How to Help a Senior With a Hoarding Problem

How to Help a Senior With a Hoarding Problem

 

 

 

Senior Hoarding :

Causes, Risks, and What to Do About It

 

Senior hoarding issues are tough for caregivers to manage, both physically and emotionally. It’s well known that hoarding causes safety hazards like fall risk, blocked emergency access, and unsanitary living conditions. What’s not as well understood is the emotional side.

To help you care for a hoarder and the messy consequences, this post explains the difference between a pack rat and a hoarder and which emotions are behind the behavior, as well as how to provide emotional support, arrange help, and restore their home back to a livable condition.

 

 

Is It Hoarding?  The Difference Between a Pack Rat and a Hoarder

 

Many people like to hang onto mementos and multiples of useful items for both nostalgic and practical reasons. But there are key differences between someone who collects and someone who hoards.

A hoarder suffers from an inability to discard items and often acquires useless items. They keep stacks of unnecessary items, like junk mail and old newspapers. They might move things from pile to pile, but will never throw anything away.

Many people have a few items they feel emotionally attached to, but a hoarder has an excessive attachment to many possessions and will be uncomfortable if somebody touches them or asks to borrow their items.

They’ll also feel unable to get rid of any possessions and will end up living in cluttered spaces that are often unsafe, unsanitary, and/or hazardous.

The difference between a collector and a hoarder is that when someone is hoarding, their daily life is negatively impacted.

If you are reading this article, you likely already know you’re dealing with a hoarder, and not just a pack rat or collector, and have noticed the following:

 

Signs of Hoarding:

  • Avoids throwing away possessions that have no value to them or anyone else.
  • Experiences mild to severe anxiety about getting rid of anything.
  • Repeatedly adding to the hoard without recognition that there is a problem.
  • Rooms in their home can no longer be used for their intended purpose.
  • Possessions are negatively impacting their safety, health or hygiene.

 

 

Hoarding is Especially Dangerous for Seniors

 

Hoarding is dangerous for almost everyone, but it’s especially harmful for seniors. They’re more likely to fall in a crowded home and their health will be harmed by unsanitary or hazardous living conditions.

 

Hoarding results in serious side effects for older adults, including:

 

  • Preventing emergency care – firefighters or emergency medical technicians (EMTs) may not be able to get through the house to reach them
  • Causing physical danger – increased risk of falls or not being able to move around due to the extreme clutter
  • Refusing home help – won’t allow anyone into their home (usually due to embarrassment or fear of their stuff being disturbed), this negatively affects their nutrition, hygiene, and medication
  • Producing unsanitary conditions – spoiled food leads to pests and food borne illness
  • Creating fire hazards – piles of old papers, newspapers, or magazines can easily go up in flames

 

Recommended: DIY Easy Mold Test

 

Mental Issues and Hoarding

 

Senior hoarding issues could also indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s, dementia, or mental illness. In other cases, it could also be caused by Diogenes Syndrome, a condition that affects some seniors near the end of life. Diogenes Syndrome is characterized by hoarding, self-neglect, social withdrawal, and a refusal to accept help.

Hoarding is often accompanied by some degree of anxiety, which makes it difficult to treat – and tough for families to watch. And because hoarders tend to self-isolate, it makes their emotional well-being even more fragile.

When you’re caring for someone who hoards, it’s helpful to learn more about senior hoarding issues (see my book recommendation below). Understanding the emotional side of this behavior helps you work toward effective solutions in a kind and gentle way.

 

 

Hoarding Can Be Triggered By Trauma

 

Recently, it has been found that people who have hoarding symptoms are also more likely to have experienced a traumatic event in life. It could be that hoarding is a coping mechanism to deal with grief or loss.

This is important to consider if your older adult has only recently started the hoarding behavior. They could be trying to fill an emotional hole left by the trauma of losing a spouse or another major life change.

 

 

The Emotional Effect of Senior Hoarding Issues

 

Even though hoarding can be a coping mechanism for dealing with anxiety, trauma, or other mental struggles, it doesn’t provide real relief.

In addition, hoarding behavior often comes with poor decision making, procrastination, and a lack of organization. These impact all aspects of life and make it more difficult to have good quality of life.

And because hoarding is isolating, seniors who hoard typically have limited social interactions. They may even push you away or avoid you, damaging your relationship.

People’s perceptions of hoarders can negatively impact a hoarder as well. It’s easy for others to see hoarders as dirty or lazy, and those judgments can be difficult for them to hear and handle.

 

 

Struggling To Let Go Of Possessions

 

Hoarding is a complex and layered behavior. A hoarder could be dealing with any number of symptoms and conditions, from indecisiveness to anxiety and from trauma to social isolation.

Using hoarding as a coping mechanism could mean that there‘s something in the person’s life that is just too painful to face. Clutter builds up and provides comfort to the hoarder. Letting go of that comfort can feel excruciating.

In fact, hoarders can develop such strong attachments to their possessions that these items become more valuable to them than the people in their lives. Getting rid of something so valuable would feel similar to the extreme grief of losing a loved one.

That’s why if someone forces a hoarder to get rid of these items, their anxiety can intensify to unimaginable levels.

So even though it may seem like the most straightforward solution, do your best to not throw items away without permission or jump into a big cleanup without help from mental health professionals – it would be too emotionally distressing.

And if you do get rid of things without their approval, it will likely make them see you as an untrustworthy person. That makes it harder for you to continue helping them.

Do your best not to judge and remember that they greatly value the items you see as junk. A hoarder likely needs professional help to deal with their serious emotional issues before they can cope with cleaning up.

 

 

Emotional Help for Senior Hoarding – Avoid a Forced Cleanup

 

Not only would a forced cleanup cause extreme emotional distress, the person you care for will immediately return to their hoarding ways and fill up the space again.

What works better is to help your older adult see that hoarding is a problem. That doesn’t mean shaming the person. Instead, an empathetic and rational discussion (or several discussions) will help them gain the courage to do what’s best for themselves. Start by helping them see that a change needs to be made for their own safety.

If the hoarding is linked to a traumatic event, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is often an effective treatment. CBT helps the person cope with the emotions from the trauma and learn to manage their grief in a healthier way.

And even if the hoarding isn’t linked to a traumatic event, therapy is still helpful. Hoarding can’t truly be fixed until the root of the problem is found and addressed. For some people, medications that treat anxiety and depression may also be able to help with hoarding disorder.

Above all, be empathetic. Try to understand where your older adult is coming from and listen to what they have to say as you gently guide them towards recovery.

 

Visit the Doctor

Because hoarding is connected to health conditions or mental health issues, it’s likely that your older adult will need professional help. Having their doctor do a full evaluation will help figure out if the behavior is caused by dementia or other medical conditions.

 

Consider Therapy

If the issue isn’t related to a medical condition, therapy (sometimes in combination with medication) is a way to help seniors manage their hoarding behavior.

 

Practical Ways to Start Organizing With a Senior Hoarder

 

Start By Simply Talking About Decluttering

The first step to cleaning a hoarder’s home is starting a conversation with your loved one who is challenged with a hoarding disorder. Talk about your plans and emphasize the ideas of safety and confidentiality. Discuss how organizing their home will make it safer to live in and communicate that you’re only there for support, not to judge.  It’s important to involve your mental health professional in these conversations as well, if applicable.

One of the most important tips for working with someone who is challenged with hoarding is to meet them where they are at. They are the owners of their stuff; they are the ones in charge of the process. Talk with the person to understand how the items they are keeping meet their end goal, whatever their end goal may be.

Use neutral language when talking with a hoarder about decluttering plans. Words like ‘clutter’ or ‘unsanitary’ can trigger [someone], and cause them to become defensive; using neutral, non-threatening language allows you and your loved one to communicate freely without pointing fingers.

 

Recommended Reading:  Digging Out – Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding & Compulsive Acquiring

 

 

How to Create an Action Plan

 

Once all parties involved have agreed it is time to start cleaning the hoarder’s home, you will need to create an action plan to complete the project. Work with your loved one to create a plan they approve of and are ready to attempt.

 

Determine criteria for Getting Rid of Items

Sit down with your loved one and help them create a list of criteria to determine if something can be thrown away. Remember that these are their belongings and they are in charge of this process. Write down the criteria so everyone assisting can refer to them as needed. An example could be: All mail older than six months can be thrown away.

 

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Important Recommendation: This 3M Particulate Respirator Face Mask protects against dust, mold and paint

 

 

Make a Schedule

Decide the order you will tackle the rooms and how much time you’ll plan to spend in each room. Remember, tackling rooms individually is much more manageable than tackling the whole house.

 

Set Goals

Setting goals is an important step in helping someone with hoarding tendencies. Set concrete and attainable goals to keep everyone motivated. A goal could be organizing their items and moving them to an area of the house that can be used for storage; clearing enough space in entrances and hallways to improve accessibility and safety; or clearing a space where they will feel comfortable hosting company.

 

 

Plan For Waste Removal

 

When working with someone who has a hoarding disorder to clean their home, you will most likely be throwing away a lot of waste. As you declutter the home, you will need to have a fast and simple solution for moving the debris out of the home. Renting a dumpster is a good option if the project is a large one. You can take your time filling the dumpster and have it removed as soon as your clean-out is complete. Other options for waste removal include curbside pickup and junk removal services.

Keep in mind that someone with a hoarding disorder may be tempted to remove items from the debris pile if left alone.

 

 

Begin Organizing the Home

 

With your plan and waste removal strategy in place, you are ready to being cleaning and organizing the home. Cleaning and organizing are two different things. First declutter the home, then organize and finally, begin cleaning.

Follow your plan and go room by room. Using your predetermined list of criteria, identify and throw away worthless clutter and create piles for items to be kept and items to be donated.  Remember to discuss how each item being saved helps them meet their end goal.

 

For a practical detailed guide, read my blog post:

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Helping someone with a hoarding disorder is incredibly challenging. It will be an emotionally exhausting process, especially when you are working with someone you love. Remember to stay positive and be patient. Take frequent breaks and continue to have positive and encouraging conversations with your loved one.

The best goal for anyone is just to manage expectations, and ultimately to proceed with no expectations.

Working with a hoarder and helping them to live better in their space is really not about fixing the problem, but finding some kind of happy medium where you can make yourself feel better and alleviate a dangerous and/or unsanitary situation.

Hoarding is never really cured, just managed. Understand that the room you cleared out might not last for very long, and the solutions you created may not be long term.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on helping a senior with a hoarding issue.

I welcome your comments below.

 

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Clean Up and Organize a Hoarder’s Home

Signs That You Need to Check Your Indoor Air Quality

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

How to Safely Clean Away Mold in Your Home

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Tips For Easier Senior Car Travel

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!  Here’s How …

The Right Lighting Prevents Dangerous Senior Falls

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Help for Low Vision

 

 

How To Clean a Hoarder’s Home

How To Clean a Hoarder’s Home

 

 

 

Crucial Steps to Hoarding Cleanup

 

Going through a hoarder’s stuff is somewhat similar to a scavenger hunt, only without the fun usually involved in the game. You may find some valuable items in the hoard but instead of being thrilled you will be sad and sorry for the person suffering from a severe anxiety disorder that prevents him/her from assessing the true value of his/her possessions, making informed decisions, and having a normal lifestyle.

The affected individual will be most probably a friend or relative of yours, so the cleaning process will not only be very time-consuming and exhausting, but also rather emotional and difficult for you to deal with.

There are several crucial steps to take when cleaning a hoarder’s home in order to achieve a favorable outcome of such an overwhelming endeavor.

 

To clean a hoarder’s home, make sure you:

  1. Assess the situation
  2. Form a cleaning strategy
  3. Gather needed supplies
  4. Sort hoarded items
  5. Clean and restore the home

 

 

Assess the Situation and Create a Strategy

Hoarders lack the ability to classify items according to their actual value, so they tend to accumulate large numbers of useless things and never throw any of them away out of fear of losing something important.

The resulting piles of junk quickly build up to monstrous proportions, blocking most of the living space in the hoarder’s home and rendering normal everyday activities, such as cleaning, cooking, etc. impossible. Besides, the accumulated stuff harbors mold and bacteria growth, provides shelter to various kinds of pests, and poses fire hazards.

Quick and efficient measures are required to restore the hoarder’s home to safe living conditions but you need to approach the delicate situation with great patience and compassion in order to achieve satisfactory and sustainable results.

 

Address the Hoarder

Without a doubt, your greatest concern when faced with the difficult task of cleaning up a hoarder’s house will be how to help the affected person overcome his/her anxieties and resume a normal daily routine.

Decluttering and sanitizing the premises will restore the healthy living conditions in the hoarder’s home but will not restore his/her life. You need to earn the trust and respect of the affected individual first and convince him/her to actively participate in the cleaning process and keep his/her home neat and tidy in the future.

Special therapy treatment programs have been recently developed to help people with hoarding symptoms but your considerate and solicitous care is of paramount importance for improving the condition of a close friend or relative suffering from a hoarding disorder.

Of course, if you are about to clear a hoarder’s home after the affected person has already passed away, this aspect of the hoarding cleanup will no longer be relevant.

 

Secure Help

The laborious process of cleaning a hoarder’s home is too difficult to perform on your own. Not only are there many strenuous tasks to complete (removing large piles of garbage, repairing property damage, cleaning intensively, organizing the hoarder’s items, etc.), but you will also have to make a number of difficult decisions concerning the fate of specific items of sentimental value, documents, etc.

Enlist the help of close friends or family members to help you deal with all the aspects of hoarding cleanup in a quick and efficient manner.

 

Consider Your Own Safety First

Keep in mind that many threats may lurk in the home of a hoarder (biological contaminants, fire hazards, structural collapse, etc.) and consider your own safety first.

In case of excessive mold, animal waste, pest infestations, and other risky circumstances present in the hoarder’s home, call professional hoarding cleaning services to take care of the dangerous situation and complete the job quickly and safely.

Hiring experienced cleaning services for hoarders will ensure your peace of mind and will save you much time and nerves. You can receive more detailed information and learn the cost of cleaning a hoarder’s home by contacting hoarding cleanup specialists in your area.

 

Create a Plan

Assess the situation carefully, prioritize the work that needs to be done, figure out what you are going to need and how much time each specific task will take, and decide if you will take advantage of hoarding cleanup services or will try to manage on your own.

 

 

Protecting Yourself

 

As already mentioned, you need to ensure your own safety first. Get hold of disposable gloves, dust masks, and goggles to avoid exposure to mold, parasites, and other health concerns that may be present in a hoarder’s home.

Wear sturdy shoes and a hard hat when you enter the house and make sure you have:

  • a fire-extinguisher – the hoarder’s stuff may contain flammable materials and they can easily catch fire while you are inside;
  • a repellent spray – when you disturb the hoard, you may find out that it has given shelter to a number of pests;
  • a flashlight – you need to be able to see clearly in every nook and cranny of the hoarder’s home;
  • a first-aid kit – to disinfect and dress accidental wounds. Don’t forget your allergy meds and some pain relievers as well.

 

Be careful for sharp objects (knives, broken glass, etc.) that may hurt you and immediately call the professionals if you find evidence of bio-hazardous materials.

 

 

Gather Supplies

 

You will need appropriate cleaning equipment in order to remove the trash and disinfect the premises, as well as some tools for disassembling or repairing certain items.

Take lots of heavy-duty trash bags with you, as well as some empty boxes, plastic bins, buckets, universal cleaning agents and disinfectants, mops, sponges, wet wipes for cleaning, brooms, a dust pan, a step ladder, a heavy duty vacuum cleaner, a shovel, paint and a disinfecting spray, a set of hand tools and anything else you find useful under the circumstances.

Don’t forget to get a dumpster as you will need a place to put all the garbage and damaged items you need to get rid of.  You can rent a large dumpster from the city sanitation services and have it hauled off and disposed of for a small extra fee.

 

 

Prepare a Staging Area and Secure the Exits

 

You will need some free open space (a staging area) to temporarily put the contents of the hoarder’s home but most probably the rooms, porches, attics, and basements will be so cluttered that working there will be impossible. So, make sure you have cleared the outside area first to provide room for sorting out and organizing the hoarder’s items (if the weather is fine, of course – otherwise, you will have to find an appropriate covered area).

Keep in mind that the doors may be partially (or fully) blocked and venturing inside without having secured a safe escape route out is very risky. If a fire breaks out, for example, you may be trapped and unable to leave the property in time.  So, secure an exit and start removing the trash and debris from the nearest room first. Pile all the salvageable items in your staging area to deal with them later.

 

 

Starting the Hoarding Cleanup

 

Once you have secured your safety and prepared everything necessary, it’s time to begin cleaning the hoarder’s home:

 

Choose a Small Room to Begin With

Be warned that many hoarders seriously neglect sanitation, which can lead to health hazards, especially in the bathroom and the kitchen. So, these areas should be thoroughly cleaned out and sanitized at the earliest opportunity.

It’s a good idea to start with the bathroom, as you will need free access to clean running water and soap. Besides, you can finish the task really quickly. There is no chance of finding a valuable item in the bathroom, so just get rid of all the expired toiletries and half-used personal care items, old towels and filthy bathroom fixtures.

Give the bathroom surfaces an overall sanitization (you’ll clean better later on) and move on to the kitchen. Immediately remove any food, food remains and food containers, as well as obvious trash, to avoid the risk of infections and take all the kitchen items to your staging area where they can be categorized and cleaned later on. Clean a place where you can sit and rest or have a snack.

Move on to another room but leave closets and other storage areas for last as they will be particularly challenging – extremely disorganized and overflowing with stuff.

 

Empty Out the Rooms

Get rid of all the trash in a room first (not only obvious garbage but also items that are too damaged or too filthy to be used again). Be sure to check on local ordinances for handling stuff that can’t go directly in the trash, such as medicines, fuels, explosive substances, oil-based paint, etc. Put aside materials that can be recycled and safely dispose of the others.

Work from the top to the bottom – take out the items stacked up on tables, beds, chairs, etc. first and work down to the floor. Look through pockets and purses to check for cash or jewelry. Remove all the clutter from the room and even consider temporarily moving large furniture and appliances, so that you can thoroughly clean the premises.

 

Sort Out Salvageable Items

Sort out and classify the hoarder’s stuff into three groups:

  • useful items you are going to keep
  • usable items you are going to donate
  • useless items you are going to throw away

Most charities will come to get your donations, but don’t forget to contact them beforehand and gather relevant information – what kind of items they need and what they cannot accept, how to arrange free pick-up, etc. Keep any papers you receive from charity organizations, as you may be eligible for tax deduction when you donate to charity.

 

 Repair and Deep Clean the Property

When the house is free of trash and clutter, you can finally begin the intensive cleaning. This will be a very time-consuming and laborious process.

If any repair works need to be done, have them completed first. Any major restoration or renovation projects should be performed by certified and experienced specialists, of course. Contact professional cleaning and restoration services in your area to ensure efficient mold remediation (if necessary) and to have the premises properly dehumidified, deodorized, and restored to an excellent condition.

If there is no structural damage, at least consider repainting the walls and the ceiling and re-polishing or re-carpeting the floors before the home is ready to be moved back into.

If you will be cleaning the hoarder’s home without professional assistance, start with the ceilings and ceiling fans and move on to walls, windows, and any furniture left in the room. Make sure the entire place is properly disinfected, including fan blades, cabinets, closets, window sills, baseboards, toilets, bathtubs, showers, etc. Scrub the floors and wash or replace the curtains and the area rugs.

Thoroughly clean and disinfect any furniture pieces and appliances before moving them back to their rightful places and organize all the useful household items you have preserved in a neat and tidy manner.

If the hoarder will be moving back to his/her home after the cleanup help the affected person maintain a clean and clutter-free living space – create an easy-to follow maintenance plan, visit often, and provide further assistance if necessary.

If the property is going to be sold or leased out to tenants, you will be able to make a good deal after the cleanup, as the hoarder’s home will be completely restored to an excellent condition.

 

Recommended Reading:  Digging Out – Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding & Compulsive Acquiring

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information cleaning a hoarder’s home.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Help a Senior With a Hoarding Problem

Signs That You Need to Check Your Indoor Air Quality

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

How to Safely Clean Away Mold in Your Home

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Tips For Easier Senior Car Travel

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!  Here’s How …

The Right Lighting Prevents Dangerous Senior Falls

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Help for Low Vision

 

 

How to Stop Being Manipulated

How to Stop Being Manipulated

 

 

Signs That You’re Being Psychologically Manipulated

 

Have you ever experienced it at the hands of someone close to you? What about with a spouse, colleague, a boss, a friend, or a family member? Sometimes you may even be controlled by a neighbor!

Control is a powerful word. It is a powerful force within the human race. It denotes a power to dictate, influence, maneuver, or direct.

If you look up the term “control,” it is synonymous with intimidating words including: sway, authority, jurisdiction, command, dominance, mastery, sovereignty, supremacy, or ascendancy. These words are certainly intimidating to say the least, especially if you feel you are being controlled by someone unnecessarily.

No one likes to be controlled. It usurps our ability to act using free will, experience the world as we see it, and choose our values, beliefs, and actions without interference. On the flip side, if control never existed the world would be a mess, our jobs would not be performed as well, our lives would be chaotic, and we would lose the order we are accustomed to. This kind of control makes sense. We need this kind of control in our daily lives.

The type of control in which your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are being manipulated by another person can steal every ounce of who you are. The manipulation is so overpowering that you can begin to suffer shame, guilt, negative self-talk, or lowered self-esteem – at no fault of your own. If you see a continual pattern of this behavior, you are in an unhealthy and one-sided relationship.

Feeling controlled by someone can be one of the worst feelings. We’re individuals with an agency toward self-motivation and freedom. Control “cramps” our ability to explore the world around us, develop and grow in our own ways, and experience our ability to make decisions and learn from them.

Control can dismantle relationships (personal and professional), destroy trust, and make others defensive and resentful toward the perpetrator of control. As we all can probably agree, control must be balanced with boundaries, respect, compassion, understanding, and patience. Wouldn’t you feel better if your boss, spouse, or parent would balance control with patience, boundaries, and respect? Without these things, control becomes bondage and abuse.

It often isn’t easy to point out the control, stand up to it, and say “no more.”

I’m of the firm belief that control is spiritual, as well. It is a power that dominates us far beyond logistics and intelligence. That’s why in domestic violence situations (or even employee-employer relationships) the victim struggles to do exactly what they (and others) know they should do. Fear of abandonment or standing up for oneself is often a key factor in these situations.

 

Why Do You Allow Yourself to Be Controlled?

 

Fear may be present related to one or more of the following:

  • Loss of friendship or camaraderie
  • Loss of opportunity or employment
  • Development of a complicated or inaccurate social status/reputation
  • Argument or confrontation
  • Temporary feelings of discomfort
  • Loss of essentials/basics for living

 

It’s important to be able to identify control and abuse. It can come to you in a sweet way, a dominant way, a bribing way, etc. Narcissism, sociopathy, borderline personality traits, selfishness, and entitlement can show up in many toxic relationships.

Emotional manipulators drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it—their behavior truly goes against reason, so why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?

The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally, and approach your interactions with them like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink if you prefer that analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine, and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

 

Recommended Reading: 

 

 

See the Signs –

Pay attention to signs of psychological manipulation: do any of these examples sound familiar?

 

Keeping track of you

Unfortunately, there are people who will try their hardest to keep “track of you.” What I mean by this is the person who keeps in contact with you (only to keep lines of communication open) for their own benefit. For example, Bob (a long-time colleague who never liked you) may try to text, email, or find you online or at other social media platforms to see how far you have gotten in your life. His interactions with you may be sporadic and he may not even attempt to contact you more than 1-3x a year. This kind of person may have an intent to use you or manipulate you. It’s important for me to add that they may even “cyber-stalk” you.

 

What to do: In situations such as this, I encourage you to be very careful when it comes to how much you let this person into your world. It’s okay to have boundaries. You can’t 100% trust a person who didn’t like you at first and now wants to connect.  Take baby steps or no steps at all. And that’s ok.

 

 

They befriend you only when it’s convenient for them

Have you known a person who treats you really poorly and doesn’t give you the vibe that they like you, but then one day they begin to smile with you, laugh with you, and embrace you? Be careful. It is true some people can grow more accustomed to you and begin to like you. I’ve had people in my life reject me one minute and then accept me the next because they realized they misjudged me. But there’s always that small group of people who are not misjudging you. They just don’t like you. And that isn’t necessarily your fault!

 

What to do: You can’t fully trust someone who switches from kind to mean; mean to kind. We all have mood swings but I’m not referring to mood swings here. Keep up firm boundaries and be careful with what you tell them. Keep your life private. Do you really need to be an open book?

 

 

They text/email/instant message you with multiple emoticons

This may sound immature and more common to adolescents, but not necessarily.  Emoticons can be a nice way to express your emotions and get a point across. However, there are others who will “abuse” the emoticons as a way to control how you see them and their interactions with you. For example, a heated conversation my be occurring with someone via Facebook and to “control” you the person may litter the entire message with smiley faces, winks, hearts, etc. It throws you off. It can be misleading.

 

What to do: Look beyond the emotional control. Don’t respond to the emoticons unless you feel ok doing so or unless you are well aware of their “game.” I encourage you to also stay away from arguments via social media. Messages have a high possibility of getting mixed or confused via social media. Texting back and forth about emotional topics is also not a good idea. Do it the mature way (i.e., face-to-face or phone).

 

 

They smile with you and interact positively but you get a negative vibe

Women can be very guilty of this as men typically don’t act this way. But if you are interacting with someone who smiles with you, has a positive tone of voice, has positive body language (i.e., leaning toward you, touching you, listening, etc) but you don’t buy it 100%, keep your eyes open. Keep in mind that you could also just be misjudging them, too.

 

What to do: If you sense that someone isn’t being 100% honest with you or may be trying to deceive you, tread lightly. Don’t get caught up in what you hope happens. Be wise in what you share with them about your life and keep firm boundaries until you feel you are able to trust them. Also question why you suspect the person isn’t being honest with you. Are you envious or angry with the person? Do you struggle with trust? Has this person wronged you in the past?

 

 

They loan you something or put you in “charge” but then micromanage you

This is tough. The person may let you borrow some material possession, or money, or put you “in charge” of something and then give you absolutely no space. You’ll want to question if there is a foundation of trust and respect within the relationship.

 

What to do: If you feel the person isn’t trusting you, willing to let you borrow things, or seems as if they don’t care about your feelings, question the relationship. Consider why the person is this way and ask yourself if bringing up your feelings is going to help anything at all. Some people simply don’t trust you and have a need for control. If you feel uneasy with this, bring it up and explain – without being argumentative – that you don’t appreciate their attempts at controlling you.

 

 

You are being monitored like a child

Some people “monitor” those they love and care about for reasons that may be justifiable. In a loving relationship, for example, a husband may monitor his wife when she leaves the house to go shopping. He may call or text her to know of her whereabouts because he cares. However, if someone attempts to control where you are, how long you are away, and what you’re doing to a point where you feel suffocated, demeaned, or humiliated, you’ve got a problem you shouldn’t ignore.

 

What to do: Talk to the person about how they are making you feel and avoid being judgmental, angry, or frustrated when discussing it. The last thing you want to do is ignite a fire unnecessarily. Be calm and express how you feel. If you continue to see a pattern of this behavior, consider whether the relationship is worth it and if you’re likely to experience more controlling behaviors by the person in the future.

 

 

You are micromanaged or “given” an identity

No one likes to be micromanaged because the act itself can imply that you are not capable. However, the truth of micromanagement is that the person who is doing it is only doing it because they have anxiety, insecurities, or a need for control. Micromanagement doesn’t always have something to do with you. Even so, micro-managers are frustrating to say the least. What about people who push their interests onto you in hopes of “transforming” you?

 

What to do: Make it clear that you do not appreciate being micromanaged. You can do this in a variety of ways such as being subliminal (i.e., taking control without permission, answering the micro-manager in a way that displays your ability to take care of your responsibilities, staying on top of your responsibilities, etc). Once micro-managers see that you are in control and not them, they will (in some cases) back off. When it comes to your identity, just be who you are.

 

 

You are bombarded with expectations, rules, or wants by the controller

I have experienced this in multiple cases throughout my life and I can honestly say, this can feel like the worst type of control. Any encounter with this type of person can feel like a job. You also may feel let down time and time again by this person because all of your encounters are negative due to their need to control you in some way. For example, a person like this may see you shopping and instead of coming over to you to talk or say hi, they come over to you with a judgmental attitude, a barrage of questions, or may even ask you for a favor.

 

What to do: Avoid them until you are ready (or strong enough) to take their controlling behavior without getting angry. If you get angry or show any signs of anger, the controller will only flip things on you and blame you. Distance yourself little by little until you feel you are gaining better self-control. Minimize the person’s expectations, rules, or wants and keep in mind that you are only human. Do what you can but avoid feeling responsible for pleasing them. That’s not your job. And if you feel you need to “please” them, consider whether or not the relationship is healthy and worth it.

 

 

Staunch religious or moral/ethical standards are used to guilt-trip you

It is a wonderful thing to see God in operation in your life. It is great to desire God’s principles, values, truths, and desires in your life. But a person who uses these virtues against you to make you feel bad is attempting to control you. A true and loving God would never guilt-trip you. The God I know is steadfast in His precepts but never condescending or harmful.

 

What to do: Keep the truth in the forefront of your mind. Don’t let this type of person guilt-trip you. Now, there is a thing called a “conscience” and if you are feeling guilty about something own that and move on. It’s the only way to grow. But if you have nothing to be guilty about, don’t let this person guilt-trip you.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve identified a manipulator, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when and where you don’t.

You can establish boundaries, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you’re bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos.

The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to cross them, which they will. Remember: nobody can manipulate you without your consent and cooperation.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering. 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Laurie

 

Recommended Reading:

Narcissists Exposed: 75 Things Narcissists Don’t Want You to Know by Drew Keys. Read reviews.

 

You may also be interested in:

Are You Dating a Narcissist?

Is Your Guy Still Into His Ex?

How to Get Over Him

Preparing Yourself For a Psychic Reading – Sample Questions

Looking for Love After 40 – It’s Different

Losing a Loved One – Can a Psychic Medium Help You With Grief?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan for Your Unique Life

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

Should You Be Taking Probiotics Daily?

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

 

Are You Dating a Narcissist?

Are You Dating a Narcissist?

 

 

 

Don’t Ignore the Red Flags!

Image result for red flags

 

People are drawn to narcissists because they can be charming and charismatic. In fact, one study showed that their likable veneer was only penetrable after seven meetings. 

Many people find that courtship with their narcissistic partner was wonderful, but abuse soon followed.  With greater insight, however, most people would probably admit that there were signs that were overlooked.

 

 

 

Check Your Blind Spots

 

There are unconscious explanations why you might attracted to a narcissist. Here are some reasons why you might not recognize a narcissist:

 

Image result for love is blind

 

Sexual attraction

The greater the physical attraction and sexual intensity, the easier it is to ignore red flags. Individuals who can see auras maintain that sexual energy literally obfuscates mental and emotional energy — why lust is blind.

 

Seduction

Narcissists are skilled manipulators. Some can be quite seductive, and not just sexually. They may be adept listeners and communicators or allure you with, flattery, self-disclosure, and vulnerability — just the opposite of what you might expect from a narcissist.

 

Idealization

Often narcissists are very accomplished, successful, good-looking, powerful, and/or multi-talented. It’s easy to idealize them and want to share in the benefits of their exceptionalism, especially if you feel inferior. People with low self-esteem, such as codependents, are more likely to idealize someone they admire. They may be drawn to typical narcissistic traits that they themselves lack, such as power and boldness. The downside is that idealization makes us ignore contrary information.

 

Familiarity

If you had a narcissistic parent, being with a narcissist will feel familiar — like family. This attraction happens beneath consciousness and is often referred to as “chemistry.” With personal therapy, this attraction can change so that you easily spot someone who is abusive or self-centered. You might even be repelled instead of attracted to a narcissist.

 

Codependency

If you have low self-esteem or are codependent, you may be unaware of your feelings, which can guide you. You may not feel entitled to respect and having your needs and wants met. Most codependents tend to accommodate and people-please other people — a perfect fit for a narcissist. This predisposition is stronger in early dating when you’re trying to make a good impression. Thus, you might overlook or rationalize feelings of discomfort and anxiety that signal trouble. If something does bother you, you won’t speak up about it and try to forget it.

 

 

Watch For the Red Flags

 

Self Centeredness

For narcissists, the world revolves around them. Other people are only two-dimensional, meaning that narcissists can’t empathize. They’re in their own reality and see you as an extension of themselves to satisfy their needs and wants.

When you talk to your date, is he or she interested in getting to know you, or talk only about themselves? Amazingly, some people do, as if their listener doesn’t exist. This is a tell-tale sign that you will feel invisible in the relationship. If you felt invisible in your family, you might take this for granted. You could possibly feel validated by the attention you give as a good listener. Beware that this pattern will likely continue.

As mentioned above, some narcissists are skilled communicators and will appear fascinated by you, even mirror your interests to make you like them. They may be good at short-term intimacy and make you feel like a king or queen; but eventually, they don’t keep up that act. You’ll discover that their motive is to get what they want; for example, sex, but that they’re not interested in getting to know more about you, your family, problems, or successes.

Be aware of other signs of lack of consideration: walking far ahead of you, making you track them down for a return phone call, arriving late, disregarding your boundaries and needs, or interrupting conversations to take calls from other people.

 

Arrogance

Narcissists feel superior to other people, and can be rude or abusive when don’t get what they want. This is revealed in their behavior and how they talk about themselves and others.

Is your date a fault-finder who criticizes or blames others, the opposite sex, or an ex? One day he or she may be bashing you. When you go out, notice how he or she treats waitresses, car hops, and vendors. Does he or she show other people respect, or act superior to other certain groups, such as minorities, immigrants, or people of less means or education?

Narcissists like to be associated with high-status people and institutions. They think they’re the best and want to surround themselves with the best. This is due to insecurity. Does your date think only his or her school is the best, and require the best car, the best table at the best restaurant, the finest wines, and wear expensive labels, or name drop public figures they know? This may impress you, but will later depress you when you feel ignored or like a prop in their life.

 

A Sense of Entitlement

This trait is a give-away. It reveals how narcissists think that they’re the center of the universe. They not only believe they’re special and superior to others, but also that they deserve special treatment and that rules don’t apply to them.

Does your date refuse to turn off  his or her cell phone at the movies, expect others to do favors, cut in line, steal things like tableware, airline blankets, or hotel ashtrays, or insist on special treatment from the parking attendant, restaurant maitre d’, or waiter? If you’re a woman, does he expect you to drive to his neighborhood? A relationship with this person will be painfully one-sided, not a two-way street.

Narcissists are only interested in getting what they want and making the relationship work for them.

 

Bragging

Although because narcissists want to believe they’re superior and the best, they’re actually insecure. Hence, they need constant validation, appreciation, and recognition.

They seek this by bragging about themselves and their accomplishments. They may even lie or exaggerate. People who brag are trying to convince themselves and you of their greatness.

 

 

Control and Manipulation

Narcissists put their needs first. They may manipulate you with flattery, belittling, or threats. Their lack empathy may show when planning a date. Time and place might be a difficult negotiation or on their terms, especially if they sense that you’re interested in them.

Initially, they may want to please you to win you over, but once they’ve made their “catch,” they want to please themselves. It’s the chase, not the catch that motivates them. Once they’re victorious, they can lose interest, and move on to the next conquest before it gets too emotionally intimate. If not, they’ll be emotionally unavailable and keep you at a distance, because they’re afraid if you get too close, you won’t like what you see.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Listen to what your dates say about themselves and past relationships. Do they take responsibility or blame other people? Pay attention if they admit to serious shortcomings, commitment issues, infidelity, criminality, addiction, or abuse. Equally important, notice if you feel anxious or uncomfortable, pressured, controlled, ignored, or belittled.

Find out about narcissistic relationships, why narcissists are codependent, and why they’re drawn to codependents and vice versa. In recovering from codependency, you’ll build self-esteem, your estimation of your worth will rise, and you’ll expect to be considered, listened to, and treated well. You’ll convey an expectation of respect by maintaining healthy boundaries, by being assertive about your opinions, feelings, needs, and wants, rather than people-pleasing.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering. 

If you would like to speak with a psychic to help you move toward a happier life,  I recommend Psychic Access.

All Psychic Access psychics are tested and verified, and you can start with a totally free reading to see if it feels right for you.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Laurie

 

Recommended Reading:

Narcissists Exposed: 75 Things Narcissists Don’t Want You to Know by Drew Keys. Read reviews.

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Stop Being Emotionally Manipulated

Is Your Guy Still Into His Ex?

How to Get Over Him

How to Make Your Man More Romantic

Preparing Yourself For a Psychic Reading – Sample Questions

Looking for Love After 40 – It’s Different

Losing a Loved One – Can a Psychic Medium Help You With Grief?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan for Your Unique Life

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

Should You Be Taking Probiotics Daily?

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

 

 

Preparing Yourself For a Psychic Reading

How to Prepare Yourself for a Psychic Reading

 

 

Approach your reading in a way that will help you get the most benefit.

 

So you’ve been thinking about getting a psychic reading?

If you’ve never had a reading before then like most you’re probably a bit on the skeptical side while at the same time nervous about who and what will come through. There are a few things you can do to prepare for your first psychic reading and a few things you can expect!

A psychic reading is not something that you should go into on a whim. Rather, you should spend some time before your reading preparing yourself emotionally and spiritually for the experience ahead of you. One element of this preparation is coming up with questions that you would like to ask the psychic or psychic medium.

This clarifies your expectations and your motivations for the reading, but also helps to structure the reading so you can get more meaning out of it. Knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them helps you to approach your reading in a way that will help you get the most benefit.

 

 

Ask Your Psychic The Right Questions

 

Avoid Overly Simplified Questions

While you should expect to answer questions that are asked by your psychic or psychic medium with a simple “yes” or “no” in order to avoid sharing too much information, these are the types of questions that you should avoid asking during your reading. Not only do these overly simplified questions give you very little in terms of qualification of the reader’s abilities, but they can also create even more questions than you already have. Getting a “yes” or “no” answer leaves you wondering why that is the answer you got, or worried because it wasn’t the answer you wanted, or falsely comforted by getting the answer you wanted without knowing the important reasons behind it.

Your questions should be open-ended to encourage a more detailed answer that allows you to interpret intuited information. The answers should not be a firm end, but rather an opportunity for you to explore concepts and ideas. When asking your reader questions remember that the purpose of your reading is to guide you, not to tell you what to do or why.

 

Don’t Look for Specifics

While a psychic or psychic medium may have heightened abilities to sense or predict things, they cannot truly tell you the specifics of how your life will unfold. Asking questions that are “when”, “where”, or “who” motivated will only leave you with an unsatisfying answer that could cause you to make decisions you wouldn’t generally make just because you were trying to fulfill the predictions in a way that you want.

For example, if you ask how you are going to meet your future spouse, your reader could be able to tell you that you will meet at work. This answer, however, could leave out the important information that you will be changing jobs, that your future spouse isn’t going to be a coworker, or that you will hate him upon first meeting.

 

Focus on Your Behaviors

Rather than looking for simple answers or being told exactly what you should do, focus on questions that guide your behaviors. Utilizing your own perceptions and intuitions is always better than relying solely on the advice or perceptions of a psychic or psychic medium. This allows you to develop your life based on your own needs and feelings rather than forcing decisions and situations based on answers that are up for interpretation.

 

 

You Hold the Power

 

Regardless of what anyone says, psychic or not, we have the power over our own future. The decisions we make and our actions sum up for what will happen to us, and there is no one who can say otherwise.

Even though it may seem that visiting a psychic reader means giving up control over ourselves and the future, it isn’t the case. In fact, what these readings may help us is to find our path, release any unpleasant incidents that may have occurred in the past, and look forward to a brighter future. This is why,it is important to be sure whether you are ready for a reading.

 

 

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Psychic Reading

 

Dos…

» Keep a clear head. Leave all your worries at home, think positive, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The magic in all of this is that your positive belief towards life, yourself, and the unknown future. I know that many times, thinking positive is out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring negative thoughts to upset yourself and affect the decisions you make. Remember, there are “possibilities” in “impossibilities”.

 

» Have your questions ready before you visit the reader. You don’t want to be at loss of words during your session because you’ll only be wasting your and the psychic’s time. A good way to be prepared is to write the questions / concerns on index cards, so you don’t get flustered and forget why you visited the psychic in the first place.

 

» Remember, psychic readings take time and can leave you feeling vulnerable and emotional. So if you can, schedule your appointment on the day when you don’t have a lot to do, work or at home. After the reading, you should try to find some alone time and think about what the reading said, and you can incorporate it into your life.

 

» Clarify any doubts you may have. It’s better that all your concerns and queries be cleared at the reading. Spending unnecessary time and money on the same questions is pointless. You don’t want to dwell on the same issue(s) again and again.

 

Don’ts…

» Expect that the psychic will make the decisions for you. What a psychic does is give you a brief look at what you can expect in the future, if you made certain decisions. If you are looking to seek advice as to what you should do about a particular situation, then you’re taking this whole thing in the wrong light. What you should expect are insights, guidance, and information that can help you make a better decision. You are commander of your life, no one else.

 

» Keep quiet and wait around during your session. If the psychic is giving some information about yourself, your past, or anything that is vital, do let him/her know. If there are any discrepancies, don’t just sit there and let the psychic move on. The reading is for your benefit and you want to make sure that you get the most out of it. There can be times when the psychic might go to a different path, talk about some other topics that he/she may feel are critical and strong enough to talk about. Don’t take this as the wrong thing and see to it that your questions are being addressed.

 

» Visit a psychic if you are going there just to prove them wrong. This will accomplish nothing. Many times, people who are skeptic towards psychic reading tend to withhold information about themselves and want to see if the psychic can somehow know it. You are spending your money and time (also the psychic’s) for the session.

 

» Take any alcohol or drugs before your reading. It is advised that you are absolutely sober, for at least 12 hours before your reading. If you want your psychic to read you properly and accurately, nothing should hinder it; you need to have a clear mind.

 

While understanding and knowing how to prepare for a psychic reading, rest assured that whatever happens during a reading, it will remain confidential. So, even if there are certain things you and the psychic talked about, may be embarrassing or you would like to keep to yourself, you don’t have to worry about the information leaking out.

If you are confused about what questions to ask the psychic reader, focus on what you want out of your life. Are there any issues regarding work, home, love life, or finding a spiritual path. When you think in these terms, searching and discovering answers will be much simpler.

 

 

Examples of General Questions

 

Here are some general questions on general topics such as life, relationship, finance and work that you may want to use in order to help you formulate furthers that will delve deeper into such topics.  Remember that these questions are meant to serve as jump points for discussion, and will help your intuitive zone in and focus on one specific aspect of your life.

 

  • Why am I not happy with my life?

 

  • How can I live a better life, full of purpose and happiness?

 

Get a Free Reading Now

 

  • Is the person I’m currently in a relationship with “The One”?

 

  • How can I make my current romantic relationship even better?

 

  • How will I improve my financial situation?

 

  • Am I on the right career path?

 

  • Is shifting careers a wise move considering the current economic climate?

 

  • How will I improve my health?

 

  • What are the things that I should consider dropping, as they are very stressful to me?

 

  • What do I need to do in order to balance my health, mind and spirit better?

 

If you have other concerns and questions that aren’t on the list, feel free to add it to the list of questions that you want to ask your psychic.

 

 

Final Thoughts

There are many very good, ethical, fair, and honest mediums and psychics, and the service which they can render to the seeking soul is, truly, priceless; but you’re reading will be more satisfying if you do your part to prepare your emotions and your questions.

Getting on the road to making yourself a better person is the first step to improving your situation and views, so it’s great that you’re taking steps to self-improvement.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article comforting and helpful. 

When you are ready to try speaking with a psychic or medium to help you move toward a happier life, try a free reading at Psychic Access;  I recommend Psychic Access because their psychics are tested and verified, and because you can start with a totally free reading to see if it feels right for you.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Laurie

 

Recommended Reading:

Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t by Michael J. Losier. Read reviews. 

 

Can a Psychic Medium Help You With Grief?

Can a Psychic Medium Help You With Grief?

 

Image result for grief

 

Spiritual mediums help bridge the gap between the living and those who have passed. 

 

There is no emotion as intense and painful as grief. When you lose someone close, feelings of loss, loneliness and despair are beyond anything you have felt before. Grief is primal, raw, rasping and engulfing. Emotions wash over you uncontrollably. One minute you are empty and dead inside. The next you are full of hatred for the illness, accident, perpetrator or old age that took your loved one from you. The intensity takes your breath away. Many people find comfort in the presence and services of a psychic medium;  a psychic reading can help you grieve, and how it can offer you hope… and the strength to keep going.

When we lose a loved one, our lives change. But it doesn’t have to be a long, never ending dark tunnel. After the shock, confusion, surrealism and deep sadness start to lift as we go through the grief process, there can be rejuvenation–a new lease on life. But it’s important to accept that you’re in a new reality and there is a new relationship with your loved one and a new relationship with yourself.

Meeting or speaking to a psychic medium is one way of taking the first few steps toward acceptance. A good psychic or spiritual (the terms are interchangeable) medium helps you understand your loved one is always near. Even though you cannot feel their physical presence, they are with you. Learning you are wrapped in love is comforting beyond measure. Knowing that you will always be connected is so reassuring. Somehow, you receive the strength to carry on with your life and even begin to feel good about it.

 

 

 

When is the Right Time for a Psychic Reading?

 

It’s best to wait a little while before contacting a psychic reader. At the very beginning, you might feel you need to cling to some remnant or spirit of the one who has died. Yet, now, you may not be able to listen to the message. Give it some time – how long is dependent upon how you are feeling. Once you feel ready to make contact, you will know it.

If you can wait until the rawness and shock that comes from a death has settled a little then you and the spirit communicator will be able to build a much more stable bridge of love between the two worlds and the medium’s work will be much more accurate and evidential. Try to wait at least three months before setting out on your spiritual quest. And remember that sometimes it can take a long time to get the absolute proof you need that life continues after death but persevere as you will eventually get the comforting proof you need.

One thing you shouldn’t do is become addicted to psychic readings. Some people live their lives through readings and become completely immersed in the spirit world. They are wholly focused on their next ‘fix’. Unless you are a medium yourself, you should avoid this. You still have a life to live in this world.

In the same vein, you should also avoid hopping from one psychic to another. Each will have their own style and you could become confused and disillusioned. Create a good relationship with one, possibly two, but no more than that.

 

 

 

Frequency of Readings

 

If you are wanting to touch base with your loved one; making sure all is well with them, once or twice a year is fine. Of course, it depends on the individual. Some have written books and websites about their experiences with the psychic world, so are happy to have an ongoing dialogue. As long as it doesn’t become an addiction, as described above, there’s no problem in keeping in touch as necessary.

Anniversaries, Christmas, birthdays and Valentines are good occasions to have a psychic reading. But don’t book a reading for someone else because you think it will make a great surprise gift for them. It may well be exactly what they want, but do ask them first.

 

 

 

Steps to Ease Your Spirit As You Grieve

 

Surrender

We can’t control the fact that we’ve lost someone we love. And we can’t bring them back. But we can move forward into a more peaceful state of being. Surrendering is letting go of the pain (even for a moment) so you can live in the present. It knows that something bigger than ourselves is protecting us.

Whenever you feel that wave of grief, surrender to it. When you’re overwhelmed, see the word “surrender” in your mind’s eye. Say, “I surrender” to yourself.  This will act as a reminder to let go for a moment.

 

Forgive Yourself

You may have guilt around your loved one’s death. You may feel responsible, blaming yourself for not doing enough. We must remember that this was their life’s path. To move through the grief it is important to forgive yourself so you can free yourself to heal.

 

Connect With Your Loved Ones

If you are open to the idea that their spirit is alive, there are many ways to connect with your loved one. Going to a Spiritual Medium is a great way to do that. Many have found solace in the messages they receive from their loved one on the “other side.” 

You can also connect with them on your own, in your daily life. The key is to send them love and light energy. As you heal yourself through the grieving process you may find a deeper connection to your loved one. There may be signs and messages that occur. Stay open and aware. Talk to your loved one. They want to connect with you if your heart is open.

 

Nurture Yourself

It is so important to take care of yourself. Take time to take care of YOU. Remember you are still here and there is life ahead of you. There is joy to be experienced. Do the things that make you the happiest right now. Even if it’s something small like going for a walk, watching a favorite movie over and over, or making your favorite dish and eating it with a loved one.

 

Meditate

There is nothing more powerful we can do than meditation. It quiets the mind, energizes the soul and creates a more peaceful state of being. It can be the anchor that gets you through your day. Find a meditation that works for you. From Passage Meditation to Transcendental Meditation. Try and practice it every day even if it’s for a few minutes. Start with 5 or 10 minutes. And work up to longer sessions or more frequent sessions.

 

Dream of Them

When you go to sleep ask your loved one to visit you in your dreams. Think about them. Send them love. It is thought that when we dream of our loved ones who have passed on, it is their way of communicating with us.

 

Create

Keep a journal, write and recite poetry, paint a picture, take a photograph, make jewelry, sculpt, sing, act, even create a memory book of your loved one. Whatever your creative passion or interest is, tap into it. Even if it’s a very small creative project. Creating connects us to our deeper selves. That’s where the healing is.

 

Garden

Gardening is giving life. The process of watering and nurturing is healing. Watching a plant or a garden grow will create a peaceful state of mind. You can even grow your loved one’s favorite plant of flower. Talk to your loved one while you are gardening. Feel their presence.

 

Exercise

When we exercise, it releases endorphins, which expedites feelings of happiness. Find an exercise you love to do. The deep breathing associated with exercise can also release pent up sadness and trigger tears that need to come out. It’s a healthy sign to emote and can help get you through the grieving process.

 

Ritualize

Creating ritual around the memory of a loved one is a powerful way to keep them with us. After all, that’s what most of us want. We miss them. We want to feel their presence. The ritual can be whatever you want it to be. It can be an altar-like corner in your home. Or you can create an “active altar” by doing an activity as you remember them. Perhaps something they loved to do. Or you both loved to do together.

 

Pray

Asking for guidance and support is important now. Prayer is a powerful way to attain that. Remember when you pray, don’t just say words in a rote fashion, feel your feelings. That is where the power is. Just the practice of saying a prayer can help navigate your grieving because it is an action step and a tool toward healing.

 

Get Support

Getting outside help from bereavement groups and therapists is important and can help you deal with the stages of grief. It’s especially important if you find yourself in an ongoing depression. This is a fragile time and it’s essential that you seek the help you need.

 

Final Thoughts

You will never “get over” the loss (don’t let anyone tell you that you will). This is an experience that will live with you for the rest of your life. But you can take this difficult time and create a positive outcome. You can find a way to put your loss and the memory of your loved in a special place in your heart that you carry with you from this moment on.

To move beyond your grief can be a journey of self-discovery– to see yourself and your life in a new way. But, the way to move through and beyond the grief process requires that you are open and that you take action.

Remember. This is YOUR journey. This is a time to explore who YOU are. The grief you are experiencing does ease with time. And take all the time you need to get through this life challenge. Be gentle with yourself. Surround yourself with positive, loving people and great experiences. And you may find that your heart has opened to a wonderful new life as you carry the memory of your loved one forever.

 


Get A FREE Reading Now!

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article comforting and helpful. 

When you are ready to try speaking with a psychic medium to help you find peace with your loss, try a free reading at Psychic Access;  I prefer Psychic Access because their psychics are tested and verified, and because you can start with a totally free reading to see if it feels right for you.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

-Laurie

 

 

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Are Therapy Dolls and Fidget Blankets Good for Dementia Patients?

Are Therapy Dolls Good for Dementia Patients?

 

 

 

 

Therapeutic Baby Dolls for Alzheimer’s Patients

 

A helpful, non-drug way to calm and soothe seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia is to give them a soft, lifelike baby doll to cuddle. These therapy dolls can even be effective in calming older adults with severe agitation or other significant behavioral issues. (Image above is of  Paradise Galleries Lifelike Realistic Baby Doll, Cuddle Bear Bella.)

 

Why Use Therapy Dolls for Dementia?

 

Therapy dolls help seniors feel useful and needed and give them something positive to focus on. Similar to the effect of soft toys like stuffed animals, hugging something soft helps someone with dementia soothe themselves.

 

 

Another reason therapy dolls are helpful is that they bring back happy memories of early parenthood for both women and men.

 

 

A video is worth a thousand words on this topic:  

Video: Baby Doll Interaction with Dementia

 

 

 

Having a child to care for can also ease feelings of isolation and sadness. After all, most of us have seen or experienced the way that interacting with real babies can quickly lift spirits and calm nerves.

Many older adults will enjoy rocking and cuddling their doll. Some even adopt the baby as their own and make caring for it part of their daily routine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Introducing Doll Therapy to Your Senior

 

The best approach is to casually introduce the doll to your senior and let them decide if they like it or not.

If they have no interest in the doll, don’t make an issue out of it. They may change their minds in the future so you could always give it another try in a few weeks or months.

 

A few tips:

 

  • Don’t act like the doll is a doll, refer to it as a baby and treat it like a real child.
  • Get a lifelike doll, but one that doesn’t cry – that could be upsetting.
  • Don’t force it, allow your senior to get to know the doll slowly.

 

 

 

 

Try it out, see how your older adult responds, and be flexible.

 

 

Fidget Products for Alzheimer’s

 

Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia may show anxiety or agitation through fidgety hands.

Signs include pulling or rubbing at clothes or bedding, rubbing hands together, twisting fingers, wringing hands, and generally keeping hands in motion.

Sensory therapy or fidget toys are an effective way to reduce anxiety, calm nerves, and provide comfort.

These are simple touch-based activities that help someone with Alzheimer’s keep hands busy in safe, soothing ways.

 

 

 

 

 

Make A Fidget Box or Basket

 

It’s also easy to make your own fidget box or basket. Pull out the box when your older adult needs something to do and throw everything back into the box when they’re done.

Get a container and fill it with some inexpensive odds and ends you can find in your house, make quickly, or buy at the dollar store.

Gather things in a variety of colors and textures, like:

 

  • Things with zippers or velcro closures

 

 

 

  • Brightly colored plastic springs (like a Slinky)
  • A row of buttons sewn firmly onto a ribbon
  • A piece of soft fleece or faux fur
  • Old keys on a key ring 

 

Some seniors are comforted by keeping a familiar item with them, like a purse or wallet. Try filling an old purse or wallet with a few dollars, coins, play money, or faux credit cards so your older adult can rummage through whenever they like.

 

Are Dolls and Fidget Blankets Controversial?

 

You may have heard from caregivers who say their older adults are much calmer and happier now that they have their own baby doll. They’re relieved to have found a non-drug solution that eases their senior’s dementia symptoms.

Some people, however, are concerned that giving their older adult a doll or a “toy” would be demeaning or patronizing. But when someone has dementia, helping them feel safe and happy in their current reality is the top priority. That’s why we sometimes need to consider unconventional approaches like baby dolls, fidget blankets, and other simple activities and toys.

 

Another Idea:  Coloring Books For Seniors

 

Boredom in older adults can cause problems, including difficult behavior and depression. And, seniors who have moved in with relatives or into assisted living are more likely to be bored because their lives have changed so much.

Coloring may sound like a simple activity to ward off boredom, but a great coloring book and a set of coloring pencils can actually improve health!

A research study found that adults 65 or older who engaged in creative activities had better overall health, made fewer visits to the doctor, used less medication, and had fewer health problems. Wow!

It’s also an excellent mood booster and de-stresser – making it a perfect activity for caregivers too!

Coloring is great activity for seniors to explore their artistic side. These fine art coloring books are lots of fun, even for people who don’t enjoy painting or free-hand drawing.

They’ll get the joy of creating a beautiful work of art with no artistic skills required!

I found some inexpensive, non-childish coloring books seniors will love, with subjects which will interest many older adults.

 

Colored pencils, crayons, or watercolor paint can be used on the high-quality paper. And don’t forget a good quality pencil sharpener!

The pages in adult coloring books are perforated so they’re easy to remove for display.

Also, the lines in the adult coloring books are gray, so they’ll basically disappear after the pictures are colored in, making it look even better.

Your senior will be proud to display their finished artwork.

 

 

Of course, the decision is entirely up to you since you know your older adult best.

 

If you think a therapy doll, a fidget blanket or activity, or coloring might help them feel better and enjoy life more, why not give it a try?

It’s an inexpensive “treatment” with no side effects.

No matter what the activity or toy, just remember that the goal is to engage your older adult in something fun and keep their hands happily occupied.

There’s no right or wrong way to do it and no specific goal to achieve – whatever feels good to them is perfect!

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Overcommitted and Burned Out

 

 

 

 

We in the ‘civilized’ Western world have way more to do than is doable.

 

Does the term “overcommitted” fit you?  If you are a caregiver, likely it does.  

 

You probably don’t have time to read this, but I am glad you are.

 

 

 

 

Defining and Studying Overcommitment

 

According to a German study , the term ‘overcommitted’ refers to people who are doing way too much. And more specifically, we also have a high need for approval for the things that we do.

 

We are talking about a type A behavior personality where a person has a lot of ambition, likes to control things, and needs approval too.

 

People who are overcommitted generally try to do much more than is humanly possible, and they use up their all energy in the process, to the point that they can get sick to the point of exhaustion and poor health. In some natural medicine circles, this will lead to what is called ‘adrenal fatigue’, a condition where the adrenal system is working sub optimally.

 

 

Why Overcommitment Is Not Good For You

 

Overcommitment has been shown to lead to a number of issues including:

 

  • depression
  • diabetes
  • sleep problems
  • inflammatory disease (like autoimmune illness) and
  • cardiovascular disease.

 

When you are temporarily overcommitted, and in an anxious state, your body tries to help you cope, by making many more stress hormones and also chemicals that can raise inflammation in your body. In the short term, these will help you muster the energy to cope with the stressor and get through.  It is like when you are running from a bear, you want those stress hormones to kick up your speed and make you stronger. And you want those inflammation molecules just in case there is a fight, so you can fight the infection from any injury that might happen.

 

Unfortunately, overcommitted people run hot like this all the time. They are always running from the “bear.”  In the long term, these stress hormones and inflammatory chemicals tend to start doing more damage than good: they beat up the brain, the linings of the blood vessels. They deposit fat in places they shouldn’t and there’s often poor blood sugar control. This is why so many diseases become more likely when we are overcommitted.

 

When you are chronically running from a bear, you will notice your resilience to stress starts to buckle too. Your sleep can be affected, and for women, hormonal issues start cropping up, including difficult periods with pain and emotional challenges, fertility issues and sufferable menopause symptoms too. For men, libido and sexual performance will go way down, fatigue takes over, and anxiety and depression can hit as well. For those genetically prone, they may end up with allergies, headaches, migraines, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, high blood pressure, or the opposite postural hypotension (a condition where blood pressure drops easily).

 

The German study from 2008 looked at 53 teachers (20 men and 22 women).  Teachers are a group notoriously known to overcommit despite the fact that they are given little appreciation.  They tested each person to find out who were over-committers, and who were not. What they found was the people who were demonstrated to be overcommitted in their lives had a tough time creating the stress response needed to keep up with the demands of life. Like in the case of adrenal fatigue, these people were running from the bear for so long, they couldn’t even make the hormones they needed to keep it up.

 

This makes these teachers and all of us over committers especially vulnerable to the burnout.

 

 

How To Protect Yourself and Heal from Overcommitment

 

Overcommitment syndrome as a very common underlying cause of illness. While most people can’t just completely stop their lives,there are a few ways to rethink and support your mind and body:

 

 

 

 

1 – Sleep a little more

Sleep is the best way to rejuvenate the body and the stress system. Trying to get to bed early (by 10 or 11 PM) goes a long way to lower inflammation and heal. Don’t exercise if you are not getting enough sleep, for you may deplete yourself more.

 

 

 

 

2 – Remember that ‘no’ is a sentence: it’s okay to say no sometimes.

 

Realize that you do not have to go to everything. You also don’t have to be the volunteer for that church or community project, because you feel guilty. You may not need to check all those emails or answer every facebook comment at night. You can also opt out of extra work – it won’t kill your career. It’s okay to let someone else do it;  delegate when you can.

 

 

 

 

 

3 – Meditation: even one minute twice a day will help shift your body from “I’m running from a bear” stress mode to “I can be in the present” mode.

 

 

This will open up your digestive tract and lower inflammation in the body, as well as allow your brain to repair from all the stress hormones. Overcommitters live in the future – visiting the present can help break the cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

e-factor-diet-cover

 

4 – Eat a High Energy Diet, and Lose Weight if Necessary

Being well-nourished and at a healthy weight will increase your resilience.  Read about the diet I recommend for weight loss and energy.

 

 

 

 

 

5 – Take some Supplements:

 

Supplements for general health and mood, as supported by research, are a high quality multivitamin/mineral supplement , a fish oil supplement  and a probiotic.  These can help gently support systems that are constantly under siege.

 

 

Recommended: MegaFood One Daily, Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega 3 Fish Oil and Naturewise Time Release Probiotics

 

 

 

 

6 – Find places for support: look towards friends, family, and other overcommiters to share the burden.

 

http://www.thelifeofsingleparents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/bigstock-Priorities-List-65174149-704x454.jpg

 

 

7 – Prioritize: going along with #2, know that you can’t do everything… so sit down in a quiet place and pick what is most important and make that the focus.

 

 

 

8 – Adrenal Testing and Support: There’s a test called a saliva adrenal test or saliva stress test, and it can show function of your adrenal system.

There are correlations between non-optimal adrenal function (aka “adrenal fatigue”) associated with orthostatic hypotension, POTS Syndrome (postural orthostatic tachycardia), chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, as well as inflammatory issues like lupus and other autoimmune diseases. 

Once you have the information from this test, you can pick the right herbs and supplements as well as lifestyle choices to boost your adrenals. 

Recommended: Adrenal Home (Saliva) Stress Test from ZRT Laboratory

 

For some people, an adrenal supportive supplement can help gently nourish the adrenal glands when they are not responding as well as possible.
 

For adrenal help, use a combination that includes ashwanganda, B vitamins and mushrooms. There are many quality supplements out there for this purpose.

I like NutraBorn Optimal Adrenal Support.  Talk to your holistic doctor to learn which might be best for you.

Remember, supplements themselves do not fix the problem, but they can help support the body to avoid exhaustion.  When used with a proper regimen of sleep, lifestyle and dietary changes like mentioned above, you can gain your strength and vitality back.

 

 

 

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Diabetes and Depression

 

 

Breaking the Diabetes-Depression Cycle

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, there’s a surprising fact that you should be aware of: You may have an increased risk of depression, too.

 

The reason behind the link isn’t entirely clear, says Barry J. Jacobs, PsyD, a clinical psychologist with the Crozer-Keystone Health System in Springfield, Pennsylvania and the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers

 

“Psychologically, living with diabetes — coping with its daily management and complications — can cause sadness and perhaps major depression,” Dr. Jacobs said.

 

A September 2015 review in the International Journal of Endocrinology suggested that chronic stress might lead to insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes.  

 

There are other possible explanations, too: Managing diabetes and its complications can cause sadness and perhaps major depression, says Dr. Jacobs.

 

“It’s a cyclic disease,” adds Susan Ardilio, RD, a certified diabetes educator with Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Islip, New York.

 

For example, you may feel bad because you can’t eat what your friends without diabetes are eating. That can lead to social isolation, which makes you feel worse. And when that happens, you might overeat or indulge in unhealthy foods — behaviors that, Ardilio explains, can worsen your diabetes and lead to depression.

 

It’s not clear if diabetes causes depression or if depression can lead to diabetes, Jacobs says. But if you’re not taking good care of your health, one condition can impact the other.

 

If you’re depressed, you might not have the motivation to maintain control of your blood sugar levels or exercise regularly. And, in fact, depression may be linked to cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes, according to a study published in the April 2015 issue of Medical Hypotheses.

 

 

How to Keep Diabetes and Depression Under Control

 

If you suspect that you’re depressed, the first step is to tell your doctor, who can help you work toward a diagnosis. While symptoms like trouble sleeping or concentrating might stem from depression, they can also be side effects of a medication or indicate a problem with your blood sugar levels. If depression is diagnosed, your doctor may recommend talk therapy and antidepressant medication if needed, Jacobs says.

 

In the meantime, these three steps can help you manage diabetes and your emotional health:

 

Exercise regularly. It’s hard to stay active if you can’t motivate yourself to move. But once you get going, you’ll see benefits in your mood and blood sugar levels. In fact, researchers found that after exercising regularly for a year, people with type 2 diabetes saw reductions in inflammation and symptoms of depression, according to a study published in August 2015 in the International Journal of Endocrinology.

 

Join a diabetes support group. They’re protected environments where you can share information, understanding, and validation — which goes a long way toward preventing depression, Jacobs says. Plus, people who attend regular support group meetings take better care of their diabetes than those who don’t, according to a study in the December 2014 issue of The Journal of Nursing Research. Find a group online through the American Diabetes Association.

 

Maximize your meals. Not only will a healthy diet help you control your blood sugar levels, but it will also help you feel better about yourself emotionally, Ardilio says. This, in turn, can ward off negative feelings and lead to better overall health, she adds. Work with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator in your area on food selection and meal planning. Many insurance plans cover visits to these specialists.

 

Recommended: Reverse Diabetes Today – The Diabetes-Reversing Breakthrough

 

Through my research for this article, I ordered Reverse Diabetes Today , and found it to be currently the most scientific, clinically-proven program for reversing diabetes. 

This program covers all aspects of diabetes treatment, giving you a complete protocol that delivers proven results, and I know you will find it to be a valuable tool for escaping the downward spiral of diabetes-related complications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended: If you feel that your depression is severe and persistent, I recommend Depression Help Fast 2nd Edition.  One of my family members used this system, and it helped immensely with relief and perspective.

Depression-Help-Fast-ebook-600

 

 

 

 

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The Drunk Caregiver

 

For some, the burden of caregiving can seem unbearable – whether you’re caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s or parenting a child with cerebral palsy. It is, without question, a challenging way to live: attending to your loved one’s personal hygiene, going back and forth to doctor’s appointments, preparing meals and ensuring he or she eats, and so on.

 


 

 

The stress is serious enough that it causes some caregivers to turn to alcohol or drugs in a desperate attempt to cope.  This can turn the tables on a caregiver – putting them in the position to need care in the form of alcohol or drug rehab.

 

 

The stress is serious enough that it causes some caregivers to turn to alcohol or drugs in a desperate attempt to cope.  This can turn the tables on a caregiver – putting them in the position to need care in the form of alcohol or drug rehab.

 

The Impact of Caregiving

 

Caring for the needs of another can be rewarding. Caregivers often feel that the responsibility adds meaning to their lives or peace of mind that they are strengthening their relationship with a loved one.

 

However, there are many downsides to taking on such a daunting task. For example, the responsibilities of caregiving often take a significant physical toll. It’s not uncommon for those who must constantly tend to the needs of others to suffer from headaches, insomnia and weight loss or gain.

 

They often begin to feel the physical strain that comes from helping a loved one use the restroom, washing their hair regularly, or lifting them in and out of a wheelchair. Perhaps you can relate – you may be dealing with similar issues or have even suffered injuries related to your role as a caregiver.

 

 

 

The physical effects are just part of the picture. There are emotional and financial costs to caregiving as well. Caregivers report high levels of depressive symptoms. Dementia caregivers have been found to be particularly vulnerable to higher rates of depression and stress, as well as lower rates of general well-being.

 

Overall, caregivers report a lower quality of life [3].  As a caregiver, you may struggle with anxiety or social isolation. You might be frustrated or angry that you’re the one who has to be responsible for a family member’s care.  Additionally, you may suffer financial strain if you lose time from work or need to take on additional expenses.

 

 

 

Feeling the burden of caregiving doesn’t necessarily end when an ill loved one is placed in long-term care. One study found that caregiver depression and anxiety did not decrease when a relative, especially a spouse, was moved to a care facility [4]. Your duty may have ended, but the emotional impact still lingers.

 

When the negative effects of caregiving are combined, they may actually increase mortality rates in those doing the caregiving.  For example, a study of individuals between the ages of 66 and 96 who cared for their spouses and who also reported caregiver strain found that their mortality risk was 63% higher than those in a non-caregiving control group [5].

 

Recommended: Free PDF Report – Why You Need to Stop Drinking … and how to get started TODAY!

 

 

 

Caregiving and Substance Abuse

 

 

The high stress of caregiving can make you vulnerable to substance abuse, which can lead to a serious problem that requires alcohol or drug rehab. As a caregiver, perhaps you began with a glass of wine every night to relax; now you drink until you pass out. Or maybe you’ve started dipping into your loved one’s pain medication.  Before you know it, you have an addiction that is interfering with every aspect of your life.

 

 

Whether it’s alcohol or drugs, an addiction puts your health at risk. It negatively affects your body in a variety of ways, including the potential for serious damage to your liver and other organs. Alcohol and drugs affect the brain as well, altering how you think and interfering with your ability to make good decisions – for yourself as well as for the person in your care.  You may also suffer financially, by lost income due to missed work days (for example, because you’re hungover) or from losing your job altogether.

 

Your substance abuse also puts the person in your care at risk. You’re less likely to be able to respond to his or her needs, including dispensing medications properly, caring for his or her personal hygiene, or calling for help if there is a medical emergency. In addition, studies have shown that caregivers who use are more likely to abuse the person in their care [6]. If you’re intoxicated or high, you may do something you’ll regret like strike the person in your care if he or she is uncooperative or fussy.

 

As you can see, if you’re using substances to cope as a caregiver, the potential risks and costs can be extremely high.  Not only are you putting yourself at risk for a variety of problems, you’re also endangering the person who’s been entrusted to your care.

 

Treatment for Caregiver Substance Abuse

 

You can’t adequately care for a loved one if you’re not healthy — and abusing substances is not a healthy way to cope with the stress. Substance abuse is a mental health condition that requires professional alcohol or drug rehab treatment. An addiction therapist or counselor will help you determine the type of treatment you need.  If you’re substance abuse issue is serious, you may need inpatient treatment. If you get help sooner than later, outpatient treatment may be sufficient.  But you won’t know until you have an assessment.

 

If you are the primary caregiver, you may need assistance finding a person or organization able to care for your loved one while you’re in treatment. A family member or close friend of the patient may be able to step into the caregiving role.  You may find that they were already aware of the substance abuse issue (or at least suspected it) and are more willing to help than you might expect. Don’t let pride get in the way of asking for help.

 

In situations where others cannot or will not step in to assume the caregiving role, reach out for assistance. Your addiction counselor or team may be able to provide some helpful resources. Also, consider contacting local agencies, such as social services, for recommendations for skilled daycare or other care options. It’s critical to check out every available option. Please don’t give up on treatment because it is a challenge to find care for your loved one.

 

Once you begin alcohol or drug rehab treatment, your job is to focus on getting yourself well. As you work toward your sobriety, talk to your treatment center team to determine if or when you can return to your caregiving role.

 

If you do return, it will be essential to continue to care for yourself by making lifestyle changes that support your recovery. To stay healthy and abstinent, you’ll need to take time every day to step away from your responsibilities and take care of yourself.  This might include things like taking a walk around the block, having coffee with a friend, or working on a project that relaxes you.

 

Finding support is another critical tool for long-term recovery -– especially for caregivers who often struggle with isolation. Consider joining a self-help group that can provide support and guidance for those living with an addiction. Regular meetings will allow you to connect with other addicts so you can learn and share experiences.

 

In addition to support for your addiction, it’s also important to find support in your role as a caregiver. Locate a local support group with members who are going through the same experiences as you. For example, you might find it beneficial to connect with similar caregivers, such as other mothers of kids with autism or spouses who care for partners with dementia.

 

Substance abuse hurts not only you, but also the person you’re caring for. Alcohol or drug rehab can help you overcome it. The journey may not be easy – in fact, you can expect some setbacks -but you will learn healthy coping strategies so you can get well and, if possible, continue in your role as caregiver. You and your loved one don’t deserve any less.

 

 

How Strong is Your Addiction?

 

Working out the extent of a problem is not simple. Countless drug users refuse treatment on the basis that they aren’t “really” addicts, and in the process they allow their use to spiral out of control.

 

Many people only seek treatment when they hit rock bottom, they might find themselves lying in a pool of their own vomit in a dive bar, losing their job, or utterly destroying their personal relationships before they realize they need help. The reason they let it get this far is because being honest with yourself about your problem isn’t easy.

 

 

Adopting the Right Mindset

 

The first thing you have to do if you want to truly understand the extent of your problem is to drop any pretenses you hold. Rationalizations for your use might have been growing and gaining power since you started using, and you need to forget these in order to make an accurate assessment.

 

Telling yourself that you only use to reward yourself after a tough day or that you’re only “experimenting” with drugs is a good way to completely ignore a problem. Discard any of these notions you’ve picked up along the way.

 

In order to really understand how serious your problem is, you have to temporarily ignore the emotional part of your mind. This is easier said than done, but receiving any form of criticism from anybody isn’t easy, so you have to ensure you won’t ditch a train of thought because of the potential consequences of it.

 

You might not want to realize that you have to use every single day, otherwise you get tense and irritable, but the weight of that knowledge pales in comparison to the damage you’ll do to yourself if you don’t acknowledge it. You essentially have to become a third party, observing and analyzing your own behavior through the microscope of rationality.

 

Recommended: Free PDF Report – Why You Need to Stop Drinking … and how to get started TODAY!

 

Thinking About Your Use

 

The simplest way to start appraising your problem is to think about your relationship with your drug of choice. Think about the pattern of your drug use. How often do you use on an ordinary day, and when do you use? Do you need to take drugs to feel “normal” for the day? How much do you spend per day on drugs? How about per week? Asking yourself searching questions like this starts to paint an important picture. Remember, you need to treat this information as if it’s coming from somebody else; don’t spare your feelings, just think about the information objectively and draw what conclusions you will.

 

One of the most important things to think about is the degree to which your life revolves around your drug use. Do you find yourself planning your day around taking drugs? Are you unable to stick to limits you’ve set yourself for the day? When you don’t use, do you experience withdrawal symptoms? If you find yourself getting irritable, having trouble sleeping or experiencing general flu-like symptoms, you might be going through withdrawal. Taking more drugs to alleviate these symptoms is also a clear indicator of a problem, as is taking drugs instead of participating in activities you used to enjoy.

 

 

Thinking About Your Life

 

The other major impact of drug use is the one it has on your life outside of drugs. You might find you’ve been dodging your responsibilities, calling in sick for work, or even neglecting your children as you’ve started to use more and more. Have you been having trouble with your relationships? Even if it doesn’t seem related to drugs, it’s important to think about. The psychological impact of drugs can have wide-ranging consequences, and it could be placing your relationships under strain indirectly.

 

 

Putting it All Together

 

The pieces of information you’ve been gathering should be starting to form a picture. You might be faced with somebody who takes drugs every day and at every opportunity, who takes days off work to dose up to oblivion and whose closest relationships are crumbling by the day. It might not be nice to admit things like this, but if you were presented this information about somebody you’d never met or a fictional character in a book, what conclusion would you come to? Is the person a casual or experimental user, or is he or she suffering from addiction?

 

Remember, you don’t have to be ashamed of your actions; it could happen to anybody and it might be the result of a genetic pre-disposition to addiction. Even if it isn’t, there is no shame in having made some mistakes in your life. We are all human, and as a result we are all flawed. No matter how hard you try to get along the right way in life, it’s easy to stray off the path. It takes wisdom to realize that you’re heading in the wrong direction, and it takes strength to turn yourself around and do things right.

 

The fact that you’re reading this means that you acknowledge that your drug use is negatively impacting your life, but thinking honestly about the full extent of the issue can help you realize how severe the problem is. If you don’t appreciate the impact that your addiction is having on your life, relapse is much more likely. Those little rationalizations and denials we use to protect our egos will mount up and convince you that starting to use again wouldn’t be that bad. Stay objective, and you’ll see why starting treatment is absolutely essential.

 

Recommended: Free PDF Report: Why You Need to Stop Drinking

… and how to get started TODAY!

why you need to stop drinking

 

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