Archive for November 21, 2012

Silence Your Inner Critic

Health Journal columnist Melinda Beck penned an amazingly accurate and helpful article in the Wall Street Journal about the self-criticism that so often accompanies depression and anxiety. Not only was I delighted that she approached such a difficult and complicated aspect of our illness with compassion and insight, but I was ecstatic to see myself as one of the “accomplished” mentioned with suggestions on how to silent the annoying voice that says we are incapable, weak, and worthless. Depression and self-criticism, of course, are great companions.

Unrelenting self-criticism often goes hand in hand with depression and anxiety, and it may even predict depression. In a study of 107 patients in the latest issue of Comprehensive Psychiatry, David M. Dunkley at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and colleagues found that those who were most self-critical were the most likely to be depressed and have difficulties in relationships four years later, even if they weren’t depressed to begin with. Cognitive behavioral techniques can help us quiet our inner critic so that we believe only half of what he says by jotting down your self-critical judgments — I’m a loser, I’m stupid, I’m ugly — in a journal or a personal-digital assistant is the first step to mastering them: That process alone may decrease the intensity and frequency. Also note the situations in which these feelings occur and see if you can spot patterns.

Define your terms and examine whether your standards are arbitrary or fair. If you think you’re a “bad person,” are you a bad person all the time? Are there times when you are adequate? People often find that their views are internally inconsistent. Now I would ask, ‘What does a loser look like to you?’ The client is picturing a guy in sweatpants sitting around the house drinking beer. I say, ‘Is that what you did yesterday?’ And he’ll say, ‘Well, no.’ Challenge you negative thoughts with hard facts. Keep a short list of your achievements on a note card and pull it out when your self-criticism threatens to overwhelm you. Better still, look back at your own CV and review what you’ve accomplished. Focus on the fact that you made it as a scholarship student; not that nobody asked you to dance for two years.

Recognize the difference between thoughts that are critical and those that are constructive. If you overeat at a picnic, thinking “I am a fat pig” is a condemnation, whereas thinking “I’ll try to start eating better tomorrow” is a conviction. Your goal should be improvement, rather than putting yourself down. Make sure that whatever you are beating yourself up about is worth striving for. Some goals, like kindness, integrity, and being self-disciplined, enhance the meaning and quality of life, whereas others only feed into your sense of defectiveness. Some people think, ‘I can get Botox and then I’ll be lovable.’ But the way to be lovable is to do lovable things.

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What Are Your Core Beliefs?

I’ve learned that childhood is simply too precious to ignore. Have you ever stopped to think about how your childhood affects you? Childhood is the ground level in this life. It is our foundation. We simply cannot say, ‘What happens in childhood stays in childhood,’ because the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t stay anywhere. Our childhood is our base for this life that we lead, and without a strong foundation, we struggle to navigate the waters of life. The good news is… it’s never too late to create a strong foundation for your children or yourself. Within the first five years of our lives, our core beliefs are set.

What are core beliefs, you say? Core beliefs are beliefs that we have about ourselves or life in general that are deeply engrained within us from a young age. An empowering core belief might be, "The Universe supports me and all is well." A damaging core belief might be, "I’m not worthy or I’m not enough." These core beliefs are formed early in life, during childhood, as we watch, listen and learn from our parents, caregivers and teachers. We all have some empowering core beliefs and some harmful core beliefs. Unfortunately most of us have a tendency to hold onto the negative longer than the positive in life. If you’re feeling ‘stuck’ or a bit discouraged, I can guarantee you that there is a damaging core belief at the root of that feeling.

The bright side is that there are only a few core beliefs that generally hold us back in life. Some examples are: I’m not worthy; good things don’t happen for me; or I’m just not enough. You may or may not know exactly what core belief is holding you back, but it’s truly not necessary to know in order to repair and strengthen your foundation. All you really need are the 7 Essentials of Creating Strong Foundations for Children & Adults.

Love Yourself: Take the time to look in the mirror and see how important that person staring back at you is. Not because others have told you how important you are, but because you see the light within. Spend time nurturing and loving yourself just like you would nurture and love a child or pet that depends on you.

Feel Your Feelings: Don’t let anyone tell you what you do or do not feel. Get out of your head and into your heart. Feel what’s right for you in life and allow all feelings to process through you even the dark ones.

Quiet the Mind: Take time every day to be mindful. Just feel the breath in your lungs, feel the wind in your hair, or marvel at the vast and beautiful Universe.

Put Your Listening Ears On: Listen to that inner voice. Not the voice of fear, but the voice within that guides you based upon how something feels.

Remove Toxic Thoughts: Understand that we are driven by only two forces: love and fear. Release the negative thoughts and replace them with inspiration and positive thoughts.

Speak Your Truth: Be true to yourself. Don’t hold in your feelings. Communicate your thoughts clearly and effectively, without blame.

Plug In: Understand that we are all connected to something much bigger than ourselves and plug into that energy daily. Whether you are creating a strong foundation for your children today, or repairing and strengthening your own foundation…Childhood is too precious to ignore!

Happy+Thanksgiving+Day!

May God bless My WordPress Community with peace, love abundance and prosperity this Thanksgiving Day and beyond. “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Everyone is connected and I thought I would reach out to all of My Community to let know how grateful and thankful I am for My Community. I feel your love and support every day. Thanksgiving is a season of love, not just one day – well at least not for me. 🙂 Enjoy the holiday, enjoy your life, enjoy all that is good and right in this world. May My Community be blessed beyond their wildest imagination! Oh yes….A little something extra today to think about.

What I Am Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is almost here and each year our family has a gathering to share a meal, celebrate life, our love for each other and to remember those who are no longer with us on this earth. I feel it’s important for my growth to have a running list of what I am thankful for. Though not everything is covered (it would go on forever) I do want to share a bit with you, so maybe you will learn more about me. I am grateful and thankful for the love of my life, Hank, and for my dear sweet mom, my sister and brothers and their families. My friends, international brothers and sisters, and visitors to Life is Mysterious each of you is full of life, love and kindness.

I am thankful and grateful that many of my extended family and relatives are still here on earth. I am grateful for my friends, each one special and dear to my heart; some live close and some far away – always in my thoughts and prayers. I am thankful to My Community, both old and new for the helping hands and hearts no matter what. I am thankful that I am healthy and strong willed, inquisitive and smart. I am thankful that I can feel my emotions pretty easily and that I try each day to be kind and loving, understanding and patient. I am thankful that I have the privilege and honor to be a member of My Community through Life Is Mysterious. I am thankful and grateful to My Community, who believed in me even when I did not believe in myself.

I am thankful and grateful that I found My WordPress Community. From this experience I learned humility and pain do not last forever and from the ashes of failure, you can arise again and achieve success. I am thankful that I can connect with so many people and help bring out the best in them. I am thankful that I have enough food to eat, clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. I am thankful that my house is also a home and that it’s a warm and loving place for all to gather. I am grateful for the sun that shines, the rain that falls, and the snow.

I am thankful and grateful for all that I have experienced in my life – both the good times and the bad. Through the laughter and tears I have become a better person. I am grateful and thankful that God has allowed me so many years here on earth. I hope I will continue to receive strength, courage and wisdom each day to deal with life as it unfolds. I am grateful and thankful that I can contribute to society and feel empathy for others who are hurting and offer hope.

So you see, I have a lot to be thankful for. I know you do too.

Have a beautiful day today!

Posted November 21, 2012 by dranilj1 in Social

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To A Physician, It Is Unethical To Date His Patient

To the besotted poet, love is intoxicating, exasperating, invigorating. To the doctor — if the would-be paramour is a patient — it’s also unethical. But physician responses to Medscape’s 2012 ethics survey clearly indicate that many physicians aren’t willing to condemn every romance. When asked, "Is it ever acceptable to become involved a romantic or sexual relationship with a patient?" more than two thirds (68%) of the 24,000 doctors who responded resoundingly say "no." In contrast, nearly one third are more nuanced in their view. Only a tiny minority (1%) give romance with current patients a green light, but a sizable share (22%) say that a romantic relationship with a former patient may be acceptable, as long as at least 6 months have passed since the professional relationship was terminated. Another 9% say the ethics depend on the situation.

Whereas the American Medical Association clearly states that sexual contact that is concurrent with the doctor/patient relationship constitutes sexual misconduct, it takes a fuzzier position on relationships that might develop later. The American Medical Association notes that the prior doctor/patient relationship may unduly influence the patient and that such a relationship is unethical if the doctor uses or exploits trust, knowledge, emotions or influence derived from the previous professional relationship. Ethicists, such as Dr. Richard Martinez, director of forensic psychiatry services at Denver Health Medical Center and the author of several articles on ethical decision-making and the patient/physician relationship, says the American Medical Association was wise to leave a little wiggle room in its opinion.

Relationships are complicated. Every ethical dilemma has to be evaluated and considered on a case-by-case basis. It’s complicated says nearly one third of the respondents’ remarks. Whereas many qualified their answers with caveats that they themselves would not engage in such a relationship and that "99.9% of the time" having a relationship with a patient is forbidden, there are weird instances in life when I can see this happening. Of course, the physician-patient relationship would have to end.

Many make the important distinction that the intimacy or longevity of the professional relationship plays a large role in determining the ethics of the personal one. Not every patient interaction with a physician is emotionally deep, nor is there an innate imbalance of power. A patient may well have a closer, more dependent relationship with her auto mechanic than with the dermatologist she once visited to have a plantar wart removed. Similarly, a patient may not even remember the anesthesiologist who presided over his gallbladder surgery or the emergency department doctor who once stitched his finger.

I think it depends in part on the type of physician and medical care. For example, I would be less concerned about an ophthalmologist getting involved with a patient who has had general yearly visits than I would an internist or oncologist. For the same reason, the fact that you met them as a patient once in an Emergency Room or you cared for them years ago and they are no longer your patient should not be absolute barriers to a relationship if it develops. Ethicists say the distinction is valid. Some specialties by their very nature create a more intimate relationship, and one that makes the patient more vulnerable. Recognizing that, the American Psychiatric Association categorically prohibits sexual relationships with either current or former patients. The difference between treating a "boo-boo" — as opposed to a patient’s depression or cancer — can’t be overstated. Doctors definitely have to dissect the relationship. Whether or not a relationship could be ethically defensible depends on the nature, intensity, and frequency of the doctor/patient interaction.

A handful of respondents note that an amorous relationship with a patient might be allowable for physicians in rural areas, where everyone’s a patient, but such ethicists as Dr. Goodman are less sympathetic and advise country doctors to find someone in the next town over, rather than muddy the legal and ethical waters.

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