Showing posts from April, 2013

Veterans, Trauma & Carrying a Permanent Combat Load

Brian M. Murray, MS
What does it mean to be a combat veteran? Often the answer can be found in training and learning how to fight in a combat situation. A combat load in the military is regarded as a full load of everything needed to fight, whether it’s a tank or a rucksack. What goes in a tank or ruck gets hauled, whether it weighs 64 tons on a track or 120 pounds on a back. As prior Infantry, I remember my first real combat load and couldn’t believe what was being handed to me to carry. My usual training combat load varied anywhere from 35-75 pounds depending on the mission. Not this time. Before deploying, I weighed it in disbelief - it was approaching 120 lbs! By some standards and units this is still considered low. This is crazy; how can anyone carry this much weight and still be effective? It was cliché for the cadence call referencing “I used to drive a Cadillac, now I carry it on my back.”
Point number one is that a combat load is heavy. It’s everything you need and then so…

7 Ways to be Different at Work Instead of Just Another Jerk

By: Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

It’s easy to be a jerk at work.When something doesn’t get done the way it should because it’s late, incomplete, or missing essential details, it’s easy to get upset and fly off the handle.After all, you have invested your valuable time, energy and effort only to be left with sub-standard work from your co-workers.It’s not right, it’s not fair, and you are entitled to be frustrated.
So you become more ‘jerky’ with each disappointment only to wake up one day and realize that you have become something you don’t really like.There is a better way to handle things at work that can produce excellent results without compromising your standards.
Be Patient.Promotions, projects, and promises don’t happen overnight so be patient for your opportunities to shine.Don’t be so eager to do everything that you miss the chance to do one thing exceptionally well.
Be Kind.Too often kindness is reserved only for clients and not for co-workers or vendors.Kindness is a lost art …

How to Write an Effective Email at Work When You are Angry

By: Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

There is no doubt you have seen a few poorly written emails that resemble verbal vomit from an angry person.While you might even understand their frustration, you in no way want to come across quite as gross.Instead you wish there was a way of communicating your anger that gets results without a trace of verbal vomit.There is.
It is as simple as a fast-food hamburger.Take a moment and think of a fast food place that has a hamburger with meat in the middle and a bun on the top and bottom.Most likely you will not take the bun off the hamburger meat and eat just the meat.Why? Because the meat tastes gross (think fast food, not the good kind of burger), that is why it has the bun to make it more palatable.In fact some buns even have sugar on them to improve the flavor.
Top Bun.The top bun is the fluffy part and is the best place to start.Begin your email with a compliment of sorts such as, “Thank you for your trust in my ability to handle more work.”The comp…

The Often Unmentioned Antisocial Personality Disorder

Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH
Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) is a mental health condition where a person believes they are special and are entitled to violate the rights of others. They typically have a long-term pattern of lacking boundaries, resulting in manipulation and exploitation of family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers alike. This disorder is commonly mistaken for social phobia or social anxiety, which is a fear of being around other people or out in public places.  APD is not the same as social phobia/anxiety. A person with APD thinks inordinately highly of themselves and believes that they are deserving of special recognition from others, to the point of even being criminal about it.

Like most other personality disorders, they believe the problem is not with them, but with others. They very seldom, if ever, exhibit empathy or compassion for others unless it is to achieve an end result such as getting money or favorable treatment. This is the manipulation. They…

Do You Worry Too Much?

Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH
How much a person worries is subjective and varies from person to person when it comes to what constitutes too much worry. Persistent and long term worry about life events can be disabling and frustrating not only to the worrier, but also to those around them. Worry is often the result of getting stuck in a negative thought pattern. Common side effects of negative thinking are anxiety, stress and depression. All of these patterns, taken to a level deeper, are often based on fear, whether imagined or real.
Worry has a common companion in the form of anxiety. Anxiety is a normal reaction to a perceived fear and when it is put in the right context, it is useful for survival by activating our fight or flight response. Being confronted by an angry animal or a dangerous person activates the response to run away or fight and defend. However, when fear-based worry leads to anxiety out of context, it can give way to unnecessary negative feelings. The cost of long-ter…

The 3G Ways to Overcome Debt!

By Laura Hull, LMFT Coping Coach

Are you sick of worrying about money?  Is the stress of keeping up with the Joneses or maybe just making the minimum payments sucking the joy out of your life?  The economy has been tough for a few years now.  This is not news.  Many people are struggling in many ways these days.  Again, this is not news.  Those who find themselves reading this article are likely either struggling with financial problems or love someone who is.  This is a reality of the world we live in.  Financial problems can cause a tremendous amount of stress in our families and in our marriages.  Money problems are some of the most identified problems in couples work.  We can’t control the world economy, but there are things we can do to minimize the stressors that debt and problems with managing money can bring into our lives.   Tired of being under the weight of debt?  Here are the first steps on the road to a better way of dealing with unnecessary financial worry - the 3G ways…

Fake Self-Esteem

By Matt W Sandford, LMHC
Look around you. Look at the people in society, in your workplace, in your family. Now, as you look at them, ask yourself what you observe about how they project themselves. In what way do they convey what they want those in their world to think about them? What opinion do they hope to engender from their environment? And as you look, realize that everyone is seeking to convey an image and to persuade the world around them to see them in a certain light.
That’s what we’re talking about; the idea that we can construct a persona through a number of elements and approaches. First we need to explore the underlying issue, which would be why – why do we do this, and does it really matter?
So, did you spot it when you took that look around? Did you see that folks everywhere are projecting or developing their image? They wear the latest fashions, hairstyles, shoes. They drive the latest cool cars and feature the latest technologies (often while incurring sizeable…

Spending Addiction: Is it the Love of Money or Medicating Pain?

Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH
There is a type of addiction that exists that is commonly and affectionately, referred to as “shop-a-holism.” While it may sound like a term of endearment on the surface, there are some people who strongly identify with it and have serious problems with spending money. So what is behind this behavior - is it the love of money? Does it feel good to spend money?
The real problem behind a spending addiction – just like any other kind – is that it makes the person feel good. When we medicate something painful in life, it makes us feel better and reinforces the desire to indulge in the activity. So what is the big deal about going out and spending money? Spending money is okay, but just like drinking a little wine every once in a while doesn’t impair most people, there are some who can’t touch the stuff as it will lead them down a path of destruction. However, when spending money is put into the context of what constitutes an addiction, then it becomes a problem.…

Four Unorthodox Approaches to Lowering Your Stress

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
If you’re stressed out, you’ve probably tried something to deal with it, to feel better. Maybe it’s been the “plow ahead” method, which would be trying harder to fix the obstacle that is causing a lot of your stress, or there’s the opposite method, which is the “ostrich approach”, meaning the trying-to-ignore-it-and-hoping-it-goes-away approach. I get them both and have used them often enough myself. For the smaller stresses of life, these approaches can help us and sometimes they are enough. But usually for the bigger stresses, or when the stressors pile up, these approaches don’t cut it. You’ve probably tried others as well; ones that you’ve read about or a friend recommended, like exercise or yoga, or getting better sleep. I am all for these, but if you’re looking for something else to try, I’ve got a few ideas that are a bit different. Keep in mind that what you are looking for is a strategy that works for you, and since we are all unique, what helps us to…

Addiction, ADHD & the Antisocial Behavior Connection

Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH

Addiction and adults with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), particularly men, can be a problem. It is a problem because there is a street fix for ADHD that often leads to antisocial behavior in the form of getting into trouble with the law. Here is how this works. ADHD in children and adults is frequently medicated with prescription drugs such as Adderall (Dextroamphetamine/Amphetamine) which are psycho-stimulants that enable the ADHD sufferer to focus. As a result, they can focus better at work, school and other areas of life in which they previously had trouble.

What happens when a person becomes an adult and they still have ADHD symptoms? Finding a medical doctor to prescribe proper medication is paramount. However, if this is not done, they can begin to find alternative ways to fix their problem often in the form of caffeine or other “approved” psycho-stimulant products that imitate “speed”. On the street, illegal psycho-stimulant drugs can b…