April is stress awareness month. Stress is becoming more and more part of our everyday—we cannot even think of daily life without stress anymore—and as such is also either cause or accompanying many mental health and other psychological issues people bring into psychotherapy and counselling. However, a closer look at the internet search statistics, reveals astonishing figures related to stress, anxiety and depression, which are the top three mental health-related searches in the UK.
A corporate executive that spent half of her life chasing her career, getting one promotion after the other and moving up the corporate ladder, only to find out—usually in her thirties—that she in fact never achieved what she wanted, whilst her life is slipping by. She wakes up anxious, not knowing what she is doing, where she is going and slightly doubting that she knows what she wants to achieve. She cannot take pleasure in fruits of her hard work although she can afford to. She sees younger generation as competition and starts wondering how long she can keep this up. And what then? When? She can no longer relate to the little girl that sat on her daddy’s shoulders, pulling his hair as they walked through the zoo.
In therapy room this topic is likely to come up at some point. And it will usually come up in many forms. From questions like “Will therapy make me happy?” to statements from the client that therapy is making them feel more sad or depressed or even claiming therapy is making things worse for them in general. Any therapist working with wide variety and number of clients will get used to these questions and allegations. But, even though, this might not be something new to the therapist, it is very much new to the client.
Narcissism by nature of the personality structure manifestation makes it hard for a narcissist to engage in authentic and intimate relationships. People who engage in a relationship with a narcissist will often be subject to the lack of connection, empathy and intimacy. They may find themselves under fire of allegations that they are too controlling and smothering. Even though these accusations will be part of narcissist’s distorted reality, there will often also be some pathology related to why someone gets involved with a narcissist in the first place. Usually such pathology will be unconscious.
Development of narcissism tends to start early in life and is often mistaken for confidence. In addition, today’s society often incubates narcissism and narcissists as a virtue, rather than pathology. But that doesn’t mean that the pain a narcissist will go through will be any less once they break. And there is also the pain of their partners in the relationships they form—even though they are not capable of sustaining a true intimate and healthy relationship. So, what causes someone to be a narcissist?
Is narcissist a modern day standard and is narcissism on the rise in cosmopolitan world today? At least the latter is often a question and the answer is also simple. But I guess the straightforward answer would not really be enough. The next question is why is that so, why is it happening and why?
A therapist will often be faced with a question of what the difference between sadness and depression is and what low mood is then. This will either come up in therapy room as client is making progress beating depression or dealing with any other issue and trying to evaluate progress, or it will come up as a question before a client even comes in for the first session of psychotherapy or counselling.
If there’s something you don’t want to commit to this year, include it in your new year’s resolutions. I guess this is something that could sum up how we actually treat and sticking to new year’s resolutions after making them. They are known not to stick and until we don’t change the way we make them, they are going to keep failing us. We’ll keep failing. If the habits we want to break out of are not wanted and are not making us feel good, then why are they so hard to get out of and why is sticking to new year’s resolutions so hard?
Mental health statistics for UK in 2016 in terms of search results reveals that anxiety and depression are still the leading mental health conditions people search for. Other mental health topics that dominate are stress, bipolar, bereavement, panic attacks, trauma, burnout, suicide, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).