Samaritans suggest and new look at the causes of Male suicide

depressed man_eleoscounselling_blog pictureA report released by the Samaritans organisation, in June this year (2015), highlights the problem of men turning to alcohol instead of talking about their problems. What is more worrying, according to the report, this increases the risk of suicide.

The Samaritans suggest that the government should reconsider their response to the nation’s unhealthy drinking culture.

It is well known that the biggest killer of men between the age of 18 and 34 is suicide. What the Samaritans are suggesting is that there should be more communication between mental health teams and drug and alcohol teams. Unfortunately, with recent austerity measures, agencies such as drug and alcohol and mental health teams are being cut to the bare bone. The question here is how one gets men to engage, in talking about themselves (fundamentally, how does one get men talking).

An interesting point is raised in the report, commenting that masculinity plays a great deal in the way men see themselves. The report suggests that men will often compare themselves, to their perceived model of what a man should be, often this can be a distorted image, of a man being powerful, white, rich, good-looking, and heterosexual. The reports suggest that when men are not reaching this model, often they can become filled with a sense of shame guilt and ultimately defeat.

Being a breadwinner is often central to being a man, particularly for blue-collar workers. Frequently, the loss of control due to a depressive episode or crisis will make a man feel chaotic, this often, can push men towards suicidal behaviours in an effort to regain some sort of control over their life. Regularly men, searching for relief from the psychological pain and the feeling of loss of control, will seek out substances such as drugs or alcohol, or both, as a way of coping.

Throughout childhood, boys are taught to be a man, looking to his father for guidelines, for how this is. Undoubtedly some of these messages can be, mixed. Furthermore, if the young boy’s father is not around, some of these messages can come from external forces, such as culture, social media or TV.

The report suggests that men in midlife, often seek out their partner as emotional support, suggesting that the man loses support from his peers after the age of 30. The report goes on to say that men traditionally seek out companionship, in doing an activity, but these relationships can often be superficial.

Traditionally, men have a poor view of psychotherapy/ counselling, coming to therapy only in extreme circumstances. This is something that we at Eleos counselling are working very hard to correct.

At the time of writing, unemployment in the UK is higher amongst men than it is amongst women. Traditional jobs, such as manufacturing are changing rapidly, with the onset of new technology. Added to this uncertainty, such factors as zero hours contracts, temporary employment, and for some, self-employment, to name but a few.

Perhaps one of the ways to engage men in any of form meaningful communication regarding their feelings, is to offer group therapy. The idea of self-supporting groups is not a new one, you only have to think of the 12 step program, and the tremendous support that gives, to see this could work, if marketed correctly.

Traditionally, men in the UK are Conservative bunch, the report suggests that men in the UK are caught between the strong silent type and the new man; being able to speak about one’s feelings openly. At Eleos counselling, we are looking at new ways of engaging men in therapy, rather than being reactive, we would like to be more proactive.

If this article has raised questions for you and you would like to talk to someone, then possibly Eleos counselling can help. If you would like to clink on the link below to be taken to the Eleos counselling main website.

www.eleoscounselling.com 

When your anger gets the better of you.

blog picture_angry farmer_eleoscounselling_ anger managementAnger can be a difficult thing to control, recently at Eleos counselling we are developing an anger management course for young people. We feel this is very important as teaching young people how to control their anger now will reduce the amount of angry incidences, not only in school, now, but later in life, when they have to interact with others, with authority, and form relationships with others.

It’s a fact, the more heated the disagreement, the more our inner pressure gauge goes up this can build up to breaking point, is at this point anger and rage can rear its ugly head.

This reminds me of a short story, I once read, about very religious and God-fearing Quaker farmer who owned a disagreeable cow. Every time he went to milk her it would be a battle of wills.

Early one morning, at milking time, the cow was unusually short-tempered, but the farmer was unwavering in his attitude to ensure the milking session, went, without so much as a bad attitude. As the farmer started to milk, the cow trod on the farmer’s foot with all her bulk. He winced silently, but mumbled under his breath freeing his foot, and then sat back on his stool to milk. The cow, then squished her tail in his face like a long fibrous whip. The farmer just merely leaned away so to avoid the cow’s tail, next she kicked over the milking bucket, by then half full with milk. The farmer started to mutter a few words to himself; but never lost his temper. Once finished with the ordeal of milking this cow the farmer inhaled a sigh of relief, picked up his bucket and stool and as he was leaving, the cow lets off a kick, kicking the farmer against the barn wall, catapulting him 12 to 15 feet. That, unfortunately, did it, the farmer, raised to his full height, walked in front of the cow stared at her big brown eyes and then he shook his long scrawny finger at the face, of the dairy cow, and he shouted, you know I’m a Quaker, but I can sell you to an unbeliever.

It’s not at getting angry, that’s the problem, it’s how we express that anger. Sometimes, that can be inappropriate, telling the boss where to stick his job might cause some relief, temporary, but when you have no paycheck at the end of the month, to pay the bills that may cause you a problem.

If you would like to know more about anger management, then please go to our website at www.eleoscounselling.com

Become a superhero? How your body language can alter how you feel

Aeleoscounselling_blog_hero recent article in the New Scientists writer William Lee Adams speculated whether self-confidence can be increased. Self-confidence is something that is often thought to be something one has, or one doesn’t. However, social psychologist Amy Cuddy, would disagree, her TED talk, lecture, currently ranks as the second most viewed TED talk. Speaking of self-confidence, Cuddy recommends standing with your hands on your hip and stretching, to increase self-confidence before any stressful situation, such as a job interview. With her mantra “fake it till you make it”. In fact, there is something to be said for the body language of people, especially those people who are depressed.

Researchers found that people who are depressed tend to hunch, as if threatened. Observing primates in the wild, and in captivity, gives rise to the view that spreading one’s arms out, and making oneself big is a dominant/confident position, and thus this is the origin of Cuddy’s hypothesis.

An interesting point was brought up by the article stating that lower status people, whilst amongst friends or in a work environment are always monitoring the higher ranked individuals, in their group. The research suggests that, because of this constant monitoring, an additional cognitive load makes it difficult for them to stay focused and achieve personal goals. This constant monitoring, in of itself can cause more depression, as goals are not met, or fall short of expectations. Research carried out suggested that more confident people have high levels of testosterone and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It was found that less dominant/depressed people have high levels of cortisone.

Of course, being overconfident can have its downside, a recent radio programme investigating air disasters, stated that because hierarchy is hardly ever challenged, particularly in the work environment, and most notably in airline infrastructure, this in of itself, can cause problems. One of the worst air disasters on record the Tenerife air disaster is such a case. For those who don’t remember the 80s, the crew was asked to go to a holding pattern before landing, the commander took the plane over dangerously high terrain, contrary to the orders from the control tower. It is now considered that if someone had questioned the flight commander, this would not have taken place; this disaster was compounded by dubious instructions from the Spanish air traffic controller.

Clearly, confidence is a complicated issue, too much and problems occur, too little and one can become stressed and thus doesn’t get that killer job one has been looking for.

 

If you’re worried about your self-confidence, there may be psychotherapy can help.

Eleos  Counselling is a  counselling organisation offering counselling, in Crawley West Sussex.

 

 

The sober truth: are you drinking too much?

This week Alcoholics Anonymous celebrates 80 years of helping people with alcohol problems. The 12 step program originally eleos counselling_alcohol_counselling_12 step program.started by two men stockbroker Bill Wilson and an Akron surgeon merely known as Dr Bob, revolutionised help for people with drug and alcohol problems, the 12 step program has been adopted in many treatment programs, throughout the world.

The 12 step program helped millions of people stay sober. Problem drinking can affect anyone, from any strata of society, from the lowest to the highest jet setting international businessman or woman.

This week the Daily Express highlighted the increase in middle-class, middle age drinking, in women. What is not widely known in the UK is that you are actually binge drinking if you double your units, simply put if you’re double your units that is three units daily for a woman and four units daily for a man, your binge drinking. To ground this in real terms, for a woman if you have eight 125 ml glasses of wine, of 12% proof alcohol you are binge drinking.

This article is not meant to be anti-alcohol rather a plea for more sensible drinking. Alcohol can often help overcome embarrassment, depression, and stressful situations. This can set up a wrong relationship with alcohol, as it can be used as a crutch to help overcome stress, depression and social embarrassment. Using alcohol as a crutch can set up a reliance on alcohol in demanding situations, this could be a beginning of a problem.

The increased rise of home drinking has masked the fact that one could be drinking more than one should, the idea of three fingers of whiskey, is not unheard of as an example of how hard it is to monitor your drinking when you’re just pouring it for yourself, especially after the third glass.

A lot of people justify binge drinking saying that everybody else is doing it, yes everybody is. The increase in people being taken to A&E with drink -related injuries has increased dramatically, and so has the increase in people trying to find help for their drinking.

 

Here are some questions to ask yourself, if you think your drinking is becoming problematic.

  • Have you been missing work because you have a hangover, or to go drinking?
  • Have you driven after you have been drinking?
  • Has close relationships suffered due to your drinking (do you find you are arguing with your partner more).
  • Have you ever tried to give up drinking and those attempts have been unsuccessful?
  • Have you been drinking for long periods of extended time, more than you intended?

If some of the questions about above are yes, maybe you have a problem with drinking.

Finance clerk runs up £6 million debt, using online gambling.

Online-Betting (1)

This week the media highlighted the case of the Finance clerk who gambled more than £6 million on online bingo. Jacqueline Balaam was winning  up to £15,000 of time, but continued to gamble, if even after winning these large amounts.

This exemplifies just how addictive online gambling can be. Unfortunately, one of the aspects of online gambling perception is that it’s not real money, but it is.

With the rise of advertising for online gambling, offering enticing incentive to gamblers. This will often hook somebody who is susceptible to a gambling addiction. There are often three phases of gambling addiction. At first there will be the winning phase, little win’s, which will you force, a sense of  security that you have beaten the system somehow, or you are lucky. Then there is the losing phase, which for some, is enough to stop gambling altogether, but unfortunately, for some people, there’s another phase often called the catch up in which you are trying to make good your losses. The full detail of Ms Balaam, gambling, is not known, but there is a good possibility. This is exactly what Ms Balaam, was doing.

People with are constantly bombarded now with advertising on television, online and social media, enticing us to gamble. Unfortunately, the excitement of gambling can be as addictive as any drug. The primal areas of the brain called the limbic system appears to play a major role in pleasure sensations of addiction, unfortunately, one of the downsized to modern technology is we have more access to things which can possibly be addicted, such as online gambling.

A generation or two ago, one would have to go to the bookies, a casino, or join a card school. Fundamentally, today one can gamble away as much as Ms Balaam simply by downloads an app onto a mobile device and enter a credit card number.

if you feel you may have a gambling problem and  would like to talk to someone , Eleos counselling can help . Just click the link below.

 

ELEOS COUNSELLING 

 

 

Loneliness in the UK

loneliness_eloscounselingA subject often not talked about has suddenly become popular “loneliness”. A recent report from the National office of statistic claims that Great Britain is the loneliest place in Europe. Statistically, the British, are less likely to bond and make lasting friendships or even know their neighbors.

It’s often quoted that loneliness is an issue for the old, but actually is becoming more and  more an issue for the young, married up with statistics say that the biggest killer of men between the ages of 18 and 34 suicides, the evidence speaks for itself. A statistic from the charity the Samaritans, quoted that one in four men who call the service mentioned loneliness and isolation.

A recent article on radio 4 stated that objects which are plugged into the Internet becoming increasingly popular, stay connected to the cyber world is becoming a paramount importance. This says a lot, that we want to communicate with others however impersonal.

What can the young do to fight loneliness, of the social media can be a boon or very problematic inasmuch that people don’t really say what’s on their mind but rather skirt round the peripheral issues. Maybe one of the services that can be offered through cyberspace is online chat rooms which effectively become group therapy; of course, how one maintains confidentiality and security would have to be looked into what the problem is not insurmountable.

 

Eleos Counseling would be very interested in hearing comments regarding online therapy, or online forums which help support people who are lonely. Please feel free to comment.

 

Fixed odds betting terminals: The crack cocaine of gambling?

Fixed odds betting machines or FOBT are again back in the news. Often called the crack of cocaine of gambling fix odds betting terminals, is back under scrutiny.

The coalition government is urged to  impose a ban on the use of these machines in high Street bookies. This campaign has been ignited by Derby businessman Mr Derek Webb, who is funding a campaign to ban FOBTs, Mr Webb  a millionaire made his fortune who, though gambling; Mr Webb is also noted as inventing  Three Card Poker.FOBT_machine-21.2

Fixed odds betting machines have been known to take hundred pounds every 10 seconds.

FOBT vastly different from normal fruit machines, such as those in clubs, bars, in which stakes are set to £2, using a FOBT a gambler can gamble up to £100 every 20 seconds – better than four times quicker than the rate of play in a genuine casino, with a maximum payout of £500, the popularity of these machines has spread to most high streets and betting shops throughout the country.

In one report in the Guardian Newspaper interviewed one gambler commenting that he had gambled away his monthly income in a few hours.

Figures released by the gambling commission, stated that the gross profit on fixed odds betting machines in 2012 was estimated to be £1.4 billion.

The British Association for bookmakers stated that there is no evidence to suggest that fixed odds betting machines are causing gambling addictions. The industry is reluctant to adjust these machines to allow for smaller stakes and smaller prizes commenting that the impact on the gambling industry would be a loss of 40,000 jobs and the  closure of a possibly 8,000 high Street bookies shops. One notable fact is that in UK the gambling industry pays over £1 billion in tax each year.

 

With more accessible gambling, such as fixed odds betting machines, and online gambling. One has to ask the net effect on gambling addiction in the UK. The in the past, one could gamble was a bookies shop, now  is available 24 seven online.

As with all psychological addictions, gambling plays into the pleasure centers of the brain stimulating endorphins, giving what is often called a “gambler’s high”.

As with all addictions, and addicted gambler needs support in withdrawing from his or habit or behaviour.

Eleos counselling, has had many years helping clients with addictive behaviours. If you would like to know more, please click on the link below.

ELEOS COUNSELLING 

 

 

 

 

 

Emetophobia: A common phobia, which is often misdiagnosed

eleoscounselling_eating_disorderA recent article in the Independent’s tabloid I highlighted the difficulty people with a phobia Emetophobia (fear of vomiting or being sick) face. This phobia  is often misdiagnosed as anorexia, due to the sufferers reluctance to eat, due to their fear of vomiting.  The article talked extensively of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and mentioned little or reference to interpersonal therapy, better known as humanistic therapy and the benefits, this form of therapy can offer; the  therapy offered  by Eleos counselling. Recovery from any phobia can be a long process, and often it is the relationship with the therapist that is the real healing factor, not what the therapist does with the client.  As you would see challenging deeply held beliefs is part of the process of therapy and this is borne out of a close relationship which formed between the therapist and their clients.  You will see from below that challenging these in a non-judgement, and empathic way is key to a successful outcome.

Like just about all phobias and phobic disorders, Emetophobia most frequently develops in childhood fear having, by no means, really, ever been outgrown. Perhaps a frightening incident had been witnessed when  young, a person being sick close to them or perhaps on them, it’s possible that they themselves are sick or possibly that they have seen someone else being sick under frightening situations.

When a traumatic scene is witnessed the subconscious mind functions as being the body’s ‘protector’ calculates the simplest way to avoid the episode repeating itself. The way this specific works, in practice, is that the subconscious mind attaches negative feelings or thoughts to nausea or vomiting plus in along with  this specific teaches the person to steer far from this  ‘dangerous’ scenarios. Whilst the subconscious mind is doing all this ‘protection’, your conscious thoughts are desperate trying to work out exactly where this irrational behaviour is coming from.

The episode, which was encountered when young was initially your subconscious mind has construed, mistakenly, a rule that moment and the subconscious is causing the person to still to act like that worried two year old, regardless that she or he is now an adult. Whenever ‘stuff’ happens to all of us whenever we were young, we are relatively short on thinking ability as well as life experience – this deficiency makes us translate situations to the best of our ability together with the minimal information available. 9 times out of 10, this kind of understanding is incorrect, however ,because of the conscious mind’s  has issues accessing  the subconscious, it cannot determine the reason why you react to certain occasions within an illogical way.

 

If you would like to know more of this type of therapy that Eleos counselling offers then please visit our  website by clicking the link below.

www.eleoscounselling.com 

 

 

Internet Addiction

eleoscounselling,internet_addictionCan somebody be addicted to the Internet?

Being online has become part of everyday life, for lots of households in the UK. Most people are able to control the time they spend in cyberspace, others can become pre-occupied with the Internet and are unable to control the time they spend online,  which can certainly lead to problems for some people. Like any form of repeated behaviour, such as gambling, exercise, and shopping, the Internet can become addictive.  The brain can become the psychologically addicted, or neuroadapted. Effectively, the brain becomes wired to accept a certain kind of stimulus and when it doesn’t receive that stimulus it goes looking for it. For some, escaping into cyberspace, when life becomes too difficult for them, or they have to deal with difficult situations or emotions has become a way of life. Below are some of the symptoms which can be, warning signs that a person has become cyber dependent.  Excessive time online, can also be a coping strategy to deal with life’s difficulties, if this is a sole coping strategy it can leave one feeling isolated and alone. Furthermore, contribute to a dependency on its use.

Warning signs of Internet addiction

  • Finding yourself losing track of time whilst online
  • Experiencing mixed emotions which may include a sense of well-being or guilt/ whilst online.
  • Favouring online activities to spending time with your family and friends
  • Unsuccessfully attempting to curtail your online use.
  • Feeling irritable and depressed when you are away from your computer all the time spent has been interrupted.
  • Using your computer to deal with negative feelings such as sadness, anger, guilt and shame.

Excessive time online can cause physical discomfort and pain, mainly because you are sitting among place for a great deal of time. There are some of the physical difficulties, one can have from excessive Internet use.

  • Pains or numbness in your hands that can spread to the wrists, elbows and shoulders. This can be the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Pains in your back or neck
  • Irritable or dry eyes or eyestrain
  • Severe headaches
  • Disturbed sleep

Recognising you or someone close to you has a problem

The first and most important step in treating any form of dependency, including Internet addiction, is recognising that there is a problem. It is normal for an individual to deny they have a dependency, but if the cost of online use outweighs any benefit. There is a need for some form of treatment.

 

Eleos counselling has many years helping people overcome addictions. If you would like to know more you can click on the link below and it will take you to a more comprehensive page on addictions.

www.Eleossounselling.com