Why Doesn't He Want Me? When Your Drive Is Higher Than His

Thursday, February 12, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

Anyone who has ever been turned down for sex has some feelings around it. Women who are denied feel rejected and unattractive. We get frustrated, sexually and otherwise. We may also feel anxious, as if the relationship is threatened. This is based on an evolutionarily relevant drive to have sex as a way to increase attachment and reaffirm bonds (and if you want to learn more about that, check out The Evolution of Desire, The Anatomy of Love or Mothers and Others).

In short, we don’t always want to high-tail it to the closet for some solo fun with the magic bullet or rascally rabbit (and if you don’t know what those are, you should). Sometimes, we want the connection, the closeness. We want a partner. This whole reaffirming bond thing may be why couples who have more sex have more marital satisfaction even when they have less than ideal communication skills otherwise1.

But it’s a bigger issue than immediate hurt feelings and a little argument over him not being in the mood. Conflicts over intimacy tend to be recurrent and ongoing2 which does not lead to happier relationships overall. And this issue is heightened, with more anger and aggression, when one or both partners is depressed, especially if it’s the husband2

And when it’s the wife who has a higher drive, we have a few other issues to contend with....  continue reading

Anxiety, Alcohol Use and 13 Ways to Cope With Panic (Besides Drinking)

Monday, February 09, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Social anxiety is strongly linked to higher levels of alcohol abuse1, possibly due to the way alcohol lubricates vocal chords and actually allows nervous folks to speak in public. A little social helper to get you through meeting new friends, right? 

But anxiety is more strongly connected to alcohol dependence than alcohol abuse so those with anxiety may have a predisposition to end up addicted2. Either that or people mistake the withdrawal symptoms for anxiety which skews the data. Either way, over time, alcohol triggers worsening anxiety issues, leading to more need for more alcohol to reduce ever climbing emotional symptoms. 

Uhoh. 

There are ways to cope without the alcohol, and we’ll get to all that in a minute. But you need to understand what you’re up against....  continue reading

To B Or Not To B: The Relationship Between B Vitamins, Depressive Symptoms and John Wayne Bobbitt

Friday, February 06, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Physical Health and Emotion

Folic Acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are critical for physical and emotional health. Those with severe deficiencies in this class of vitamins may have striking symptoms such as easy bleeding and bruising, pale skin, sore tongue or rapid hearth rhythms.  When levels are not low enough to maintain these symptoms, subclinical B vitamin deficiencies are often overlooked or misdiagnosed as mood disorders since health practitioners may be unaware of the psychological implications of low vitamin B.  

It's kind of complicated because there is more than one B vitamin that is critical for mental health, but I'm game if you are. Let's do this. (That's what she said.)...  continue reading

"Who Are You Calling Depressed, Assh*le?!" The Relationship Between Depression and Anger

Monday, February 02, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

Depression is usually categorized by a lack of pleasure in things you used to enjoy, lack of energy, changes in sleep or appetite, trouble concentrating and worthlessness (see a full list of symptoms here in What Is Depression?) But there is one symptom that isn’t brought up as often because there is some taboo around it: anger. 

That’s right, all you non-depressed folks. The depressed population don’t just lay in bed feeling sad. There’s a whole slew of other stuff that goes with it. So do me a favor and don’t do something stupid like tell them to snap out of it, okay? If they could, they would. And if you mutter something of that nature, I will support them punching you. (Steps off soapbox.) 

Anyway, anger attacks are present in both obsessive compulsive disorder, and Major Depression and all three often occur together1. They are also common in anxiety, post-traumatic stress postpartum depression and other conditions like Borderline Personality Disorder. And if you get caught with PPD, PTSD, OCD, depression and anger, watch out. 

Good times. Fucking mother nature....  continue reading

"I Love You, I Hate This, SOMEONE HELP ME!" Caring for Caregivers

Friday, January 30, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General

While caregiving can be rewarding, it also places a great deal of stress on those doing the caring. There will be days when you think, “I’m so glad I am able to care for mom and make her last years as comfortable as they can be.” And days when you are resentful of the fact that you have had to change your whole life and give up a good portion of your freedom to care for someone else. 

“I didn’t plan for this, mom. I need a life. I DESERVE A LIFE!” 

There are many costs of caring not the least of which is the emotional upheaval (more here in The Sexiness of Sadness). The grief from the loss of a life you thought you would have is another diversion on the roller coaster ride that is caregiving. And then there will be days you are downright depressed thinking about the future. “This is temporary. She will not be here forever.” And then you will feel even guiltier at the way you feel a tiny bit relieved at that last statement even as the grief threatens to tear you apart. 

And for people who care for a living — such as nurses, physicians and mental health professionals — the cost of caring can be emotional exhaustion and similar types of chronic stress. Most therapists didn’t go into the industry to do paperwork or deal with bureaucracy. Most nurses didn’t get into it for the charting. The amount of time spent on such things can be disheartening for those in the field, along with the strain of constantly seeing others in so much pain. 

Caregiving is not easy and it takes it’s toll on the people who do it, both professionally and otherwise.  There are things we can do about it (and check out the books under "Find Support and linked at the bottom of the post as well).  But first we need to talk about it. ...  continue reading

Anxiety versus Depression, Nature Versus Nurture, and Monkey F*cking Emails

Monday, January 26, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General


Emails are fun. Take this one for example, which started out with: "Why the fuck do you talk about monkeys all the time?"

It's a valid question, and to be honest, I like the ballsiness of the writer. So, let's do this. 

Because, friends, monkeys matter if we want to understand the interaction of environment, social influence and biomedical contributions to common mental health issues. This is especially true if we are trying to decide how genetics might be contributing to your depression or how early experiences with your mother contributed to your anxiety. Monkeys might help us decide what we should do about it. 

Clinical Assessment of Mental Illness and The 15% Principle

Shrinking it up takes looking at a million different variables in any one person. But, as the authors of Darwinian Psychiatry note, each larger category probably only explains around fifteen percent of the total picture1

Fifteen percent. That's way less than the percentage of the pot of coffee I am going to drink while writing this....  continue reading