Why relaxing is so much work.
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Breaking free from the perfectionism that masks silent depression.
Margaret R Rutherford Ph.D.
What we can learn from Harry Potter about grief and compassion.
A mother shares too much with her son; a dad lives through his daughter's success. The child gets the message that it's not OK to be independent. What's this called? Enmeshment.
After someone has divorced and they're struggling with loneliness, I'll ask them to watch a sunset. By themselves. Often, they'll say, "Why would I want to do that?"
What are the fears you face when you risk giving up your need to look as if you always have it all together? These 10 immediately jump to mind.
She whispered to me before her death, using the halting, breathy voice that had become all I would hear, "I wish I'd known what I was doing to myself. I wouldn't have done it."
Where do you fall on the spectrum of destructive perfectionism?
Depression and rising suicides link athletes, doctors, and first responders.
If you fall more on the destructive side of perfectionism, you can become more aware of the shame and fear that you're dead set on proving wrong.
A story reached me recently that made me stop breathing for a moment. It had to do with the prison of destructive perfectionism.
Procrastination can be thought of as insecure perfectionism on steroids.
There's a presentation of depression that we often miss in mental health. It's not easy to detect, because the more you fear it being seen, the more carefully you hide.
Make a list of “what I've missed” during the pandemic—and “what I haven't."
You may be using tried and true dissociative skills that helped you survive childhood emotional pain—so now you appear "fine" as you detach and suppress and even deny fear.
Do you believe, “If I ask for something I want, I’m being selfish?" Or is there a difference between being selfish, self-centered, and self-aware?
PHD is a way of perceiving yourself, and not a gospel by any means. But there are some psychological disorders that may share its traits, and those can be vital to identify.
What you can forget is that your perfectionism has kept your life orderly and running smoothly. When you begin to feel things you have avoided, you can find fear. A lot of fear.
The difference between high-functioning and perfectly hidden depression is the level of awareness.
There are five stages of healing (the Five Cs) that take place in therapy. These particular five are described with perfectly hidden depression in mind.
My worst enemy lived in my own head. And its voice was the voice of shame.
If you understand and have compassion for how your need to stay invisible began, you can better see how it's no longer needed.
These stories aren't the most dramatic examples of perfectly hidden depression I could've chosen. Yet they are compelling in their simplicity.
The syndrome of perfectly hidden depression has 10 commonly shared traits, behaviors, and beliefs. Do you identify with them?
Classic depression is real, and very dangerous. But "perfectly hidden depression" is just as real. Here's why giving up looking perfect is worth the risk.
Margaret Rutherford, Ph.D., is the author of Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism that Masks Your Depression.