Stress blog

Helping others and healing yourself

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. August 23, 2011

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

I've noticed a couple of themes emerging in the blog comments that and I want to explore and address.

While I believe that you can't move forward when you're hanging onto the past, I don't think you can hit the "fast forward" button to resolve grief, anger and frustration. Healing is a process, an evolution; you don't simply wake up and suddenly find you're "all better."

As some TV psychologists like to say, you need to "deal with it" as best you can, heal your wounds as best you can, and recognize that you will then be on the path to a "new normal."

While medications may play an important role in healing some emotional issues, a trained and compassionate therapist can be an enormous asset on the path to recovery.

It's also clear that if you don't make your own health and welfare a priority, you'll have nothing left to give to others. Let me share with you an example a colleague shared with me concerning the good Samaritan.

Of course, you know the story. A traveler is mugged and left to die on the highway. Several members of the community pass him by, but a compassionate individual stops to bind his wounds and takes him to an inn. The next day the good Samaritan must leave but pays the innkeeper to care for the injured man.

Please note that the good Samaritan did what he could, but he did not put his life on hold for the injured person. He was honorable and steadfast but also recognized he had his own obligations to keep. This is an important lesson for each of us.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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9 Comments Posted

Aug. 23, 2011