggest Chris, spill over into and contaminate other areas of the relationship. But it doesn’t need to happen.

When I encounter this predicament in my counseling practice, I always build in some individual time with each partner even though the couple is there for “couples counseling.” I often get a much better sense of what’s causing the breakdown in these private sessions than I do when the couple and I work together as a threesome. Sometimes it’s easier for the individual to talk to me privately than to be open, honest and forthcoming about his/her feelings with his/her partner sitting right there.

My experience tells me that more often than not, a refusal to discuss sexual concerns has more to do with not knowing how to express oneself without hurting the feelings of the other. Sometimes an individual simply doesn’t know herself why things are different than they once were. Sometimes there are lifestyle issues at play — family concerns, work concerns, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol consumption, etc. Sometimes there are medical and psychological issues that impact on a person’s libido — weight gain, birth control, other pharmaceutical drugs, diabetes and depression to mention a few.

There’s also something we in the business call: “desire discrepancy disorder,” which is just a fancy-schmancy way of saying one partner has a stronger libido then the other. But often the simplest and most ordinary explanation is that the partnered sex has become stale, rote and boring.

Whatever the cause of the imbalance, it needs to be addressed as a couple. Once the couple has identified the problem the next step is learning how to talk about it in an effective yet non-threatening way. This can be tricky, to say the least. But it is still so much easier than trying to avoid the issue all together.

Ok, so your wife is reluctant to discuss the matter with you, Chris. That just means you’re gonna have to be proactive in bringing this issue to a head. And I’m not suggesting that you browbeat your wife about her unwillingness to talk about the issue. It’s gonna be all about you leading by example. Here’s what I suggest. Set up a time for you and your wife to have a sit-down. This needs to be scheduled in advance so that both of you know it’s coming. There ought be no surprises. This conference should not immediately follow sex, especially disappointing sex. Set aside at least 30 minutes when you guys are fresh and relaxed and then start preparing what you want to say. Take notes if necessary.

When the time comes for the sit down, I encourage you to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. Begin by laying out how you feel and owing your feelings. “I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I feel that our relationship is in jeopardy.” Stay away from statements like “you make me feel…blah, blah, blah. These kinds of pronouncements will only muddy the waters. Then I suggest that you invite your wife to do the same. If she can’t, or won’t, move on to what steps you will take to get to the bottom of this. Something like, “I don’t want to continue the status quo. I’ve decided that I am going to seek some professional help for this. Maybe there’s something I’m missing. I can’t get to the bottom of this on my own, so maybe a sex therapist will help me understand what’s going on.” Again, invite her to join you in this effort. If she refuses or stalls out, move on to closing the discussion. You might say something like, “thank you for hearing me out on this. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but I think our relationship is worth the effort to preserve it. And I’m actually gonna do something to make sure that we stay together. My invitation to you to join me in this effort will remain open.” End of discussion!

Of course, if you take this route, you will have to follow through on your commitment. If you don’t you will sabotage the whole damn thing, which will only make matters considerably worse. I encourage you to find a sex-positive therapist to work with. A good resource for this is The American College of Sexologists. Visit the directory page on their website. You will find listings for certified sexologists and sex therapists all over the world. If there is no one near you, contact the person closest to you and ask for a referral. Often my fellow ACS therapists and sexologists are very well connected to the broader sex-positive communities in their area.

You may also wish to consult me, even if you’re not here in Seattle. Check out the Therapy Available link in the header of my site for all the information you’ll need to make an enlightened decision about working with me.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for the path of least resistance. Your leadership might be just the thing your wife is looking for to muster her own strength to face the facts. Either way, the problem you are facing will not go away simply by ignoring it. Disappointments will become resentments and resentments will inevitably lead to acting-out and that will surely fuck things up royally.

Good luck

Quickies

Name: Vic
Gender:
Age: 37
Location: Hollywood
I think I have hemorrhoids can you tell me what to do and what kind of doctor I should see

You think you have hemorrhoids, but you don’t know for sure? Since you don’t include the symptoms you might be having, I really can’t help all that much.

What I can tell you is that hemorrhoids are abnormally swollen veins in your rectum and on your asshole. They’re like varicose veins you might see on a person’s legs only they’re in your butt. When bulging hemorrhoidal veins are irritated, they cause surrounding membranes to swell, burn, and itch. They can become pretty painful, and they can bleed too.

Hemorrhoids are caused by too much pressure in your rectum, forcing blood to stretch and bulge the walls of the veins, sometimes even rupturing them.

Frequent causes include:

  • Constant sitting
  • Straining with bowel movements (either from constipation or diarrhea)
  • Severe coughing
  • Heavy Lifting

What you can do to help:

  • Be sure your hole is clean after each bowel movement. Use a premoistened towelette, like baby wipes or Tucks for a thorough cleanup.
  • Avoid excessive rubbing and scratching.
  • Make sure the soap you use is scent and dye free.
  • Apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and follow this with a warm compress.
  • Take a sitz bath. Fill your bathtub with just enough warm water to cover your ass, add Epsom salts. Soak your sorry bum for about 15 minutes a couple times a day.

There are plenty of over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments — ointments, creams, and suppositories. Give these a try, but if symptoms continue see a doctor. Any physician, including a general practitioner, will be able to diagnosis a case of hemorrhoids.

Name: Jon
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: LA
How can I make myself ejaculate harder and longer when doing masturbation?

Ever try “Edging”? This is a stop/start technique guaranteed to prolong the time it takes you to reach your climax. Grab your dick and begin to wank like usual. Only when you get near to cumming — stop stroking. After the urge to shoot subsides begin to slowly wank again. Every time you approach climax — stop the stroking. Repeat this whole ‘stop and start’ cycle for as many times as you would like. When ya finally shoot you’ll have a stronger orgasm and you’ll spew more spunk. Do an internet search for edging & masturbation, you’ll find a load of information posted by fellow edgers.

Another cool method is the “Squat ‘N Jerk”. Squat on the floor, and stretch your knees as far apart as possible. Lean against a wall if necessary. Feel the stretch in your feet, calves, thighs, taint and asshole. Begin your yank session. Try to keep your rod perpendicular to the ground as you stroke. Because of the tension in your fee, legs and butt, when you shoot you’ll be sure to get more bang for your buck. A variation on this technique is to squat on a dildo or a butt plug. ENJOY!

Name: Trev
Gender:
Age: 27
Location: Toronto
My boyfriend and I got into a fight last night and he punched me in the face. He lost his job about a month ago and since then he has been using drugs, mostly pot but sometimes speed too. When he gets depressed he gets angry and I have to stay out of his way. I’m worried about him but he won’t get help. He says he’s sorry about last night but it’s different when he is high. What can I do to help?

You could start by taking a long hard look at your own enabling behaviors. I can tell, even from this great distance, that you are a doormat. Remember, behind every abuser is an enabler. Behind every drunk and druggie there is an enabler. The fact that you are more concerned about your abusive BF welfare than your own safety tells me there is more to your unhealthy relationship than what you reveal here.

Many victims of abuse, and you are an abuse victim, Trev, believe the abuse is their fault. Regardless of how twisted your relationship may be, there is never sufficient cause for someone to punch his partner anywhere on his body, least of all in his face. Your BF has at least two major issues to deal with: a) his depression/anger/violence and b) his drug abuse. As you suggest these are related. You are neither well positioned nor well enough informed to assist him with either of his problems. In fact, as I say above, you are part of the problem.

You, on the other hand, have issues of your own that he can’t help you with, because he is part of your problem. Abusers often promise to change their behavior, and those empty promises often keep the victim from identifying the pattern of abuse in the relationship.

Anyone in a relationship that doesn’t have the emotional wherewithal to leave an abusive relationship needs help ASAP. Here’s a resource for you: The Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project.

Good Luck

Libido Disparity

No other sexual complaint for couples is more pervasive then that of libido disparity. I’ve heard from hundreds of frustrated and desperate women and men trapped in undersexed relationships. It’s one thing to have the sexual connection drift away by mutual consent. It’s quite another to have one partner unilaterally dissolve the sexual connection leaving the other partner bewildered and disoriented.

Often a partner will refuse to talk about why the sex has taken a nosedive. I understand not knowing what to say when things go south, or not knowing how to say what may be on your mind. But to clam up all together, that’s just unfair.

Sexuality is both a personal expression and a means of bonding with another. Sexual wellbeing in a relationship is more than simply getting off. It means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of relationship. The confusion, unhappiness and anxiety that result when there’s a breakdown of this can spill over and contaminate other areas of the relationship.

When I encounter this predicament in my counseling practice, I always build in some individual time with each partner even though the couple is there for “couples counseling.” I often get a much better sense of what’s causing the problem in these private sessions. It’s easier for the individual to talk to me privately than to be open, honest and forthcoming about his/her feelings with his/her partner sitting right there.

Some people don’t know how to express themselves without hurting the feelings of the other. Or an individual may not know why things are different than they once were. Often there are lifestyle issues at play — family concerns, work concerns, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol consumption, etc. Sometimes medical and psychological issues are impacting on a person’s libido — weight gain, birth control, other pharmaceutical drugs, diabetes and depression to mention a few. But more frequently than not, the explanation is the partnered sex has become stale, rote and boring.

Whatever the cause of the imbalance, it needs to be addressed as a couple. Once the couple has identified the problem the next step is learning how to talk about it in an effective yet non-threatening way. This can be tricky, to say the least. But it is still so much easier than trying to avoid the issue all together.

When the couple is ready to break open this discussion, I encourage them to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. I ask them to identify how they feel and own their feelings. “I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I feel that our relationship is in jeopardy.” Avoid statements like; “you make me feel…” Active listening is as important as being honest with one’s feelings.

The couple moves on to identify concrete steps they can take together to address the problem. Making a mutually agreed upon plan of action and sticking to it is essential.

Problems do not go away simply by ignoring them. Disappointments will become resentments and resentments will inevitably lead to acting-out and that will surly fuck things up royally.

Good luck

Come As You Are

Name: Valeri
Gender: Female
Age: 38
Location: Dubuque IA
Dr Dick: I just went through a very painful divorce. My husband of 18 years up and decided that he wanted to start over…in a new job, in a new state with a new girlfriend, someone 12 years his junior. I must be completely blind, because I didn’t see any of this coming. Sure we had our problems, what marriage doesn’t? I want to move on too, but I feel so stuck. I feel like this big loser. The few tentative forays into dating have been horrible. Every guy I meet is this lying sack of shit. Sorry, does that sound too bitter? HELP!

Damn girl, that’s fucked…big time! It’s hell when relationships go belly-up, and I don’t care if they are business relationships or relationships of the heart. If there’s an established bond of trust that is broken it’s gonna smart. And when the bond is broken unilaterally, it’s even worse. But what can you expect when you’re dealing with humans.

Surviving a break-up is not unlike surviving a death. In fact, the demise of a relationship is very much a death in every sense of the word. I believe that any relationship worth talking about has a life of its own; you see, it’s greater then the sum of its parts. I gotta tell ya, I see a lot of this in my private practice. A couple drags in their relationship and it’s immediately apparent that it’s on life support. They’ve actively throttled the relationship to within an inch of its life, and they want me to fix it. Most of the time the option to “fix” has long passed. All we can hope to do, at this point, is preside over the death of the thing, providing its passing with as much dignity as possible. But to tell the truth, when a relationship is in such grave condition, and there is very little good will left between the partners, sadly there’s not gonna be a lot of dignity when the thing finally expires. It breaks my heart, but what are ya gonna do?

Many years ago a therapist working with sick and dying people wrote a book called, On Death and Dying. In it the author, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, identified five stages of dying — 1. Denial: The initial stage: “It can’t be happening.” 2. Anger: “Why ME? This is so unfair!” 3. Bargaining: “Just let me live to see my son graduate.” 4. Depression: “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” 5. Acceptance: “It’s going to be OK.”

I find it helpful to use these same identifiable stages to talk about the end of a relationship, particularly a relationship that ends unilaterally. If you don’t mind I’d like to walk through these stages with you so that you can see how applicable they are to someone in your situation.

Grieving the death of a loved one, or a relationship, involves the whole of us — our physical, emotional and social selves. We have to relearn, or cognitively adjust to, our new self without the loved one or relationship. Moving through the end of things is hard to work. And to survive it; we need be patient with ourselves. You, on the other hand, seem to be having a particular problem with this since you say you feel like a loser. That kind of mindset is not going be particularly helpful. So, if you can please jettison that kind of thinking. Or at least try to have a bit more compassion for yourself. Maybe you could shelf that self-deprecation for a while, until you get your bearings once again.

A person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and so she rejects it instead, insisting that it can’t possibly be true despite overwhelming evidence. This is Stage 1 — Denial! “Honey, I’m moving out. I’m getting a new job in a new state. Oh, and I have this new, much younger girlfriend too.” “This can’t be happening! Sure we’ve had our troubles, I’ll grant you that. But so does every relationship.” Denying the reality of the unpleasant fact may actually serve a purpose. It’s a coping mechanism for dealing with something overwhelming and too shocking to take in at once.

We have a gut-wrenching emotional response to the injustice, humiliation, and betrayal. This is Stage 2 — Anger. Depending on the kind of person we are, we may actively express our anger by lashing out verbally or physically. Or we may passively express our anger — turning it inward becoming silent, sulking or passive-aggressive. We may even consider harming our self as a way of punishing the other.

We try to fix what’s wrong. This is Stage 3 — Bargaining. “We can make this work! I’ll change, I promise! I know I can make you happy. Stay for the sake of the kids. What will the neighbors say? This will kill your mother! What does she have that I don’t have? You’ll never be able to show your face in this town again.” Hmmm, does any of this sound familiar, Valeri?

All our efforts to reverse the inevitable course of things leave us emotionally drained and exhausted. This is Stage 4 — Depression. Why bother with anything — family, friends, work, personal appearances, whatever — life as we knew it is over. We can’t seem to project ourselves beyond the ending of things. In the bleakness we often begin to self-medicate. A little too much food, booze, drugs? As if depression is not punishing enough, we often pile it on. I’ve heard some many people say; “hurting myself is the only thing that makes me feel I’m still alive.”

Slowly we begin to regroup. Maybe it’s through sheer willpower, or the interventions of friends and family, or maybe it’s just time itself. But we stop resisting and move toward acquiescence. This is Stage 5 — Acceptance. We stop resisting what we cannot change. Even if the end was un-chosen, undesired and inescapable, we can still willingly choose to accept it.

I hasten to add that these stages are guidelines. They are not presented in the order that they always happen. Nor is one stage predicated on the other. How long a person is in one stage or another is situational. However, I do hope this was helpful. What is certain is you will experience a wide range of feelings and emotions.

Some suggest the therapy of keeping yourself busy as a means of healing and moving on. This may sound elemental, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Most of us tend to wallow in our misery. We are way too indulgent with sitting on the pitty-pot. While you definitely need time to recover from the divorce, this period of heartache will have an end. And ends of things always led to beginnings of other things.

You now have certain freedoms that you may not have had while you were married. Once the initial period of grieving is over, it is important to jump back into life. Become more involved in your social group. Going out might seem unappealing at first, but it’s better than staying home and feeling sorry for yourself. If you’re only dating assholes, I’ll bet you’re fishing in the wrong holes, so to speak. The internet makes it so much easier to connect with quality people of ever stripe. Use this tool wisely. May I suggest that you start by connecting with people with similar interests as you, rather than posting a profile and photos on a dating site.

Of course, it is necessary to have some time with yourself to realize that you can survive and even be happy without your dick of a husband. The secret to successful grieving is that you need to feel the pain in order to get through it. Therefore, using drugs (prescription or recreational) and alcohol to numb yourself only make things worse.

You might consider working with a therapist to help you understand why your relationship ended. With a little luck you’ll learn how to avoid blaming yourself for the demise. No one is without fault, and your husband definitely has more than his share. But blaming him for everything will do you no good. You are neither totally to blame, nor are you the helpless victim. Lingering at either extreme will rob you of your self-esteem.

At first, being single might seem weird or even unappealing. But being single has its perks. Being single allows you to focus on you and take better care of yourself. And what better way to do that then by reconnecting with your sexual-self. Masturbation is gonna be your best friend during this transition period. Lavish time and pleasure on yourself. You’re worth it! Indulge yourself; instead of chocolate, get yourself a supped up vibrator and kick that thing into first gear, maybe even second! By spending more private sexual time with yourself, you’ll reconnect with who you are and what you want. This will make it easier for you to later choose a partner who can and will satisfy your needs.

Good luck

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline