Medication – do your research


 

56. medication2One of things I like to get clear on from the outset of working with a client is whether they’re taking medication – and if so, what is it and what effect does it have. Whether they’re emotion suppressants (for depression, grief, overwhelm, complex life change), sleeping tablets (stress & anxiety), pain management (migraines, cancer, post-ops), or nausea drugs (eating disorders or addictions)  – every single one of them has a wider impact on a person’s body than simply the remit it’s being taken for.

 

Some years ago I moved my practice from London to Aberdeenshire. Shortly after that I was introduced socially to a delightful and smart woman who, over a period of about 18 months, went from no medication to an increasingly-complex cocktail of at least 8 different types of pills daily – initially to manage depression, then weight gain, addiction, liver challenges, thrombosis, and on and on – until she died in hospital asking to be taken out of there because ‘ … all of this is too much’ (the drugs … not her life).

 

Go back to the beginning of that chapter, her depression began by not having access to her son because she was in conflict with her ex-husband. They had shared custody, however the husband didn’t always allow her the access she was due at weekends; he wouldn’t show up at court when she tried to hold him accountable through the present family law system; and he would speaking critically of the mum to the son further distancing them. In accumulation, this was the driving force for this woman’s stress, which in turn lead to an appeal for medical help and a first introduction to the anti-depressants and sleeping medication.

 

On many occasions I’ve had first conversations with clients that go a bit like this: ‘I realised it was serious when I went to my doctor and was perscribed with anti-depressants. I’m sitting here staring at them and I don’t want to start down this route … can you help?’. Ordinarily these clients will see me twice, perhaps 3 times, additionally-equipping themselves in each subsequent session, and then they leave and move on confidently with their next life chapter.

 

Most of us have an instinct about whether we really need:

  • a weight loss drug – or some nutritional advice and a tribe to exercise with
  • a sleeping tablet – or a meaningful, professional conversation to reduce our stress and work our best first choices
  • a pain suppressant – or some great physiotherapy and some genuine rest from our work or exercise regime

 

I’m not sitting here as a therapist in Aberdeen or as a counsellor in Dundee saying all medication is evil – far from it. I’m saying that in many cases heading to a doctor for advice is a great first step, and in many other cases it’s worth the time and effort to research whether there are alternatives to a pharmaceutical prescription that may help you more convincingly and faster without impacting your physical body in ways none of us fully understand.

 

Most of us at some point have taken time to understand the general nutritional or calorific content of our meals; how much more important is it that we do at least the same with the chemical content of our medication. Or even better, spend a few hours investigating the benefits a great nutritionist, physiotherapist, counsellor, massage therapist, bio-energy healer, acupuncture professional or chiropractor can offer you.

 

In this Human Givens therapist’s humble opinion, the more responsibility each one of us take for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, the more likely we are to live longer, happier, choice-filled lives.

 

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Feeling sad – what you can do about it


 

21. Sad-HappyThere are a remarkable number of people who look happy, hold down jobs, parent their children, do sport and have great friends … and all the time they feel sad.

 

It’s not a flaw in someone’s character, it’s not a thing a person should feel guilty about (which they often do if they have many things in their life to be grateful for), and it’s often not something that needs medication as a ‘fix’.

 

Sadness is on the emotional spectrum like every other feeling. The trick is to learn how to move up or down that spectrum as required and often to learn to observe and accept a particular emotion as being ‘right for now’ without trying to judge it, change it or over think it.

 

From a very young age we are taught to associate certain feelings as being good or bad, right or wrong. So you might have been told that it’s good that you’re happy and bad that you’re sad. Or right to be grateful and wrong to be angry. As our experiences in life get wider and richer, that type of catagorising just doesn’t work for the complexities we start to experience.

 

Think of these situations and possible emotions:

  • first love: happy, energised, confused, scared, jealous, elated, adored
  • bullying partner: nervous, content, on edge, frustrated, angry, self critical, high, low, doubting, questioning
  • high paid, unstimulating job: grateful, compromised, challenged, fearful (stay or go), stuck, glad (of the money & choices), stymied

 

So what can we do about feeling sad? Lots and lots, but here are a first few suggestions:

  • Pay attention: what you think about expands. Pay attention to the thoughts that you’re thinking each part of the day and begin to notice which ones make you feel more uplifted and which ones contribute to you feel deflated. Actively choose the better feeling thoughts. This is a huge skill set – only practice will get results over time.

 

  • Notice your diet: some people can have reactions to certain food groups. Processed sugar (in sweets, fizzy drinks, energy and chocolate bars) can give you a temporary energy high followed by a depressing sugar slump. However there are subtle allergies that our bodies might be reacting to from meats, gluten, dairy or even selected fruits or vegetables. Seek out a great nutritionist. And remember, the high from a night drinking can be paid back with an all-day low (feeling lost, sad, depressed or alone)

 

  • Exercise often: 3-4 times per week minimum if at all possible. Raising your heart rate and releasing uplifting endorphins influences your mind towards positivity. It creates a sense of discipline and control, both of which are life an success affirming

 

  • Edit your friendships: make an assessment of the 5 people you spend most time around. If they live life with traits you find admirable, stick with them; otherwise, dial down the time you spend with them and actively seek out inspiring, positive, encouraging relationships

 

  • Actively up-skill your emotional resourcefulness: lots of adults are trying to achieve happiness in life with an emotional skill-set from their teenage years. Advanced life choices can require advanced communication and navigation skills to be successful. Seek out a mentor, coach or counsellor who has evidenced their results.

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



A psychotherapist worth their salt


2. Salt

 

When you’re seeking out a psychotherapist in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow or London, how will you know a good one from a mediocre one? It’s not like a hairdresser where every friend you have has been to one so you can ask for a recommendation from your mate with a hairstyle or colour you love.

 

As with any trained person whose expertise you want to access – a graphic designer, a doctor, a sports coach, a financial planner, a career advisor  – there are outstanding ones and there are ones who should genuinely be avoided. And the good ones are not necessarily the ones who are shouting the loudest or have the ‘trappings’ that go with success (infact often the opposite).

 

 

You’ll know the good ones because they love their work, they’re patient, they’re respectful and they’ll talk to you like they’re interested – because they authentically are – and you’ll probably hear about them from a satisfied client long before you’re hit by flash marketing stories. On the subject of psychotherapists – many can make some difference – although can they make THE difference, for YOU, right now?

 

When you’ve got to the point of not accepting another day with depression, anxiety, panic attacks or anorexia – use this checklist as a guide to finding the help you need.

 

An effective counsellor of psychotherapist:

  • understands depression and how to lift it
  • helps immediately with anxiety problems such as panic attacks, nightmares, post traumatic stress, phobias and trauma
  • is prepared to give information and advice as needed
  • will not use jargon or ‘psychobabble’ or tell you that counselling or psychotherapy has to be painful
  • will not dwell unduly on the past
  • will be supportive when difficult feelings emerge, but won’t encourage people to get emotional beyond the normal need to let go of bottled up feelings
  • will help you to both draw and build upon your own inner resources (which may prove greater than you thought)
  • may assist you to develop your social skills so that your needs for affection, friendship, pleasure, intimacy, connection to the wider community etc can be better fulfilled
  • will be considerate of the effects of counselling on the people close to you
  • may teach you to relax deeply
  • will help you to think about your problems in new and more empowering ways
  • uses a wide range of techniques as appropriate
  • may ask you to do things between sessions
  • will take as few sessions as possible
  • will increase your self-confidence and independence and make sure you feel better after every consultation.

 

As you’ll know from the material on the Healthy Chat website, we only use Human Givens psychotherapists: they’re fast, effective and practical (research has shown Human Givens is 3 time more effective than the next most effective therapy known!). The list above is one that we each adhere to as a minimum set of professional standards.

 

If you want a psychotherapist in Aberdeen, Liverpool or Penzance – feel free to call us first. If we have a Healthy Chat practitioner nearby, we’ll put you in touch straight away. In defining life moments, borrow only the best brain, for the fastest recovery. You deserve it.

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.