parentification

Kids taking care of parents: Why The Godfather and Dave Chappelle say parentification is bad

Don Vito Corleone in the Godfather was not a paragon of gender equality. Witness his famous statement: “I spend my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men.” His statement on women is false and misogynous but he offers a truth about children: they need to feel safe being careless.   …

depression and feeling lonely

Depression and Feeling Lonely: The Effects of Withdrawing from Others

Depression hurts.  You can experience profound states of sadness, acute anxiety, or bleak despair.  Meanwhile the world around you seems to be functioning to an entirely different script.  The difference can feel huge between your reality of depression versus the “normal” reality of people who seem happy.  You can end up feeling lonely and different.  Consider the plight of Abby: Abby …

Chronic Shame

Shame and Social Anxiety

Social anxiety reflects the belief that other people are not safe.  We can learn that others are unsafe from receiving a rejecting or indifferent response at the very moment we need someone’s caring interest and recognition. In the wake of such lack of attunement to our inner worlds, the insidious feeling of shame can flood our systems. Shame feels like …