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Aim at change for better

Aim at change for better
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With enough energy and resolve lockdown can bring the best in us, and it can also bring the worst in us. Worldwide it is being said that the number of ...

With enough energy and resolve lockdown can bring the best in us, and it can also bring the worst in us. Worldwide it is being said that the number of divources, mental stress related problems, aggression in relationships in on a rise. Learn to deal with them, seek professional help online, and seek counselling or medical help. A stitch in time saves nine. Any addictions and unwanted habits you have, this is the time to change for better.

I am a retired corporate executive.

My job involved a lot of travel and entertaining.

I used to drink almost everyday;never over the top but a couple of large drinks.

I never drank more, was never intoxicated nor misbehaved.

Now during lockdown, with all the liquor shops closed,I am unable to get any alcohol. Since then, I'm restless,unable to sleep, irritable and have developed a tremor in my fingers.

I have terrible headaches and mood swings.

I keep asking everyone to try and get me a drink.

I'm ashamed of my behaviour and my family is vexed.

How can I help myself?

I'm not an alcoholic.

Dear sir,

The entire animal kingdom consists of creatures of habit and human being right on top of the animal kingdom is no different.One doesn't have to be addicted to alcohol or drugs to feel uncomfortable when one stops; just the fact that one is habituated to following a certain routinecan make it hard to stop.

Yes, you may not be an addict or may not be abusing alcohol or behaving badly, but you are unable to manage without it, which means you are addicted.It is a misconception that peopleaddicted to alcohol drink copious amounts and misbehave. Infact, anything that one cannot stop and that which causes a behavioural change when one stops abruptly can be considered a mild addiction.The restlessness, discomfort, mood swings, sleep disturbance and the tremors you are experiencing are withdrawal symptoms.The behavioral symptoms you are displaying are also due to the urge to drink. A habit that you probably did not know had enslaved you to it. Sometimes, we don't even realise that we have developed a habit to something that we never took seriously.

Tea,coffee, betel nut powder, tobacco products, cigarettes are some substances tainted as habit forming, but chalk, chocolate, food items, gadgets, cellphones, video games,or anything for that manner can be habit forming and affect our behaviour when we stop.

In fact sometimes,the strongest willpower can weaken when we try to shake off or modify our habits.

Please don't berate yourself. Speak to your family about your symptoms.Visit a physician and check your liver, kidney and other parameters. If you are diabetic or hypertensive, please do go for detailed lab work.Your physician may either prescribe some medication for your withdrawal symptoms, or may refer you to an addiction related specialist, usually a psychiatrist.

The medication, if prescribed, will ease your sleeplessness,mood swings,and tremours.

Seek counselling for issues like abstinence and denial management.Sometimes we refuse to acknowledge that we have a habit that's hard to shake off. Therapy willhelp shift that paradigm of thought and will inculcate better willpower and willingness to work on the issues at hand.The lockdown has taught us all lessons on life; this is your eye opener.All these days you were confident that a couple of drinks are harmless, but now you know that it has changed your personality and made you habituated.

This is your time to learn abstinence and get out of this as it could be harmful if continued.

Let this lockdown help you strengthen your resolve to take better care of yourself.Seek support from your family. This whole change in you must have come as a surprise to them too.

I'm sure with therapy and family support you will be a changed person.

- Dr Purnima Nagaraja,

Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist.

I am an IT professional now working from home due to the lockdown.

My husband has anger issues and throws things,breaks things and yells.We have no children

We have been married since 5 years and it is a love marriage.Every time my husband misbehaves,

pushes me around or insults me,he promises to stop.

Last week he hit me for the first time and also threw dishes at me.

I do not know the reason. Both of us working at home is probably

not working out as he is always breathing down my neck, critical of my work,

and gets angry for no reason.

I want this to work out, what can I do?

Hello!

It is a challenging time for all right now, and more challenging when the home situation is not harmonious, so I acknowledge your resilience.

Whatever you are describing of your husband is only an aggravation of an existing pattern.

You say yours was a love marriage. Did you see some glimpses of this aggression in him even then?

Or was this a surprise? Usually during courtship one tends to turn a blind eye to the obvious problems.

In any case the task on hand is to manage his behaviour. I hope your husband appreciates the fact that you had not considered any other action except to smoothen the working of your relationship.

We need to consider some points. First, understand what are the triggers- i.e. what evokes

strong reactions or aggression in him?

Could be something between you two, or in the environment, or outside factors too?

Also, what has been keeping you and him occupied enough to not disturb the peace usually, until now?

This point is crucial as it shows what either of you have been using to not deal with this actual relationship issue.

How are you perceiving this space without the children? Was not having children your decision or circumstantial need? What consequences is this bringing?

Another point to see is whether by accepting the apology after every misbehaviour you have possibly, without your knowledge, reinforced the aggressive pattern in him?

Also, was work or going out an escape route for you? Did it help you achieve a temporary truce?

In your relationship, did regular outings, movies or shopping sprees or any other indulgence of sorts keep your husband or you in a temporary happy mode?

At this point, are there possible activities you could do at home together, to temporarily facilitate peace?

Consider family or friends you can connect with online together, who may distract or entertain (Please do NOT do this if other people are triggers for his aggression).

Analyse your own feelings and emotional responses during all the conversations or when spending time together. Are you being on constant alert anticipating some reaction from your husband? If yes, then you have to work on calming yourself down.

Fear, worry and anxiety are always perceived very easily by others. When you are calm it can often neutralise the other's quick reactions. Please do things you love, relaxing activities, keep your body healthy by moving with gentle exercises, and try deep breathing through the day. Take care of yourself- body and mind.

Finally, do tell your husband that you will not take any kind of abuse. Please get professional help for marriage/couples counselling, which can be done online. Remember that aggression and violence of any nature is not the norm of a healthy respectful relationship. Note that as the law restricts travel right now, if you feel you are in danger, maybe consider people living close by whom you trust, where you can spend time; or consult legal aid, if that feels right.

Being in a lock down does not have to generate the feelings that one is in a lock up.

Globally people are experiencing exaggerated reactions right now.

But this is also the opportunity to address the deeper and unacknowledged concerns in any relationship.

Keep yourself calm and safe. Please reach out to us for further guidance, as this medium is very limited.

All the best!

- Dr Vasuprada Kartic,

Anthroposophic counsellor and Psychotherapist.

- This feature is in support of 'Rotary Kshemam' initiative for safe and happy communities. Do you have any relationship-related queries or issues with your friends, loved ones or family? For informed advice by professionals, send in your questions to features.thehansindia@gmail.com.

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