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One inevitable feature of life as we age is loss. Some losses are minor; some are massive. We lose physical characteristics, abilities, and loved ones—our hair, our bone density, our eyesight, our hearing, our best friend, our spouse. These losses can lead to grief, loneliness, and despair. We may wake up in the morning with an overwhelming sadness that starts before our conscious mind is even alert, and we’re reminded of what happened, that it wasn’t just a bad dream.
Communication is the most crucial issue in marriage. It’s the most important thing a husband and wife can do together because communication transcends everything. Every cause of stress in marriage—kids, money, sex, etc.—can be addressed with honest, open communication.
That’s how you overcome conflicts: You talk through them. Talk about money. Talk about sex. Talk about parenting issues. One study showed that 86 percent of divorced couples admitted they had communication problems in their marriages.
Suicide rates are high and have only been increasing over the years. Over 800,000 people die all over the world by suicide each year. A proportion of the suicides are murder suicides resulting in additional loss of life. Attempts at suicide occur more frequently and we have about one million suicide attempts occurring each year.
Suicide is a heart-breaking problem that is growing and needs to be addressed in as many ways as is possible. Understanding the risk factors, knowing the warning signs and what to do about them, is a crucial step. The more the awareness the greater the impact on suicide prevention.
Clear and effective communication is the foundation of any relationships, whether it be a work partnership, a marriage, or the relationship between a parent and child. Misunderstanding and miscommunication are common causes of the breakdown of any bond, causing fissures that prevent intimacy and erode the quality of the relationship. Even when our intentions are good, our words and delivery can result in hurt feelings.
Lauren was frightened. She considered herself to be a resilient, “no-nonsense” woman. Since the death of her dad, however, she had fallen apart, and feared that she wouldn’t be able to put herself back together. As Lauren moved through the grieving process she began to understand that her reactions were normal. In the course of her therapy we addressed a number of commonly asked questions about grief and loss:
Loneliness is often viewed as a negative state of existence, although some alone time is needed to recharge. A Harvard study mentions “25% to 60% of older Americans suffer from loneliness. Another site reflected loneliness in younger audiences with “79% of Gen Z, aged 18 to 22 feeling lonely” and secondly, “71% of Millennials reported feeling lonely.” The link between loneliness and addiction should be something that people are aware of during these uncertain times. Being alone and being lonely are characteristically different with varying effects on our mind, body, and emotions. Furthermore, being alone can be seen as healthy as people can find being alone as way to disconnect from a stressful life. For example, perhaps you are at a park enjoying the scenery around you. Your mood may be peaceful and joyful; there is a sense of feeling complete despite being in solitude.
I remember having my first suicidal thought at the age of 13. At that time, I had discovered that my brother was gay and my sister and father completely abandoned him because of it. I had been molested by a female when I was young, and this revelation about my brother made me wonder if I was going to be gay, too. At the time, I had no clue how a person became gay.
I went on to have tragedy after tragedy arise in my life. To name just a few, I have lost two children and both of my parents; breast cancer at the age of 40, double mastectomy, chemo, two reconstruction surgeries, discovering at the end of my treatment that my husband had been living a double life for many, many years which led to my divorce, and an almost-successful suicide attempt.