Ask Dr. E – mental health – Questions and Answers

Ask Dr. E – mental health – Questions and Answers – Brief Article

Answers to your questions about getting married, retrieving repressed memories, treating depression and more.

Dear Dr. E.,

I’m 25 years old and about to marry someone I love deeply. Unfortunately, I recently fell in love with another man, and I want to sleep with him. Can you be in love with two people at the same time? Should I camel my wedding?

Rena J., via e-mail

Dear Rena,

Yes and maybe. You can certainly be in love with more than one person at the same time. Monogamy is a challenge, and surveys suggest that only half of all individuals who marry are able to stay faithful to their spouses. As for your wedding, ask yourself this: Are you truly ready to make a lifetime commitment to this man?

Dear Dr. E,

I’m seeing a therapist who wants me to undergo hypnosis to retrieve memories that I may have repressed. I believe that if I have repressed memories, it was probably Jar good reason. Ever since my therapist made this suggestion, I have been having anxiety attacks. What should I do?

Cat, Salem, MA

Dear Cat,

The British Psychiatric Association now forbids its members from deliberately seeking to uncover “repressed” memories, and many American mental health professionals are also wary. Decades of research show that memory is a highly imperfect process. False memories can easily be established by an overzealous therapist, and it’s nearly impossible to distinguish a real memory from a false one. If you’re curious about your past, try learning about it from written records or people who were there.

Dear Dr. E,

When is it healthy jar parents to stay out of their children’s lives and allow them to start interacting socially with others on their own?

D., New York, NY

Dear D.,

We tend to infantilize young people these days, which is probably why so many of them are unhappy. In my view, parents should give both authority and responsibility to their children as soon as they can handle it. As our senior citizens are now demonstrating, age is a poor predictor of ability.

Dear Dr. E,

Due to my fiancee’s complaints about my low sex drive, I have stopped taking Prozac. Unfortunately, the other drugs I have tried haven’t worked; now I cry if a pin drops! Is it possible for me to stay on Prozac and somehow increase my sex drive?

H., Newark, NJ

Dear H.,

Prozac can reduce sex drive in some people and increase it in others. Stay informed about the new antidepressants under development. One of them might solve your problem. You might also try counseling, which, unlike medication, has no side effects.

Dear Dr. E,

If a young child’s parents are deaf will the child’s development be adversely affected?

D., Livingston, NJ

Dear D.,

Not necessarily. Thanks to modern technology, deaf parents can provide good care. A baby’s cries, for example, can activate flashing lights that alert parents to their baby’s distress. As long as children are exposed to spoken language, they’ll almost certainly learn normal speech. A hearing parent who is neglectful or abusive will do far more harm than a caring, deaf parent.

Dear Dr. E,

My brother suffers from severe depression. Often he can’t even get out of bed because his mood is so low. What causes this kind of depression, and what can be done about it?

Connie, Whitby, ON

Dear Connie,

Millions of Americans suffer from debilitatting depressions, and many–especially men–don’t seek treatment. Depression can be devastating, leading to insurmountable personal and professional problems. Severe depressions probably have both biological and psychological causes, and most can be alleviated by therapy, medication or a combination of the two. To learn more, contact the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association at www. ndmda.org or 1-800-826-3632.

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