Most of the time when people hear that one of my areas of specialization is invisible illness, they express never having heard of that term before. People know about chronic illness or mental illness, but invisible illness is not something that is frequently talked about.
The midterm elections have come and gone, and hey have verified that there is a great split in our country. We are a divided nation, and with this has come increased hatred, stereotyping, and bigotry. There have been multiple reports on increased hate crimes and anti-Semitism, and there is a decrease in diplomatic communication between people of differing opinions.
Most of us like to think of ourselves as fair and unbiased people. We are unlikely to see when we are treating groups differently based on some external factor. This brings us to implicit bias. Implicit bias is our stereotypes and thoughts about various groups that are outside our awareness (unconscious), and they affect our understanding of and behaviors towards others.
Have you recently been thinking about making a career change? Perhaps you’ve been thinking about becoming pregnant? Maybe you would like to ask someone out who you have liked for a very long time? Fear can interfere with any life goal regardless of age, situation, and strength of desire for the goal.
You have been home with your new baby for the last few months. Your primary job has been that of caretaker; changing diapers, warming bottles, doing laundry, and so much more. The time has come to return to your previous job and you may wonder how you are supposed to make room for both these positions: parent and professional.
With the growing popularity of yoga and meditation in the western world, there has been an increased body of scientific research looking into these practices. There is great support for yoga and meditation as efficacious complementary treatments for hypertension, diabetes, cancer, cholesterol regulation, alcoholism, anxiety disorders, pain control, and obesity (Taylor, 1997).
You told yourself that the sleepless nights that come with being the parent of an infant would be over soon. You reminded yourself that when your infant acquired language there would be less crying and less frustration. Maybe you looked forward to taking your little one to preschool and playdates. When you're a first time parent, and even sometimes when you're and second or a third time parent, you can fantasize about the toddler years in an idealized manner.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to show compassion towards others than it is to give that to yourself? Do you find that you are quick to be frustrated with yourself when experiencing physical symptoms of an illness, rather than be compassionate towards yourself? Are you asking yourself right now, "what does self-compassion towards oneself when living with chronic illness even look like?"
Do you find yourself constantly arguing with your partner? Do you wonder why you can not just let the disagreement go and move forward? Do you feel the need to be right with your partner no matter how inconsequential being right is? If you answered yes to these questions then you may be stuck in a power struggle.
Do you live with a chronic illness and find yourself wondering if others who live with illness experience similar feelings to you? Do you find yourself wondering if you are overreacting or whether your feelings are valid? Do others who do not live with illness oftentimes not quite understand why you may be having the feelings that you are having?
It is oftentimes easier to become defensive during conflict in a relationship than it is to be vulnerable. This is NOT A SURPRISE! Typically one or both partners are already feeling hurt, hence the conflict, and the idea of further exposing oneself may seem self-destructive. So people default to defensiveness, which serves to create a protective wall around oneself and which prevents oneself from looking at their own contribution to the conflict.
Quite often I hear about disappointments in the workplace, such as not getting an expected promotion, not feeling that one's requests are being taken seriously, and not feeling as if one's ideas are being heard. Oftentimes these disappointments are not due to incompetence but rather to a lack of assertiveness and follow through.
Are you a first time father? If you are, then you may likely be experiencing a kaleidoscope of emotions. Sure you are probably thrilled that you have a beautiful new baby in your life, whom you love enormously. However, there could be a number of other emotions that you are experiencing that may feel like things that are "not ok" to talk about.