Category: Blog

Recognizing & Coping with Emotional Manipulation


“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

– Chinese proverb

We’ve all been manipulated by other people, and it’s likely that we’ve done a bit of manipulation ourselves. Telling a white lie in order to get what we want is one way of manipulating someone.

  • Students are notorious for telling teachers that they couldn’t get their paper in on time because their computer crashed last night.
  • Employees claim to have car trouble in order to miss a day of work.
  • Politicians inflate a problem or make misleading statements in order to gain public support for their agendas.


When we manipulate other people, we deprive them of their integrity and their ability to make decisions based on their own accurate reading of reality. When we tell a lie, we provide an alternate reality to the other person – and they make decisions that may be to our advantage, but it may not be a decision they would make if they knew all the facts.

Manipulation shows disrespect to the other person – but ultimately we are disrespecting ourselves and compromising our own integrity when we manipulate others. We give ourselves the illusion of control, but it is hardly a feeling of control that we can be proud of. Even if nobody ever finds out about it, we know that we got ahead by taking from another person. “I win and you lose – and that makes me feel good.” We deprive ourselves of the knowledge that our accomplishments in life are based on our own resourcefulness.

Most of us want to trust and assume the best in other people. We believe that when someone tells us something, the other person is telling the truth. When we have been repeatedly hurt because others have taken advantage of our trust, we may change our beliefs about the world. We may become cynical and try to undermine others before we are hurt yet again. The best strategy is probably to trust until someone shows us that they can’t be trusted. Hopefully, then, we can learn how to recognize emotional manipulation when it appears.


“I keep my ideals, because in spite everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

– Anne Frank


Recognizing Emotional Manipulation


Many of us don’t recognize manipulation when it occurs, mainly because manipulation violates our basic assumptions about how people should behave. We simply don’t expect it. Manipulators engage in “covert aggression.” They hide their anger toward the world in subtle ways and gain power over us in ways that are not obvious.

– We may sense, however, that we are on the defensive in their presence and this serves as our first clue. We feel somehow that they are trying to overpower us.

– They come across as caring, hurting, defending, vulnerable – almost anything but fighting – and these tactics obscure their real motives. You might pay attention to your need to take care of them, but you don’t recognize that they are trying to take advantage of you. “I care so much about you and now I’ve twisted my ankle. Can’t you give up your afternoon to drive me around?”

– All of us have weaknesses or insecurities, and sometimes we are aware of them, but we don’t expect that someone will take advantage of our vulnerabilities. We sometimes have the need to please others so that we’ll be accepted – and this trait can be spotted easily by an emotional manipulator. They sometimes know our vulnerable areas better than we do, and they exploit them to their advantage.

– Be aware of the degree to which you have empathy toward others and how much you might hate to make harsh judgments about other people. If you are overly trusting, you are vulnerable to being manipulated. The healthy stance is to learn how to recognize manipulation readily. You cannot be manipulated if you are aware that it is happening – at the moment it happens.


Take a look at some common examples of how manipulators work –


Emotional manipulators turn your statements around and make you the problem. Trying to be honest with the manipulator opens up your vulnerability. He or she is an expert at playing the game of “blame the victim.” For example, if you say, “I really wish you had taken a dish to the potluck, and I feel embarrassed that you didn’t,” the manipulator might respond with, “I wish you could understand the pain I’m suffering right now – and have been for some time – but then I guess your life is so happy that you can’t really feel empathy for someone else. So, sorry.”


They’ll say one thing and later assure you that they didn’t say it. “I’ll pay for half the groceries this time,” and then later the manipulator comes back with, “I never said any such thing.” This is a crazy- making experience because your sense of reality is challenged. The manipulator offers such a convincing argument that they had never promised to pay for half the groceries that you begin to doubt your own sanity.


The manipulator will offer to help you, but then the torrent of sighs begins. “Yes, yes, (sigh) I’ll take out the garbage.” You feel that you are the one to blame, as if you’re trying to control the manipulator. Again, you are considered the problem.


The manipulating person will set a negative emotional tone in a group and others feel compelled to make the manipulator feel better just to ease the tension. “John, if Keira can’t drive you to the dentist tomorrow, I’ll do it. Here, have a cup of coffee. Now do you feel better?” Notice how we tend to enable the manipulator, rewarding him or her for the controlling behavior.


Manipulators don’t fight fairly. They might talk behind your back and encourage others to confront you – and then they come in to save the day, placing the blame on the other people. Manipulators don’t deal with issues directly. They use passive-aggressive tactics so that you don’t realize that they are actually being aggressive toward you – “I love your hair that color. It does a nice job of hiding the gray.” You respond graciously to the compliment, but are then left with the lingering feeling that something is not quite right.


They negate what you say by outdoing you. If you want to talk about what a rough day you’ve had, they’ll come back with an account of their exceedingly brutal day, which makes your experience look like a day in the park. “Well, if you think that’s bad, listen to what I’ve been through today.” They bring attention back to themselves so that you find it difficult to feel any degree of validation. This is how emotional manipulators distance themselves from you and gain the upper hand. They lack the ability to relate to others with healthy boundaries and maturity.


Emotional manipulators are experts at playing on your emotions. If they sense that you respond easily to guilt, then they will try to make you feel guilty (“I feel embarrassed for you when you play with Dora’s kids as if they were your own – and it’s all because you’ve never had children”). Manipulators also play on our sympathy by playing the role of victim (“All I do is work, work, work – You’ll be sorry when I have a heart attack”). Or they might blame you for your anger, even though they have induced it (“Look, you’re the one who can’t control your emotions, not me”). Emotional manipulators have difficulty in expressing their desires or emotions directly, but by playing on the emotions of other people they covertly get their way.


Manipulators project blame onto other people or circumstances. They fail to take the responsible path of believing that they are accountable for their own lives. Their focus is on what others have done to them, and they are forever the victim (“My father was the first one to treat me badly, just as every man has done since”).

How Do You Deal with the Emotional Manipulator?


Manipulators work in covert ways. It is sometimes difficult to know that you are being manipulated, but then your frustration with this person grows over time and you know that something must be wrong with the relationship. You may feel pulled toward the manipulator, but then repulsed by this person at the same time. These relationships are generally conflict-ridden.


You may find yourself in a double bind. That is, if you go along with the manipulation, you feel angry – and if you drop the relationship, you feel guilty. It may seem that you can’t win. But there is a way out of the bind –


  • Be aware of your own emotions within the relationship. Your emotions are your best tool for sensing that there is a problem between you and the other person. Examine whether you feel defensive, guilty, angry, or sympathy toward the other person. You may not have these feelings during the interaction, but afterward, when you are thinking about what happens between the two of you, these emotions might emerge.


  • Define the emotion and understand the pattern. When you think about what happens between you and the manipulator, describe the emotions that you feel. Put your feelings into words. What specifically was said that led you to a certain feeling? How did you respond at the time? What was the effect of your response? (It may help at this point to work with a professional therapist who is trained to help you sort through this often puzzling set of questions.)


  • When you have a good understanding of the pattern of interaction between you and the manipulator, ask yourself whether you want to continue with the relationship or not. Sometimes we find ourselves in toxic relationships, and if we aren’t getting anything positive from the relationship, it might be in our best interest to terminate it, or else place good boundaries around it (like limiting our time with the other person). Some relationships cannot, or should not, be ended unless there is a pattern of abuse present.


  • Whenever a manipulation attempt occurs, right at that moment point it out to the other person. This is your way of taking control of the manipulation. There is no need to express anger when you give the manipulator this feedback. Do it assertively and calmly. The manipulator at this point might come back with a guilt trip or an angry response. Say something like, “I feel that you are trying to manipulate me at this point, and I am not going to go along with it. I would like a healthy interaction between us, so could you try to say what you need to say in a more positive and direct way?”


Why Do People Manipulate Others?


Manipulative people have a strong need to be in control. This may derive from underlying feelings of insecurity on their part, although they often compensate for these feelings with a show of strong self- confidence. Even though they may deny it, their motives are self-serving, and they pursue their aims regardless of the cost to other people. They have a strong need to feel superior and powerful in their relationships – and they find people who will validate these feelings by going along with their attempts at manipulation. They see power as finite. If you exert power over them, they will retaliate in order to gain back the control they feel they are losing. They cannot understand the idea that everyone can feel empowered or that everyone can gain. When they are not in control – of themselves and over other people – they feel threatened. They have difficulty in showing vulnerable emotions because it might suggest they are not in control.


Those who are manipulative usually don’t consciously plan their maneuvers. They emerge from the manipulator’s underlying personality disorder, and are played out within the context of a victim who colludes with, and unwittingly encourages, the manipulation. There is a wide range of tactics used by manipulators ranging from verbal threats to subtle attempts to arrange situations to suit the manipulator.

For example, one of the more common forms of manipulation is called splitting – turning two people against each other by talking to each one behind the back of the other, getting them to dislike or distrust each other, and leaving the manipulator in a position of control. They may use active techniques like becoming angry, lying, intimidating, shouting, name-calling or other bullying tactics. Or they may use more passive methods like pouting, sulking, ignoring you, playing the victim, or giving you the silent treatment.


Some manipulators can be described in terms of having an antisocial personality (these people are sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths). This is a personality disorder often associated with criminal behavior. They feel little compassion for other people, don’t really feel guilty when they do something harmful, pathologically lie, show superficial charm, tend to be impulsive, and don’t take responsibility for their own actions. Changing their ways can pose a challenge. Some people who have a need to nurture others may feel that they can help an antisocial person change their lives – and this would be a formidable task.

#1 Marriage Counselor and #1 Infidelity Recovery Coach


Do you need to talk to someone about your depression? I offer Phone & Skype counseling. Talk to me about your situation. Leave your contact details HERE and I will return to you within 24 hours.

Recommended books on a manipulative partner & relationships

The Manipulative Man: Identify His Behavior, Counter the Abuse, Regain Control

Paperback: 256 pages

By Dorothy McCoy

This review is from: The Manipulative Man: Identify His Behavior, Counter the Abuse, Regain Control (Paperback)

When my marriage was falling apart, I quite literally wondered if I was going crazy. Everyone loved my husband. Even my parents loved him. I felt as if perhaps maybe there was something intrinsically wrong with the way I was feeling. My husband was so passive, and non aggressive that I began feeling as if I was the one that was the problem.

This book was like a breath of fresh air. I was not crazy for being frustrated with a man who always had an excuse for why he couldn’t do what he promised he was going to do. I was not crazy for being angry at him when he refused to make a decision or follow through. In fact, my anger and frustration were appropriate responses, and my depression was just the result of me talking myself into the notion that I had no right to be angry or frustrated by such a ‘nice passive’ man.

My husband wasn’t violent. In fact he was so passive, I sometimes wondered if he cared about anything at all. It was like living with a wet sponge.

The MM taught me to recognize extreme passiveness as a sign of manipulation and control. His passiveness controlled everything. I just didn’t see it, because I had been conditioned to think manipulative men were more obvious and aggressive than he was.

MM helped me detach from blaming myself, in spite of what even my family thought about my decisions. It was a valuable tool on my road to recovery.

It not only helped me to recognize my ex husbands behavior as disrespectful and manipulative, but it also taught me to be on the look out for other types of manipulative men as well. Girls, this is a must read!!!! This book is like a manual for self care…You must be willing to look at yourself and what you are attracting into your life as well. You must be willing to take accountability for the way you think, and ultimately for your decisions to keep the men you do, in your life.

I highly recommend this book…

Lisa A. Romano


Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men Paperback – September 2, 2003

#1 Best Seller in Domestic Partner Abuse on Amazon



“He doesn’t mean to hurt me-he just loses control.”
“He can be sweet and gentle.”
“He’s scared me a few times, but he never hurts the children-he’s a great father.”
“He’s had a really hard life…”

Women in abusive relationships tell themselves these things every day. Now they can see inside the minds of angry and controlling men-and change their own lives. In this groundbreaking book, a counselor shows how to improve, survive, or leave an abusive relationship, with:

€ The early warning signs
€ Nine abusive personality types
€ How to tell if an abuser can change, is changing, or ever will
€ The role of drugs and alcohol
€ What can be fixed, and what can’t
€ How to leave a relationship safely


god and adultery

What does God say about Adultery & Infidelity?


Over the weekend, I was helping a #Christian couple move forward from BOTH of them having extra martial affairs. The stress of “their sins” was heavily impacting their physical and emotional lives.

While I do not base my work or my 7-Step Infidelity Recovery Program on religion or religious themes, I do understand what the #Bible has to say about Infidelity.

In this article we will look at various quotes from the Bible on Infidelity, Adultery & Porn. If you have further contributions to this list, please comment below, or on my Facebook page: Infidelity Coach

What God says about… Adultery

God forbids adultery : Exodus 20:14

Adultery has consequences : Proverbs 6:26

Adultery is foolish : Proverbs 6:32

Adultery is disgusting to God : Jeremiah 7:9-10

God considers lust to be as sinful as adultery : Matthew 5:27-28

Divorce often leads to adultery : Mark 10:11-12

God can forgive the adulterer : John 8:1-11

In the Old Testament, God Declared Adultery to be a sin Deserving Death

When God set apart a nation to be His special people, He gave them a set of basic guidelines for living.  They were the basis for every other law He would give them.  These laws were a written record of the way God expects His people to behave.  The seventh commandment God gave His people was,

“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

God knew that the heart of humankind would naturally seek to fulfill every desire it experienced.  God gave these laws to make His holy standards clear.

God viewed adultery as being a sin so terrible that it was punishable by death.

“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10; cf. Deuteronomy 22:22).

What does God say about sex outside of marriage?

“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4).

The Bible says,

“…because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2).

The Bible warns that those who continue a life-style of fornication and adultery will not inherit God’s Kingdom.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).


The Bible says that through Christ we should bring discipline and control to our thought-life. Our thoughts should not control us, but we should rule over our thoughts.

“Cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

Sexual fantasizing is a symptom of lust and is not pleasing to God. It stimulates and promotes sexual anxiety, which can lead to impure behavior and fornication. Get your mind out of the gutter and discipline your thoughts on good, and holy things.

“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). (Read Mark 7:21-23, Eph. 4:8.)


What about viewing PORNOGRAPHY or “PERVING”?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

This tells us that adultery can take place within the heart [mind] and is just as sinful as an outward act.  The sin of the mind may not affect as many other people, families, and friends as the outward physical act, but it is still a sinful affront to the holiness of God.

This applies to the prevalence of pornography in our culture.  Often claimed to be a ‘victimless offense’, the damage pornography does to the heart of the one involved in it, and often to those around him/her, can be just as devastating.


Will God Forgive Adultery?

Second Samuel 12:1-15 tells us that Nathan, David’s beloved friend, confronted David with his sin.  The mighty Kind David’s heart was broken when he realized how he had sinned against God and grieved God’s heart.  David repented, asked for God’s forgiveness, and was forgiven.

Today, God offers that same forgiveness.  When one comes to faith in Jesus Christ, by confessing and repenting of his or her sin, God is faithful to remove the guilt, shame, and future penalty that sin carried with it.  By committing one’s life to Christ, a person becomes a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17), no longer helpless to resist temptation, but empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. (1)

This forgiveness is reiterated in the New Testament by Paul, writing to the Corinthians.  Recall the verses mentioned earlier in I Corinthians listing some of the sins that will prevent one from entering the kingdom of God.  Paul did not leave the Corinthian Christians without hope.  The next verse says,


“And such were some of you.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11).

Whether the sin is adultery or something else, Jesus Christ has paid the price for our forgiveness by His death, burial, and resurrection.  No one has sinned too much or too long to be forgiven.  The offer of salvation is for everyone (John 3:16) who is willing to confess and repent of his or her sins and turn their lives over to the Almighty Creator, Sustainer, and Savior of the world. (1)


If you are a Christian and would like to add verses or passages from the Bible, please do so below, in the spirit of helping those couples who need motivation and direction from the Bible.

Many Thanks





(of God to Man) Psa. 85:2 86:5 103:3,12 Isa. 1:18 43:25 Col. 2:13 Heb. 8:12 10:17 I John 1:9 (of Man to Fellowmen) Matt. 6:14,15 18:21,22 Mark 11:25,26 Luke 17:3,4 Eph 4:32 Col. 3:12,13


(Adultery-Fornication) Ex. 20:14 Prov. 6:32,33 Mal. 3:5 Matt. 5:27,28,32 I Cor. 6:15-18 Gal.5:16-21 James 4:4 (Pervision) Rom. 1:24-32 I Cor. 6:9,10 Eph. 5:5 Rev. 21:8


Mark 14:38 I Tim. 6:9,10 James 1:13-15 (Christ tempted) Matt. 4:1-11 Heb. 2:18 4:15 (Trials-Testings) I Cor. 10:13 James 1:2-4,12 I Peter 1:6,74:12,13 II Peter 2:9



  2. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version


Life Coaching Tips


Should I visit a therapist for my depression?

#1 therapist for depression Savannah Ellis

One of the most prominent and popular ways of dealing with depression is undergoing therapy with a psychiatrist or psychologist. Should you take that path? Let’s first give a brief rundown on the options that are out there:

Freudian Psychodynamic Therapy

  • Form: Seeking to uncover the source of your depression by exploring your emotions and experiences.
  • Effectiveness: 30% to 40% of individuals who undergo psychodynamic therapy will see a reduction in depressive symptoms.
  • Possible Pros: Research suggests results may be longer lasting than other forms of therapy.
  • Possible Cons: Seeing results can take a longer time commitment than other forms of therapy — several months to a year or more.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Form: Identifying and transforming faulty cognitive patterns that may be leading to depression.
  • Effectiveness: 30% to 40% of patients will see a reduction in depressive symptoms by the end of a 12-week treatment cycle. Individuals who combine CBT with medication see a higher remission rate and have less chance of relapse.
  • Possible Pros: More practical and shorter in duration; CBT doesn’t focus on analyzing past emotions or past experiences, and lasts for 4-12 weeks.
  • Possible Cons: Research shows that preventing relapse after an initial CBT treatment cycle may require periodic follow-ups to “tune-up” your thinking skills.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

  • Form: Teaches mindfulness meditation and how to step back from negative thoughts in order to neutrally observe them.
  • Effectiveness: Just as effective as CBT, but less effective in individuals who have had only one or two major depressive episodes.
  • Possible Pros: Cultivates practices and a mindset that may be just as beneficial during non-depressed periods. Can be effective for severe cases.
  • Possible Cons: n/a


As you can see, each type of therapy is about equally effective, and research suggests that the type you choose to use doesn’t ultimately really matter — just talking to a helping and understanding person on a regular basis is what does the trick. Which type of therapy you decide to do will end up being a matter of preference.

If you do decide to begin therapy, do some homework first. See if you can set up an initial appointment to ask some questions. Inquire about the therapist’s background and training, as well as their experience specifically treating depressed patients. Ask about their approach — CBT? Psychodynamic? — as well as their philosophy on medication. You’ll also want to know if they take insurance. Many therapists don’t (like me), and that could make treatment unaffordable for you. If that’s the case, ask about setting up a payment plan. For lower cost options, look into community health centers or psychologist training clinics at local colleges. If you’re a student yourself, schools often offer free counseling.

NOTE: I offer very affordable payment plans for those suffering from depression. Contact me to ask for more information.

Your primary goal during this initial visit is to see if the doctor seems trustworthy, and just as importantly, if you feel comfortable talking to them. That fact alone can go a long way in your success with therapy.

So, how/when do you know if therapy is the right choice for you? There are no clear-cut answers, but there are a few things to consider. Therapy may help you dig into the fundamental origin of your depression and is free of negative neurological/biological effects. But it will cost you time and money. Antidepressants, on the other hand, are very convenient, but may have deleterious effects on your body and mind, and work by treating depression’s symptoms rather than addressing its potentially deeper roots. Antidepressants also take time in working out which antidepressant is right for you, and that can also be an expensive exercise.

So weigh both sides of the coin.

My advice both as a Psychologist, & one who has fought depression, would be to try the suggestions in this article first, and if you don’t find success with them, then take the action to seek professional help.

NOTE: If you EVER think suicidal thoughts,  you need to call for help IMMEDIATELY. Call emergency services in your country, or a depression HOTLINE, who has trained professionals ready to help you for free.


e75c88b4a14444fae1a598346ac3522fDo you need help with your depression?

I treat depression via Skype or Phone counseling. CONTACT ME about how affordable it is to start counseling for depression. We will work on your condition, on a weekly basis, where you don’t even have to leave the comfort and safety of your own home. I am looking forward to talk to you.



How to fight Depression


Many of my clients have depression. Some of them are on medication, and others are opting for holistic options. I have found there is no best solution with medication. Yet I do know of what does work on a consistent level, and that my friend is exercise.

You need to exercise. Regularly. From now until you take your last breath.

If you struggle with depression, but aren’t regularly working out, you haven’t begun to fight.

This isn’t rah-rah cajoling; it’s a research-backed truth.

Numerous studies(1) have proven that exercise is just as effective as antidepressants in treating depression. Research has also shown that people who exercise are about 3X less likely to relapse into depression over the course of a year, than those who take medication alone.

And of course, unlike drugs, exercise is free, and its side effects are 100% positive.depression

In 1999, a randomized controlled trial showed that depressed adults who took part in aerobic exercise improved as much as those treated with Zoloft. A 2006 meta-analysis of 11 studies bolstered those findings and recommended that physicians counsel their depressed patients to try it. A 2011 study took this conclusion even further: It looked at 127 depressed people who hadn’t experienced relief from SSRIs, a common type of antidepressant, and found that exercise led 30 percent of them into remission—a result that was as good as, or better than, drugs alone.

Exercise’s antidepressant effect is thought to be a function of the way in which it boosts endorphins — a natural painkiller and mood booster. It also increases norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that may enhance mood. Plus, exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells, which counteracts depression’s neuron-retarding and brain-shrinking effects.

Exercise also has more intangible benefits — increasing confidence, discipline, and willpower, and fostering the satisfaction that is born of using one’s body as it was intended — to move, work, push, run, jump, and lift.

Studies show that the more vigorously you exercise, the more depression-destroying benefits you accrue. Aerobic exercise seems to be particularly effective in boosting mood, but weightlifting has its unique satisfactions as well. I’d recommend doing both. Aim to work out for 45-60 minutes at least 3-5 times a week.

If that seems like too much to implement, know that simply walking vigorously for 45 minutes 3X a week has been found to have depression-squashing effects.

And if you can’t even motivate yourself to start walking? Take a page from a college student who was interviewed for an Atlantic Monthly article about exercise and depression and adopted the baby steps approach we recommended above:depression

“He thought getting some exercise might help, but it was hard to motivate himself to go to the campus gym.

‘So what I did is break it down into mini-steps,’ he said. ‘I would think about just getting to the gym, rather than going for 30 minutes. Once I was at the gym, I would say, ‘I’m just going to get on the treadmill for five minutes.’

Eventually, he found himself reading novels for long stretches at a time while pedaling away on a stationary bike. Soon, his gym visits became daily. If he skipped one day, his mood would plummet the next.

‘It was kind of like a boost,’ he said, recalling how exercise helped him break out of his inertia. ‘It was a shift in mindset that kind of got me over the hump.’”

When you’re having trouble dragging yourself to the gym, think of the admonition of psychology writer Tal Ben-Shahar: “Not exercising is like taking depressants.” If you’ve already got the melancholic deck stacked against you, don’t ingest metaphorical despondency drugs by living a sedentary lifestyle.

Do you need to talk to someone about your depression?

I offer Phone & Skype counseling. Talk to me about your situation.

Leave your contact details HERE and I will return to you within 24 hours.




  1. Exercise Interventions for Mental Health: A Quantitative and Qualitative Review,

  2. For Depression, Prescribing Exercise Before Medication –


Voice of the Child of Divorce

I actually had to stop myself from crying when I watched this video. Children are SO effected by divorce. It is one of the reasons as to why I am so passionate about helping couples fight for their relationship after infidelity.

You must understand, that a child cannot express his/her feelings. I will let the video speak for itself.

Sometimes, a divorce is the best option. Not all couples should be together. In these cases, the children are much better living in an environment with “Happy” parents (this view is supported by research).

My advice:

The best way to encourage communication with children, is by having a Weekly Family Meeting.

The child may not say anything for the first few meetings, but then get ready for it! My clients who hold family meetings with their children report their children get totally involved, taking minutes, coming prepared with items to talk about, and best of all, they share their feelings.

Questions, comments, concerns?


Relationships: Never Let Your Past Control Your Future

You generally tend to see people with a filter that you have created for yourself. This filter has been created with your past experiences with that person and your belief systems. If you have had a bad experience with someone, you would create a so called “bad” image of that person in your mind and your future behavior will be dictated by this image that you have created.

Take a scenario where you have just got married and are interacting with your spouse’s family. Your experience with your sister in law may not have been good, because she just said something very insulting. Now you tell your mind that she is a ‘bad’ person and your behavior towards her will be influenced by this image that you have created.

You need to understand that when you interact with this person again, the situations would be different, that person may not have the same thoughts, but yet what remains constant is your behavior towards them, because you do not view them in a good light. This hampers creativity and newness in any relation, because we are carrying the baggage of past experiences and this influences our future.

When we are creating negative thoughts about people, we are emanating a negative energy towards them. Our thoughts travel faster than words, and when this negative energy reaches them continuously, they also start creating similar thoughts for us on a regular basis, because that’s how the universe works. This cycle goes on and on, and even though you may be polite and ‘good’ to the people you hate, your relationship with them will never improve.

You need to know that all of us are continuously evolving and if people  behave badly then it does not mean that they are bad. One technique, to avoid being judgmental, is to separate the ‘action’ from the ‘person who is doing it’. But it requires you to shed your old thoughts, because Unlearning is an important process of Learning. If your cup is already full, then nothing more can be poured in it.What I am telling you now, needs fresh thinking from your side.

You are free to criticize an action that a person is doing, but try avoiding criticizing a person. Why? Because you should know that your original qualities are purity, peace, happiness and the people that you meet, also have these original qualities in them, because all of us are creation of the same God. They may have gone astray from these qualities, so what they deserve is not hate but sympathy.

Even if someone is sending their negative energy towards you; don’t absorb it, but transform it. And you can transform this energy only if you consciously create good thoughts. Have sympathy for them and more than that, have ‘control’ over your thoughts because ‘Whatever you give a person, you experience it first’. If you hate someone, you will experience that hate within you, and this hate is not good for your mind, body and soul. Similarly, if you give love to a person, you will feel this energy of love nourishing your being.

And like I always say, The Choice is Yours!

deepikasharmagrover_1411815277_42Deepika Sharma

I am a passionate writer and an “eternal optimist” who always sees light at the end of the tunnel, come what may!I truly feel, that nothing in life is a co-incidence and every person that we meet and situations that we encounter, are all there for a reason and the reason is to help us learn, grow and evolve.

When I write, I feel an instant connection to the Highest Soul who is the source of love, happiness, peace and all the best things in the world.

I am also an avid reader and have loved reading since the time I was a kid. I still have the old fairy tales with me, which I loved to read, as a kid.For the past five to six years I have been reading books on spirituality and life, as I wanted to get some answers, which I have eventually found, through reading and praying.

I am now on a spiritual journey and have a mission to make people Spiritually aware.

Read more posts by Deepika HERE


The Silent Enemy from Within – Depression

  • Depression is a very complex state which is why the signs of depression are wide-ranging.
  • Many people are depressed without realizing it.
  • Depression is certainly much more than just feeling sad.
  • It’s not a disease that a person either has or doesn’t have.
  • Like most mental conditions it exists on a continuum — in this case from mild to severe.
  • Depression can last for weeks, months or even years.

10 signs of depression

In general people who are depressed often feel that life is hopeless, that their lives are worthless and they are out of control.

Since the mind and body are so intimately connected, many of the symptoms are not purely mental.

For a positive diagnosis, a person would be experiencing some of the following signs of depression almost every day.

1. Sadness, low mood and anxiety, or often a combination of these. It could include crying for no reason. In depression some combination of these negative feelings usually persists for at least a couple of weeks.

2. Low motivation: a general loss of interest in things a person used to find enjoyable. It could include loss of sex drive or interest in work, socialising and hobbies.

3. Low energy: a feeling that normal daily tasks are too exhausting. It may also include being unable to get out of bed at the usual time, speaking slowly and having unexplained aches and pains.

4. Changes to sleep patterns: people who are depressed often find their sleep is disrupted. They have difficulty getting to sleep and may wake frequently in the night.

5. Poor concentration: finding it hard to make decisions or finding that negative thoughts take over the mind. As a result, people with depression can also feel very restless or impatient.

6. Hopelessness and helplessness: thinking “What’s the point?” and seeing little hope for change in the future. Depressed people often describe feeling ‘empty inside’ as well as out of control.

7. Weight change: people with depression may lose weight or gain weight depending on how they respond. The weight change, though, can be an important sign of depression.

8. Thoughts of death: while thinking about death occasionally is normal, becoming preoccupied with it is less so. Depression can lead to an unhelpful focus on death. Self-harm or suicidal thoughts may follow.

9. Worthlessness and guilt: depressed people blame themselves for their situation. This lowers their self-esteem and creates feelings of guilt and worthlessness.

10. Self-medication: using alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs more than usual.

Living with depression

Since it can come on gradually, the signs of depression may be difficult to spot.

That’s why many people do not realize there is a problem until it is pointed out by someone else.

Depression is often classified into mild, moderate or severe, depending on its impact on daily life.

Mild depression has some impact on daily life, moderate has a significant impact and severe depression makes it very hard to get through the day.

Depression is often classified into all sorts of sub-types and is frequently found with other mental health problems.

Most people who have an episode of depression are able to recover and be symptom free, but it depends on the severity.

However, 50% of people who have an episode of major depression go on to have at last one more episode.

Latest research on treatment for depression

Mild depression may go away by itself or with a little self-help therapy.

For moderate and severe depression, talking therapies are often used in conjunction with medication.

However, there is much controversy over whether modern antidepressant do much good (e.g. Science of Antidepressants Is Backwards and Long-Held Belief About Depression Challenged by New Study).

Research at the Black Dog Institute and elsewhere has demonstrated the enormous potential of ketamine as a new treatment for major depression.

Whilst ketamine is approved for use in anaesthesia and pain relief, it has not received approval for use in depression. This is because there are still significant gaps in our knowledge about both dosage levels and treatment protocols.

Ketamine may be effective in specific circumstances. Its ability to rapidly lift mood could help the acutely suicidal and people with treatment resistant depression. (Conventional antidepressants may take up to 8 weeks to become effective.) Though study subjects all relapsed within a week, even a temporary reprieve can be a ‘game changer’. An added advantage of ketamine is that it can be used with other antidepressants: useful in maintaining sleep and appetite during recovery.

While ketamine’s side effects can be considerable so is effectiveness, though both seem dose-related. However, mode of administration is important, with subcutaneous injection offering promise.

If you would like to know what the study has shown so far read the research update: Using ketamine as an antidepressant ways and means.



Lai R, Katalinic N, Glue P, Somogyi AA, Mitchell PB, Leyden J, Harper S & Loo CK, Pilot dose-response trial of i.v. ketamine in treatment-resistant depression, The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 2014; Early Online: 1–6. Posted online on June 9, 2014. (doi:10.3109/15622975.2014.922697)

Gálvez V, O’Keefe E, Cotiga L, Leyden J, Harper S, Glue P, Mitchell PB, Somogyi AA, DeLory A & Loo C, Long-Lasting Effects of a Single Subcutaneous Dose of Ketamine for Treating Melancholic Depression: A Case Report, Biological Psychiatry, 2014. DOI:



How to stay monogamous with these 6 tips


The movie, Unfaithful , does a great job of portraying how infidelity occurs to people in the typical “solid” marriage or relationship.

I called it the “Mr & Mrs N.I.C.E marriage.” The marriage is NICE but lacks excitement, adventure, spontaneity, variety, and passionate love. You could say to me, “Savannah, marriages don’t have to be exciting every darn day!”

That is true. However, with a little vision and creating an environment of intimacy, the character Diane Lane played, would not have been open to cheating.

In this movie, Diane Lane’s character plays a happy housewife, who cheats on her husband, because of a chance encounter with an attractive stranger.

Her emotions, in particular, her sexual desire, gets the best of her resulting in decisions which even she finds appalling.

In short, most infidelity occurs, not because it is planned, but because people find themselves in situations where their emotions overwhelm them.


What types of situations influence our emotions and bring out the worst in our behavior?

  • Being close or interdependent on someone other than one’s spouse
  • Being around someone who is sexually interested
  • Spending a lot of time one-on-one with someone else
  • Not feeling close or connected to one’s spouse (e.g., feeling lonely, being upset or angry with a spouse, etc.)
  • Situations that create the sense of opportunity – the feeling that one will not get caught (e.g., meeting someone in private, out of town trips, etc.).
  • Situations involving alcohol or drugs

When placed in these types of situations, one’s emotions often prompt people to act in ways which are contrary to what is right.

On occasion, poor decisions get made.

Unfortunately, for many people, it is very difficult to always be in control of one’s emotions when placed in these types of situations.

KEY: If you know that you are in a stage of your current relationship, where the relationship is stagnant or “dull”, or “functional”, ensure you avoid the about situations.



Make an appointment to talk with me about it. Maybe you only need 1 or 2 sessions, just to get you back on track. Therapy doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you, rather it is prevention and helping one align to their vision.

Personality Disorder

Does my Husband have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Personality Disorder

It is common that a woman who is dealing with her cheating husband calls him a narcissist. But does he has a narcissistic personality disorder?

Today I’m going to talk about men and some traits that cause you concern. Let’s have a look at these challenges.

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPD
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder

That said, it might be helpful to try and delineate between the two personality disorders, though, since some men we see creating abusive relationships tend to be narcissistic while others would fall into the category of having antisocial personality disorder. Now indeed, a person can have traits of more than one personality disorder, so it does get confusing.


It might help to distinguish the two personality disorders by thinking about abnormal behavior as occurring along a continuum. Thus, while the man with Narcissistic Personality Disorder might exhibit some of the same types of behaviors as the individual with Antisocial Personality Disorder, they won’t be as extreme. Both types of men are into power and control. They also will use abuse to gain one or both of these. However, the narcissist who’s successful in his business or profession is not inclined to resort to violence in the way that the man with Antisocial Personality Disorder is. The man with NPD has a higher level of impulse control, and so he’ll use more subtle tactics to get his partner to do his will. He likes to play king, while making his partner and others serve him as his subjects. But then, those suffering from pathological levels of narcissism see themselves as far superior to others anyway—and as entitled human beings.

They differ in their display of violence…..

The man with Antisocial Personality Disorder will use violence when he becomes angry or his will is thwarted. Thus, he’s inclined not just to beat up his partner and his children, but he will get into fights or engage in physical violence with most anyone—because he doesn’t have good impulse control and, in his brain, the fight response seems to be easily triggered. Thus, the man with Antisocial Personality Disorder may beat up a policeman even though he knows the consequences—and he undoubtedly doesn’t want to suffer them, either. But again, he is an out-of-control man. On the other hand, the man suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not. He will act quite deliberately to achieve the ends he desires—believing that the ends always justify the means.

They both lack empathy…

Neither the narcissistic man nor the one with Antisocial Personality Disorder really are capable of showing empathy for others. It is easy for them to use the tactics they do, to get whatever it is they want, exactly because they don’t identify with others’ feelings—that the means they are using to reach their desired might be very painful and hurtful to others—if not deadly. However, depending on the degree of pathological narcissism a man suffers from, he might be able to realize, at least to some degree, how his behavior has impacted others. He also may try and make behavioral changes because he wants to maintain his family, for example. Nonetheless, while his partner may want to believe this suddenly cooperative response is about love, in reality, love might have nothing to do with it. The narcissist might be more concerned with preserving an image or continuing to gain some benefit he perceives as important—that essentially demands having a seemingly happy family. He might actually consider the wife and the family a necessity, on the one hand, while actually perceiving them as a nuisance.

A man with either of these two personality disorders will tend to treat others as objects, there for his personal benefit and use. The individual with Antisocial Personality Disorder is most inclined to resort to the most extreme measures to accomplish this. Still, there are cold-hearted narcissists who can engage in despicable behavior. They seek to maintain control and be in charge, or as they strive to be better than the female partner and seek to prove this, such narcissists can make the lives of the women in their lives quite miserable–but without yielding to physical violence as the men with Antisocial Personality Disorder will do.

These narcissistic men are cool and calculating. They operate in a world constructed of fear versus one of love. They seek to achieve desired results by making others feel compelled to go along with them—because these others don’t want to suffer the anticipated painful consequences of doing otherwise. The thing is, the partner might well have conceded to the narcissist’s wishes anyway—without having to endure the abusive behaviors. But how could a narcissist appreciate that someone might be motivated purely from love when indeed, they don’t know what love is? They don’t feel it—they only know how to act it out, in order to seduce and get their way.

Don’t Expect the Partner with either Personality Disorder to Change

Neither the man with Narcissistic or Antisocial Personality Disorder is apt to change.

Unlike the neurotic, they do not really suffer emotional pain because of who they are. Thus, they are not motivated to change. Rather, they are often quite proud of the pain they cause. They wear this as if it was a worthy accomplishment—a badge of courage.

The man with either Narcissistic or Antisocial Personality Disorder can be charming. However, the narcissist can often offer more than that; he can often provide the good life because of his aggressiveness and willingness to win at all costs. The man with Antisocial Personality Disorder, on the other hand, is apt to be bad news in every respect. His impulsivity is apt to result in problems with relationships. In turn, this affects his ability to hold a job. He is also more apt to become engaged in crime and to get into trouble with the law. Major substance abuse issues are often a problem for this man as well.

What’s His Excuse for Abuse?

Why does your partner abuse you in the ways that he does? Because, that’s the type of man he is. He wants to have the power and control in the relationship. Furthermore, he doesn’t care what tactics he uses to gain these. While the narcissist may not resort to behaviors that the man with Antisocial Personality Disorder regularly does, the narcissist would probably use tactics beyond those he does if he believed he wouldn’t get caught. Remember, though, the narcissist is more concerned about the consequences of his actions. He is aware of cause and effect, in other words. The man with Antisocial personality Disorder is inclined to just go ahead and act.

The thing that you must remember is that neither the man displaying pathological levels of narcissism not the one with Antisocial Personality Disorder is inclined to act in a way that is in your best interest. It is all about him—and it will continue to be that way. Furthermore, no matter how perfect and accommodating a partner you are, you will undoubtedly continue to suffer emotional abuse and verbal abuse—if not worse.

What can you do?

Tell me, is this how you really want to live your life? Do you want to be with a man who wants you to fear him more than anything else?

I suspect that when you hooked up with him, it was because he essentially seduced you into believing that he wanted what most normal human being want—to love and be loved. But remember, he is not normal, but has a mental disorder instead. Indeed, he suffers from a personality disorder—or something pretty close to it. And the likelihood is that he has co-existing mental health issues—such as substance use disorder. As a result, he is not capable of being the type of loving partner you desire. And while this hurts you emotionally, he certainly isn’t losing sleep over it. He undoubtedly has you exactly where he wants you—under his thumb.

Again, is that where you want to be—now and forever? This is the question you need to be asking yourself. After all, those with either Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder are apt to always remain the same—with this mental disorder that feeds verbal abuse and emotional abuse that destroy you a little more each day.

If you want the insanity to stop, you must make that move.

The sooner you do it, the better.



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