Tag Archives | psychology

Hope Springs for Sex

Despite rumours that everyone is bonking like rabbits, the truth of what goes on behind closed doors in relationships is rather sobering.

HOPE Springs, the new movie about a married couple who have lost that lovin’ feeling, has struck a chord not just with baby boomers and those married a long time, but with people in all sorts of unions — gay, straight, older, younger.

The reason is despite rumours that everyone is bonking like rabbits, the truth of what goes on behind closed doors in relationships is rather sobering. Continue Reading →


Getting over the Ex

It’s a lot cheaper and safer to be nice to your ex says the Huffington Post.

I READ a story the other day that made me cringe. A London man, Darrell Plews, 44, was charged after setting fire to his wife’s clothing. On finding out his estranged wife had secretly run away to Gambia to marry her lover while he was trying to win her back, Plews piled bags, shoes and designer clothes on the patio. He then torched the lot.

I cringed because it made me wonder about my own acts of vengeance against exes who have done me wrong. One ended up with his favourite jumper super- glued to his front door — which might sound brutal and maybe a wee bit psychotic, but in retrospect it was the least I could do. Nowadays I’d like to think my years in therapy and Buddhist leanings would make me behave in a more civilised and grown-up fashion were I to discover myself betrayed or deliberately hurt — although I doubt it. Continue Reading →


The Happiness Addiction

In recent times, we’ve seen so many drug and alcohol binges and deaths among the rich and famous, it’s fair to ask what’s going on.

In the wake of the deaths of Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and billionaire Eva Rausing come the ghostly photos of celebrity Macaulay Culkin — predicted to have only months to live — and photos of the sexy actress Brigitte Nielsen, former wife of Sly Stallone, lying like a bag lady, drunk in a park.

We can comprehend that drug problems plague the Jane and John Does of this world, but when we see people who we’d deem as having magnificent, blessed lives, beyond and above anything we could imagine — amazing bodies, careers, money, going to fabulous resorts and parties and not having to worry about the drudgery of housework and mortgages — it does beg the question about the nature of addiction. Out of the spotlight, rates of addiction are rising, with new temptations every day through the growing digital world: computer games, on-line porn and gambling, social networking. Continue Reading →


Plane rage

We all have it. The rage that comes from having to deal with rude  people in confined spaces. Even yoga can be a hotbed.

A passenger is facing possible charges after abusing airline staff when the woman in front of him refused to turn off her reading light during an overnight flight, it was reported recently.

When airline staff told him the woman was entitled to keep her light on, he began swearing and threatened to keep kicking the back of her seat if she didn’t do what he asked, which sounds very mature. Earlier this year a similarly nasty row erupted after a passenger put his seat back while the person behind him was eating his meal, and refused to put it forward again.

There, but for grace of God, go any of us. Who read- ing this hasn’t had — or nearly had — a heated row in confined quarters such as an aeroplane? Continue Reading →


Fear of Feelings

There is a big difference between being emotional and actually feeling things.

ONE of my lecturers said something interesting the other day, certainly food for thought. We were told to create a film scene with real characters doing what people realistically do and say. And he cautioned us to be careful not to let the actors emote or express too much. ‘‘People in real life find it really hard to let themselves feel things. It’s often painful and embarrassing to feel.’’

I thought, this doesn’t apply to me or many people I know. I was figuring maybe it’s a cultural thing, the difference between, say, hot-blooded Latinate versus Anglo-Saxon behaviour? Continue Reading →


Huge Potential

I’m loving the hottest new overused word. Everyone seems to have it. Seems there is no limit to it. It’s ‘‘potential’’ and it’s spreading like the flu.

My friend, a leader in his field, was recently inter- viewing candidates for a position. He said he asked 100 people why they thought they would be good for the job. They all squeezed it in at some point. Here it comes . . . ‘‘I really think I have huge potential’’ or ‘‘I really think this job has huge potential for me’’. Note also the word ‘‘huge’’. People or things rarely simply have potential — they all have it in huge doses.

The other usage of the word is when editors, teachers or bosses are assessing our work. These days, every piece of art or writing ‘‘really has potential’’. In other words, it isn’t good at present, but if you completely redo it, it may possibly be good one day. Continue Reading →


Sin foods are good for you

Go figure. Sin foods cheese, red wine and chocky can be very healthy!

IT’S interesting observing the refrigerator at the moment as pressure mounts on both students in the house — my HSC daughter and myself (Masters degree). I start getting cravings around midday and by late afternoon I’m at the kitchen counter, eating slice after slice of cheese or piece after piece of chocolate.

Having studied nutrition, I can attest we are ravenous for a reason. The human body is a clever machine. And the news is, sin food is often good for you.

Cheese and dairy foods contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that functions as a biochemical precursor for serotonin (a neurotransmitter), which is needed to ward off depression. Continue Reading →


Comparing ourselves to others

WE never seem happy with our achievements because we compare ourselves up never down to others.


I WAS complaining to someone the other day that I wasn’t happy with my creative achievements. Despite a lifetime of being a journalist with a body of work accumulated over 30 years that could sink a ship, I have always lamented the novels I never wrote and, more recently, the films I didn’t make.

It’s the yearning of the creative soul. Which is why I’m attempting to make amends by going back to university to learn skills that will allow me to make the films and documentaries I wish I’d written and made long ago. Having said that, the same longing keeps coming back. It’s hard watching young people, with their lives ahead and all the potential in the world, having the opportunity to embark on the journey I’m making later in life. It’s also hard to be taught about one’s peers around the world who are the leading lights in the creative spheres you want to enter. Continue Reading →


The bottom line

Success begins at the bottom. A bum on seat ensures success.

IT’S been a hard slog these past few weeks with a throng of university assignments due at the same time. I’m in the final weeks of my masters in media arts and production and, in short, I’ve been glued to the chair as the days go by.

Although I’ve tried hard to look after myself and my family, I’ve not been wasting time cooking — rather, getting healthy takeaway food, and guiltily eating too many slices of bread with cheese as I work (my favourite food, but to be avoided when one’s bum remains trapped in a static position).

It isn’t just the cooking I’ve avoided because of my wretched deadlines. I haven’t gone out except for a brisk walk most days, and have neglected my friends, my mail, just about everything and everybody, much to a general sense of chagrin. Continue Reading →


Accepting loss

One mother’s attitude to grief after the death of her child is causing controversy.

Last year I received an amazing letter from Julia Bianco-Garrouche, a woman who recently appeared on Insight talking about grief following the death of her daughter. It was in relation to a column I  wrote about being criticised. I was the first journalist she’d talked to.

“We had moved to Sydney for my husband’s job and had been there about 18 months. Living in Paddington was starting to take its toll on our vivacious and free-spirited daughter, Yasmina, who at 9- years-old, felt cooped up in the terrace. So whenever we came back to our house near the beach north of Wollongong, she would fling open the front door and take off to explore, breathe the fresh air and let her imagination run wild.” Continue Reading →