Domestic abuse

5 Reasons Why People Stay in Abusive Relationships

Abuse in relationships is much more prevalent than you might think. Whether it’s physical or psychological, there are many different ways that a partner can abuse their other half. Domestic abuse doesn’t have just to be hitting and fighting, and it’s often the psychological side of things that can do the most damage. Anything that makes you feel victimised or afraid can be seen as abuse, from putting you down all the time, to controlling who you’re friends with, monitoring your access to money or always checking up on you.

1. Fear
This is the big one: fear. Especially if the abuse you are experiencing is physical or violent in nature, there will be intense pressure on you to stay, in case you get hurt (or worse) if you try to leave. Threats of self-harm or even suicide can also cause fear in a relationship, but there is always a way out. Don’t announce to your partner that you’re leaving, save up a little money if you can and make plans to stay somewhere safe with a friend or family member. If needs be, apply for a restraining order, and even if you’re afraid, it helps to document your abuse through a diary, or photographs in case the courts get involved.

2. Embarrassment
There’s always the thought in the back of a victim’s head that they can’t get help because people will think they are weak. They don’t want to go through the perceived humiliation or embarrassment of admitting that they’re being abused. But always remember that the most courageous and brave thing you can do is get out and get help while you still can. Just know that no one will judge you, or think that it’s your fault. You are not the problem.

3. Low-Self Esteem
“I’m not worth it”, “I don’t deserve better”, and “It’s all my fault” are common inner monologues for abuse victims, and it’s just not true. After years of being put down by your partner and told you’re not good enough have a psychological effect that can damage your self-esteem and make you think that you deserve the abuse that you get. No one deserves to be abused or undermined by their partner, and it’s important that you get help in any way you can. Whether you talk to a friend or get counselling, you need to know that no one deserves to be treated that way.

4. Love
They may claim that they love you and can’t help the way they act, or that they only treat you the way they do out of love. It’s hard not to get swept up in these twisted proclamations of affection, but if you only get hugs and kisses after they’ve laid into you, then you need to get out of there fast. You might believe that they need you, that they’ll change or that it doesn’t matter what they do or say because they love you, but that’s a toxic way of thinking. Love shouldn’t hurt.

5. Children
Another common reason that people stay in abusive relationships is that they have children with their abuser, and they feel like they can’t leave. Abusive partners often use their children as pawns in the abuse, lying to them or not letting you see them in order to gain control. When kids are involved, it’s vital that you get out of there as quickly as possible before the abuse moves on to them. Consider moving in with a friend or family member, taking your children, and seeking professional advice on how to gain full custody.

Whatever type of abuse you or a friend is suffering, just know that there is a way out. You don’t deserve to be treated this way, seek help, talk to people and get away from your abuser as fast as you can.

If you have experienced an abusive relationship in the past, you may well be suffering from severe anxiety or even PTSD as a result. I am a fully qualified hypnotherapist and BWRT practitioner with experience of helping people in this situation. If you think that I may be able to help, please get in touch with me on 07870 893226 for a free consultation.

Girl with summer depression

Summer Depression – Is the warm weather getting you down?

After what seems like an eternity of rain and miserable weather, finally, it appears that summer has made an appearance. Along with the warmer weather and longer days comes a more relaxed and carefree approach to life. Everywhere you look, you see the sun reflected in the smiling and happy faces of friends, family, and colleagues. However, what if you are in the 1% of people who suffers from summer depression or SAD?
SAD or seasonal affective disorder affects around 1 in 15 people in the UK. The vast majority experience symptoms and mood changes during the winter months but did you know that around 1% are affected during the summer?

Summer depression is harder to understand and seems counterintuitive in a world where we have come to associate warm and bright days with feeling happy. However, for some people, the disruption that goes hand in hand with the summer months can be enough to trigger feelings of stress and anxiety. Financial and social factors such as organising summer childcare, paying for holiday camps or babysitters can take their toll and for those suffering from summer depression, the warmer weather can be the signal to withdraw from life.

For people suffering from summer depression the constant expectation to have fun at barbeques and summer garden parties can be exhausting. If you do not have the energy or the financial flexibility, the constant stream of party invites can be a major cause of anxiety.

Symptoms of summer depression typically occur between June & September and can include anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite and weight loss, and if they are having a significant impact on your ability to function normally, it may be time for you to seek professional help.

Physical symptoms can be alleviated by limiting the time spent outside in the sun and by trying to keep as cool as possible. The psychological symptoms are often harder to manage and because of this, it is important to make sure the people closest to you aware that you are struggling so that they can support you socially.

If you are prone to seasonal depression and anxiety, you can be proactive and take steps to prepare.
For example, if you are aware that the financial pressures of summer can lead to negative mood changes you can plan for it accordingly.

For some people, however, being prepared and implementing coping strategies just isn’t enough and for those people, it is advisable to get in touch with a mental health care professional.
Hypnotherapy and in particular BWRT can be an effective treatment for SAD. They work by helping the sufferer to re-address and re-train their brain to look at a particular time of the year in a different and more positive way. In any situation encountered, the brain will always look back at the previous behaviour patterns associated. So, if you have spent the last five summers struggling with anxiety, insomnia and a loss of appetite, the slightest hint of warmer weather and longer days can act as signals to trigger those negative emotions all over again.
A professional hypnotherapist can work with you to change these thought processes, allowing you to adopt a more positive approach and to take more control over how certain times of the year affect you.

If you think that you may be suffering from seasonal depression, please get in touch with me on 07870 893226 to find out how hypnotherapy, and in particular BWRT, could help you learn to love the feel of the sun on your face again.