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...]

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...]

Stuck in My Anxiety

Many people are still struggling with the anxiety that began for them with the onset of the COVICD 19 pandemic. Even though the pandemic is under much better control, masks are no longer required everywhere, and people are returning to work in person, for some folks their anxiety is lingering like an unwanted guest. Like a COVID-induced PTSD. Like a cloak of worry that won’t go away.  It is hard to get back in the swing of commuting, sitting in an office, and being around a lot of people? It … [Read more...]