Lies and Deceit in Relationships: Navigating the Complex Terrain

Is it possible for someone to truly love you and hurt you over and over with lies and deceit?

The short answer is this:  NO! Someone cannot truly love you and hurt you over and over with lies and deceit. But it may be a little more complicated than that.

Trust is the springboard of any healthy relationship, but when deceit and lies enter the picture, they can erode the very foundation upon which our connections are built. In intimate partnerships, emotional honesty is not just about refraining from telling outright falsehoods; it’s about allowing our partners to truly know us – the good, the bad, and the vulnerable.

Do you feel emotionally safe in your relationship? Does your partner do what they say they are going to do? Is sneaky behaviour from your partner a constant concern?

Are you in a personal values based “deadlock ?”

The consequences of deceit in relationships are far-reaching:

Obstruction of Intimacy: Genuine intimacy thrives on trust and authenticity. When deception enters the equation, it creates barriers to the deep connection that is essential for a vulnerable fulfilling relationship.

Escalation of Lies: One lie often begets another, leading to a web of cover-up lies and omissions. When the truth eventually comes to light, the fallout can be even more devastating than the original deception. Note: If at first, we try to deceive oh what a wicked web we weave!

Guilt and Discomfort: The burden of carrying a secret can weigh heavily on the deceiver, leading to feelings of guilt and discomfort, especially during moments of intimacy with their partner.

Violation of Norms: Deception often involves crossing moral and cultural boundaries, leading to heightened anxiety and guilt as individuals grapple with the repercussions of their actions.

Erosion of Self-Esteem: Over time, habitual lying can chip away at one’s self-esteem and self-concept, leading to a diminished sense of self-worth and dignity.

Coping mechanisms such as rationalisation and compartmentalisation may provide temporary relief, but they only serve to perpetuate the cycle of dishonesty and psychological distress. Moreover, the toll of deception extends beyond mental anguish, often manifesting in physical health complaints.

Note: Have you every walked away from a conversation with a liar thinking “I’m confused, how is it I feel I’m wrong?” Liars need to be right! Or they will feel the discomfort of shame and possible loss.

For victims of deceit; the fallout can be equally devastating. Feelings of confusion, anxiety, and self-doubt may arise, necessitating professional counselling to navigate the complex emotions and rebuild trust.

As we confront the complexities of truth and privacy in our relationships, fostering open communication, practicing empathy, and committing to transparency are essential. By creating a safe space for honest dialogue and setting clear boundaries, couples can begin the journey of rebuilding trust and strengthening their connection.

In the end, it’s the courage to confront our truths – both as individuals and as partners – that paves the way for healing and growth in our relationships.

What has your childhood got to do with who you have become?

Childhood habits often shape the way we navigate the complexities of adulthood. One such habit, telling lies to evade trouble, can have lasting effects on our lives, particularly in our relationships and personal well-being.

Consistent lying can also lead to a lack of accountability and responsibility. Adults who continue this pattern may struggle to take ownership of their actions, perpetuating a cycle of avoidance and denial.

People who were accustomed to being dishonest to evade consequences during their formative years might struggle to uphold honesty in their adult dealings. This tendency can gradually undermine trust and pose obstacles in establishing genuine connections. In certain family environments, the acceptance of “white lies” as routine leads children to believe that lying is commonplace and acceptable. However, this initial acceptance of minor falsehoods can evolve into more pervasive dishonesty, manipulation, and deceit as individuals gain greater autonomy over time. It’s worth noting that in the absence of established guidelines, people tend to create their own standards regarding honesty.

Moreover, dishonesty can hinder effective conflict resolution and communication. Adults accustomed to lying may find it difficult to address conflicts openly, opting instead for blame, denial, manipulation and deceit.

Engaging in dishonest behaviour can also take a toll on one’s self-esteem and self-worth, leading to feelings of guilt and shame. This can further strain relationships and contribute to emotional distress.

In some cases, habitual lying can have legal and professional consequences, damaging one’s reputation and livelihood.

Breaking free from the pattern of dishonesty requires self-awareness and a commitment to honesty and “integrity” Definition: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It may also necessitate professional support to address underlying issues and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

As a community, it is important to recognise the impact of childhood habits on adult behaviour and to support each other in fostering honesty, trust, and healthy communication in our relationships.

“The dead Bedroom” Lacking Intimacy Sex and Connection – A Guide for Women

Navigating Changes in Sexual Intimacy in Marriage: A Guide for Women

Your Instagram profile: It may showcase youth, beauty, and vitality, but when it comes to lasting love, desire, connection, and sex, life’s lessons often diverge from the superficial. As individuals mature, their behaviours and beliefs about sex, connection, desire, and long-term commitment evolve. The misconception that men solely exist for sex is a myth that dissipates with age and experience.

Discussing men’s decision to abstain from sex within marriage might seem uncommon, yet it’s a crucial topic to address. Contrary to popular belief, many men choose to forgo sexual activity within their relationships. While aging may play a role in diminishing the importance of sex for men, it’s not the sole determinant.

Various factors contribute to the ebb and flow of sexual intimacy in relationships. Depression, medication, stress, health issues, long term addiction/alcohol use, extramarital affairs, waning desire for a partner, past guilt, feelings of failure in life, past sexual trauma, pornography consumption, pain during intercourse, and relationship dissatisfaction, both emotionally and physically, can all influence libido.

Many studies conducted by universities shed light on the prevalence of sexual inactivity among married couples, with significant percentages reporting periods of abstinence. As men age and relationships mature, pressures such as work stress, childcare responsibilities, and financial worries can affect their sexual desire. Prolonged sexual absence in older men may even lead to increased risks of erectile dysfunction and testicular atrophy.

Despite societal expectations, there isn’t a prescribed frequency for sexual activity in relationships. While studies suggest a correlation between once-a-week sex and greater relationship satisfaction, frequency alone doesn’t guarantee fulfillment.

An intriguing aspect of men’s sexual desire is its emotional underpinning. Men often express the need for emotional closeness with their partners before engaging in sexual intimacy. Feeling emotionally connected is paramount for them, serving as a gateway to vulnerability and genuine closeness. Therefore, consistent criticism may foster a lack of closeness and connection.

Recognising that men derive emotional connection and affirmation through sexual activity can provide insight into nurturing intimacy within the relationship. Initiating sex can be a powerful gesture of desire and affirmation for men. However, when advances are rebuffed, men can feel vulnerable and emotionally exposed, interpreting rejection as a rejection of their entire being.

When a man decides sex is no longer a priority, his partner may also feel exposed, rejected, and undesired. As women age and after having children, they may feel less desirable. Their partner’s disinterest in sex may solidify their belief that they are no longer desirable or desired, leading to emotional disconnection and potentially divorce.

Recent data reveals a rise in “grey divorce” among individuals over 50, with factors such as poor communication, lack of emotional support, lack of sexual connection, complacency, addiction/alcohol, excessive focus on career or material possessions, unresolved conflicts, infidelity, and the desire to explore contributing to marital breakdowns.

So, what can women do to navigate these shifts in sexual intimacy?

  1. Foster Open Communication: Initiate candid conversations about sexual needs and desires, allowing both partners to express feelings without judgment.
  2. Acknowledge External Factors: Recognise the influence of stress, mental/physical health issues, or medication on sexual desire. Support partners through challenges.
  3. Respect Boundaries: Understand and respect each other’s boundaries regarding sexual intimacy, prioritising consent and mutual understanding.
  4. Explore Alternatives: Embrace diverse forms of intimacy beyond sexual acts, strengthening emotional bonds through activities like cuddling or shared interests.
  5. Seek Professional Support: Consider seeking guidance from a relationship counsellor if challenges persist, obtaining insights and strategies to navigate intimacy issues effectively. BEFORE you become resentful

Self-care remains essential: Prioritise emotional well-being, validate feelings, and engage in self-care activities nurturing mental and emotional health.

The wrap up: navigating changes in sexual intimacy requires patience, empathy, and open communication. By understanding each other’s needs and actively working towards mutual satisfaction, couples can strengthen their bond beyond physical intimacy. Remember, worth and value extend beyond sexual intimacy; prioritising emotional connection and mutual respect is key to a lifelong fulfilling relationship.

Couple often wait until their relationship is in the “Accident Emergency” zone before they seek help. I strongly advocate for couples to be proactive and reach out to a Relationship specialist before their relationship gets hit by the bus!

Men: Sometimes you get focused on your performance in the bedroom, a word from the wise, most women are not watching your performance. They are feeling the person they love bond with them. Women want sex, but they want to feel a connection, it’s not all about the hot and heavy. The sex you see in porn is not the sex that will win over a heart and secure a relationship long term.

Resist competing with other men, if you feel like you have lost your mojo or edge in the bedroom, it may just be all in your head. Let’s talk about that…

Conversation openers-

  1. Can we have a conversation about the changes in our intimacy? I miss the closeness we shared when we were more sexually active.
  2. I’ve noticed a lack of sexual connection in our marriage, and it’s making me unhappy. Would you be open to attending therapy together so we can address this?
  3. I want to understand your perspective on our lack of sexual intimacy. Are there reasons behind it that I’m unaware of? Let’s talk about how we both feel without judgment.

Understanding Coercive Control in Relationships

What is Coercive Control? Many have lived in a relationship for years and thought it was normal.

Under the newly approved reforms, coercive control is now classified as a criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment. This decision follows in the footsteps of New South Wales, making Queensland the second state in Australia to recognise coercive control as a stand-alone criminal offence.

  • Coercive control, a term prevalent in discussions on domestic abuse, denotes a subtle yet grave form of manipulation and abuse within relationships.
  • It encompasses various tactics, manipulation, and psychological abuse aimed at dominating the victim’s thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Recognising Signs of Coercive Control:

  • Isolation: Victims are often cut off from their support networks, rendering them reliant solely on their partner.
  • Threats: Abusers employ intimidation tactics, instilling fear to maintain control over the victim.
  • Gaslighting: Manipulating reality to make the victim doubt their perception and judgment.
  • Economic Control: Taking charge of finances to foster dependency and hinder escape.

Impacts on Victims:

  • Emotional trauma, health consequences, disempowerment, and difficulties in future relationships are common outcomes of coercive control. Some victims eventually turn to alcohol and substance abuse as a way of self soothing.

Available Support Services:

  • Victims can seek assistance from professionals via the Hotline for guidance and emotional support 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or talk to a Counsellor they can help direct the path forward with you.
  • Seeking aid from loved ones can also provide crucial assistance and emotional solace during such challenging times.

Legal Implications and Prevention Strategies:

  • Legal frameworks vary across states regarding the categorisation and treatment of coercive control.
  • It is crucial to educate oneself on the dynamics of healthy relationships and be vigilant about early warning signs of abuse.
  • Setting and respecting boundaries, taking time to understand potential partners, and avoiding rushing into relationships are pivotal preventive measures.

Additional Information sourced from- https://www.act.gov.au/community/domestic-family-and-sexual-violence/types-of-domestic-and-family-violence#Coercive-control-or-controlling-behaviour

Coercive control or controlling behaviour…

Coercive control is not a separate form of family violence. Each perpetrator’s patterns of behaviour towards victim-survivors is controlling behaviour or ‘coercive control’.

The controlling behaviours can:

  • become more intense over time
  • be used to limit a person’s ability to seek help.

Perpetrators who feel entitled to get their way are more likely to use multiple forms of violence, including sexual violence.

Examples include:

  • isolating someone from their family, friends and community
  • supervising or controlling actions or decisions, for example insisting on knowing the victim-survivor’s location and who they are with
  • limiting access to things like transport and money
  • controlling the victim-survivor’s body and appearance by monitoring things like food, sleep and exercise, or telling them what they can or can’t wear
  • extreme jealousy, criticism and sometimes punishment for alleged ‘failures’.
  • manipulating a person so they feel confused and start to doubt themselves; this is sometimes called ‘gaslighting’
  • denying or minimising a person’s claims of abuse and acts of violence
  • blaming the person for what has happened, claiming they brought it on themselves
  • expressing ownership over family members as a form of control
  • threatening to harm the person, their loved ones, their pets or their belongings if they talk to anyone about their experiences, or seek help
  • threatening self-harm if the person talks about their experiences, or seeks help
  • threatening to take legal action against the person.

Conclusion: Coercive control may manifest subtly, but its detrimental effects on victims are profound. Recognising the signs, seeking support, and implementing preventive strategies are essential steps towards combating this form of abuse in relationships.

Embracing the Adventure: Navigating the Journey of Growing Families

As a seasoned couple’s /family counsellor and a mother of three grown daughters, as well as a grandmother of eight wonderful grandchildren, I’ve been blessed with the privilege of witnessing the beautiful yet challenging journey of parenthood. From sleepless nights to joyous milestones, each step along the way has its own set of triumphs and tribulations. Today, I wish to share some insights gleaned from my experiences as a Counselling therapist, a daughter, wife, mother and grandmother with the hope of providing support and guidance to fellow mums and dads on this incredible adventure.

One aspect that often stands out in the journey of parenthood, particularly with the arrival of a second child, is the profound impact it can have on a couple’s relationship. The responsibilities multiply, and the stressors abound, leading to heightened tension and strain. From the exhaustion of caring for both a newborn and a toddler to the dwindling of one’s sex drive, the challenges can feel overwhelming at times.

I vividly recall the days when medical professionals would address me, as the mother, during appointments for our children, seemingly overlooking the presence of my husband in the room. It was a reflection of the societal norms of the time, where mothers were expected to bear the full responsibility of their child’s care, while fathers took on the role of provider. I am very happy to say, “my husband never missed a beat when we were having our babies” he come from a family of eleven children, he knew exactly who he needed to “be” and what he needed to “do” to be a team member of our family. Thank goodness because in the beginning I was anxious and afraid, I needed his emotional and physical support. Sadly, many of my friends back in the 80’s and 90’s did not have progressive husbands and they really struggled.

However, times have changed, and I’m heartened to see more dads actively involved in parenting duties, from attending medical appointments to taking on household tasks.

In today’s fast-paced world, where both parents often juggle careers and childcare responsibilities, the concept of family as a team effort has never been more relevant. Each member plays a vital role in the upbringing of children, and it’s essential to recognise and appreciate the contributions of both parents.

However, amidst the joys of parenthood, there are also numerous stressors that couples may encounter along the way. From shifts in identity to time constraints and financial worries, the journey of growing families can test even the strongest of bonds. Yet, with patience, communication, and mutual support, couples can navigate these challenges and emerge stronger together.

Here are ten common stressors that couples may face on their journey of growing families:

  1. Increased Responsibilities: Balancing the demands of caring for multiple children can lead to conflicts over parenting styles and division of responsibilities.
  2. Shift in Identity: The transition from a couple to a family of four can alter the dynamics of the relationship, requiring adjustments and compromises.
  3. Toddler Dynamics: The arrival of a new sibling can trigger jealousy and disruptions in routines, adding strain to the relationship.
  4. Diminished Sex Drive: The physical and emotional exhaustion of parenting can impact one’s libido, leading to intimacy issues within the relationship.
  5. Limited Time for Couple Activities: Finding time for quality time together becomes challenging amidst the demands of childcare and household chores.
  6. Waning Novelty: The novelty of parenthood may fade with the arrival of a second child, leading to feelings of fatigue and resentment.
  7. Time Constraints: Juggling childcare and work responsibilities leaves little time for personal pursuits or relaxation.
  8. Shifting Priorities: Balancing parental duties, work commitments, and personal interests can strain the relationship.
  9. Increased Organisational Burden: Managing schedules, appointments, and household tasks can lead to feelings of overwhelm and resentment.
  10. Financial Strain: The costs associated with raising children, from childcare expenses to education costs, can add stress to the relationship.

Despite these challenges, there are steps couples can take to strengthen their relationship and navigate this journey together:

  • Communication: Make time for open and honest conversations about your feelings and needs.
  • Prioritise Intimacy & Romance: Reconnect with your partner through small gestures of affection and kindness.
  • Support Each Other: Show appreciation for your partner’s contributions and offer assistance whenever possible. Note to dad… your partner’s body has gone through a war to give birth. You may need you to be more understanding, tender and nurturing toward her. There are a lot of chemical forces at play in a women’s body she may need your help- How to support your wife or partner after birth – Today’s Parent (todaysparent.com)
  • Seek Outside Help: Consider couples counselling or therapy to address underlying issues and develop coping strategies.
  • Adjust Expectations: Accept that parenthood is inherently chaotic and be flexible in your approach.
  • Learn about Yourself: Take time to reflect on your own habits and behaviours, and be willing to adapt and grow as needed. Learning the skill of Self-management is so important.

While the path of growing families may be challenging, it’s also incredibly rewarding. By facing these challenges together with patience, empathy, and mutual support, couples can emerge from this journey stronger and more connected than ever before. Remember, you are not alone in this adventure, and with love and dedication, you can weather any storm that comes your way.

Tip: If you have a kind and supportive extended family, ask for their help from time to time.

Burnout V Depression how do we know the difference?

Burnout typically stems from prolonged workplace stress, marked by feelings of exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of ineffectiveness. It often arises due to extended periods of work overload, lack of control, and inadequate support within the workplace. Individuals experiencing burnout may find themselves emotionally drained, physically depleted, and disengaged from their work.

In contrast, depression is a mental health condition characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities. Its impact extends beyond the workplace and can be influenced by a mix of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Although burnout and depression share symptoms like fatigue and emotional exhaustion, depression encompasses a broader range of indicators, including changes in appetite, disruptions in sleep patterns, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Managing burnout often involves implementing strategies to enhance work-life balance, setting boundaries, seeking support, and adopting stress management techniques. Treatment for depression may entail therapy, medication, lifestyle adjustments, and assistance from mental health professionals

Recognising the nuances between burnout and depression is crucial for providing appropriate intervention and support to those affected. This understanding enables employers, healthcare providers, and individuals themselves to effectively address and manage these conditions.

Checkout this YouTube for further insights from Physiatrist Dr Tracey Marks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKI03ncN374

Feeling down? Let us talk about depression. Are you or someone you know experiencing a heavy heart? You are not alone. Depression, often described as a deep sadness, affects many of us. It is more than just feeling blue during tough times; it can linger for weeks, months, or even years. But with support, healing is possible.

What is Depression? Depression is a persistent sadness that can last for extended periods. Sometimes, we may not even realise we are carrying it, or we may avoid discussing it. But it is crucial to know that like a long night, depression can eventually pass. With the right help, you can begin the journey towards a brighter life.

What Causes Depression? Various factors can trigger depression, such as:

  • Difficult life events like the loss of a loved one or unemployment.
  • Prolonged struggles like financial difficulties or troubled relationships.
  • Family history of depression, which may increase the likelihood of experiencing it.
  • Personal differences, as some individuals may be more prone to depression.
  • Substance abuse, which can both cause and exacerbate depression.

Recognising Depression in Our Family and Community: Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness.
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
  • Fatigue, lack of energy, or motivation.
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger.
  • Increased alcohol or drug use.
  • Changes in appetite or weight.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
  • Restlessness or slowed movements.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

While occasional feelings of sadness are normal, depression involves prolonged and debilitating symptoms that interfere with daily life.

Reaching Out for Help: If you or someone you know is struggling, do not hesitate to seek support:

  • Talk to someone you trust, whether it is a friend, family member, counsellor, coach, or spiritual/religious leader.
  • Consult a healthcare professional who can assess your situation and provide appropriate guidance.
  • Consider treatment options such as therapy, medication, community support programs, or lifestyle changes. CBT -Cognitive Behavioural Therapy https://www.dipac.com.au/therapy/
  • Prioritise self-care by engaging in activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation and getting around good role models.

Remember, if you are in crisis or having thoughts of self-harm, reach out for immediate help. You are not alone, and support is available.

Together, we can overcome the shadow of depression and walk towards the light.

What can Anxiety look like?

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety can be triggered by a multitude of concerns, spanning from personal relationships to various environments like home, school, or work. It is a common experience, affecting individuals across different communities. This condition manifests differently for everyone.

Anxiety can manifest in various ways:

  • Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
  • Sensing impending danger or panic
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on anything other than worries
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Difficulty controlling worry
  • Avoidance of triggers for anxiety
  • Perceived trouble swallowing and tight lumpy throat

Recognising these symptoms is crucial, and it is important to acknowledge and address anxiety. By understanding the factors that contribute to anxiety and utilising appropriate coping mechanisms, we can work towards alleviating its impact on our well-being.

A life of peace should be the goal QOL matters

I cannot manage myself!

In the fabric of Western culture, the threads of drinking and drug use are intricately woven, creating a tapestry of societal norms and individual behaviours. However, it’s time we unravel the distinctions we make between these substances and confront the reality that both are forms of drugs with their own implications.

Alcohol, often treated as a socially acceptable indulgence, is just one variant in the spectrum of drugs. Yet, why do we separate it from other substances like cocaine or LSD in our conversations? Perhaps it’s because alcohol carries a veneer of acceptance, associated with affluence, maturity, romance and relaxation. But let’s not be fooled: whether it’s a glass of wine or a line of cocaine, they all alter our perceptions and behaviours.

As a society blessed with abundance and freedom, it’s perplexing that we find ourselves trapped in cycles of self-destructive behaviour, passing these patterns from one generation to the next. We begin with the rite of passage at 18, legally allowed to drink, and from there, it’s a journey of choices, often influenced by societal norms and personal inclinations.

Some can have a single drink and be satisfied, while others find themselves spiralling into excessive consumption, sometimes combining alcohol with other drugs. We’ve cloaked these behaviours in terms like “recreational drugs” and “social drinking,” but the consequences remain the same.

The allure of escapism seems to be a common thread, whether it’s the teenager succumbing to peer pressure or the high-powered professional seeking relief from stress and responsibility. Yet, beneath this desire to escape lies a complex web of factors: low confidence, self-esteem, coping mechanisms, and the eternal quest for belonging and purpose.

But let’s not attribute this solely to individual traits or societal pressures. The interplay of wealth, upbringing, and learned behaviours cannot be overlooked. Do those in affluent circles have better coping mechanisms, or are they simply more adept at masking their struggles? And how much do our parents’ behaviours shape our own attitudes towards drugs and alcohol?

Across generations, we find ourselves repeating the same patterns, mistakes often seeking blame externally, whether it’s directed at the government or societal norms. Yet, as the saying goes, repeating the same actions and expecting different results is the epitome of insanity.

Is it time to confront the reality that our excuses for indulging in substances are merely masks for deeper issues? Whether it’s the need to relax, blow off steam, or fit into social circles, these justifications only serve to perpetuate the cycle of dependency and harm.

When do you acknowledge that perhaps you cannot manage yourself?

If a person is incapable of managing themselves, would it be fair to assume they should not be put in a position to manage others, whether it be in business or in a family?

But change is possible. If we plant different roots—rooted in self-discipline, self-awareness, and compassion—we can harvest a different future. It won’t be easy, and it will require consistent effort, but the rewards are immeasurable.

So, let’s be kind to ourselves and each other as we navigate this journey called life. We may not have all the answers, but by challenging ingrained behaviours and societal norms, we can pave the way for a healthier, more fulfilling existence. After all, life is a long burn, and it’s up to us to decide how brightly we shine and how our actions impact those around us.

If you are struggling to manage yourself and you are finding that you are consistently hurting you and those around you please reach out for help.

Please have a listen to the experts and make a good decision for you and your family.

I’m a fan of Huberman & Dr Amen   “Alcohol Is Worse For You Than You Think” – Andrew Huberman (youtube.com)

The Ugly Truth About Alcohol’s Effect On Your Brain. | Dr Daniel Amen (youtube.com)

Navigating the Course of Anxiety is a Journey

avigating the complex terrain of anxiety is a crucial aspect of our quest for mental wellness. Understanding this condition and acquiring effective strategies to manage it can significantly enhance our well-being. Here, I offer some valuable insights and techniques to aid you on this journey.

Anxiety, characterised by its fluctuating intensity, can often present challenges in daily life. Recognising its natural ebb and flow empowers individuals to better manage their symptoms. Identifying triggers, whether they stem from external stressors or internal negative thoughts, is pivotal in preparing for and navigating anxiety-provoking situations.

Cognitive-behavioural techniques, such as cognitive restructuring and exposure therapy, provide effective tools for challenging irrational thoughts and gradually confronting feared situations. Additionally, lifestyle modifications play a significant role in anxiety management. Prioritising regular exercise, sufficient sleep, balanced nutrition, and stress-relieving activities like mindfulness or meditation fosters overall well-being.

While medication may not always be necessary, it can be beneficial for severe or debilitating anxiety. Collaboration with a psychiatrist is essential to explore medication options and determine the most suitable treatment approach. Seeking professional support from mental health professionals, whether through therapy with a counsellor or consultation with a psychiatrist, can provide valuable guidance and support on the journey to recovery.

In addition to seeking professional assistance, there are several self-help strategies that individuals can implement to manage their anxiety effectively. These include practicing deep breathing and relaxation techniques, incorporating mindfulness and meditation into daily routines, and identifying triggers to develop coping strategies. It’s also crucial to challenge negative thoughts and set realistic goals to boost confidence and reduce feelings of overwhelm.

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle, seeking support from friends and family, and practicing self-compassion are essential components of anxiety management. Creating a relaxation routine, engaging in pleasurable activities, and focusing on the present moment can also help reduce stress and promote well-being.

Remember, managing anxiety is a journey, and it’s perfectly okay to seek professional help if you’re struggling to cope on your own. A therapist can provide personalized strategies and support to help you navigate through difficult times. By understanding anxiety and implementing effective techniques, you can cultivate resilience and reclaim control over your life.

Remember: that, that we resist, will persist…

Breaking ADHD Myths and Coping Strategies for Parents

Throughout my years of practice, I’ve supported numerous teenagers grappling with ADHD through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The cognitive burden for adolescents coping with ADHD can be profoundly overwhelming, and the repercussions on their education can extend far into their adult lives.

There is an abundance of pseudoscience, skepticism, and misinformation circulating in the realm of ADHD. Additionally, there are instances of misdiagnoses. Surprisingly, children can exhibit symptoms strikingly similar to ADHD when residing in environments characterised by toxicity, hostility, aggression, or punitive punishment behaviours.

In such circumstances, children may be diagnosed with anxiety disorders due to the lack of security, emotional safety, instability, exposure to yelling, swearing, alcohol abuse, or mental and physical mistreatment. As a result, a child might display restlessness, distractibility, difficulty following directions, forgetfulness, anger, trouble sleeping or depression.

I want to set the record straight for many children with ADHD it’s a super power when they have the right support.

Caution: Mums and Dads should not diagnose their child based on Dr Google a school report or a teachers feedback. A full diagnostic process is recommended with a professional ADHD Diagnostic Practitioner- Eg; Children under 14yrs may see a pediatrician 1st – More Information is available here: https://adhdfoundation.org.au/helpline

📣 Breaking ADHD Myths and Coping Strategies for Parents

🧠 Debunking Common Myths: Dr. Tracey Marks, a renowned psychiatrist specialising in ADHD, sheds light on prevalent misconceptions surrounding the disorder:

  1. ADHD is just a phase: ADHD is a lifelong condition that can persist into adulthood.
  2. ADHD only affects hyperactive children: ADHD manifests in various ways, including inattention and impulsivity.
  3. ADHD is caused by bad parenting or too much sugar: It’s a neurobiological condition with genetic and environmental factors.
  4. People with ADHD are lazy or unintelligent: ADHD affects executive function and attention regulation, not intelligence.
  5. Medication is the only treatment option: Therapy, behavioural interventions, and lifestyle modifications are crucial.

By dispelling these myths, Dr. Marks aims to increase understanding and improve the lives of individuals with ADHD.

👦👧 Coping Strategies for Children with ADHD:

  1. Establish routines: Consistency and structure aid in managing time and activities effectively.
  2. Break tasks into smaller steps: Reduces overwhelm and frustration.
  3. Use visual aids: Charts and schedules help with organization and task management.
  4. Provide clear instructions: Specific guidance helps children stay on task.
  5. Encourage movement breaks: Physical activity improves focus and releases energy.
  6. Teach self-monitoring skills: Recognise behaviour patterns and progress towards goals.
  7. Provide positive reinforcement: Motivate children to continue using coping strategies.
  8. Foster a supportive environment: Create an emotionally safe space for expression and encourage open communication.

    Tip: Punitive parenting full of fear will only make a child anxious

Implementing these coping strategies empowers parents to help children with ADHD manage their symptoms effectively and thrive in various aspects of their lives.

Together, let’s break the stigma and support children with ADHD to reach their full potential! It’s a super power for many🌟

Trauma and Stress are among the primary underlying causes of Anger, Addiction and Alcoholism

Unresolved emotional pain and trauma are often at the root of addiction and people often use substances such as alcohol to self-medicate and numb their pain. Note that alcoholism is not simply a matter of willpower or a lack of self-control, but rather a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Unresolved anger can also be a factor in addiction and alcoholism. Anger can arise from unmet emotional needs, such as the need for love, respect, or validation. When these needs are not met, people may turn to substances such as alcohol to ease their emotional pain and dampen their anger.

Alcoholism, anger, and trauma are interrelated, treating addiction requires a holistic approach that addresses the underlying emotional pain and trauma.

What is needed: compassion, empathy, and understanding in treating addiction and mental health issues?

Alcoholic parents can have a significant impact on the family and children, both in the short and long term. The effects can range from emotional and psychological to social and behavioural, and can vary depending on the severity of the parent’s alcoholism and the child’s age.

Here are some potential effects of having an alcoholic parent:

1.     Emotional and Psychological Effects: Children of alcoholic parents may experience feelings of fear, guilt, shame, and low self-esteem. They may also suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Children may also feel neglected or abandoned by their parents, leading to feelings of resentment and anger. As you know I have a keen focus on Childhood Trauma in Adults because if left untreated, traumatised adults may not be living their best life or being their best selves for their partner or children.

2.     Behavioural Effects: Children of alcoholic parents may also exhibit behavioural problems such as aggression, withdrawal, and social isolation. They may struggle with school performance, have trouble making friends, and engage in risky behaviours. These children may become troubled teenagers and troubled partners. Children are very good intakes of information however very poor interpreters. Note: Their body’s keep the score of trauma and the body may not feel peaceful. (the slinky effect)

3.     Social Effects: The behaviour of an alcoholic parent can affect the family’s social and economic well-being. Children may be exposed to violence or abuse in the home, which can lead to social stigma and isolation. In addition, the family’s financial resources may be depleted due to the cost of alcohol or treatment for the parent.

4.     Long-Term Effects: Children of alcoholic parents may be at a higher risk of developing alcoholism or other substance abuse problems themselves later in life. They may also struggle with trust issues, intimacy, and relationships.

It is important to note that not all children of alcoholic parents will experience all of these effects, and some may be more resilient than others. However, it is important for parents, caregivers, and mental health professionals to be aware of the potential impact of alcoholism on children and to provide support and resources to help them cope with the challenges they may face.

Note: One of the biggest challenges Counsellors are facing in the 21st century: The behaviours of the Adults with Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or raised by an alcoholic in a home of fight or flight;

What are the symptoms of FASD? Children

  • Slow fetal growth and low birth weight.
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms in newborns (such as high-pitched cry, jitteriness, and seizures)
  • Sleep and sucking problems in infancy.
  • Abnormalities of the face (such as small eyes and thin mouth)
  • Shorter height than other children of the same age.However, many do not have obvious physical abnormalities. Sometimes behaviour is the best indicator coupled with a full patient history.

    What Happens When Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Become Adults? – PMC (nih.gov)

  • Adults with FASD:
  • Adults with FASDs have a high rates of psychiatric and personality disorders, problems with drugs and alcohol, and difficulties with the law. They are also less likely to obtain a degree, have stable employment, and live independently.

Overcoming addiction is based on the understanding that addiction is not just a physical problem but also a psychological, social, and spiritual one. In order to heal from addiction, it is important to address the underlying emotional pain and trauma that often lead to addictive behaviours.

Here is a few tips for overcoming addiction

1.     Understanding the root causes of addiction: Addiction is often a response to trauma and emotional pain. Therefore, understanding the underlying reasons for addictive behaviour is crucial to healing.

2.     Building healthy relationships: The importance of healthy relationships in addiction recovery. I believe that having supportive, non-judgmental relationships can help people heal from emotional pain and trauma.

3.     Developing self-awareness and mindfulness: Developing self-awareness and mindfulness can help people recognise their triggers for addictive behaviour and learn new ways of coping.

4.     Practicing self-compassion: I encourage people to be kind and compassionate to themselves as they navigate the challenges of addiction recovery. Self-compassion can help people build resilience and overcome setbacks.

5.     Seeking professional support: Seek professional support from addiction specialists, therapists, and other mental health professionals who can provide guidance and support in addiction recovery is crucial.

Overall, I emphasise the importance of treating addiction holistically, by addressing the emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of the problem. With the right support, many people can heal from addiction and build fulfilling, healthy lives.

What is waiting for you on the other side?

Overcoming addiction can have a positive impact on all aspects of your life, including your physical health, mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. Here are some examples of what your life could look like if you successfully overcome addiction:

1.     Improved physical health: Overcoming addiction can have a positive impact on your physical health. You may have more energy, feel better physically, and have a stronger immune system. You may also experience fewer health problems related to substance abuse, such as liver damage or heart disease.

2.     Better mental health: Addiction can take a toll on your mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Overcoming addiction can improve your mental health and well-being, leading to greater happiness and a more positive outlook on life.

3.     Improved relationships: Addiction can strain relationships with friends, family, and loved ones. Overcoming addiction can help repair these relationships and build stronger, healthier connections with the people around you.

4.     Greater sense of purpose: Overcoming addiction can help you find a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life. You may feel more motivated to pursue your goals and passions and to contribute to the world around you.

5.     Financial stability: Addiction can be expensive and can take a toll on your finances. Overcoming addiction can help you save money and build financial stability.

Overall, overcoming addiction can have a transformative effect on your life, helping you to build a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling future.

Peace and Happiness 🙂

What are the most common additions plaguing our families in the 21st Century?

There are many different types of addictions that people seek help for. Here are some of the most common addictions:

1.    Substance abuse: Substance abuse is one of the most common addictions that people seek help for. This includes addictions to drugs such as opioids, methamphetamine, cocaine, and alcohol. Alcohol is one of the number 1 contributors to marriage breakdown, domestic violence, road toll deaths and child abuse.

2.    Gambling addiction: Gambling addiction is another common addiction that people seek help for. This includes an uncontrollable urge to gamble, which can lead to financial problems, relationship breakdowns and other negative consequences.

3.    Internet and technology addiction: With the rise of technology and social media, internet and technology addiction has become more common. This includes an excessive use of the internet, social media, and other technology that can interfere with daily life.

4.    Sex addiction: Sex addiction involves an uncontrollable urge to engage in sexual behaviours, which can lead to negative consequences such as relationship problems, financial problems, and legal issues. Porn use is the number 1 sex addition today! Over time it stops couples from connecting, bonding being intimate and eventually not having sex together. If left untreated porn addition can lead to erectile dysfunction.

5.    Food addiction: Food addiction is characterised by an uncontrollable urge to eat, often leading to overeating, weight gain, low self-esteem and anger.

6.    Shopping addiction: Shopping addiction involves an uncontrollable urge to shop and spend money, often leading to financial problems and other negative consequences.

It is important to note that addiction can manifest in many different ways, and that there are other types of addictions that people may seek help for as well.

Are You Limited To Being Happy Only if Certain Things Happen?

Where did you come up with what happiness is for you? Are you limiting your own ability to be happy?

You have had experiences in your life that vary from slightly uncomfortable to traumatic, are you banking these experiences? If you are for what purpose do they serve you?

Are you feeling adrift in the currents of life, uncertain of where you are headed or how to find genuine happiness? If you are struggling with loss, grief, career ambiguity, loneliness, or marital unhappiness, there is a journey worth exploring—one that might offer the guidance and solace you seek. Picture a path that leads you away from the weight of fears, doubts, and attachments that hold you back from experiencing the joy and fulfillment you long for. It is a journey rooted in the profound notion of surrendering to happiness.

At its essence, surrendering to happiness is about embracing life’s ebbs and flows, accepting the present moment, and discovering inner peace regardless of external chaos. It is a departure from the exhausting pursuit of control, inviting you to release the grip of the ego and open yourself to the guidance of a deeper wisdom, a universal force that gently nudges you in the right direction.

What might you find along this transformative journey? Imagine cultivating mindfulness, learning to be fully present in each moment without judgment or distraction. Envision the liberation of letting go—shedding the burdens of expectations, desires, and outcomes, and relinquishing control over situations beyond your influence.

But perhaps most importantly, this journey leads you to the heart of inner freedom, where you come to realize that true happiness is not something external to be chased but an intrinsic part of your being. It is about embracing acceptance, recognizing life’s complexities, with its highs and lows, and understanding that resistance only prolongs suffering.

In this space of surrender, there’s room for trust—a deep faith in the inherent goodness of the universe, even amidst the darkest of times. And as you navigate this path, you will find yourself guided by the wisdom of those who have traversed it before, offering insights and support to help you integrate these principles into your daily life. So, if you have been feeling lost, if the heaviness of life weighs you down, consider taking a step into the unknown. Surrender to happiness beckons, offering a chance to break free from the patterns of the mind that keep you trapped and discover a profound sense of peace, contentment, and joy that has been within reach all along.

We are finite beings living in an infinite world, knowing this we all struggle with our purpose, the meaning of life and where do we belong. We live in a world where we have no control yet we live most of our lives attempting to control our destiny. It is my belief we are here to learn and along the way we learn from our experiences and the experiences of others who are on our path along the way. We are not here to worry about the past or the future, the past has gone and future is not yet here. Being mindful is about asking questions to yourself, you may like to start here- Who am I being? What am I doing? What do I really want? What do I stand for? What is my purpose? What is happiness for me? Does my body feel peaceful? What am I the sum of? What do I need to let go of? I think you may be getting the idea; it is not about the external we should be reaching for but the internal, it is more about the you.

As long as you keep reliving past experiences and as long as you resist learning new ways of thinking and being shackled to your limited self belief, you will never experience true happiness and live an abundant life. Happiness starts within and it may take a little help from time to time to challenge you on your learned thoughts and behaviours.