About Ruth

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Ruth Ostrow is a Walkley Award nominated writer, keynote speaker, video-maker and social commentator in the area of human relations, psychology and wellbeing, most recently producing an acclaimed on-line documentary series Total Success. The series showed that for many business and political leaders success is about far more than financial riches or power rather care of the soul.

She is best known for her columns and features in The Australian newspaper which have been read by millions over the years, and has a host of books to her credit in the areas of sex & relationships, life matters, the secrets of business success, health and spirituality: in short, spreadsheets and bedsheets.

Ostrow trained as a leading finance journalist with the Australian Financial Review, before moving to New York, becoming famed for her writings on sexuality, gender issues and equality, later returning to her controversial radio program on Triple M and TV program on Channel 7.

She has lived an eclectic life from war zones to peaceful pastures living and working abroad as a foreign correspondent as deputy editor of the Israel Economist Magazine; and later moving to Byron Bay becoming a yoga teacher, nutritional consultant and keynote speaker on matters of Wellness. She travelled the world speaking at conferences as diverse as healthy ageing and neuroscience. Currently living in Sydney she recently got her Masters degree in multimedia, documentary-making and on-line journalism; and is also studying Art & Design at UNSW to fulfil a wish to become an artist.

Ruth’s passion is Neuroscience and she co-chaired the international conference The Mind & Its Potential.. She has lectured at the Happiness Conference on depression and has been a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Healthy-Ageing and Longevity and the International Complementary Psychiatry Conference. She is an advocate for The Black Dog Institute. Her other great passion is animal welfare and she is a supporter and promoter of Voiceless, Wires and the OurEarth organisation. She has a daughter, loves cats and lives in Sydney.

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61 Responses to About Ruth

  1. P.D 7 June 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    Dear Ruth Ostrow,
    (Re: Ignoring is not ignorance June 7-8, 2014) The use of psychological disorders and real-life hardships by social and criminal offenders to shun personal responsibility and explain and manipulate others, leaves me thinking that my 50 year struggle for survival is a pathetic, unfair and sick, joke! It makes me wonder if the frustrations, anxiety and care I’ve given to teach children and care for elderly patients over the years, make me somehow pitiful. Who of us enjoyed the Disney-style life we waited for? Some of us began life enduring physical, psychological and soon enough, emotional abuses. We skipped or limped our way through the years, enjoying moments of laughter and also cowering alone in terror. Some of us challenged and are, (still) learning to outlive these fears, dysfunctions, addictions and abuses. Others only learned to smile sweetly or snarl and bare their teeth, draw people into their crazy dramas and turn upon them afterwards. Yes, I hope there are always choices to be made. Isn’t the purpose of living to overcome, to act with authority and gain control over ourselves to become more the person we want to be? Will we all become as rude, angry and monstrous as our unfortunate life experiences suggest we should be?

  2. Jodie 7 June 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi Ruth,
    I really valued your column in The Australian today.
    I want my children and grandchildren to live in a society where adults are expected to be responsible, reliable and compassionate – where no excuse makes harming another person okay.
    I think you make an important point about our responsibility for the choices we make, and especially the choices made by those who have faced hardship.
    Why do some go on to contribute to their own and to others’ lives in a positive way, while others are unable or unwilling to do more than use the past as an excuse for bad behaviour?
    We don’t want people to see us as uptight, harsh or small-minded, so it’s sometimes hard to publicly say: ‘That’s not okay’.
    You are already known to be both open-minded and compassionate, and because of this I think more people will consider the point you make – and for this I thank you!
    Kind regards,
    Jodie

  3. Ruth Ostrow 30 May 2014 at 11:09 am #

    Yes Veronica, a long while. For me its been 20 years and still feels like yesterday! Thank you so much for writing

  4. Ruth Ostrow 30 May 2014 at 11:06 am #

    Thank you John, what a fabulous email. I am honored that you’ve been reading me for THAT long… although I do pretend I am not that old 🙂
    Warmly Ruth

  5. Ruth Ostrow 30 May 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Thank you so much, it is wonderful to get a chorus of voices on this important topic, I appreciate your blog

  6. david browning 29 May 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Dear Ruth.
    I read your story weekend Australian about “Courage to let your heart break ”
    I was surprised after all your years of inner growth and learning that.
    you took so long to learn about the healing power of grief !!
    Or you did know but needed to create a story to educate the masses.
    Grieving is a natural process of healing loss,hurt,abuse,disappointment,ýou name it all of humans suffering.
    To me grieving has nothing to do with being brave,grieving and feeling the pain of loss is not being “weak and vulnerable”!! Its simply being true to one’s deep real feelings.Something our modern life in many ways does not yet understand..Check out Yanov’s Primal Scream for eg.A friend of mine who died of cancer some years ago told me before he died that he had a loss he couldn’t accept..he said “A part of me died when we couldn’t be together” and died he did.
    Emotional pain is simply non acceptance of what is.What ever that “IS “is.Only through conscious complete acceptance of what is will the pain go.Also I have observed that in life loss of a loved one through death or separation of a marriage for instance takes two years for the grieving to complete.Its never something that can be hurried.Its a natural process and so much of our “modern “life doesn’t give us the space for grieving to be HONORED.

  7. John Seaman 27 May 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Hi Ruth,

    As a long time reader of yours (from back in the 80’s..I never miss a column,
    My life has been enriched by your writing and too often I have meant to comment on how much I have learnt or appreciated from your point of view, but rarely do it. However I will try to make amends.

    This week’s column in the Australian was another one of those and I take note and am encouraged by your final phrase….that real strength is in being weak and vulnerable. A lesson many Aussie males (like me) should learn and practice.

    Every best wish for your on going success and career.

    Regards

    John

  8. Susan 27 May 2014 at 1:15 am #

    On the 1-2 March 2014 edition of the Weekend Australian you wrote a column entitled “When no revenge is sweet”. Forgiveness is very much a large part of the Christian believe system. You spoke of the man’s radiant face, it reminds me of the glow on the faces of people who have actively forgiven those who have ‘harmed’ them. I have found on numerous occasions that the teachings of Jesus Christ have profound practical consequences for society and the men and women that live in it. I just wish that commentators would state it as it is.

  9. Veronica Smith 25 May 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Dear Ruth, thank you for your piece “Courage to let your heart break”….it really resonated with me having lost my dear Mother year. It can be a very isolating experience but everyone has to experience death of a loved one. A book that really helped me was “My Mother My Father” by Susan Duncan. Thank you for your pearl’s of wisdom Ruth you will come to your own time when you truly acknowledge the death of your own Dad, it can take a while
    …blessings

  10. Karen Joncour 8 March 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Excellent article about depression in the Australian, Ruth. The most illuminating I have read on the subject.

  11. Helen White 3 March 2014 at 11:10 am #

    Dear Ruth

    I really loved your article in The Weekend Australian “When no revenge is sweet’. What a great story about forgiveness. A lesson to us all. May your wonderful and uplifting articles continue – I look forward to them every week.

  12. Jack 24 February 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Ruth, in your Australian Plus Life of Feb 22 2014 “Settle down, choose life”, you describe your guru’s answer to your question as “fulsome”. I’m finding this word misused more and more. It actually has very negative meanings, as from the Macquarie definition: “offensive to good taste, insincere,disgusting, nauseating”. Hope you help me spread the word about this word.

  13. Will DEVLIN 19 February 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Ruth

    Good afternoon from the wet tropics.

    I read your article from the Weekend Australian, as I do every weekend, with a keen eye, given the heading. It is topical given a recent article and following letters regarding ‘deserted’ parents, siblings and children.

    I suppose a Police Officer of 30 years experience, on the cusp of retirement, ought to have managed to cope with soured family relationships. My wife and I live in Far North Queensland, my mother and two brothers in Adelaide, another brother in south-east South Australia and a sister in Melbourne. To say that that distance is ‘comfortable’ would be gilding the proverbial lily.

    I have rotten relationships with them all, though they all (seem to) get on well with each other. So, annual visits to see my mum, to ‘celebrate’ her birthday, are fraught with the spectre of arguments, loud slanging matches, loud television, too much food, and, inexorably, too much alcohol, exacerbating all issues. When I go down to Adelaide in May to see my mum, I think I’ll take your advice, viz,

    “just go with the flow…”

    Perhaps I’ll use my next visit – which is out of a sense of obligation because I realise the mother who did a great job raising 5 kids under pretty trying circumstances in a very blue collar environment – to lay off the alcohol, stay at a hotel (which is MY way of asserting independence despite pleas to the contrary), and just surround myself with white light, if that’s what it can be called.

    I can’t say I enjoy ALL your articles, but, as always, they are thought-provoking and for that reason, I thank you and will continue reading your column.

    Cheers

    Will

  14. Margaret Doyle 5 December 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Dear Ruth,
    I find your columns in The Weekend Australian most inspiring and enjoy sharing them with my sister. A Confession – I lost my way, made me aware of people I didn’t need in my life, who drained my self confidence away. I also gave my sister courage to shed the unwanted.
    Thank you
    Margaret Doyle

  15. Christine Mullane 25 November 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Hello Ruth

    Please keep posting your articles in full on your website. Would like to share some of your pearls of wisdom with friends – but I don’t want to have to subscribe to The Australian newspaper on-line to be able to do this.

    Thanks! Christine

  16. Richard Taylor 20 September 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    “My tears for children.”
    Have never read the Australian or read anything written by you,found this piece in the “smoko” room,explains alot about my great teenage love,a jewish girl from the eastern suburbs.The saddest girl i’ve ever known… I’ll be looking for more from you.
    Thank’s.

  17. Marie Heilberg 14 September 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    re “My Tears are for children”,”Weekend Australian”,14/9/13.

    Your column reveals some kind of a mixture of preciousness,sense of guilt and “other worldliness” which is hard to disentangle.J
    Just because Australia is geographically remote from the rest of the world it does not mean that we are, or should be, insulated from the realities of what is happening in the world, including the atrocities.
    You are looking at what is happening because as an adult you need to look. May be even do more than look, or have a quiet tear ,if possible. You are involved in all this, whether you like it,or not.
    It sounds that those experiences you had to do with Holocaust were traumatizing for you beyond belief.
    My parents took me along to visit a concentration camp, Gross Rossen, in Poland where we lived then, in 1954, when I was 7 years old. I felt very sorry to see a heap of old children’s shoes, I cried hysterically and ,may be ,it did affect me psychologically in terms of a sense of safety in the world, but I accepted, even then, that those children who perished were affected more permanently. More importantly I understood that ,but for an accident of birth, it may have been me. I identified with them.
    Apparently only the good things of life apply to you. Why? Because your life, so far, has been fortunate, spent away from atrocities, preoccupied with the normal and the mundane? I find this to be unimaginative and rather stupid. You reveal an inner poverty, characteristic of people who feel entitled to the best things,and exempt from everything else. This is an illusion which can be shattered in seconds and then the more fortunate can look away from your misfortune or even shed a quiet tear, but feel no involvement.
    No man,or woman for that matter, is an island. I am writing this to you because I read your column in “Weekend Australian” find it mildly interesting and remember you referring to yourself as a Jewish Princess. Time to give it away.

  18. Christine 27 May 2013 at 6:53 am #

    Are you being screwed? Weekend Australian May 25-26, 2013

    Guessing you’ll receive heaps of response to this article Ruth. A goodie for you – and for all those unsuspecting Telstra users out there. In March I phoned my great aunt in NZ for her birthday. She’s in her late 70’s so takes a while to get to the phone. I let the phone ring – till it cut off. 5 mins later again. Did this four times. Got hold of her eventually. A month later my phone bill arrived from Telstra. I’d been charged 66 cents for each non-connection. Telephoned Telstra who said that because I’d let the phone ring more than free attempts allowed, I’d gone into the “pay” zone. I reasoned that if there was a so called “pay” zone, surely the number of rings should be limited and an early “cut off” programmed into the system. The customer service chappie said not. However he did go away to investigate and found I’d been over-charged each non-call by 33 cents! Whoopie! It wasn’t the amount I was concerned about but the principle. My complaint took 25 minutes to resolve! The customer service chappie seems to relish annoying me. So that’s Telstra for you. Any which way to make money out of unsuspecting account holders. So for all you folks out there who “hold on” because the person they’re calling is elderly and takes time to get to the phone – don’t let the phone “ring-ring” too long – or you’ll get screwed.

  19. Christine 27 May 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Guessing you’ll receive heaps of response to this article Ruth. A goodie for you – and for all those unsuspecting Telstra users out there. In March I phoned my great aunt in NZ for her birthday. She’s in her late 70’s so takes a while to get to the phone. I let the phone ring – till it cut off. 5 mins later again. Did this four times. Got hold of her eventually. A month later my phone bill arrived from Telstra. I’d been charged 66 cents for each non-connection! Telephoned Telstra who said that because I’d let the phone ring more than free attempts allowed, I’d gone into the “pay” zone. I reasoned that if there was a so called “pay” zone, surely the number of rings should be limited and an early “cut off” programmed into the system. The customer service chappie said not. However he did go away to investigate and found I’d been over-charged each non-call by 33 cents! Whoopie! It wasn’t the amount I was concerned about but the principle. My complaint took 25 minutes to resolve! The customer service chappie seems to relish annoying me. So that’s Telstra for you. Any which way to make money out of unsuspecting account holders. So for all you folks out there who “hold on” because the person they’re calling is elderly and takes time to get to the phone – don’t let the phone “ring-ring” too long – or you’ll get screwed.

  20. Bronwyn Barter 10 March 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Ruth, I wrote this article last year and after reading your article in the Australian March 9-10, thought that I’d like to share it with you…..

    Feelings of Sadness and Grief are NOT signs of a mental illness!

    What is it about us, that gives us permission to assume that because we are sad or grieving that we are mentally unwell?

    We live in a society that sees the expression of sadness as a weakness. The overwhelm of emotion of either sadness or even exquisite beauty that produces tears to well up in our eyes, is often described as “loosing it”! Loosing what? Loosing your mind, no, loosing control, no, just releasing tension. It doesn’t mean that you are having a ‘nervous breakdown’ it means that you are having a “nervous breakout!” You need it! It’s human nature to release the welling up of strong feelings and express them as emotion. Feelings of being happy, mad, sad, and glad, are all natural human responses.

    Drugs are often prescribed for people who are experiencing sadness. The naming of sadness as depression gives the person who is sad an idea that they are unwell. They are not sick. Sadness is the natural human feeling that lets us become aware that something needs to change or indeed has already changed and is not to our liking! Life’s like that sometimes.

    Grief is the emotion of experiencing a loss. It can be the loss of a relationship, loss of a career, the death and loss of a loved one. Grief can also be experienced when the children leave home, or an argument occurs resulting in the loss of friends.
    I know of some young mums who experience grief when the youngest child goes to school after they have spent many years raising young ones. Grief is not depression. It is not a medical condition.
    In some cultures when there is a death of a loved one, special people are gathered to the grieving family’s home to wail and cry and moan to promote those who are in grief to express that grief openly and loudly and for as long as it takes to fully express their sadness and grief. Time and generosity is given to the grieving family as a mark of respect. It works! In our society, we swallow chemicals so that we can continue to work and behave as if nothing has happened to us.
    The idea that anti-depressant drugs that suppress sadness and grief make you happy is in fact, false.
    What the drugs do is suppress the emotions of the sufferer and prohibit them from the ability to grow through a life experience. Sadness and grief are not helped by the drugs …the drugs simply mask the potential to feel, heal and learn from the experience. The drugs that stop the tears don’t stop the feelings, they control the outward display of emotion including the ability to feel and express happiness. It is now common in our society to believe that if people are having lots of fun and laughing openly and loudly that they must be on some mood altering potion or herb!! “What are you on?” they will ask, as if happiness is only available with the aid of mood enhancers. The truth, is that people on anti-depressants find it very difficult to have a good old fashioned belly laugh…that IS sad.
    Clients who come to me for Rebirthing and are on drugs of anti-depressant nature, are very aware of the intense feelings of their sadness and upset and can become frustrated. They can see and feel clearly that they have been living behind a concealing curtain of chemicals. They have in fact changed nothing of the catalyst of their pain and have also suppressed their happiness to boot! With the careful management and guidance from their medical practitioner and an experienced therapist they can gradually retrieve their true feelings

    As a child I read these valuable words “Laughter and Tears are Nature’s Safety Valves”. Those words were written on a newspaper cutting in my great uncle’s shed and stuck onto the door of his tool cupboard. Due to the many years that it had been there, the paper cutting had turned yellow and sort of brittle in texture, like old newspapers do, and yet it’s message has stuck in my mind for all of my life.
    As I recall the images of uncle’s shed, I can still smell the deep rich scent of wood shavings and a damp earth floor that was covered with a platform of slats to let the shavings and sawdust fall through. But most of all I remember that sign on the tool cupboard door, it has stood me in good stead in my life whilst growing up and as a Rebirthing practitioner. I have always known it was normal to laugh and cry using the natural “safety valves” that we were given at birth and I encourage my clients to do the same. It’s the suppression of our natural instincts that causes the problems.
    The emotional release experienced by laughter and tears stops us from getting sick, creating many endorphins, the healing hormones, in our bodies. Laughter and tears are not signs of mental illness.
    I figure that if we were given the ability to laugh out loud when we are happy and cry when we are sad there’s a purpose for it.
    Let them be there…it’s Ok you’re human.

    Bronwyn Barter
    Rebirther Training Australia
    http://www.rebirthertrainingaustralia.com
    http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/HealingTheDependencyOnDepression.html

  21. Brad Cook 22 December 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Ruth,
    Saw your article in the weekend Oz where you mention cat “management” (haha).
    If you have a house/townhouse with a yard, maybe you should have a look at this: http://www.oscillot.com.au/
    Merry Xmas 🙂
    Cheers,
    Linda & Brad

  22. Ruth Ostrow 8 December 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Will respond when back from overseas

  23. Ruth Ostrow 8 December 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Will respond when I get back from I return from overseas thanks

  24. Joan Campbell 5 December 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Dr.Mehmet Oz is not a “sexpert” he is a heart surgeon who was part of the team who operated on President Clinton

  25. Sam Paton 24 November 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I read your W/E article on Jung in the paper.
    http://pandc.ca/?cat=carl_jung&page=jung_nazis
    You may care to read this; so many like you slavishly quote this person yet in mental health science there is surely no better way to deal with issues, depression etc than a practical way such as CBT.
    Morbid introspection rarely heals anyone.
    If you want to retain real credibity with your readers maybe ponder this article & be more circumspect in future before becoming yet another “Jung camp follower”.
    Sam,
    Melbouren

  26. Ruth Ostrow 3 May 2012 at 2:55 am #

    I will Google this at once. Thanks Roger for suggesting it to me

  27. Roger Lee 29 April 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Hi Ruth
    Re your Weekend Oz article this week. I had a similar shoulder problem – could hardly lift my hand to chest height. After usual xrays/scans etc, Dr diagnosed Frozen Shoulder, said don’t expect any quick recovery, 6 months of physio, maybe an op etc. Was speaking to a friend interstate who said he also had the same diagnosis – couldn’t even do his belt up. Somebody told him about ‘Emmett’ Treatment. He reckoned one visit and he was fine. I was VERY doubtful – but willing to try anything. I contacted a well qualified practitioner and went for a treatment. I left doing windmills with both arms – and a believer in miracles! My partner could not believe it either when i came home. It may, or may not work for you – but give it a try. Google Ross Emmett and good luck. cheers. Roger

  28. Ruth Ostrow 15 December 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    My God, pathological altruism?? what a dreadful attutude some people have

  29. Ruth Ostrow 9 December 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Sorry Bluebottle, you are on my About Ruth page – all the blogging happens in the comments relating to each column – so I forget to go back there. I just read your questions and can’t answer more than I have. But please join the chat on the sex surrogate column comments area, or any other blog you want to comment on, great to hear from you, Ruth

  30. Bluebottle 8 December 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Ruth,
    I don’t know whether you were to reply or if the discussion just naturally grinds to a halt. Please let me know.
    Thanks

  31. Bluebottle 27 November 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Hello Ruth
    I’m in Far North Queensland. I did some basic research but fear finding the right ‘kind and legitimate’ women would be a bit like finding a good honest financial planner. The other thing that occurs to me – do you think it would be better to find one that was at least attractive or would the ‘training’ be more effective if carried out with someone that was in no way attractive?

  32. Ruth Ostrow 27 November 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Sounds like it is just the thing. I don’t know where to find one. I googled on line in researching for this story and found lots of different women interviewed over the past few years who sounded kind and legitimate. Which state do you live in?

  33. Bluebottle 26 November 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Sex Surrogates? I have to say I didn’t know they were available and would probably have seen them simply as prostitutes. As one of mature years and with a wonderful marriage, I have often wondered if surrogates were available. My first wife died after a decade long illness during which time I was of necessity, celibate. My new wife is terrific in every way but nothing hurts me as much as the times I now find myself frustrating her through my inability to consistently perform. This is ED in the modern terminology but I am sure the problem is more psychological than physical as I often wake with the erections of an Adonis. Knowing my wife as I do I am hesitant to impose on her the potential frustrations of sex without Cialis, but feel a surrogate may be able to ‘train me’ and help me through that process. I want to have a full and fulfilling sexual relationship with my wife and ideally for that to be pill free. Is a surrogate the way to go and where would I find one?

  34. Christine Mullane 14 November 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Hello Ruth

    re: your article yesterday on World Suffering.

    Wondered if you picked up on two other articles over the weekend on Kindness.

    The Weekend Australian Inquirer section – page 22 Commentary. “The New Co-Dependence, The Kindness of Strangers” by Brendan O’Neill – shocking twist on kindness – perceived by some as being “pathological altruism” and “addictive behaviour” by those who want to feel good by performing acts of kindness ie. kindness is looked down upon by many!!!! The other article in the News section of the SMH “Chinese told they’ve got to try a little kindness” by Barbara Demick. Apparently the Chinese don’t come to the aid of people in need because they’re worried they’ll be sued if their efforts fail! This seems to be fairly common worldwide these days! Both articles / attitudes – pretty scary!

  35. Linda 12 November 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Hi Ruth,
    I’ve read your column since you came back from New York and still remember what you wrote about in one of those early pieces.
    Your writing is sensitive and honest … a shining light in the Weekend Australian.
    What were the editors thinking when they shifted your column? No idea really.
    Many thanks,
    Linda

  36. Paul Heinrich 15 October 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Interesting that people blame “the modern age” for rudeness or complaining that inconsiderate people are not responding to emails etc. M experience as a man in his 50’s is that nothing has changed. either people are ego centric or their not and this is not limited to age, gender or era. as an optimistic person I see good in most people and surround myself with people with all sorts of qualities, some will never initiate contact with me but I can still make contact with them and enjoy what we share in common I don’t have to wait for an equal share of them doing the right thing. Friendship is not a ledger.

    regards

  37. Ruth Ostrow 19 September 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    Oh Adrian what a gorgeous uplifting email. Yes, I got moved to the strangest place and no one can find me. For a while I was quite depressed, then I realised that my readers still cared, and many Googled me and found my blogsite. Welcome and please come again… flattery will get you everywhere 🙂

  38. Adrian Boys 18 September 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Hi Ruth
    It’s taken me a whole month to find your new location in the Weekend Australian. I kow you are hot property and certainly on my “A” list but what a strange place for the editor to put you! I love your website. I always knew what a beautiful heart and soul you have but now I discover you are physically beautiful as well! Keep sharing your wonderful insights. You bring much joy and entertainment. Regards AB

  39. Fay Geller 13 August 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    I loved this change -of -position- in- the- paper colum farewell this week. Very optimistic . Inspiring story – what a blessed fellow Thank you for sharing this one with us. Of course I will follow you wherever you go in the Universe – well, in the paper at least. More power to you Ruth Ostrow.

  40. jennifer schafer 30 July 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    <Ruth
    I've been through alot with my family in last 7 years…only started reading your column in the last 3 years!!!….I wake up every sat …itching to buy the w/aust..guess what is the very first 'word' i read??? Your column provides me the much needed perspective on how i can survive the passed..and what i need to do for the future..Keep it up!!! Thanks
    Mum J

  41. Ruth Ostrow 16 July 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Thanks Jane write to me again, and let me know how you are going.

  42. jane 16 July 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Dear Ruth, thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind response.. it so nice to hear encouraging words from you about this not being a sign of promiscuity or the like as my self esteem has taken quite the battering. Thank you also for the tip on Jo Anne Baker, I will definately look ino her website. I have received quite a bit of counselling already but maybe she can help me further. And I will try and drop the guilt as you said..thats so nice to hear 🙂 with heartfelt thanks, Jane

  43. Ruth Ostrow 16 July 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Hi Jane as you have come to a blog site I presume you don’t mind your letter being published but please write to me immediately if not, and I will take it down. I am answering this as a journalist who has written about sexual health, not a doctor, In my observations, I have foiund that Herpes is so so common nowadays, it is pretty much that you either have it or you don’t. I don’t think it alarms anyone any more. That’s not to say it isn’t an issue and I do believe honesty is a key in how you go forward on this. But the fact is that Herpes does not mean sexual promiscuity – that is so 1950s! It means that you are one of the 40 percent who’ve had exposure to the virus, some get it, some don’t. Drugs nowadays are very good. The way to handle the physical side is to see a doctor and get the facts. Attacks happen when immunity is low and you are getting run down ie lots of pressure or getting a cold. So you might want to consider your safe sex options more around these times. Condoms are advisable due to issues of transmission. As for the psychological issues I think you need a bit of counselling. The best person I know in this field is Jo Anne Baker, a respected sex counsellor, she runs The Pleasure Spot website and her details and credentials are there under about Jo Anne. She works from Sydney but does do phone counselling and she can recommend you to someone if you want face to face consultation. No more guilt Jane. You have just caught something which is unpleasant but not a death sentence and not dirty and not worthy of shame especially since neither you nor your ex knew he had it. Just be honest with future partners and you discover that the right ones will accept you as you are.

  44. jane 16 July 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Dear Ruth, I’m writing to you for some honest advice, im in my 20s and my mum always points me to your articles as theyre filled with wisdom. I’m currently single but im smart, sweet, fairly attractive and def have my own hobbies and interests. The problem im now faced with is the huge social stigma when dating as i got the herpes virus from my exboyfriend (who was unaware he had it as they dont include it in the standard test for stis). Doctors have assured me its incredibly common, but my downfall is how and when do i tell my new partner this information without them thinking that ive slept around and that they will easily get it.. i recently told a new guy i really liked and provided him with all the right info but he ran for the hills. i understood why but was gutted.. i was soley judged on a skin disorder after all. I really dont want to go through this again, and so my question to you is how and when should i tell the new person im seeing this information. In all fairness that new person could have something too and not know so is it ok to request that we both get tested first and then go from there? I think at least then we would both know what the other is bringing to the table.. physically this is a minor thing, ive never had any symptoms since the first time and take meds so i never will again, but im desperate to try and overcome the stigma attached to this and have a good relationship with someone so would greatly appreiate your advice 🙂

  45. Kate 9 June 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Yep, you’re right, Ruth – we’d much rather have hormone-free meat – well, I would anyway. And good on you exposing the drug companies slinking behind the benign soounding “Animal Health Alliance”. It seems more often that things are not as they first appear and few are willing to admit it. The story of The Emperor’s New Clothes seems to gain more relevance every day!

  46. Ruth Ostrow 6 June 2011 at 12:20 am #

    Hi David,
    Congrats on your new book. My address is at The Australian. The address is 2 Holt Street Surry Hills, but you’d better check. Send it to the Weekend Magazine.
    Best wishes
    Ruth

  47. David Broadbent 5 June 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Hello Ruth

    I tried to send something through the post to you, however it came back to me RTS. Would it be possible for you to send me a PO Box address to the email address I’ve provided? It’s a small item I think you’d like.

    Thanks, Ruth

    David

  48. Dennis Funari 23 May 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi Ruth,
    there are two regular columns that I look forward to reading each week. Firstly, Mandy Nolans Soap Box, who pens for our local independant paper, the Byron and now also the Tweed Shire Echo, and secondly, if you haven’t guessed already, your column in the weekend magazine.. I have often wanted to comment on many of your rants and observations but like most never made the time. Well today I find myself doing just that and will relate my opinion on your nip and tucking question. From my perspective
    I can say that physical attractiveness does not mean an absence of flaws. It’s bigger than that. It’s all about vanity and men suffer from it too. So I think maybe a little tuck if it makes you feel better but where do you draw the line on how far you go. That’s only an individual choice, so it’s really only an internal battle with yourself that matter’s not what other people think.
    Thanks for your light hearted and more serious human /life insights.
    Regards from a simpatico baby boomer
    Dennis

  49. Rob 21 May 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Hey Ruth,
    You look like a good sort to me- whats all this talk of nipping and tucking?

    You have been a busy girl- I’m impressed.
    Having my name on the Just Grounds community site- I too have been on a steep learning curve re multi media and online journalism.

    I have a better story than Erin Brockavich for you – when you get your movie making ticket.(lol)

  50. Kate Bailey 17 May 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Hello Ruth,

    Love your article on receiving advice.

    We’re hoping you might be willing and able to join us on ABC radio in Adelaide on Friday to discuss this topic with presenters Carole Whitelock and Peter Goers.

    Can you please email me about whether this is possible.

    Many thanks,
    Kate – Producer

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