Blogs and items of interest

March 18, 2017
nick

How Depression Becomes us and Then Consumes us

The Statistics and what it is

Depression will affect 1 in 3 of us within our life time and this blog will attempt to not only try and describe what some of its symptoms are but also try to offer tools to free ourselves from what can be a claustrophobically paralysing condition. This blog aims to make clear how depression becomes us and then consumes us.

Depression is when we experience something that makes us so unhappy that rather than face up to the feelings associated with the sadness we block it out. So what we tell our selves is, I do not want to feel. It might sound like a pretty good built in tool to have, however this has its own side effects. What this does is, when something good is happening we can’t feel the emotions associated with the good event either. This is because we have internally instructed our bodies not to feel emotions.

I think often people don’t actually fully understand what is going on themselves when they feel depressed. Making a decision to change is often far from the ideology in mind because we are unaware of why we feel the way we do. We may even brush off ideas that we are depressed because of the associations with mental illness and the stigma attached to it.

It can happen to any of us

I would like to take this opportunity to release any feelings of stigma and own that there has been times in my life when I have been depressed! So low that the thought of watching a film appeared to be too much effort!
I think today’s depression looks different because even at times of suffering the need to drive on and do the day to day things we are responsible for has to still be there. It is for these reasons we need to discover outlets for our own well-being.

Why does it happen?

Today demands a lot of us, social acceptance, financial pressure, complexed relationships, and long working hours to name a few of the things that can make us feel low and depressed. Of course there may be more obvious things such as losing a loved one the break-up of a relationship.

We can try and fix ourselves be over eating which makes us put on excess weight, which makes us look at our body image in a negative light. This can serve to become another symptom in the depressiveness. We now have a body to be unhappy about in light of the depression in the first place. It is worth acknowledging our appetite can do the opposite and make us not want to eat at all and then the opposite body image can happen. It can alter our alcohol or drug consumption in search of feelings of happiness or relaxation from the anxiety. We may do other things such as gamble, self-harm, search for promiscuous sex or shop excessively in order to feel better about ourselves. All of which will carry its own negative backlash if done to excess.

Depression changes the way we think, because we are feeling low we are consumed with further thoughts of lowness and un-optimistic thinking takes over. Thoughts such as “I will never be happy again” or “what’s the point of doing something positive it won’t change anything.” Therefore we look outwardly for things that may spark our pleasure principle in an attempt to try and feel, it is an attempt to find happiness or an escape from feeling low. It won’t work however because happiness really is an inside job. See below for an example of how it can often be for someone who is depressed.

 Can it get any worse?
After a period of living with negativity, the dark hole we fall into gets deeper and gloomier. Things look worse as the days go by. It feels like nothing will ever be better again. As a person who has experienced life in this way at times I think it is worth noting here that things do get better. As humans we are resilient and always strive towards improving our own lives.

Things can change incredibly quickly, what can help in these situations is finding the thing that prevents you from slipping into the dark whole in the first place. Me personally I make sure I get enough physical exercise this keeps my chemical balance in my brain in check. However I appreciate this may not be everyone’s personal fix.

How can I help myself?

Finding our thing we do creatively can be a reminder to us that we are not just the thing that makes us unhappy. Talking therapies can be a good way to feel better about ourselves, my own experience in therapy often served as a relief being able to discuss my thoughts and feelings in a non-judgemental way.

Depression is amongst us all, the statistic knocking around within the media at the moment are 1 in 4 of us will suffer with depression this year. My own experience of this soul destroying condition is just that soul destroying. As a collective we need to stand firm together start caring more for the people we see in the street smile at passers-by like they are the mother that brought us into the world. Hold the door for the person behind us, not be afraid to spark conversation with somebody in the queue because for me, depression and low mood feels a bigger problem when we look at how disconnected we are as human beings to one another.

Connection to other human beings is right up there at the top of the best defence techniques against depression so reach out and connect with other humans.

Some suggestions about how we can prevent the symptoms of depression

  1. Eat healthily and regularly.

There is much literature out there to suggest that if we eat foods that are not good for us then this can change our mood. I agree with this statement and if I compare times I have eaten clean to times I have not my mood is definitely something I can identify as changing. Eating regularly is also an important factor, look how Mr T gets without his snickers or Jeremy Clarkson got when his producers didn’t sort his dinner out. When we get hungry we get cranky and that changes our mood significantly.

  1. Drink your 2 litres of Water a day

So many people I come across fail to do this simple vital task. If we become 2 percent dehydrated our brain function becomes 30 percent less efficient. Water is responsible for making hormones travel round your body without being hydrated enough this process does not happen as efficiently as it should. Really if you are not having your 2 litres a day make that the most important thing you do from this list.

  1. Healthy relationships

A strong belief I hold is healthy relationships are a defence against mental illness. I almost want to say put down your phone, sign out of your Facebook and go and talk to somebody in person. (Unless this really is your own way of interacting with others) Take time out of your busy schedule to spend time with people, have dinner go to the cinema, go for a walk, whatever.

  1. Exercise regularly

Now I don’t want to be patronising but we have a chemical in our brain called dopamine, this is the chemical that is released when people take drugs. It makes our mood happy however the process takes some activating. When I say exercise I don’t mean go run on a tread mill for an hour, the pain you would get in your knees after that might make you grumpy! Of course if that is your bag I take my hat off to you, a 30 minute walk a day can be enough to fire your dopamine receptors efficiently. If your schedule is busy, clear some time, the chances are you won’t feel like exercise but I challenge you to do the exercise any way and ask yourself how you feel after.

  1. Hold your boundaries and say No!

Don’t feel like you have to do something. If you are feeling overwhelmed with a busy schedule and people are asking you to do things you can’t do or are going to be pushed to do say no. There is something quite liberating about unhooking yourself from the responsibility of keeping everyone happy at the cost of your own happiness. You are not being mean or unfair you are looking after yourself. Remember no one can best stand up for you better than you. Believe it or not people feel better about people that can hold their own boundaries.

The purpose of this blog is to offer some advice to those who suffer with low mood and depression. If however if you feel like you would like more support you can find out more about me and the services I offer at

brighter-pathways.co.uk

Thank you for reading, please comment and share as you see appropriate, all support is appreciated.

 

February 18, 2017
nick

What is Love, is it More Than a Box of Chocolates

briney before and after disney

This subject feels relevant particularly as cupid is about with his bow and arrow at Valentine’s Day but the question is what is love? I see different perceptions of what love is all the time. This got me thinking does everyone have a different version of what love is………..Their own version. I think it is an important topic as not only will it inspire thinking about our own position within our relationships but on a wider scale. I believe that healthy relationships are a defence against ill mental health.

We are given a version of what love is as children by our parents, that version of what love is depends on how that translates to the individual. An example of this is take that girl who is with that guy who is horrible to her, he controls her, he cheats on her, he hits her……… Why would she put up with this? Accept this is her perception of what it is to be in a loving relationship as this mirrors the relationship her mum and dad had. There is the opposite of this of course where a girl might say I don’t want my partner to be anything like my dad he was an ass hole!

Another example of defining love based on our needs could be when the female in the relationship is particularly maternal to the male in the relationship. I don’t want to limit this relationship dynamic to just heterosexual relationships as it can exist in homosexual relationships also. It is a common know fact that girls often mature younger than boys and some boys never fully mature. A paternal female offers an escape from the family nest at a time when he is striving to prove to his family that he is competent enough to gain independence. The female is served because she can assert her maternal expression and the male is served because he likes her being Mumsie to him.

It is no surprise people get lost in their search for what love is, our parents give us nothing to begin with. They don’t talk of romantic liaisons and rarely show affection in front of us. This could be why as children we take the next most influential source of information in our lives, television. Then there is the attitude of dad suggesting his daughter can never have a boyfriend which could set off the ideology to his sons that the daughter is held in higher regard.

When parents talk about what the ideal partner they say things like ‘”Make sure you pick someone that will treat you nice.” Are often said but define nice, what does nice look like in light of what is being said? Is it a foot massages and flowers? Or is it diamond rings and designer perfume?

Parents add to this by teaching us a set of attitudes that have no place in a relationship by saying things like ‘I am right you are wrong!’ This teaches an ignorant mind-set that can’t be moved and I’m sure will result in some pretty uncompromising arguments. Another example could be ‘Don’t take no s*&! From no one!’ This sets up an uncompromising attitude that no one can do wrong and in life and cant allow room for error. Finally another example could be Stereotyping behaviours of the sexes. All men cheat, sets up a mistrusting ideology. She is very pretty, sets an ideology of what is acceptable to the parent.

Then there is the perception of what Disney think love is. Love in the eyes of Disney is, princesses and prince charming’s, good and evil and happily ever after’s, love at first sight. Of course in the real world if these things were true perhaps the world would be better suited if it had birds singing and squirrels that are blue (why they are that colour escapes me!) bouncing round everywhere we go. Don’t be fooled by how powerful this ideology is I have known of people to get married flamboyantly only to end the marriage shortly after the wedding, just so they could have their day as a Disney like princess.

Another interesting concept amongst Disney culture is women who have power are almost always evil and princesses are not treated very nice until they are rescued. This for me sets up an ideology that women are less, and unable to help themselves. This suits today’s society as men are problem solvers by their very nature and because of how Disney have painted men we love to be the hero. So if we see a “damsel in distress” we can’t resist but go and rescue her.

The measure of what a woman is according to Disney is clear in Cinderella. She is compared to her ‘ugly’ sisters in the story and the one chosen by the prince but she only has a couple of hours to ‘win him over’ I might add. She is happy and her sisters are not. She can cook and clean her sisters cant or are too lazy. This is the one chosen by the prince therefore saying this is what you need to be in order to be chosen by a prince.

I could really talk for ever about the image Disney paints of what it is to be female. It is worth mentioning that today Disney’s franchise goes beyond just its films it now has a channel, showing similar themed material but more frequently. Disney’s Descendants modernises the female ideology by moving on to the next generation of Disney characters such as Cruella Deville’s son, Belle’s son, Snow Whites daughter and Cinderella’s fairy god mother is present also.

The thing I find most alarming is how sexualisation of American kids TV programme front liners such as Britney Spears and more recently Ariana Grande has happened. Once cute and Disney then within a couple of months of leaving their respective roles on TV they transform into sexual icons.

Phillip Zambardo famous author of the Stanford Prison Experiment did some research on what teenage boys think love is. The results were quite alarming with many young men not even feeling close to the dating game that they substitute this image with online pornography. This unrealistic ideology of what sex is has become the social programming of what love is to a generation of young men. The days of taking a girl on a date to the cinema and having a smooch in the back row seem long gone.

The Oxford dictionary definition of what is love is ‘A strong feeling of affection and sexual attraction for someone.’

The Urban Dictionary definition of what is love is ‘nature’s way of tricking people into reproducing.’

Can we begin to see what part of the problem is here if this is what google has to offer in terms of the definition of love.

 Another point I would like to make is how many times have you come across that friend who is in what you consider to be a good relationship, but yet they are thinking about ending that relationship for lack of excitement or lack of something. Of course this could be the best course of action for this friend, on the other hand it is worth mentioning that when we crave change it can present itself in ways we may not understand.

Sometimes when we want change in our lives it can be hard to pin down where the change is needed. It could be its time to move home, find a new hobby, have a career change or even get a new circle of friends. If you have a relationship where for the most part you get along and communicate this is the foundation of what a lasting loving relationship is. If it doesn’t feel as glitzy as a Hollywood love affair that is because a relationship is not this, however it is not impossible to achieve this with good communication. In a relationship what love is needs to be renegotiated as individuals change along with their needs.

Love is individual, based on the individuals wants and needs we cant judge someone’s version of loves because it is not ours.

Here is a poem I wrote about what love could be…….

What is Love

Is it someone you always think of.

Or is it someone you like the look of

Is it your opposite that makes you feel complete like a pair of gloves.

Or is it that the peace they bring is like watching white doves,

Is it the fuel of your arguments feel like explosives,

Or is it their face when you offer a pocket full of posies,

Is it that they are there when you fall down,

Or is it their efforts to try and fix your frown

Is it because they recognise what you need and celebrate your individuality

Or celebrate your personality and offer an escape from reality

Whilst of course all of these things could be true, some of them might not be for you

Can it be that some might not want to love at all or are we somewhat captured by it all

Can it be true that Love is not pure

It meets at the complication meeting place of us all

They interact with each other like dancers at a ball

Maybe their joker can help heal your pain, or maybe their pain feels somewhat the same……….

or the hole in your soul can be matched with the wound in theirs,

There is a lot of mismatch out there take care.

So can I answer what love is? The answer to that is I could get close to telling you what love is to me and my version of it. What I would suggest is you look within and find your version of what love is to you because in the grand scheme of things the varying versions of what it can be may not even be close to what your version of it is.

You may not even be able to answer what it is for you because you haven’t put enough thought there. Self-exploration and acceptance of what you recognise your needs to be have to form the foundation of what love is for you, even if these things are not common themes in surrounding relationships around you. Own what it is you want from your relationship even if parts of it feel dysfunctional to others. It is your relationship not theirs and frankly if it fulfils the space in your life that you define as love, then let it be, its your life after all………….

If you would like to explore who you are then counselling can offer you the space for this exploration and then perhaps you can make an informed decision on what it is you want from a relationship. Or perhaps your in a relationship and you want to explore your position within it.

Contact www.brighter-pathways.co.uk to find out more.

November 19, 2016
nick

Stress Our Internal Assassin

stressed-woman

Stress is a great thing, stress is what has kept us and our ancestors alive for generations and generations. Without stress we may not be here today, what has changed though is what we use it for. I intend to talk about stress in a way that does not involve intense biology in order to make you the reader understand it a bit better.

Stress is what keeps us alive in the Jurassic age, when we were confronted with a dinosaur depending on how we were brought up and who we were as a individual. We would make a decision whether to run for our lives, stay and fight or freeze. Hence the expression fight, flight or freeze. To put this in clearer terms;
Fight
If I choose to fight the dinosaur my body will send energy rich adrenaline straight to my arms so I can fight the dinosaur! This adrenaline is so powerful it is the determining factor of those stories you hear about parents lifting cars off of their child in the event their child has been run over. It is immensely powerful and we should all consider ourselves lucky we have this mechanism built into our biology.
Flight
If I choose to run from the dinosaur my body will send energy rich adrenaline straight to my legs so I can flight from the dinosaur! Have you ever been running from somebody and have reminisced back on the situation and were surprised about how fast you can actually run? This is because the purpose of this response is to make you run fast we are incredibly lucky to have this built into our survival mechanism.
Freeze
Freeze is slightly different in that this is the decision we make in indecision. We don’t necessarily see a way out of avoiding the dinosaur so we freeze and hope for the best. This has its own victories however particularly when you consider that a dinosaurs eye sight was not very good. Keeping very still means they may not see me. Or some animals like a bear for example will stop killing you if they think you are dead!
I want to reassure you as the reader that dinosaurs have been extinct for a very long time and unless we see some Jurassic Park real life re-inaction, we are not going to be confronted by dinosaurs anytime soon. The problem with our stress response system today is that it is utilised in a way that is not how mother-nature intended.
What I mean by this is today’s stresses include things like being sat in traffic, having to manage money to pay bills, worrying about being made redundant, relationship problems, meeting deadlines, moving house, having too much work, getting married, worrying about our loved ones, working too hard because we have too, political unrest to name just a few of the things we get stressed about today.
I don’t mean to undermine these things they are all extremely challenging in their own right but they are not exactly about to be eaten by a dinosaur…………………. Unless you were talking about relationship problems with my Grandma whom is often referred to as the dragon! That can feel a bit life and death!!
The point I am trying to make is today’s stressors are rarely about life and death however our responses to them are just that. Opening a letter to discover a large unexpected bill can send our stress responses through the roof. This combined with moving house whilst on the brink of being made redundant or any number of stressors combined can really hang heavy on us.
How do I propose we change this? The thing is if you are feeling a bit stressed about meeting a deadline the stress response is giving us the little bit of energy we need to meet that deadline. Increasing our awareness giving us the energy to get on with it whilst also decreasing our appetite so we don’t have to stop and eat. This sounds pretty useful right? If we recognise what is happening and use that energy accordingly then I would say that is a pretty effective way of using up that stress.
Often though stress comes to us in a way that feels pretty uncomfortable but I believe that is as a result of not recognising what the energy rich adrenaline is and what it is to be used for. Therefore we resist it and that’s what makes it have a negative impact on our insides which results in stomach ulcers, digestion problems, heart attacks and ultimately death!
A way of combating the negative effects of stress is having a better understanding of how stress presents itself in our bodies. Recognising what the energy is for and accepting it and working with it opposed to rejecting it because we don’t understand it.
I strongly recommend if stress is impacting you in a way that you consider unwell for your well-being, to in the very least find your way of taking care of yourself. Go use the energy up, go for a walk, go for a run, go do the thing that you do to use up energy. Of course some of us may not know what our thing is and of course that is part of the problem.
Talking can be a good way of coping with stress and can also be a good way to recognise how we respond to it. This can be done with a careful listening ear but of course but if this is not enough perhaps a professionally trained ear might be what you need to unravel your stress responses and change your thinking towards how you respond to stress.
I can offer this service at brighter-pathways.co.uk counselling and my experience of course stretches to my own life experience also. Whatever your decisions towards managing your own stress I wish you the best of luck because when it comes to stress trust me I have been there and I know………..
Thank you for taking the time to read this if you would like to get in touch you can do so via my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/brighterpathwayz/ or my website www.brighter-pathways.co.uk where you will find my contact details.

October 29, 2016
nick

Learning to Work with the Darker Sides to Ourselves

shadow-counselling

This blog is going to explore what it is to not only have a darker side also known as our shadow. I will give examples of how a shadow side may present itself but also how to live with it and how it can benefit us.

First of all, I wonder if you are asking yourself if you have a dark side? Or if you know that you have a dark side that you keep locked under the surface of your everyday personality. Our dark side can consist of things that we own but are not necessarily ours. An example of this could be someone feeling ashamed of not looking a certain way, it might be shame for the way someone else behaved. Of course your shadow may not contain these things but one thing I am sure of is we all have a shadow side.

Our shadows are complex by their very nature they are part of ourselves that sit within our unconscious. Our personality/ conscious part of ourselves does all in its power to hide it from ourselves. However it can leak, this is often why we are drawn to someone whom we don’t like, it is often a behaviour trait is being expressed by that person, we also own that trait therefore it is we are curious and attracted to it.

A belief I share is Carl Roger’s ideology that we all strive to go towards the light. He made reference to a potato in a dark room, there was a tiny pin prick of light making it through a window that had been painted black. The potato still grew roots in the direction of that light, therefore suggesting all living things go towards the light.

It is this part of ourselves that makes me believe when we are faced with something that is deep and buried in the darker side of ourselves that when we see it in someone else, we are drawn to it. We don’t want to have unresolved darker parts of our selves therefore we are drawn to them as we attempt to strive towards a lighter being.

If your personality is somewhat subdued or extremely introverted it could be that you have a strong shadow side. This could mean that you have lots of things your personality is trying to keep quiet, therefore the personality doesn’t take risks for fear of leaking these parts of the shadow out.

An example of this could be a person who does not like meeting new people for fear of seeing one or more parts of their shadow side. The everyday personality stops themselves from socialising for fear of seeing parts of their shadow they are trying to hide.

The emotions that are most likely to sit in the shadow side of ourselves all lead back to one place shame, feeling ashamed or blame. Let’s play out my earlier suggestion of feeling ashamed for not looking a certain way. Jane is 29 years old, when she was 10 she was showing signs of puberty whilst all her other friends were not. Her friends alienated her and made fun of her because she had developed breasts by the age of 11. All the boys in her year used to make fun of her and taunt her about her development.

To comfort herself she comfort ate as her parents were unavailable due to their separation as a couple. This has resulted in Jane  keeping a complementary size 14 frame as the years have gone on, she still comfort eats at times when she is feeling particularly low and self-loathing towards herself.

Jane feels really ashamed of her size 14 frame and wishes she was more like some celebrities she sees in magazines or on TV. As she is not the same size as these people she self-loathes and feels ashamed. What would help Jane in this situation is to have compassion for the young Jane facing all those changes at such a young age without the support and guidance she would have benefited from at this time. That is not to say let’s ‘blame’ mum, but more explore who Jane may have become if it wasn’t for the playground bullies and invite the opportunity to become that Jane.

Alternatively start working and accepting the Jane she is today and celebrating that opposed to loathing it. The stand out thing for me is she coped, she went through those changes unsupported at a time when her parents were separating. She found a way to cope and survived. That alone shows how resourceful she was at a young age and that should be celebrated not loathed.

In a situation like Jane’s, counselling can be a place to explore the shadow side of herself that she self-loathes which in turn forces her to comfort eat because she feels ashamed.

It can be a space to offer compassion and an exploration of why she feels these feelings and are the feelings fair and justified. When this has been explored then perhaps the healing and compassion can begin leading on to an acceptance of the person she is today. I say these things very matter of fact and of course this might not be plain sailing but I just want to present an ideology of how counselling can help Jane.

If any of the subjects covered in this blog sounds like something you would like help with then please feel free to contact via my website brighter-pathways.co.uk

I have also written a blog about shame in light of Monica Lewinsky’s experience of shame you can find that here http://brighter-pathways.co.uk/index.php/2016/05/14/shame/ Feel free to read and comment on that if you wish.

Best wishes

Nick

 

October 25, 2016
nick

Addiction My Secret Lover

addiction-counselling Bristol

In today’s blog I am going to discuss addiction, some of the behaviour traits associated with addiction and what we need to start doing as a society to support people whom suffer with addiction.

When I use the term Addiction I use it generically because I believe addiction is the same regardless, it is the substance and our reasons for misusing substances that are different. I think it is worth mentioning here that some addictions don’t involve a physical substance at all for example, gambling, sex, or self-harm. (self-harm is often described as a coping mechanism rather than addiction but I believe they are similar along with the behaviours associated with it.) More recently I would say social media use is becoming addictive with the average person giving 45 minutes of their life a day to facebook.

Addiction is rarely met with open arms, it is often hidden away from others to great extremes. The media scorn and shame it making those that suffer from it, hide it for fear of being cut off from society. The thing is, problematic addiction happens too many of us and goes unnoticed because the symptoms that make addiction problematic are contained. To make this clearer an example of this could be someone who’s alcohol consumption is high but they are still functioning within society ie, going to work daily and paying their bills.

Substance misuse often only gets to addiction services when the substance misuse hits another problem like when someone gets violent to their partner when they are under the influence, or someone can’t afford to pay for their substance of choice so they have to cope with the anxiety that goes with that. They could go to the extremes of stealing to pay for their substance of choice which could end in criminal proceedings therefore making their substance misuse problematic.

This I believe means there are many people out there whom do have addiction concerns but because it is not problematic to others it remains a stone left unturned. This is also where the ideology comes from that unless somebody wants to stop consuming substances they wont. Addiction is a very self-centred by its nature and whilst if you are reading this as a person with a substance misuse problem  then I don’t want this to be a challenge but the point I am making is we don’t misuse substances for someone else once we are addicted. In the early stages of course we may start to fit in or because that is what is socially accepted within a certain group of friends.

Constant consumption of a substance becomes a rather lonely affair because of the self-centred nature of the addiction. Even amongst a circle of misusing friends addictive behaviour sees even the closest of friends see their own needs met before others. This further enforces the loneliness of addiction. This is something that needs to be addressed within addiction the ultimate loneliness of it, whilst I believe many of us are born with addictive traits, our reasons for substance misuse rarely match that of another.

The addiction is the same but the reasons for it are not and what I mean by that is the behaviours that go with addiction are the same. The prickliness of the mood of an addict who is figuring out where his next substance of choice is going to come from, the deceit to the people around him or her, the denial.

The reasons for the addiction are our attempt to hide our pain from our selves whatever the cause of that pain may be it could be loss, it could be rejection, it could be shame, it could be our childhood, and it could be our past. It could be any number of things and each would be completely alien to the varying people with addiction because that is what the pain is completely unique to the individual. This is often where the confusion comes from when a human who is trying to block out their pain is being figured out by someone that does not understand their pain.

It is for these reasons as a society we need people to be able to talk more openly about their addiction without fear of stigmatisation. Addiction needs to be considered an illness an attempt to hide pain from the user, instead of something to ridicule and derive shame.

In order to understand someone’s pain you have to build a picture of what that person’s life is and attempt to understand it in the shoes and socks of that person in their world. Only then can you begin to recognise what that pain feels like and get close to imagining what you would do to stop that pain if it was yours. I think this is where communication breaks down between the people around the person with the addiction ‘I don’t know why they do it!’ is often a phrase you will hear. This is why professional help is needed to start unravelling that pain because the person with the addiction may not want to burden a loved one with the pain or have shame for that pain and therefore will not want to share it.

Counselling can be a place to release some of the hurt that keeps someone in addiction as it is a non-judgmental place. A place where hurt, shame or rejection can be explored without fear of burden or fear of contradiction of understanding because in counselling the only vetted interests are in that of the client.

Are you concerned about your own addictive behaviours?

Is there something you feel uncomfortable about when you don’t have it?

Do you find yourself constantly planning your next binge/fix?

“Do you feel anxious or uncomfortable if you cannot do it or if you think about not doing it? One way to gauge how important these things have become to you is to consider doing without them. Your initial emotional and physical response can be highly instructive. The higher the level of panic and pain you anticipate, the stronger the hold it has on you.” (Psychologytoday.com)

Do you often plan to stop and then cant, finding all the reasons under the sun to not stop?

If any of this sounds like you or maybe you are the spouse or you know somebody with addictive behaviours that you are concerned about and you would like support with this. Visit brighter-pathways.co.uk and contact to see if we can support you without judgement.

 

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