Living With Integrity!


Whatever happened to living with integrity?

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
                                                        Volume 16, Number 5

Listening to the news and other sources of information, it seems like we live in a world where people, especially our national leaders, are out for themselves without concern for others.

The overall philosophy is not what is the right thing to do, but however you get what you want is okay. It’s the ends justify the means even though it can hurt others or damage our institutions and beliefs.

Our May e-Letter is about Living with Integrity. Dr. Kimmel’s blog is about Hurricane Anxiety and can be found here.

We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our e-Letters and for the positive and compassionate comments we have received.


In response to the mental health crisis, we have:

  • added hours to our therapists’ schedules so that more patients can be seen
  • posted more helpful articles on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages to support those who benefit from reading about mental health
  • a psychiatrist on staff for diagnoses and medications
  • a life transformation coach to assist in adjustment to life changes such as grief and loss
  • a school psychologist who works with children to support them through any learning or emotional difficulties and can provide educational evaluations
    We practice telehealth and have also returned to safe, in-office visits. We can be reached by calling our office at 954 755-2885 or by going to the Our Staff page on our website,

    Living with Integrity!

                                                       (Photo by prophsee-journals)

    Our ability to trust what we hear and what we see has been damaged. The question basically, is who do we trust? This has obviously worsened due to the pandemic.

    Yet even prior to Covid, there were numerous lies and misinformation. Rather than admit dishonesty, “walk backs”, misspeaks, and denials have become common place. Integrity has gotten so eroded that we even had to have a short-lived Disinformation Governance Board that already is not trusted and paused.

    We value integrity and we look for it in our local, state, and national leaders. These are people who we trust to do their duties and protect us. But what is integrity really? It is a commitment to living with moral and ethical principles. It is honesty and trust. It is doing the right thing even when no one is looking, and the choice may not be easy.

    Living with integrity means that we are always honest and behave in a manner consistent with these values. It is a choice to live with integrity and it often gets challenged. When we follow our own moral compass, life is easier and simple.

    We don’t have to worry about the consequences of our actions nor worry about hiding anything. We are trusted by others and often admired for our values.

    Integrity also includes taking responsibility for your thoughts and behaviors. The opposites of integrity are deceitfulness, gossiping, insincerity, shaming others, intentional lying, and manipulation. This often causes internal distress in individuals leading to addictions, antisocial behavior, and depression.

    Living with integrity has social benefits. People with integrity are trusted by others, well-liked, become leaders, have close relationships with others, and are seen as genuine. It also decreases anxiety and self-criticism. Living with integrity also attracts others who live with integrity.

    Character traits of people who live with integrity include being respectful and honest. They are gracious when given assistance and will easily say “thank you”. They are often considerate of other people’s feelings and strive to be truthful. They own their mistakes and do not take advantage of other people’s misfortunes. They follow through on their commitments and you can count on them. They are often hard-working and very responsible for their actions.

    Integrity vs Despair
    Integrity vs despair is also one of the stages of Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. It is the final stage and begins at age 65 and ends at death. The major conflict to be resolved focuses on personal questioning of whether or not one’s life was meaningful and satisfying.

    Integrity also refers to determining whether one’s life was fulfilling and had accomplishments. It brings a sense of peace, acceptance, and success.

    Integrity can be developed and preserved by knowing your core values and sticking to them. Every choice that is made is the right one according to your values no matter what the circumstances are. Build self-confidence and self-esteem by knowing who you are and making the right decisions. Be assertive and always tell the truth. Take responsibility for your actions and own your mistakes.

    We offer the following information:

    To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. … Hamlet/William Shakespeare


    • Integrity determines your reputation and how you are known
    • It is defined as having a strong adherence to a code of moral values
    • It’s about doing the right thing even when it is not easy to do or if it’s not acknowledged by others
    • Having integrity means resisting social pressure to do what is inconsistent with your set of values; it’s practicing what you preach
    • A component of integrity is courage; the ability to stick to your convictions even if they are not popular
    • Having integrity generates trust and respect from others
    • People with integrity are often well liked, have a lot of social support, have close friendships, and are generally well-respected
    • Characteristics of people with integrity include being gracious, respectful, honest, trustworthy, responsible, helpful, and patient
    • Behaviors of people with integrity include not gossiping, not sharing secrets told to you with others, keeping promises, and admitting when wrong
    • The opposites of integrity are insincerity, dishonesty, and deceitfulness
    • Integrity also can refer to sensitivity to the needs of others; it is not only about how one thinks but also about one’s moral behavior
    • Leaders who have integrity and hold themselves accountable inspire trust and respect from others; they are often very effective and can motivate people
    • Parents and teachers are the earliest sources of teaching integrity to children; conversely, social media, television, movies, politics, videogames, and the news can be very destructive to learning the value of integrity
    • Integrity also refers to living life with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment
    • In Erik Erikson’s theory of stages of psychosocial development:
    • integrity vs despair is the eighth and final stage
    • begins about the age of 65 and ends at death
    • is triggered by life events including retirement, loss of friends or a spouse, having a terminal illness, and any other major life change
    • the main conflict is whether life has been meaningful and satisfying


    • Be honest with yourself and know your core values, those that you will not lessen or compromise
    • Always make the right choice even when no one is watching
    • Consider what you post online and how you want others to think of you
    • Continue to build your self-confidence and affiliate with others who have integrity
    • Be assertive and speak up for your values
    • Own your mistakes and take responsibility for what you do
    • Keep your promises
    • Seek professional help to build your integrity and maintain your character

    Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]

    Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
    5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
    Coral Springs FL 33067

    As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email me your comments at [email protected] and I will publish them next month.

    Till June…

    The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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    Copyright © 2022 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.