Counsellor? Psychologist? Psychiatrist? Who should I see? 

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Have you ever wondered if you should see a counsellor, psychologist or a psychiatrist? These days there are a variety of different professions, all of which vary and it can get confusing for individuals that want or need to seek help.

Counselors: Counsellors are mental health professionals with a specified skill set who provide short-term care. Usually, they will have an undergraduate or masters level specialty in psychology. Counsellors help people in need identify triggering issues and encourage positive steps in life to resolve these short-term issues. Attending counseling and seeing a counsellor is a relatively short term processes.

Psychologist: Psychologists are more specialised than counsellors in that more required education is needed, specifically doctoral level training. They help individuals who have had a host of emotional problems that have built upper time – such as depression and anxiety. Psychotherapy is a longer term process and treatment is designed to identify emotional issues that exist in the background of a person’s life.

Psychiatrist: Psychiatrists are trained, medical doctors. After they have finished medical school, they complete their residency in psychiatry for roughly four years. For this reason, psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication to patients, and psychologists are not. Psychologists and psychiatrists work in tandem to provide relief to an individual through psychotherapy (psychologist) and medicine (psychiatry).

In essence, if you or someone you know is going through temporary and relatively short-term struggles, a counsellor may be the best point of contact as there are smaller waiting lists and typically, no GP or doctor referral needed. If the problem has been persistent and ongoing, with major life and behavioural disruptions, a psychologist or psychiatrist may be a better point of contact.

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Moving In A Positive Direction

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This was originally posted on Reddit by an anonymous source. It is a good reminder that although depression is not a choice, we do have the power to choose who we spend time with, how we spend that time and to be grateful for the things we have and the positive people in our lives.


It wasn’t instantaneous, and it wasn’t easy. I forget the speaker, but I heard or saw some kind of presentation on the fact that joy is a choice we make, not just something that happens when we’re lucky or make good choices. Because sometimes we’re unlucky, and even good choices don’t go well. So you can choose to be joyful even in bad circumstances, and over time it’ll happen.

I started cutting out negative, angry music and television and listened to/watched more positive things. I stopped hanging out with people who never do anything but drink and fuck around, and I started spending more time with people who were active and positive. I learned to recognize when I was slipping into negativity and depression. It’s ok to be angry or sad, but I stopped continuously beating myself up with those thoughts. And my depression is an illness, so I can’t avoid it, but I don’t have to feed it. My depressive periods never last as long or get as dark anymore.

The most helpful thing has been gratitude. When something goes well, or someone does something even a little nice for me, I try really hard to recognize it, be thankful for it, and to express my gratitude to the person. Recognizing the things that make me happy has just lit up my life, and motivated me to seek out even more goodness, and to be generous when I can.

And there is lots more to it– each step in a positive direction led to another, and it all compounded into a really solid framework for how I now live my life. There have been setbacks and failures, rough patches, and depression. But over time, it’s really just been a matter of making little choices toward joy instead of feeding a repeating pattern of negativity.

Look Inside Yourself

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Today we wanted to share a powerful post that was found on the website, Reddit. It reminds us to live in the present moment, realise our own self-worth and find out what it is that truly makes us happy.


Written by: Anonymous source on Reddit

A sense of accomplishment, belonging and inner peace needs to come from the realisation of self-awareness and self-worth rather than from achieving future, external goals.

We feel empty not because we have yet to achieve a goal that society sets for us in order to feel content, but because we are not alright with ourselves. We may feel weak, ugly, stupid, and generally inferior. All such concepts gather and form the idea that we aren’t worth loving or worthy to exist or just that life is meaningless.

We get to this state as individuals and seek validation from external sources like significant others, occupations, social status. We think once we achieve these things then we can finally be allowed happiness. But living like this is the act of trying to extract life/worth from things around you rather than realising and harmonising with the life/worth within yourself.

We need to sit in quiet and truly ask ourselves, not society, “what is it that I want deep inside?”. If the answer is specific, like a job title or fame, we need to ask ourselves again “why do I want this thing?”. And again and again. Eventually, we get down to base emotions. We start to identify the emptinesses within ourselves that make us so discontented with life. We find what we’ve been running from.

We need to realise and see for ourselves, not just have it told to us by others, that we are indeed beautiful, worth loving and worthy to exist, even if it seems no one else thinks so at times. Once we start to appreciate and start living for ourselves in the present, not for future goals, we can begin finding happiness and contentment in every passing moment. The world begins to look different and we can begin to see the beauty in even simple things again as we used to as children. A child doesn’t place their happiness on distance future goals but seeks it out from every passing second and actively lives it. That is the mindset that adulthood steals from us but it is a far truer way to live.

It took me a long time to realise this. Society doesn’t teach us to think this way. Society tells us to fall in line and if we meet its standards then we can earn our happiness. Pensive self-reflection is a lost art in our lost world, but it is an essential spiritual awareness for being content and finding our place.

If you ever feel like quitting life, then quit looking at life the way you’ve been. Quit living for future external goals. Do what you must do, but don’t allow your happiness to depend on such things. Quit living life with the mindset you assumed was correct and take the time to look inside yourself and figure out what being alive really means.

Understanding Self-Harm: Why Do People Cut?

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There is no singular reason why a person self-harms. For many, self-harm is coping mechanism. It can be a way to deal with deep emotional pain, process feelings that cannot be expressed in words, provide a distraction from other stresses and worries, or even a way to feel some form of relief.

To those who have never self-harmed, it often sounds illogical – how could hurting yourself possibly make you feel better? However, to those engaging in self-harming behaviours, it often feels as if it is something they cannot control. In order to process and cope with painful feelings like sadness, self-loathing, emptiness and guilt, there is a compulsion to injure oneself.

While this may provide a temporary sense of relief, it does not take long before the painful feelings resurface and the desire to hurt oneself returns. It’s like putting your finger over a hole in a water balloon – it may stop the leak, but pretty soon you’ll move your finger and it will all come rushing out.

With self-harm, there often comes a layer of secrecy. Many people feel shame over their actions or worry that others simply will not understand. However, living in a world of secrecy can be overwhelming. Trying to manage such a heavy burden alone often puts a strain on relationships with family and friends. Consequently, this can lead to increased feelings of loneliness and worthlessness, which, in turn, further isolates the individual while perpetuating the self-harming behaviours.

Because clothing can mask signs of physical injuries, and calm responses such as “I’m fine, don’t worry about me” can hide signs of inner struggle, determining if a loved one is self-harming can be very challenging. This is why it is important to be aware of warning signs and symptoms of self-harm.

Warning Signs of Self-Harm:

  • Presence of wounds and scars that cannot be explained – may appear as cuts, bruises, burns on the wrists, arms, thighs and chest
  • Presence of blood stains on clothes, bed, towels
  • Possession of sharp objects like razors, knives, needles, glass shards, nails
  • “Accidental” marks such as bruises, scars, cuts, burns frequently appear due to the individuals supposed ‘clumsiness’
  • Wear clothing that covers up their body such as long pants or sleeves even in hot temperatures
  • Retreating off by oneself for long periods of time, particular in the bedroom or the bathroom
  • Irritability and isolating oneself

While self-harm may feel like it is helping in the short term, the feeling of relief is temporary and can come at a cost. Some of the negative consequences are as follows:

Costs of self-harm

  • A brief feeling of relief – and often followed by unpleasant feelings such as guilt and shame. Further prevents you from finding healthier ways to cope.
  • It is a lonely secret to keep – and can further isolate you from friends and family.
  • You can seriously injure yourself – you may misjudge how deep you are cutting or you may end up with an infected wound.
  • Fail to resolve the deeper issue – by not processing the emotional pain in a healthy way you put yourself at risk of developing major depression, substance addiction and suicide.
  • Become addicted to self-harm – what starts off as an impulse can turn into a compulsive habit that is difficult to stop.

Ultimately self-harm does not solve the problems that led to the self-harming behaviours in the first place.If you or someone you know engages in self-harming behaviours, address it.

Reach out to someone and share what you are going through. While it can be difficult to find the courage to confide in someone or to find a person you feel you can trust, it can serve as a major relief to get it off of your chest.

If you feel there is no one you can trust with this sensitive information or are uncomfortable telling someone you know – please reach out to WeListen UK via email {welisten.uk@gmail.com} or any of the following organisations:

Mind Infoline – Helpline in the UK that provides assistance and information on self-harm |Call: 0300 123 3393 or Text: 86463

Teen lineHelpline in the US for help with self-injury and cutting and other mental health issues | Call: 310-855-4673 or Text: 839863

Kids Help PhoneHelpline in Canada for children and teens dealing with cutting, self-harm and other mental health issues | Call: 1-800-668-6868

Cramming for Exams and Beating Depression

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It’s that time of year for students – final assignments and exams. Countless nights of little sleep, lack of nutrition and socialising kept to a minimum to make sure you can finish the year successfully and enjoy the upcoming summer. But what happens when we cram too much and forget about our mental health? What happens when we stay in a period of feeling low and unmotivated?

For some students, self-awareness comes easily. They are able to identify when they are in a period of feeling low and able to engage in personal interests to help cope with stressful periods. Some students find the gym a coping method and relieve stress by running, weight lifting and/or taking yoga classes. Other students find journaling a coping method since they are able to reflect on daily accomplishments (big or small).

Students who find it challenging identifying signs of depression often go into periods of little sleep, lack of motivation and lose their sense of self. These characteristics can lead to a long period of feeling low, anxious and focus on negative aspects. It is important for students to be aware of low periods. Some warning signs that students should look for are the following:

  • Loss of interest – Hard to engage in personal interests and finish school work/study, poor concentration.
  • Irregular sleep patterns – Students may find the need to pull 24hr days to complete school work and crash, sleep mostly during the day and work on school at night.
  • Eating patterns – Increase of appetite or loss of appetite.
  • Increased anxiety
  • Difficulty decision making
  • Feelings of helplessness, worthless and thoughts of suicide

If you were able to identify with any of the above characteristics, here are some suggestions to help you push through the final semester:

  • Identify your best and most effective studying method – cue cards, highlighting notes, rewriting notes, study groups. We all learn material differently so find a method that works best for your learning style.
  • Get an agenda/calendar – This will help outline assignments, exams and schedule time for yourself! Write down important social gatherings, study time, gym time and school time to give you a visual cue.
  • Schedule library dates with friends – Surrounding ourselves with people who have similar interests and goals keep us motivated. Find a friend who likes to hit the library as much as you or find a coffee shop where you can work on schoolwork together. Schedule gym time with a friend to get in an extra round of socialising before hitting the books.
  • Make sure to check out your school’s health department for counselling services – sometimes talking to a professional is needed to help with our thoughts. Make sure to look into your school’s counselling services. These services are included in most tuition in the USA, Canada, and the UK, so take advantage of them.
  • Have the local crisis number or distress centre number available for times when you need someone to talk to.

Remember that you are not alone – there are definitely other students that feel similar to you. For more resources, check out the following links!

http://studentsagainstdepression.org

http://www.samhi.ca

http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/college-students

https://psychcentral.com/lib/depression-in-students/

The Creeping Nature of Eating Disorders

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It all started the summer after my freshman year of university. Despite being an athlete who never felt the need to watch what I ate and had no problem downing a Starbucks Brownie Frappuccino, I found myself looking in the mirror and not recognising the person staring back. After a year of parties with a never-ending flow of cheap beer, jungle juice concoctions, and unhealthy late-night snacks I had surpassed the predictable “freshman 15” weight gain by about five pounds. Deathly afraid of being considered chubby, I decided it was time to go on a diet. I drastically cut my carb intake, tried to eat mostly protein and vegetables, and employed a strict exercise schedule that comprised of three-mile runs in the hot summer heat. It took discipline and was painful at times, but by the end of the summer I shed that 20 pounds and was feeling great.

Unfortunately, feeling great did not last too long. Instead of being satisfied that I had returned to my pre-university weight, I still felt fat. Every morning, I looked in the mirror and stared at my perceived “problem areas.” I started developing an unhealthy attitude towards food, deciding carbs were the enemy and that it was never okay to consume any kind of junk food or dessert. Foods became either good or bad. I slowly began to obsess over reading labels, feverishly searching for the total calories and grammes of sugar of each food item.

To those around me, I appeared healthy, but inside I started to feel anxious anytime I felt hungry. Fears of consuming too many calories and gaining weight plagued my brain. After a night of drinking or an indulgent meal, I tried to make up for it by skipping breakfast and hitting the gym or going on a long run. I started to cut calories wherever I could – instead of having two eggs, I would see if I could get by with one egg and supplement with endless cups of coffee. This extreme level of restriction made me feel powerful – I believed that this was what self-control looked like. I employed tricks of chewing gum and drinking carbonated drinks to mask my hunger and make it through the day without eating what I deemed to be too much. The weight started to slip off and I reached a BMI of 18, just .5 point shy of what could be considered Anorexia Nervosa (AN) (AN BMI range = 17.5 – 15>).

Although I felt I was getting positive attention from my weight loss, my close friends started to notice something was up. However, I was not ready to hear their concerns. Instead of taking their words as those of people who care, I felt attacked. Why were they watching me? Why do they care what I eat? It is none of their business. Maybe they were jealous that I was skinnier than them? (At this point in time, I had a nasty habit of comparing myself to every other girl in the room – deriving a sense of confidence and self-assurance when I felt I was skinnier than the rest).

Of course, none of my thoughts had any truth to them in reality. In retrospect, I see my friends were worried and wanted to help me, but unfortunately, it caused me to delve deeper into secrecy and refuse to consider that maybe there was a problem. I thought that because I wasn’t throwing up after meals and was eating during the day (albeit fewer than 1300 calories), there was no way I had an eating disorder. It was not until I visited a close member of my family that I finally was able to take a long hard look in the mirror without clothes and see the skeletal figure that stood before me. I emphasise that it was without clothes because it was only then that I could truly see how skinny I had become (clothes can often hide the telltale signs). Recovery was not easy or immediate and it was not fast. And to be honest, the thoughts and fears of “being fat” never go away. It is something I deal with daily.

However, with a sense of awareness about my disordered eating behaviours and a routine meal plan that ensured I would eat a healthy level of calories, I was able to regain the weight. The biggest obstacle was probably learning how to retrain my thoughts and belief system. It was not me that was the problem, but rather it was how I looked at myself. I had been placing way too much importance on being skinny – hoisting skinniness up on a pedestal, equating it to achieving the ultimate success and epitome of attractiveness. But this distorted sense of reality could not be further from the truth. Figuring out that my personal reality was different from actual reality was key to my recovery. Perhaps this is why cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the leading evidence-based treatment for treating adults with eating disorders. A core component of CBT is learning how to analyse your thoughts, emotions and behaviours and retrain them into healthier thoughts and actions. Though CBT does require effort and “homework,” it is effective in targeting negative perceptions of the self. These negative perceptions are typically very self-critical and can lead to anxiety and shame that often trigger unhealthy weight controlling behaviours. Under the supervision of a therapist, CBT can help identify the factors that maintain an eating disorder and can help you to set goals for recovery.

If you are worried that you or a loved one might be struggling with an eating disorder, please check out the following resources:

Beat (Beating eating disorders)

Helping Someone with an Eating Disorder

About Eating Problems

No matter what – don’t ignore the issue. If left untreated eating disorders can increase in severity and cause both physical and psychological damage and in some cases death.

 

Emotionally Abusive Relationships

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Many people are quick to associate an abusive relationship with physical abuse. Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects roughly 10 million women and men each year in the United States – this breaks down to an average of 20 people per minute who are being physically abused by a romantic partner. Despite the widespread existence of domestic abuse, it is often denied or overlooked. This is particularly true when the abuse is emotional, rather than physical.

Emotional abuse is often more subtle than physical abuse. Without noticeable scars and bruises, it can be difficult for the individual to recognise and acknowledge that they are being mistreated. That is because the abuse is happening psychologically. Psychological abuse takes place when a romantic partner tries to underhandedly control their significant other. This is often through manipulation that leads to a distortion of the significant other’s reality, blurring their ability to distinguish what is acceptable and what is not.

Psychological abuse often targets the individual’s self-esteem. The abused partner starts to second-guess himself or herself, losing confidence and often times slowly starting to believe that the negative comments are true. If the abused partner tries to stand up for himself or herself, the abuser is quick to either get upset or make grand apologies begging to be forgiven. This may give the abused partner hope and fill them with the belief that their partner did not mean it and plans to change. Unfortunately, by forgiving the abuser and letting them back into their life, the abused partner further allows the abuser to maintain control over them.

So, how do you identify emotional abuse? Here are signs to look out for:

  • Tries to humiliate or embarrass you
  • Tries to put you down
  • Highly critical of you (behaviour, things you say, what you wear)
  • Unwilling to communicate
  • Ignores and excludes you
  • Cheats on you
  • Highly flirtatious with others
  • Extremely jealous
  • Uses unpleasant sarcasm & hurtful jokes
  • Severe moodiness
  • Tries to dominate and control you
  • Tries to make you feel guilty/blames you
  • Isolates you from friends and family
  • Obsessive calling and texting when you are not together
  • Threatens suicide if you leave them

To understand emotional abuse on a more personal level, WeListen UK interviewed a woman previously involved in an emotionally abusive relationship who has agreed to share her story. For privacy purposes, her name has been changed.

Interview with Karen

WeListen UK: What initially drew you to be attracted to your ex-boyfriend?

Karen: Yeah, I’ve actually thought about this before too. I think, in the beginning, I was mostly just curious – he was different from other guys and he was really fun and outgoing. And I was thinking ‘okay this could be fun.’ I didn’t see it [the relationship] as serious or long term. It was more, just – the thing that attracted me to him was his personality and that he didn’t care what other people thought. I liked that about him. And he was really nice to me. It was like he knew what a girl wanted to hear, do you know what I mean?

 

WeListen UK: You said he was really nice to you. Can you explain how was he nice to you?

Karen: He was always calling me, showed me lots of attention. And then yeah, he would go out of his way to be a part of whatever I was doing. It was really fast and I was like ‘woah, he must be really interested.’ I didn’t realise that is just how he is. I had never met somebody like that.

 

WeListen UK: Did he try to pay for things?

Karen: Yeah, he would, like in the beginning. He would buy me little gifts and stuff like that. And it’s funny because in the beginning I never did, I was just like ‘no I’m not going to buy him stuff.’ And then it kind of switched toward the end where I would get him stuff, but he wasn’t getting me anything. And when I think about it now it is kind of crazy how things switched.

 

WeListen UK: When you first started dating, what was his behaviour towards you? How did he talk to you?

Karen: Um, it’s really hard to think of –  but oh yeah, so things, in the beginning, were really good, but then also I remember there were times when it was like ‘what the fuck, like what’s wrong with him?’ He was acting like a completely different person. And I was like ‘what is wrong with you? You’re acting really weird and I don’t want to hang out with you right now, just go.’ I said “I don’t know who you are right now, but I don’t like it so I just don’t think it’s going to work.’ Then he would beg me and say sorry and make up all these excuses like ‘I was really tired, blah blah blah’ to keep me back in it. You know? So there were times when it was like ‘woah, red flags’ but he would convince me to think it was okay so I would give in.

 

WeListen UK: When you say he was acting like a different person and acting weird enough to make you want to break up, can you explain in what way?

Karen: Yeah, so one night we went to dinner and I was excited and he was just like a completely different person. He was not talking at all and had these weird body movements. And I was asking him ‘What’s wrong? You are acting really weird and what’s going on?’ He would just say ‘nothing, nothing’ the whole night and it just felt really miserable.

 

I didn’t get it, so when we got back to my place I remember telling him I didn’t want him to come in and that he was acting weird and I just wanted to go to bed. Then he would beg me and say “no, no, no, no, no. I’m so sorry.” And then for like 30 minute, we would be arguing and I would think ‘no, this isn’t cool.’ But yeah it was crazy and then finally he would say something like ‘come on, just let me come up’ and I’d just break down and say ‘okay fine.’

 

WeListen UK: Did he always somehow tend to persuade you? Or were there times when he would leave?

Karen: Yeah, he mostly – pretty much every time I would still let him in. I guess I was just like well whatever, he is here and he is trying.

 

WeListen UK: It seems strange that he would act so weird and mopey and not saying anything. It makes you wonder was it a mood thing or an attention thing?

Karen: Yeah! Like exactly, I don’t know which one it is. But he actually would admit that he had five different personalities.I would call him out on it [having different personalities] and he would say, ‘yeah I do.’ I don’t know if that was just the story he liked to tell himself. I also think it was just another way to be different and have –  I think his thing was that he was terminally unique. And I looked it up before, where you just have to always be different from everyone no matter what so that you can get attention. And that’s really what I felt like because he is an extreme narcissist where everything is about him and if there were any times where there was more attention on me, it was really uncomfortable for him.

I remember at the end, when I didn’t really care anymore we were out with a couple of friends having a game night. And I was winning and everyone was telling me things like ‘wow, good job, you are so smart!’ And he was furious inside, I could just tell. And then we started playing another game and it was getting really competitive and he was just like ‘I just don’t want you to win.’ I was thinking is he for real? And I thought it was a joke, but he was really serious. He didn’t like it, he didn’t like that I was beating him. And then the following day he was acting like such a jerk to me, and that’s when I full on stood him up and I think he then realised he didn’t have control over me anymore. That’s when I was like ‘no, I’m not putting up with this shit.’

 

WeListen UK: Did he ever say or do anything to you early on that made you think something was a little off?

Karen: Yeah, like um I’m trying to think. Sometimes he would joke, well he would say he was joking but probably wasn’t. He would like to joke like ‘Oh we could be together for like 10 years and then I’ll have to get someone else.’ Why would you even say that? Or he would go back and forth and be like ‘Oh yeah, I could see us being together forever and having kids’ and then another day he would be like ‘no, I don’t think we’re going to get married.’ And I never understood why he was even talking about that so early on. He was trying to get these thoughts in my head.

 

WeListen UK: Do you think he maybe wanted you to get jealous?

Karen: Oh yeah, when we would go out and stuff, I felt like he was all over the place. When we would go to a party or something – I don’t think I am needy or clingy, but it is normal for a girl to want her boyfriend to be around her. Not all over the place talking to every single person. And that is what he would do. And if I asked why he was all over the place, he would just say “I’m out there connecting. Not just standing here being boring.” And near the end [of the relationship] he said to me ‘you know, you’re not really that fun to be around and I just feel like you are always staring me down and checking up on me.’ And all I could think was if you are thinking that I’m checking up on you, then you are doing something shady. Made me wonder where is that coming from?

 

WeListen UK: At what point in the relationship did you start finding yourself unhappy? Can you think of why that was?

Karen: Oh yeah. Well I guess there were multiple times. When we first started this personal development workshop that we were both taking. That was 4 or 5 months, and it was like a rollercoaster. Because in the beginning I realised he wasn’t the one for me, but because we were seeing each other still and there were a lot of highs and lows, we would break up and then get back together.You know the biggest thing was, when we were in public or with other people, I felt kind of embarrassed sometimes about him. Like how he would act. I wasn’t like proud of him. It wasn’t like ‘here’s my boyfriend, he’s so amazing.’ It was more like ‘okay, he is kind of crazy.’

 

WeListen UK: Oh, in that you never knew what he was going to say? That it could be offensive?

Karen: Yeah, I never knew what he was going to say. And he liked to put on a show. He wanted to make out with me in public and I would try to tell him that I didn’t like that. It was like he wanted other people to see how in love we were. And when I told him I didn’t like it then he would just try to get at me and say ‘oh, you don’t show me affection. You’re never all over me in front of other people.’

 

WeListen UK: Did he ever try to “make up” with you after a fight or after he said/did something hurtful?

Karen: YES! It would be the same way. He would just smother me. Smother me to death. He would say “Oh, I love you so much. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” And ugh I felt so annoyed and then I don’t know, for some reason I would just let it slide. And I would just give into it. You know?

 

WeListen UK: Did you think he was going to change?

Karen: Yeah, I did for a little bit and then I realised, you know? After a while he wasn’t [going to change]. Because there was a good chunk of time where I wasn’t talking to him that much. Maybe about a month? We would still talk as friends but we weren’t dating. But he always had that intention to somehow get back to me and try to control me again.

 

WeListen UK: What did your friends think about him?

Karen: They didn’t really like him. They would just say ‘woah, he’s kind of crazy.’ And I didn’t really bring him around my really close friends because in my mind I think I didn’t think we were serious.

 

WeListen UK: Do you ever recall a time where he was dominating or controlling?

Karen: Yeah, yeah. Like he would – sometimes when I supposedly didn’t act like he wanted me to act or when I didn’t defend him how he wanted to be defended for something that he did, he would get so angry with me and say things like ‘Why are you so weak? Why are you so small?’ And then I would be feeling like shit. I would be feeling like crap, you know?

 

WeListen UK: Did he ever try to embarrass you or humiliate you in front of others?

Karen: Nothing too over the top, but there are times when he made inappropriate jokes in front of others for pure attention.

 

WeListen UK: How many times did you try to break it off? What happened when you did?Why did you go back?

Karen: I tried to break it off more than 2 times which is way too many. When I did he would just try super hard to make it up to me, say everything I wanted to hear, or do whatever it took for me just to give him another chance. I think I went back because I kept holding on to the hope that he could/would change. I also felt pity for him, like I was the only one who could save him from himself.

 

WeListen UK: Did he ever comment on your appearance?

Karen: Yes. He was a “boob” guy and would keep making comments about me getting fake boobs. I had the idea before I met him but he brought it up a lot at one time and I had to tell him to stop. He would promise to stop but it was only a matter of time before he would bring it up again. He would sometimes make comments about what I was wearing when we would go out – making sure it matched or emphasised his outfit.

 

WeListen UK: Is there anything you would like to say to anyone who might be in an emotionally abusive relationship?

Karen: To always trust your initial instincts and never be with someone for any type of hope that they may change. More importantly, know your worth…you deserve everything and anything when it comes to a relationship, don’t settle.

 

If you or someone you know may be involved in an abusive relationship, please reach out to Living With Abusefor help.