Thursday, February 21, 2013

relationships can hurt

Over the past close to thirty years, I have had the privilege of delving into the lives of strangers and asking personal questions that, aside from the current situation they find themselves in, no one else would dare to ask. I still find it both fascinating and an honor. Primarily due to insurance companies running things, treatment in the twenty-first century requires that we gather information and start the help as quickly as possible. So early in the conversation when I am helping to identify stressors (last straws, precipitators) I often cut to the chase and give a clue that relationships seem to be the biggest stressors/problems to us humans. I don’t think I have ever had a patient say that there was not a difficult and painful relationship issue that preceded their extreme depression (or whatever). There is nothing more important to people than relationships, and of course the ones we love and put our hope in the most bring the greatest joys and the greatest sadness. Also however, would be the next level, peer groups, social friends, and even superficial acquaintances. We are all important to each other. Change or remove a relationship, and we can feel stranded, lonely, and sad, sometimes profoundly.

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