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The SelfWork Podcast

I'm Dr. Margaret, a psychologist for over 25 years and the author of Perfectly Hidden Depression. I created The SelfWork Podcast in 2016 to explain mental health treatment, and to give you the chance to consider therapy without thinking it's weird or somehow suggests you can't "fix" your own problems. My team is so honored that five years later, SelfWork has earned nearly 3.5 million downloads! Each episode features the popular listener question. And, once a month, you’ll hear a “You Get the Gist” segment - a five minute run-down of a current topic - as well as an interview with an outstanding guest author or expert, adding to the wide diversity of topics listeners so appreciate. Regularly rated as one of the top mental health/depression podcasts out there, I keep it short and casual - and I'd love to hear from you. Please join me.
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Now displaying: Category: general
Nov 22, 2019

If you've been sexually abused in any way, it changes the way you live your life. You can heal but it takes work and courage. But what if you're abused, you report or tell someone about it and you're not believed? This aftermath of abuse -- this total negation of what happened -- can feel even worse than the initial trauma. That's what we're focusing on today on SelfWork. If you've been abused, listening may trigger you in some way. So please take care. Ask for help if you need it. The hotline numbers for both the UK and the US can be found in the show notes.

The listener email is from a young woman who’s identified with perfectly hidden depression but doesn’t know how to begin to look for a therapist… and how to reveal her hiding.

Important links:

The Indianapolis Star revealed massive exploitation and coverup of sexual abuse in the US Gymnastics program

RAINN's statistics: most rapes never get reported. Other figures are staggering.

Andy Woodward's story as he  revealed the details of his abuse.

Study identifying several irrational beliefs about male sexual abuse.

My own article on becoming sexually aroused during the abuse

Studies indicate that 1/3 of abused male children are likely to abuse.

In the UK, The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. For the RAINN sexual abuse hotline click here.

You can hear more about the aftermath of abuse and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

Nov 15, 2019

This week I had an interview with Dr. Rami Wehbi who's host of the podcast Beyond Medicine and a fabulous listener. That particular experience led me to talk about what gets in the way of good listening. I chose three dynamics of the numerous ones that are out there: making assumptions, needing to be right, and avoidance of conflict and compromise. I offer solutions or ideas of what you can do about those issues, basically other attitudes or beliefs or habits you can shift into to make your conversations more meaningful and actually productive.

The listener email is from a young woman who is a sexual abuse survivor but wasn’t believed by her family – until now. She’s asking what’s the best course for her to follow – and my most important advice to make a choice that she feels good about and doesn't re-victimize her in any way.

You can hear more about good communication and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

Nov 8, 2019

Depression can steal your sense of vitality. Your "get up and go" or your motivation to reach goals that mean something to you can disappear. It's called anhedonia -- basically the lack of pleasure in (or motivation for) activities that used to mean something to you or to try on new challenges.

But you don't have to be depressed for this to happen. Plain old insecurity can morph into passivity. And the dream of attaining certain goals can seem so far out of reach that you don't know how to become who you want to be.

Enter the "as if" technique. Dr. Margaret will outline four basic steps that can guide you to find your motivation and make the changes possible that have seemed out of reach. And she gives both tangible and more intangible examples of how to make the progress you want to make.

The listener email for this week describes the pain that a mother or father can have if their child appears to have a volatile personality disorder. Can you have some kind of relationship with someone with BPD? It's one of the most asked questions in the emails Dr. Margaret receives as there is so much pain involved.

You can hear more about creating change and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Nov 1, 2019

The victim mentality or emotional martyrdom are personality traits that are very difficult to handle in relationships. It's when someone people pleases to the point of intense self-sacrifice, which leads to bitterness, misunderstanding and drama. At its base is immense insecurity, but it takes a lot of insight for someone with this mentality to see themselves and their impact on others objectively. Today I'll describe the major characteristics and what patterns of behavior someone who is in a relationship with an emotional martyr may observe.

This episode is airing on what is an important day for me. Perfectly Hidden Depression, my book on breaking free from damaging and destructive perfectionism,  is available as of today in both paperback form and as an ebook or Kindle. You can read more about it and order here! 

To celebrate, we’ve updated SelfWork a bit – a new cover and a slightly new name, The SelfWork Podcast. Simply a freshening up of what has become one of my favorite ways of reaching out!

Today's listener email is from a young mom who is struggling with depression after the birth of her fourth child, but she's calling it "yearning to be alone." We'll talk about how postpartum depression can be something you shame yourself for, rather than for the condition that it is.

Important Link:

Article from Your Tango by Nancy Carbone

You can hear more about perfectly hidden depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Oct 25, 2019

As I wrote the book Perfectly Hidden Depression, I included over sixty specific exercises that would make reading it more of an emotional challenge, rather than one more chance to analyze. They are both action-oriented and reflective exercises and hopefully, you'd come away with a journal full of fresh insights, guidance on effecting real change in your life and support for taking risks.

So today I want to give you a taste of those exercises, so that you can get a sense of how this kind of change can be tried on for size. So many people want to change but start off with a plan that's way too difficult or hard to reach. Instead, these exercises are things you can do to help set yourself up for success – however it is that you would like to define that success. They include: creating a mantra, beginning to detach from shame, identifying emotions that are hard to feel, realizing underlying beliefs about worry and other feeling states, receiving positive recognition from others, and creating your own relationship graphic.

Our listener email is from someone who’s identified with perfectly hidden depression. But her specific problem lies with jealousy or difficulty as she tries to maintain a friendship with her ex.

You can hear more about depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression will be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Image courtesy Pexels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 18, 2019

This month has been full of questions from all of you! So I'm taking today to answer even more of them!  The topics are diverse. The first is from a man whose dreams haven’t been fulfilled and he’s almost totally given up that dream and is escaping through  The second from a woman who’s trying to make a decision about revealing past sexual abuse. The third from a man who’s realizing that a lot of his anxiety comes from feeling like he’s always disappointing other people. And the last is from a woman who’s married and the cycle she and her husband are in sounds as if it’s rapidly becoming more and more volatile and violent.

Hopefully listening in will help you find your way in whatever you're trying to cope with. And I'll look forward to next week!

You can hear more about depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression will be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Image courtesy Pexels.

 

 

 

 

Oct 11, 2019

Happy 150th Episode!! This is the last of the series on aspects of depression and today, we're talking about self-destructive habits and patterns. Depression is innately painful. It’s lonely. It’s dark. Sometimes you lose hope that you can find your way out. So, you can easily turn to self-destructive behaviors to gain some form of perceived control or escape.

Our focus will be on six, although we're completely leaving out substance abuse, which of course, is huge. Those six are: spending/shopping, bingeing and purging, restricting food/dieting/compulsive exercise, cutting, having an affair, and overly rigid compartmentalization. I’ll offer stories from my own patients and how they began to change their thinking about the escape routes they’d come to count on. And I’ll offer the question that I’ve used to help people begin to understand what function these behaviors are serving.

The listener email is from someone who believes her husband has PHD (perfectly hidden depression). But she asks, "Since he’s highly perfectionistic, how can I approach him?"

You can hear more about depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression will be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Image courtesy Pexels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 4, 2019

Depression and anxiety turn up in several mental illnesses. Yet when there's a definite mood cycle -- when one energy level of mood becomes apparent, either a too up or too down, and then another eventually takes it place -- this can earn the diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder if certain criteria are met. I'll talk about what Bipolar II is exactly and relay the stories of two people with Bipolar Disorder, Julie Kraft and Jennifer Marshall, both well-known advocates for talking openly about mental illness. And I'll focus on what are termed "triggers" and how to manage them, so that you learn how to take care of yourself during those times.

Our listener email is from a man in South America whose perfectionism drove him to try every new self-help technique out there, leaving him exhausted and confused. Maybe we should call it an addiction -- "self-helpism." His question is very thought-provoking and I hope you'll enjoy and learn from it.

Important Links:

WebMd article on Bipolar II

Article from the Mayo Clinic on Bipolar Disorder

Article in Psycom on Julie Kraft and her book

Article in Psych Central on ways different people with Bipolar Disorder manage their illness

Jennifer Marshalls Blog :  BipolarMomLife.com

Take Bipolar Quiz

You can hear more about depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression will be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Sep 27, 2019

We're talking about love today on SelfWork. Unconditional love  often gets the thumbs up as the best or most selfless kind of love to have. Parents certainly want to welcome their children into the world with unconditional love. But there can be a problem when, as an adult, you don't set boundaries at all, and "loving unconditionally" can be manipulated fairly easily.

Then there's conditional love, when love will be withdrawn if certain expectations aren’t followed. The boundaries or expectations themselves are manipulative, but often don't feel like they are. Why? Because they're couched in terms of "closeness" or "loyalty." I'll give several examples of conditional love and you can see if you recognize it in your own life.

So your selfwork today is to look at the boundaries in your own relationships. Are the boundaries clear and respected, or perhaps not so much?

The listener email for today is from someone who defines herself as a "people pleaser" and asks how she can change that particular pattern.

Important Links:

John Amodeo in Psychology Today

You can hear more about love and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click hereand answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depressionwill be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-orderhere! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 20, 2019

Depression is going to be the topic of SelfWork for the coming weeks. And today, let's look into seven distorted beliefs that are going to justify or support you staying isolated, and even convince you that you're better off being alone. But loneliness and isolation are part and parcel of depression's hold on you. I know how real these voices can seem. I know how hard they are to fight off, especially when your mind isn’t helping you. But I'm going to use my version of common-sense psychology to see where challenging those beliefs might lead you.

What are these beliefs?

  • I can’t be around other people; they just make me mad.
  • No one would understand.
  • I’m burdening others if I talk about my pain.
  • People have disappointed me, and I just can’t be hurt anymore.
  • People don’t want to hear that I’m depressed again.
  • I don’t care anymore.
  • If I have to ask for it, it’s not the same

Do you hear yourself or someone you love? Then I hope today's episode will shake those beliefs up.

The listener email today is from a woman who’s struggled with obesity most of her life and has won that battle, but is left with the scars of loose sagging skin. And she’s met someone with whom she wants a vital sexual relationship. So,  she’s struggling with trust and vulnerability.

You can hear more about coping with depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast!

If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression will be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-order here!Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

Sep 6, 2019

Everyone knows when there's an elephant in the room. It's an event, fact or feeling-- past or present -- that can't, for some mysterious or not so mysterious reason, be acknowledged. It seems impossible or too risky or too painful to talk about. So you walk around it. Avoid it. Throw a sheet over it.

We all have what are called "defense mechanisms" to deal with what stresses us too much. It can be as simple as distraction (which can get a bad rap by some in psychology) which can entertain you, get your mind off something difficult. Or you can flat out deny it, meaning that you don't allow yourself to see or admit the reality of that stressful elephant.

Then there are more complex defenses, such as projection or compartmentalization. So today, we're talking about how you defend yourself from stress -- not a bad thing at all in moderation. It's only problematic when it's your only option to handle stress -- or tame the elephant.

Our listener email is from a teenager whose mom has two completely different ways of being and is trying to understand how to approach her. This is a common question I get about loved ones so I thought I'd answer it on air.

Important Links:

The article by Dr. John Grohol on Psych Central describing common defense mechanisms

Link to NPR's Invisibilia 

You can hear more about coping with stress and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to this website and receive my weekly blog posts and podcasts!If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression will be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-order here!Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

Aug 30, 2019

Getting motivated for change and maintaining that change can be tricky business. Willpower. Self-discipline. Focus. All are touted as necessary for achievement of your goals. But where does self-acceptance come into this? And what about understanding what's underneath the change you maybe want or need to make? I'll talk today about how motivation -- understanding why you're working toward certain goals and the importance of not depending on shame to move toward those goals, as it will only sabotage your attempts in the end.

The listener email is from someone who sought therapy in the past but hasn't as of yet had a successful experience. She's taking responsibility for some of that, but also finds that therapists tend to "meander" instead of coming up with specific goals and ways to get there.

You can hear more about depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to this website and receive my weekly blog posts and podcasts!

If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then clickhereand answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depressionwill be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-orderhere!Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Important Links:

Book by Mark Mason The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F__k

Important link: Mark Manson on Self-Discipline

 

Aug 23, 2019

Welcome. If you've listened to the previous episode, you know that explaining depression as a "chemical imbalance" is far too simple for such a complex process. Today I'm once again using a very well-written article by a team at Harvard as a guide. Today we'll focus on the  non-neurological factors that have a tremendous influence on whether or not you could become depressed -- specifically stress, trauma, medical illnesses and medications themselves. And I throw in some of my own observations and thoughts. And as always, there's a focus on treatment -- or what you can do about it.

The listener email format is different today! On my website (and within the show notes) there’s now an icon from SpeakPipe which invites you to leave me a message for use on the podcast. This listener's question is a poignant one. She and her husband have been booted out of her daughter's life, who seems to have a history of significant emotional problems and is in therapy. So the question is how this mother could approach this very painful estrangement from her daughter as she wonders if the therapy itself is encouraging this behavior.

Important links:

Episode 091 on decreasing stress through mindfulness

SelfWork Episode 109 on the use of a timeline

Another more recent episode (121) on healing from trauma

You can hear more about depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to this website and receive her weekly blog posts and podcasts!

If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression will be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

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