Are You a Perfectionist?

To be perfectionistic means to have very high standards and expectations.  Is that bad, you ask?  Not necessarily.  Although perfectionism can be adaptive when it leads to high productivity and life satisfaction, it can be maladaptive when it leads to being self-critical, angry, or not having a life balance between work and recreation. Joan is an example of someone who does not recognize that she is a perfectionist.  Her children’s clothes must always be ironed and she must look perfect in … [Read more...]

When Feeling Bad Is Good

Many years ago, I read a book by Ellen McGrath with the same title as this blog. McGrath’s focus was on recognizing that the early signs of depression could be a good thing, a warning sign that help is needed. Recently, I revisited this idea since so many people are talking about the depression they feel arising from world and national events that are troubling. I think all of us can agree that war, isolation from a pandemic, and lack of civility in politics does not make the world an easier … [Read more...]

Should We Always Be Afraid of Anxiety?

For most people, anxiety is a burden. It makes them feel as if they cannot control their lives and that they must endure a lot of distress when doing things that make them nervous. In the DSM V, the psychiatrist’s and psychologist’s diagnostic manual, there are 11 different anxiety “disorders.”  But, as a recent article by Christina Caron in the New York Times Wellness Advice section shows, there are times when anxiety can actually help us. She acknowledges that too much anxiety can be … [Read more...]

Sleep & Our Immune System

Because of the COVID pandemic, there is a lot of conversation about how strong people’s immune systems are, and who may be “immune-compromised.” While that is important, what a lot of people ignore even during more normal times is the relationship between sleep and immunity. One of the key elements in helping your immune system function well is sleep. Sleep is not just a way that we rest and heal emotionally from our day. It is also the time that our bodies produce white blood cells (T-cells) … [Read more...]

OCD and the Covid-19 Pandemic

People with OCD have unwanted recurring thoughts that lead to repetitive behaviors.  They are not just quirky or eccentric.  They are suffering from a highly upsetting condition that triggers a great deal of anxiety and can be time-consuming in its behaviors.  At the beginning of the pandemic, people with OCD often felt worse as they feared there were germs everywhere. Others found that their taboo thoughts about sexuality or religion increased.  Those with rituals of counting or checking may … [Read more...]