For the last six months, I have struggled with whether or not to give up this column. I love my relationship with you the readers. I am honored by your trust when you write with your life stories and ask advice. And I treasure being put in the position of teacher.
Being invited to share my thoughts and ideas by The Inquirer is something I have treasured for 15 years. But it is also hard work, time-consuming and sometimes stressful. So this may be my last column. And as of today, my thinking is no longer conflicted. The recent facts of my life helped clarify this decision for me.
It started as a minor chest cold in October. But with quadriplegics, chest colds are never minor. That's because we don't have the muscles needed to cough properly. So after a week of benign neglect, followed by two weeks of antibiotics, my condition continued to get worse.
Dan will not be hosting his weekly chat today.
Dan Gottlieb is chatting today about when parents lose a child. He will be joined by his guest Trish (see post below) who lost her son through suicide.
Dan will be joined for this chat by Dr. Molly Layton a Philadelphia based psychologist and family therapist who is a contributing editor to "Psychotherapy Networker" magazine.
They will talk about difficult relationships and other issues viewers want to discuss.
Tuesday's chat with Dan Gottlieb has been canceled for Sept. 29. We will resume on Tuesday Oct. 6.
Someone I know quite well was telling me that a few weeks ago he began waking up around three in the morning and had difficulty getting back to sleep. I know he has a history of Seasonal Affective Disorder and suspected this was the first sign. For many people with the disorder, the onset comes sometime in August just as the days begin to get shorter. Anyway, he said that the sleep disturbance didn't bother him that much because he was relieved that he wasn't feeling depressed. I know he has a history of clinical depression and I also know how devastating it can be, so I certainly understand his relief.
But then he went on to say that just last week the depressive symptoms began. Although mood still wasn't depressed (only one of many symptoms of depression) he was having some of the cognitive symptoms that go with depression. He was feeling less secure about his thoughts and judgments, more tentative in some social interactions, and an increase in his baseline anxiety. And he said his mind sometimes feels like chipmunks on steroids!
Dan’s guest Tuesday on his noon web chat will be psychologist Tamara Chansky, author of Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a Lifetime of Resilience, Flexibility, and Happiness.
Although divorce harms all children, according to the American Association for marriage and family therapy, only 25% of children of divorce have serious long-term emotional difficulties.
Dan will talk with Child Psychiatrist Mary Ann Ager about the impact of divorce on children before opening the chat up to all.