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Tuesday, September 4,2012

Ask Dr. Happy

By Dr. Bob Nozik, MD  

Ask Dr. Happy

by Dr. Bob Nozik,MD “Dr. Happy,” has been speaking and writing on happiness ever since developing his own deep, inner happiness 20 years ago. Bob is Professor Emeritus from UC San Francisco and is the author of Happy 4 Life: Here’s How to Do It. Dear Readers, please send your happiness questions to “Ask Dr. Happy” at

Dear Dr. Happy, I am a 20-year-old man who just finished my first year at University in Toronto. I am spending the summer at home with my mom; she’s the problem. She went through a nasty divorce from my dad six years ago and never really recovered. She cries all the time, blaming herself even though he was the bad guy. Her constant despair has cost her all her friends. I hate seeing her this way. What can I do?


Dear Help, The late Elizabeth Kubler Ross, M.D., identified five stages of grief that most people go through following loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The goal is reaching acceptance which frees us to move on. Depression is where many people, your mom included, get stuck. Although there is no set time-table, six years seems to me to be too long for her to still be actively grieving. Grief experts, John W. James and Russell Friedman have a wonderful book called Grief Recovery, which presents an easy-to-follow plan for emotional recovery. I would suggest that your mom try their program. If she won’t do that, then she should seek help from a therapist who specializes in grief management.


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