Given that women are twice as likely to suffer with depression as men, there is a tendency – even in clinical diagnosis – to associate depression with symptoms more likely reported by women. These include sadness, hopelessness, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, loss of interest in people and activities, and suicidal thoughts. According to the STAR-D study, there are physical differences in the overall pattern of depression symptoms between men and women which may go unnoticed: Whereas both men and women may report low mood as a symptom of depression, women are more likely to gain weight while men are more likely to lose weight; women report symptoms associated with anxiety while men report symptoms associated with obsessive –compulsive disorder; women feel less energetic and men typically feel agitated; and men are more likely to develop alcohol or substance abuse in conjunction with major depression. In his cross-cultural research on depression, Jules Angst, MD found that both men and women reported stress as a cause of their depression. Whereas women cited family as the primary source of stress, men were more likely to cite work and unemployment.
- Whereas women choose to share and disclose their stress as a way of seeking help, men are far less likely to disclose stress to others. More common in men than women, depression is often reflected in stress headaches, stomach problems and chronic pain – Something missed by men as well as the people around them.
- Also more common in men is the masking of feelings with anger, irritability or changes in behavior, such as becoming controlling and, in some cases, abusive or violent. It is unlikely that a partner will move closer to support someone whose pain is hidden by angry put-downs or abuse. By Suzanne Phillips, PsyD http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/men-and-hidden-danger-depression
about as close
as you get to
Most of us who grew up in families affected by the disease of alcoholism never did really grow up in many ways. Sure, we grew up physically — but emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually many of us are still stuck back there in early childhood. We never learned a “normal” way of thinking, feeling or reacting. As long as things are going smoothly, we’re fine. However, when we experience conflict, controversy, or crises and we respond with less-than-adult-like reactions. Over the years, those who have studied the “adult child” phenomenon have compiled a list of common characteristics which many people who grew up in dysfunctional homes seem to share. The following characteristics were developed in 1983 by Dr. Janet G. Woititz. You may recognize some of them.
…guess at what normal is.
…have difficulty in following a project through from beginning to end.
…lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
…judge themselves without mercy.
…have difficulty having fun.
…take themselves very seriously.
…have difficulty with intimate relationships.
…overreact to changes over which they have no control.
…constantly seek approval and affirmation.
…feel that they are different from other people.
…are either super responsible or super irresponsible..
…are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that loyalty is undeserved.
…tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsivity leads to confusion, self loathing, and loss of control of their environment. As a result, they spend tremendous amounts of time cleaning up the mess.
These characteristics are, of course, general in nature and do not apply to everyone. Some may apply and others not. http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/adult/a/aa073097.htm
Wine hath drowned
more men than the sea.
I understand addiction now. I never did before, you know. How could a man (or a woman) do something so self-destructive, knowing that they’re hurting not only themselves, but the people they love? It seemed that it would be so incredibly easy for them to just not take that next drink. Just stop. It’s so simple, really. But as so often happens with me, my arrogance kept me from seeing the truth of the matter. I see it now though. Every day, I tell myself it will be the last. Every night, as I’m falling asleep in his bed, I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll book a flight to Paris, or Hawaii, or maybe New York. It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as it’s not here. I need to get away… away from him—before this goes even one step further. And then he touches me again, and my convictions disappear like smoke in the wind. This cannot end well. That’s the crux of the matter… I’ve been down this road before—you know I have—and there’s only heartache at the end. If I stay here with him, I will become restless and angry. It’s happening already, and I cannot stop it. I’m becoming bitter and terribly resentful. Before long, I will be intolerable, and eventually, he’ll leave me. But if I do what I have to do, what my very nature compels me to do, and move on, the end is no better. One way or another, he’ll be gone. Tomorrow I will leave. Tomorrow I will stop delaying the inevitable. Tomorrow I will quit lying to myself, and to him. Tomorrow. What about today, you ask? Today it’s already too late. He’ll be home soon, and I have dinner on the stove, and wine chilling in the fridge. And he will smile at me when he comes through the door, and I will pretend like this fragile, dangerous thing we have created between us can last forever. Just one last time. Just one last fix. That’s all I need. And that is why I now understand addiction. From “Strawberries for Dessert” by Marie Sexton
Here I am trying to live,
or rather, I am trying
to teach the death
within me how to live.
If the alcoholic has more or less continued to hold down a job, he is politely called a “functioning alcoholic.” But he is an alcoholic nonetheless. He works much below his potential, he neglects or abuses his family and he may not live very long if he continues the self-abuse. Like all addicts he lies (bold-faced lies, lies of omission, cover-ups, minimization), he makes excuses, he blames others for his drinking, and he continues to seek out and use alcohol regardless of consequences. If there are children present, they copy the lying, justifying, blaming behavior which they see modeled. They also learn to keep family secrets and to cover for their alcoholic parent. In other words they join in the “dance of alcohol” and participate with their parents, learning how to be alcoholics or how to live with them when they grow up. If you are living with an alcoholic, there are steps you can take too. Perhaps more importantly at first, there are things you can learn to avoid so that you don’t further your partner’s alcoholism. Making excuses for him, for example, only makes things worse. By Neill Neill http://ezinearticles.com/?Youre-Married-to-an-Alcoholic—What-to-Do?&id=930249
That’s the problem with drinking,
I thought, as I poured myself a drink.
If something bad happens you drink
in an attempt to forget;
if something good happens
you drink in order to celebrate;
and if nothing happens
you drink to make something happen.
“Big boys don’t cry.” “No pain no gain. Tough it out.” “Only sissies get hurt feelings.” “It’s a sign of weakness to let people know you’re hurting.” Men are cautioned to not discuss their feelings, to avoid feelings altogether and to not discuss love, sorrow or pain. Men will often make a joke out of a difficult situation rather than face it directly. Men are taught to be checked out toward the emotions of others, and keep their true feelings inside. All this is not to say that men are incapable of intimacy, dependency or vulnerability. They are quite able but our culture does not support it. One of the main reasons for drug and alcohol use is for medicating pain and that would include emotional pain. Men, who feel bottled up, sad, angry and depressed will often become workaholics, drink or do drugs to avoid feelings. For men to understand how to be intimate they must first learn more about who they are, what they want and what is truly important to them. Feelings tell us what we want and what we need so without them we are like a ship without a rudder. So many men lead lives of quiet desperation, never letting anyone in or themselves out. For men to take a look at who they really are and allow their essence to be known are actually far stronger than the burly silent types who live their lives in utter isolation. Taken from an on-line article by Bill Cloke http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-why-men-have-trouble-with-intimacy/
will never die.
They are buried alive
and will come forth later
in uglier ways.
Negative default positions are often relationship destroyers. No matter how much a more typical relationship partner loves and values another, he or she will not be able to survive continuous onslaughts of negative default positions. It is the classic “I can’t win for losing” conundrum. Anytime either partner comes from a core experience of a basic negative attitude towards the other, all disagreements will eventually be twisted into a one-sided criticism that defies reality. Those predetermined expressions of invalidation will doom the targeted partner to a life of defending his or her basic worth. Unless martyrdom is the goal, that person will eventually leave the relationship. If you can identify your own fixed, negative default positions, you can replace them with a far more successful set of skills that can turn frustrating, repetitive conflicts into positive resolutions. When you have mastered that new process, you can create a deeper intimacy through embracing each other’s differences and opening up to the possibilities of deeper intimacy. Taken from “Rediscovering Love” by Randi Gunther, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rediscovering-love/201208/do-you-want-stay-in-love-then-examine-your-default-position-when-you-
You cannot reason people
out of a position that they
did not reason themselves into.
Intellectual Abuse: When the child is not encouraged or supported to think independently, told they are stupid or incapable, not taught to problem solve, how to be accountable your actions and thoughts and how to communicate is abuse. It also includes not being taught a philosophy or belief system in life. Spiritual abuse occurs when the parent is so rigid that they are the final word in everything. The child is not allowed to have their own desires, wants and needs; it must coincide with what the parent wants and needs. Addiction to Religion is similar to any addiction, it means that there is no room for questions or alternative thought. Religion can be used to scare and control, which is abusive. When a representative of a religion abuses, besides the trauma of the crime, it also casts doubt on “God” for the victim as well as the fear of authority figures. Taken from “Adults Abused as Children” by Licia Ginne, LMFT http://www.latherapists.com/articles.html
Religion has the capacity
to silence critical thinking
and create blindness
in entire groups of people.
(A) child’s unconscious adaptation to a dysfunctional family interferes with his or her adult relationships. Because the real self is safely tucked away, the adult must “invent” a different one that will appear as normal as possible and be able to negotiate the day-to-day interactions of adult life. Invented selves, however, have no interest in true intimacy. Instead, they exist as a kind of interface between the true self and the outside world, carefully monitoring and controlling what is allowed in and out. As a result, passion and empathy have to be manufactured–while the person may take the time in the early/romantic phase of a relationship to “act” this out, many soon tire of the effort. Often partners notice the “wooden” nature of their response or their obliviousness. It is not unusual for these people to be particularly accomplished. They channel all of their energy toward a particular pursuit, and away from everything else that is happening around them. . Workaholics often fit this category. From “Why Can’t Some People Maintain Intimate Relationships?” by Richard A. Grossman, Ph.D. http://www.voicelessness.com/intimacy.html
The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational
until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction
and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.
Dysfunctional Relationships are relationships that do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, foster communication among them, appropriately challenge them, or prepare or fortify them for life in the larger world. Codependency means that one or both people in a relationship are making the relationship more important than they are to themselves. A classic codependent is hopelessly entangled with a partner who is out of control through alcoholism, addiction or violent behavior; but the term has been more recently used to mean anyone who feel dependent, helpless and out of control in a relationship; or unable to leave an unsatisfying or abusive one. Toxic Family Systems are relationships (beginning with childhood families, and carried into adulthood) that are mentally, emotionally or physically harmful to some or all of the participants. Codependent relationships can also be toxic relationships, although the term “toxic” is usually used to mean the more abusive varieties. In short, all three of these terms refer to relationships that contain unhealthy interaction, and do not effectively enhance the lives of the people involved. People in these relationships are not taking responsibility for making their own lives or the relationship work. Adapted from “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage” by Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. http://www.tinatessina.com/dysfunctional_relationship.html
We are all prompted by the same motives,
all deceived by the same fallacies,
all animated by hope, obstructed by danger,
entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.
One of the negative emotional habits that codependents develop is categorical thinking. Everything is black and white with no shades in between. This always/never way of thinking leads them to over-react in social situations. Roger, for example, heard that some of the members of his Sunday school class were dissatisfied with his teaching methods. Instead of consulting with them on how to make the class more meaningful, he resigned and joined another class. Another childlike behavior of codependents is personalization – interpreting everything that is said and done in their immediate environment as if it were directed at them. This creates a paranoid perspective, which leads to defensiveness, hostility, and isolation. At a meeting with his prayer group, Mark questioned the unwitting use of sexist language that had begun to occur. Another member of the group, realizing that he was guilty, assumed that Mark was chiding him personally. He took offense and dropped out of the group. A third habit many codependents acquire is what I call obsessive over-analyzing. The mind goes round and round in circles until the emotional system either explodes or shuts down as a result of the overwhelming anxiety that is generated. Another emotional habit typical of codependents is exaggerating or “awfulizing”. Children who have grown up in addictive or traumatized family systems learn to expect the worst. They are constantly waiting for the other shoe to fall. In adulthood, they are prone to place the worst possible interpretation on every event. They see neutral or even positive situations as negative, and they anticipate disaster. This expectation often sets off an emotional chain reaction that creates the very thing they most fear. People who are “stuck” in these immature emotional habits consider them normal. They don’t know any other way to think/believe/behave. Such individuals are not at fault! They need gentle and respectful guidance. http://www.thebridgetorecovery.com/overcoming-codependency.html
The consequences of your denial
will be with you for a lifetime
and will be passed down
to the next generations.
Break your Silence on Abuse!
Patty Rase Hopson