Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Cases Which Make Me Think of Improvement

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Jul 24, 2013 5:45 PM

Three cases stand out, each one quite different from the other, from today's work. Here we go.

I'll call this woman Betsy--morbidly obese, beautiful face and smile, sweet, intelligent enough, depressed but not irretrievably. She suffers from diabetes, sleep apnea, fibromyaligia, peripheral neuropathy and more. Medication helps a bit. Counseling for support works somewhat. She's losing weight now and, if she can keep it up, her health will improve overall. How did all this happen? Childhood abuse, adult grief, genetics, and self-destructive habits all played their roles. Wish her luck but, mostly. wish her perseverence. It's going to be hard going all the way uphill.

I'll call him Dad. He walked a mile. pulling his twin preschool daughters in a wagon. He's young, good-looking and has a good job. Their mother chose drugs over them. They were way premature and are still struggling to catch up developmentally. His plate is full. Parenting is tough and he had no previous experience, so he's winging it. He could use some guidance and doesn't have it, yet. What a good guy with beautiful, well-cared-for little girls. Wish him luck, but, especially, wish him perseverence. He'll make it, but it will be hard.

I'll call her Mom. She's covered with tatoos, and she's stabilized after years of drugs, an abusive boyfriend, and mental illness. She's with her 7 yr. old daughter, who already witnessed more terror than anyone should in a lifetime. Mom reinforces and enables some bad habits of her little girl, such as providing the opportunity to play with fire (literally). She, also, reinforces positive behavior, like artistic talent and reading. She loves her child but doesn't always know what to do or how to help. She needs help. It will be a long haul. Wish her luck, but, more than that, wish her perseverence.

The key to change and self-improvement, more than medication and therapy even, is motivation, will power, responsibility and perseverence.

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