Reasons people come to counselling – Difficult Health Conditions


…and welcome back to my blog.

Last but by no means least on this series of reasons why people come to counselling is difficult health conditions.

At some point in our lives we will all be affected by a difficult health condition, whether it be an acute condition, which is sudden and short like the flu, to something more chronic, which is longer term and may require ongoing medical intervention, to a condition which is terminal, where there is no cure and death is likely.

Whether a condition is acute or terminal, lived with since birth or arisen suddenly, there can be significant impact to not only our physical and emotional health, but our basic standard of living.

I myself am suffering from an ankle injury at the moment, which is restricting my normal lifestyle, which is frustrating and demoralising.

While the list of difficult health conditions is extensive, here are a select few:

  • Injury/disability
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia
  • Fertility issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia/Alzheimer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • AIDS
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cancer

As I’m finding out for myself suffering from a condition, whether it be acute, chronic or terminal, impacts our daily life from school and work attendance, to having a social life, enjoying exercise and/or simply completing day-to-day activities. Individuals may be confined to the house or even their bed, and have enforced inactivity. Experiencing such restrictions, along with living with the difficult health condition itself can greatly affect our mental health. Individuals may experience feeling some if not all of the following:

  • Sad
  • Anxious
  • Depressed
  • Withdrawn
  • Unmotivated
  • Vulnerable
  • Angry
  • Stressed
  • Bored
  • Isolated
  • Lonely
  • Helpless
  • Hopeless

This list of course is not extensive, and as I’m sure you are aware of, if we are experiencing low mood or feeling emotionally vulnerable this may also negatively impact us physically, either by resulting in physical symptoms or hindering our recovery of an existing condition.

Difficult health conditions not only affect those living with the condition itself, but those who live with, are related to or care for the individual. Being a carer for a loved one is a stressful job, both physically and emotionally. Carer’s can feel resentment and guilt as well as being isolated and exhausted.

Counselling therefore allows individuals, whether they be the sufferer or the carer, the space to discuss and explore their condition/diagnosis to try and come to terms with their situation as well as to provide emotional support.

So, there you have it folks, my very first series of blog posts on a specific topic is complete. Within this series I focused on why people come to counselling, covering:

  • Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Difficult Emotions
  • Difficult Life Events
  • Difficult Health Conditions

This is by no means an extensive list of reasons, but I hope it has captured some of the types of circumstances and/or feelings that people may be experiencing which may prompt them to seek help. My hope is that at least one person can relate to something I have written, and realise they aren’t alone and that there is help out there.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships


Reasons people come to counselling – Difficult Life Events


…and welcome back to my blog.

I am almost coming to the end of this series on reasons why people come to counselling, and today’s post is all about difficult life events.

Whether we like it or not, life has a habit of forcing us to experience and deal with life events, both of the expected and the unexpected kind. Sometimes these life events are happy and exciting and we are able to draw pleasure from them, but sometimes life events are difficult and distressing causing us pain and discomfort.

Examples of difficult life events include:

  • Death
  • Trauma
  • Redundancy/job loss/retirement/unemployment
  • Relationship breakdown/divorce
  • Imprisonment
  • Getting married
  • New job
  • Financial difficulties
  • Injury/health issues
  • Homelessness

These types of events can end up shaping us into the people we become, from our beliefs to our personality as well as our coping mechanisms. They can disrupt normal life and make individuals not only question their understanding of the world, but of themselves.

Individuals may feel unable to handle the consequences of such life events so try to:

  • forget
  • avoid
  • ignore
  • supress
  • deflect

They may also experience physical symptoms, including:

  • headaches
  • aches and pains
  • diarrhoea
  • palpitations
  • low energy
  • insonmia

and they may become:

  • withdrawn
  • anxious
  • angry
  • aggressive
  • irritable
  • stressed
  • fearful
  • panicked

If an individual is already struggling to deal with the consequences of one or more difficult life events, they may find any further issues, incidents or events, whether big or small even more overwhelming, and can become stuck in a cycle of despair. They may struggle to find their own solutions, or be so overwhelmed it affects their daily functioning as well as their wellbeing, or become isolated struggling to speak with loved ones which negatively affects their relationships. It is in these times that counselling may help. Counselling offers a safe space for individuals to open up and explore not only what happened to them, but how it makes them feel as well as consider how if affects their thought and behavioral patterns.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships


Reasons people come to counselling – Difficult Emotions


…and welcome back to my blog.

Continuing with reasons why people come to counselling today I will be exploring difficult emotions.

Emotions are normal and part of daily life, whether they be good or bad, they motivate us to take action, survive or simply make changes. Emotions therefore can be very informative and help us to work out what we are feeling.

Obviously, most people wish to experience positive emotions, such as happiness and excitement, rather than negative emotions as they are unpleasant and painful. Examples of difficult emotions include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Loneliness
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Sadness
  • Worry
  • Jealously
  • Powerlessness
  • Fear
  • Rejection

There may be various reasons why we may be experiencing such difficult or distressing emotions, below are simply a select few:

  • Bereavement
  • Trauma
  • Unemployment
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Discrimination
  • Monetary difficulties
  • Domestic Abuse

Despite experiencing distressing events, such as the ones noted above, society tells us negative emotions are bad and undesirable while positive ones are preferred and desired. However, the belief that we must feel positive and happy all the time is simply impractical, it’s not real life, and can end up pushing our feelings down making us repress our emotions.

Sometimes individuals struggle to even name their emotions because they are either unaware, lack a lexicon of feeling words, find it difficult to talk about them, bottle them up, don’t want to be seen as weak or vulnerable and/or use distraction to either control or fight them – all of which are unhealthy.

Instead we should aim to achieve and maintain balanced emotions, where they aren’t seen as either positive or negative, but which are all validated and understood. To understand, it is equally okay to feel happy as it is to feel sad. Counselling is therefore a place where an individual can start to learn to do this. It can help individuals learn about themselves by recognising and acknowledging their emotions in a safe and non-judgemental space, as well as exploring root causes and patterns of behaviour.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships