Ask the Psychologist: Archive

Jul. 14, 2015
My motheris 69/father 71. Over the last 18 months, my mother no longer wants to travel and rarely go out to eat. My parents have always been active taking cruises, itrips to Mexico and Hawaii, long weekends etc. 8-9 times per year. Eat out 5-6times per week. Now she refuses to travel. There are no bladder issues, they are both diabetic but her weight is in the normal range. She seems the same to me, no signs of depression or dementia and no family history either,still bowls, go to club meetings, grocery, bank etc. Happy to get in the car an drive an hour to see us kids. But will not travel overnight away from home. What is going on here? My father is heartbroken watching his retirment years waste away watching his grass grow. Dad can get any answers from her, we can either. She just says she doesn want to, or they can leave the dog or there are too many dr appts...all of these are excuses, no validity to them. Please help.

It is common for people who are your mother's age to develop some form/s of anxiety; especially about traveling too far away from home or being away from home for an extended period of time. This does not imply that she may be experiencing a significant amount of anxiety but she appears to have some anxious thoughts that prevent her from traveling etc. For example, "What if something happens to the house while we are gone?', "What if something happens to our dog?" etc. It is also common for some elderly people to feel as if they need to stay close to home so that they will be "in control" of things and be able to effectively manage their life - again anxious thinking. It might be helpful to have your mom and/or dad and mom, see someone to investigate this further.

Jun. 25, 2014
I am taking medication for my anxiety but it does not make my anxiety go away. Why should I continue to take medication if it doesn stop my anxiety? What do you think?

Your frustration is a common one. May clients believe that if they take medication their symptoms will go away and they will be free of their issues. This is a common misunderstanding! Taking medication alone will not rid you of your anxiety. You need to understand how your thinking and behavior creates, maintains and exacerbates your anxiety. You need to learn how to reframe your thoughts so that you do not create anxiety. Certain behaviors need to be addressed as well. Medication alone is not the answer. Medication combine with therapy has the highest success rate in resolving emotional and psychological issues. I suggest you find a qualified and experienced therapist in CBT to help you decrease your anxiety.

May. 08, 2014
I have question about my daughters behavior. Shes sleeping around a lot and using drugs. I think she might be more issues than I thought.

The behavior that you are describing is usually an indication that there are some other significant issues that your daughter maybe experiencing. Her behavior is commonly described as acting out behavior, attention-seeking behavior etc. I do not, however, want to jump to conclusions and stereotype your daughter. I suggest you sit down with your daughter and have a talk with her to see what is going on and if there is anything bothering her. If you have difficulty communicating with your daughter or if she refuses to talk to you - have her visit with a professional so that she feels she has someone to talk to, where she will feel comfortable in dealing with whatever issues that may be going on.

May. 30, 2013
I have been bothered by feeling the need to explain everything about myself to almost everyone I meet. I feel that I have to tell them reasons for why I do things or why I am in a particular mood. I do this with friends, family and my co-workers. It is not good for me. What can I do? How do I stop this?

You appear to have what I call the "Confession Obsession". You are not alone. In fact, this is quite a common obsession people have. I have treated this obsession and several others effectively with CBT. If you find that this is causing difficulties in your daily life or is causing you anxiety, consult with a CBT specialist to become educated on how CBT can eliminate this for you.

May. 30, 2013
My 14 year old son has been depressed lately where he does not want to be with his friends and stays in his room most of the time. When we talk he tells me that he feels like he does not matter and is not accepted. He does not do the things he used to do and he is not doing well in school he has always been an A student. Do you think he needs medication?

I believe that the least restrictive measure should always be the first course of action. I recommend that you have your son speak to a psychologist to see if therapy can assist with his depression without the use of medication. The psychologist can determined if your son is in an acute phase of his depression and would benefit from medication immediately. In general, medication should be considered after all other methods have been attempted. Unless, of course, the depression is severe; a combination of medication with therapy would be your best form of treatment at this point.

May. 30, 2013
How effective is cognitive behavioral therapy for Emetophobia?

CBT is one of the most effective forms of treatment for most phobias including Emetophobia. In fact, I am presently treating two individuals with this phobia; both of which are making considerable progress.

May. 29, 2013
I have trouble sleeping at night. I heard that maybe I should exercise at night to help me sleep better. Is this correct?

No, you were given false information. Exercising at night will release Adrenalin as well as stimulate your mind and body. Exercise should be done either in the morning or early afternoon; this may help you sleep better at night. Check back and read my article on healthy night time sleep behaviors that produce better sleep; these are the same methods I use to treat patients who suffer from insomnia.


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Dr. Edward Giaquinto, Ph.D. - A licensed, clinical psychologist who has been assisting people in improving their life by increasing their emotional and mental health.