The Underlying Effects of COVID-19 from a Mental Health Perspective, in Comparison to the 1918 Flu Pandemic

I am a marriage and family therapist living in Metro Detroit during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am frustrated. There is a dichotomy on social media, in which one group is concerned about the economy and their freedoms, and another group is concerned about their safety and saving lives. Both groups offer valid concerns, and I believe it is possible to be concerned about both of these things simultaneously. My goal in writing this article is not to start a debate. Social distancing is saving lives, and it is extremely frustrating to see people not abiding by social distancing guidelines in a protest at our state capital. However, fears about social distancing are not unwarranted. There have been articles written about the effect of lockdowns on the economy, and the concerning impact of lockdowns on women stuck in abusive homes. There are also plenty of articles out there about the importance of social distancing, what this is doing to flatten the curve, and what will happen if we lift these restrictions too soon. I am not an expert in that field, so my recommendation is to follow your state and CDC guidelines when it comes to COVID-19. But these topics are not what I came here to write about today.

Continue reading “The Underlying Effects of COVID-19 from a Mental Health Perspective, in Comparison to the 1918 Flu Pandemic”

Meeting Your Metamour for the First Time

Meeting your partner’s other partner can be very stressful. It can be uncomfortable to spend time with the person whom you know is also dating your partner. For some people, meeting a metamour is a natural thing, and they aren’t phased by it. But most people may feel anxious, nervous, or even jealous as they consider meeting their metamour. They may feel as though their partner or metamour will be judging them, or feel that approval is needed from the metamour – especially if they are the newer partner. If you are feeling nervous about the prospect of meeting your metamour, here are some helpful tips! Continue reading “Meeting Your Metamour for the First Time”

Empathy in a Relationship After a Betrayal

When people are dating, and everything is new and exciting in their relationships, they often think their new partner can do no wrong. They may spend quite a bit of time with their new partner, and they don’t disagree on much, if anything. This excited feeling is often referred to as New Relationship Energy (NRE), and can last for 3-6 months or longer.  However, once NRE wears off in a relationship, arguments will eventually occur, and disagreements will happen. Some people will break their relationship agreements, and one of the most difficult examples of this is having an affair. Even after an affair, many people will want to continue their relationship and work things out. How do you do this when you have been hurt, or when you have hurt your partner? Continue reading “Empathy in a Relationship After a Betrayal”

Long-Distance Support Networks

Many kinds of people can be a part of your support network. Family, friends, partners, pets, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and clergy can all be part of your personal support system. A mental health clinician or a specific support group can also be a part of your support network. As you go through life, you will often gain new people in your support network, while others will fall away. Having a support system, no matter who it consists of, has been shown to be correlated with higher levels of well-being, and can even reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. Continue reading “Long-Distance Support Networks”