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Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.Licensed Marriage/Family TherapistLicensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor405-707-9600/ peggyferguson@peggyferguson.com

Mental Health Articles

Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage/Family Therapist
Licensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor

Articles on
Mental Health

by Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., Stillwater, OK  




The Worry Worksheet (ebook) provides information on stress, worry, and the potential negative impact of these. The Worry Worksheet just might be able to assist you in sorting through which worries to take action on and which to let go of. PDF download...
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To access the articles, just click on the title of the article. It will open in
a separate pdf document that can be saved to your computer and/or printed off.  All articles are copyrighted.  We welcome you to use them for your own information and to share them with others as long as you cite my authorship,provide website information/link, and do not edit them.


Table of Contents

Cognitive Therapy for Feelings – Change How You Think to Change How You Feel

What is Depression?

Grief - Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

Walking Through Grief 

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Most people recognize when they suffer the loss of a loved one, that owning and walking through their grief is in their best interests.  They may not want to feel the overwhelming sadness and loss that characterizes grief, but still, most people know that the best way to recover from the loss and eventually get on with their lives is to feel and deal with the sadness when it comes up.  Allowing yourself to cry, to be in pain, to reduce your expectations of self and to just be, give the griever an opportunity to heal.  When you take the time to grief you are less likely to get stuck.  To read the rest of the article, follow this link:  Walking Through Grief


It May Not Be Your Personality:

They Could Be Symptoms of Depression

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D. 

Countless people who exhibit symptoms of depression are unaware that they are depressed.  They may identify themselves as "the kind of person who" is characteristically unhappy, lazy, introverted, or unmotivated.  Many of the "personality characteristics" that have internalized as part of their self-concept may actually be symptoms of depression.  When "depressed mood" seems to wax and wane in intensity and frequency, it would be easy to assume that it is some unique personality feature.  Failed attempts to "snap out of it" may further reinforce this notion.  However, most of the time, a depression diagnosis should be ruled out.

Common symptoms of depression that may be self-interpreted as "personality characteristics" include some of the following: To read the rest of this article, follow this link:  It May Not Be Your Personality: They May Be Symptoms of Depression


Dealing with Adult ADD in Marriage

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D. 

Now that you have a diagnosis, don't start blaming the ADD/ADHD for all your marital or relationship problems.  An individual adjusts to ADD/ADHD in many different ways, some of which are helpful and some of which are harmful.  A relationship also adjusts to ADD/ADHD in similar ways.  How a couple deals with one of the partner's ADD/ADHD determines the level of difficulty that you experience in your relationship from ADD/ADHD. 

The ADD partner with distractibility, focus difficulties, time management and organizational deficits may contribute a certain amount of chaos and disorganization to household management, that the other partner feels compelled to compensate for.  That partner may be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to pay the bills, cook, clean, chauffeur kids, and in general, manage the household and domestic responsibilities.  The stress of taking on "all of" the responsibilities can create resentment at minimum and major relationship difficulties in the extreme.  Over time, some couples adjust to these differences and figure out how to allow each partner to contribute to the household management and the relationship according to his/her strengths and characteristics.  Others struggle without problem solving, until the ways that they are ineffectively dealing with conflicts (some over ADD symptoms) create enough pain that they give up. To read the rest of this article follow the link to:  Dealing with Adult ADD in Marriage

Adults Dealing With Untreated ADD/ADHD

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

People who have Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder as adults are not suddenly stricken with the illness.  Adults do not develop ADD/ADHD through multi-tasking, being overwhelmed, or drinking too much coffee.  Adults that have ADD/ADHD had ADD/ADHD as a child.  It just went undiagnosed. 

When as an adult, you discover that you do have ADD/ADHD, the simple fact of a diagnosis and perhaps medication, does not "cure" the impact that ADD/ADHD has had on your life. 

The symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD that you have lived with, adjusted to, and compensated for, have had far reaching effects on various aspects of your life.  You may be feeling relieved that you finally have a diagnosis and that it all makes sense now.  However, you have adjusted to ADD/ADHD as a constant in your life in all kinds of ways--some for better; some for worse. To read the rest of this article, follow this link:  Adults Dealting With Untreated ADD/ADHD

Where Does Mental Illness Come From?

Vulnerability to Mental Illness Equals Stress, Risk and Protective Factors Creating the Perfect Storm

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

We don’t really know for sure how most forms of mental illness get started.  But, much like research on addiction, most professionals conducting research, making observations, and theorizing on this broad subject, believe that a variety of biological,  psychological, and social factors come together to create a vulnerability to mental illness.  A certain level of unmanaged stress seems to be highly influential in triggering symptoms of mental illness that are manifested to such a degree that a diagnosis would be warranted.   These biological, psychological, and social factors seem to set the stage as “vulnerabilities”, but other “protective” factors are also usually present.  The impact of any one factor can vary, especially over time and circumstance. 

Some of the vulnerabilities to developing mental illness include genetic predispositions, certain parenting styles, cultural factors, and traumatic/stressful events.  Many people who come from a family of origin with other mentally ill family members, may want to believe that genetics and/or neurochemistry are the source(s) of their mental illness. To read the rest of the article follow this link: Where Does Mental Illness Come From?  Vulnerability to Mental Illness Equals Stress, Risk and Protective Factors Creating the Perfect Storm

 Peggy's Note:  My "Links" page provides links to a number of other excellent resources on Mental Illness.  To access this information, follow this link:


Mental Health Articles Eliminating Worry Adult Attention Deficit Disorder  Mental Illness Seasonal affective disorder self esteem Depression Anxiety Disorders How to Build Self Esteem About Depression Improving Self Esteem Dealing With Loss Grief About Depression  How to Improve Self Esteem Grief Stages  Grief and Loss  What is low self esteem

My ebooks and other informational/educational products are available
for purchase on my Services Provided page.

Copyright: Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., 116 W. 7th, Suite 211, Stillwater, OK 74074, phone 405-707-9600, fax 405-707-9601, email peggyferguson@hotmail.com, http://www.peggyferguson..com

Serving Stillwater (74074, 74075, 74076), Perry (73077), Perkins (74059), Cushing (74023), Pawnee (74058), Guthrie (73044), Ponca City (74601, 74602, 74604), Morrison (73061), and other local communities.

Providing services for Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Chemical Dependency, Sex Addiction, Mental Health Issues, Depression, Anxiety, Stress Management, Addiction Recovery, Drug Abuse, Spouse of sex addict, Relapse prevention, Drug cravings, Family Business Issues, Couple Money Issues, Co-dependency, Adult Children of Alcoholism Issues, Cross-addiction, Co-occurring disorders, marital family therapy, marriage family counseling, step-parenting, step-family issues, couple money issues, grief, mid-life issues, infidelity.  Providing individual, group, marriage, family, and couples sessions.  Providing professional supervision and training and consultation services.


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