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Showing posts with label SYMPTOMS OF ABUSE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SYMPTOMS OF ABUSE. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2013


When you are going through a high conflict divorce, often the first part of your life to suffer is your health. There are court hearings, the anticipation of court hearings, marshalls appearing at your door with threats of contempt, plus you have your ex putting nails in your tires and stealing your furniture and threatening to take everything you have, most particularly your children. This atmosphere of threat and fear surrounds you every minute of each day, every day. 

The best plan under these circumstances is for you to see a medical doctor regularly so that he or she can keep an eye on your health.  And, of course, I am not a doctor and so I am not giving medical advice.  I would certainly consult with a doctor in regard to any steps that you take in regard to your health. 

However, if you are in a situation where you do not have insurance, or you are between appointments and cannot see your doctor, or you are in Court and something comes up and you need an immediate solution to your problem so you can make it through an afternoon hearing, I have a few suggestions for over the counter remedies which you can purchase at your local pharmacy to tide you over. 


If you are in court and you are terribly anxious and don't know what to do about how jittery and upset you feel, or you have to meet with a GAL or a custody evaluator, the best recommendation I have for you is to go to the pharmacy and purchase some benedryl.  Remember the liquid is likely to act more rapidly than the pill form.

Why do I recommend benedryl?  Because psychiatrists often prescribe benedryl for anxiety under the name Vistaril and it actually works.  Of course, you might dry up any mucous in your nose while you are at it, but the benefits are worth it.  Benedryl is often used as a muscle relaxant, and while it is relaxing your muscles, I'll just bet it can relax a few more things, like your emotions!


The first thing that happened to me after I filed for divorce and it immediately escalated into a high conflict divorce is that I ended up with high blood pressure.  It was probably the logical result of the fact that I was so anxious about my future and that of the children.  In my early days, before I had medication  I used to run into my local grocery store where they had one of those public machines and check my blood pressure.  Invariably the numbers I got were right up there!

So, what can you do about that?  Well, benedryl, as I have said before, to reduce the anxiety.  However, in a situation where I forgot my blood pressure medication at home and was still in the middle of a hearing, I would ordinarily take two aspirin to control my symptoms.  Usually, this would be a pounding headache, irritability, an irrational impulse to pull your clothes off because they feel too tight.  I'm sure those of you with this condition may have other ones you could add to the list.  Somehow, aspirin thins out your blood, makes it easier for your heart to pump blood through your circulatory system, and can stabilize you at least until you get home.

Again, I am not a doctor, so if you have any reason to believe what you are going through is life threatening or could damage your health, you should immediately contact your physician.

Of course, under the constant onslaught of accusations, examinations, and court hearings, most of us end up feeling pretty depressed.  I'm not a big one for pharmaceutical solutions to depression, and my best suggestion for that would be reaching out for support from other people.  I have some great links on my links page which you can use for that. 

I also believe in adjusting your cognitive response to these kinds of pressures, and so I would highly recommend cognitive therapy to work on your attitude towards your situation so that you can develop ways of responding to your divorce that move your forward rather than bring you down.

However, if you've done that and it is still not working, I'd definitely take a vitamin such as B12.  When I raised this question with my local pharmacist she immediately recommended B12 and added to that recommendation the personal disclosure that she uses it herself to combat depression and finds it quite effective.  There is another over the counter anti-depressant called St. John's Wort which is widely used and high recommended in Europe.  The American psychiatric community isn't very thrilled about it--probably because it is relatively cheaper because it is just an herb and you don't require a prescription for it. 

If you are interested in taking St. John's Wort for your depression, I'd definitely look it up online for any side effects that could be a problem and to determine how much you should take.  And, of course, consult with your doctor to be sure it is an appropriate remedy and that you are taking it the way it should be.


Naturally, with all the organs in your body working overtime, you are very likely going to feel a considerable amount of fatigue.  This can be a problem if you need to drive long distances for visitation purposes, or if you have to pay attention and take good notes during court proceedings. 

For that purpose there are a number of over the counter solutions.  For instance, you can just purchase generic caffeine pills which are right out there for you to buy.  The pharmacist I spoke to told me she regularly used caffeine pills when she had to study for an exam or stay up late to get a paper done.  If it makes you nervous to have generic caffeine, you can also get a brand name form of caffeine, which is still simply caffeine, and purchase Vivarin. 

Another good product is the 5 hour energy drinks that have become ubiquitous at most pharmacy checkout counters.  These drinks have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, plus they have a lot of vitamin B products.  They come in all different kinds of flavors, but they are not sugar based, so you won't end up with that sugar crash later on.  Keep in mind that these energy boosters can also help in terms of depression, so you kind of hit two targets with one stone if you use these products.


I don't know about you, but whenever I received one of those megamotions from the opposing attorney from a Court Marshall, I could never sleep the night afterwards.  I would spend all night long pacing through the house, checking in on my sleeping children, wondering if this would be the final motion that led me to lose custody.  Yes, I know, the subject of many long nightmares during the pendente period.  I am aware this is not an alien situation to any one of you. 

The best solution to this problem is to purchase a large bottle of liquid Nyquil or Zzzz-Quil and take a few swigs.  Remember to get the product with 10% alcohol--unless you are an alcoholic, which would be an entirely different situation.  I want to tell you this stuff will knock you right out. 

Please remember I said liquid, not the gels, because the gels take longer to get you to sleep and don't keep you asleep as well as the liquid does.  I'm not sure why, and I don't really care as long as it gets the job done.  And, by the way, this stuff tastes horrible--just hold your nose and swallow, then have a cup of water nearby to rinse your mouth out.

The important thing is to get some sleep, as I'm sure you know.  I was talking to the pharmacist and she told me that when you purchase these products you have to show I.D. indicating that you are 18 or older. 

There are some more gentle ways to nudge yourself to sleep.  Some recommendations the pharmacist gave me were melatonin pills which are available in the vitamin section.  There is also camomile tea which has all sorts of other benefits in addition to putting you to sleep.  For instance, it is a good cold remedy and also it can reduce menstrual cramps and fight cancer, apparently.  See the link below:

There is also Alteril which is a "natural sleep aid", plus there is the homeopathic remedy called Rescue for those who prefer that approach.  Rescue comes in all sorts of forms such as pills, gum, and meltaway lozenges. 

The bottom line is, you can't afford to walk around looking or feeling like one of the living dead, no matter how popular zombies have become in recent movies and novels. The court doesn't keep up with that kind of stuff and is not entertained at all.  And, of course, just like the products for fatigue, these products which can give you a full nights' sleep also have the effect of reducing depression.


Halfway through my divorce I achieved a real first in my post filing for divorce life.  I actually tipped the scales at something like 210 pounds.  I had truly become, well, fat, or as the doctor said to me very bluntly "obese".  I didn't like that doctor very much.  I don't want to be too much of an armchair physician, but from what I understand lots of this weight gain occurs as the consequence of the stress hormone cortisol and ends up in most women resulting in a considerable amount of belly fat.  This belly fat can cause you major physical health problems and shorten your life span. 

I also want to say, and don't be offended, if you are heavy set and have a large belly, you do come across to the court as less credible.  I'm just being honest here; there is a great deal of stigma against husky women in our society and family court is where your ordinary social prejudices become extraordinary social monsters that often result in less alimony, less child support, and less access to your children.  So don't take this issue lightly.

Unfortunately, as the pharmacist shared with me when we had this discussion, most products that you can purchase to reduce your weight have really bad side effects, particularly on your intestines.  For example, if you take Alli, one well known over the counter medication for excessive weight, the primary side effect of this medication is diarrhea.  Forget that! 
Instead of products of those kind, the pharmacist recommended to me metabolism boosters such as Trim Green Coffee Extract, or Rasberry Ketones, or something like Satie Trim which has saffron extract as its prime ingredient. 
The other end of the spectrum is when you lose so much weight you start to look like a skeleton enhanced by skin, your hair starts to fall out, and your face collapses into bone and wrinkle.  This happens to many women whose bodies simply shut down under the stress of high conflict divorce and reject nourishment altogether. 
Again, if you look as though a breath of air will blow you away, this could prejudice the Court against you and lead it to respond negatively to you.  In these conditions, you don't just want to start eating more empty calories that won't sustain your body and could lead to dangerous mood swings.  Instead, try nutritional supplements such as Ensure or Boost plus. 
Ensure comes in all sorts of flavors--chocolate, dark chocolate, butter pecan, coffee, vanilla, and strawberry.  Ensure Clear which has zero fat and all sorts of vitamins and minerals comes in blueberry, pomegranate, peach, and mixed fruit flavors.  There are different kinds of ensure products and you have to decide what is best for you, but do watch the sodium content because I know, for example, that the High Protein Ensure has 240mgs. of sodium per serving.  Not all are so high, but make sure you check and take that into account when you make your purchase.  Sodium can really aggravate high blood pressure. 
Boost plus is a similar product and also very good.  For your information in making a choice between these two products, I have provided this link below:
Just in general, the stress caused by family court leads to all sorts of intestinal problems for many litigants just from stress alone.  When it comes to me, I find that when I have several hearings ahead of me I start to wolf down any kind of food that happens to be nearby--I feast on McDonalds and Burger King because it is quick, but the result often is that I have stomach cramping, etc. etc.--I won't go into detail, but I often end up spending much of my time on the toilet with a very good book and lots of toilet paper.  The best solution to this problem is Multi-Symptom Imodium.  Trust me, it works wonders.  Don't get plain Imodium because it isn't half as effective.
Naturally, in these circumstances where you are depressed, you aren't eating well, you aren't sleeping well, you are either hauling around several more tires of fat than you did before, or else you have shrunk to almost nothing, your immune system will begin to falter and ultimately crash. 
This is why you should definitely, at the very minimum, take a multi-vitamin on a regular basis. If you have become so sensitive that you can't bear swallowing the big, fat pills, try the chewy gummi bear types. Anecdotally, I have heard high doses of vitamin C and echinacea are good for your immune system also.  You might want to try that. 
Otherwise, the pharmacist showed me a product called Emergen-C which comes in a powder like crystal light with a bunch of flavors such as raspberry, pink lemonade and citrus.  It has all sorts of vitamins--vitamin C and vitamin D, plus a whole lot of antioxidants and other products which support your body's immune response. 

Here, there are so many products, I couldn't begin to provide information on all the products out there.  But I did want to mention Mucinex.  Trust me, Mucinex is a miracle drug--definitely try it if you have major sinus problems, anything fairly bronchial or ear pains because you are so stuffed up!  I have found that I've been able to avoid excessive use of anti-biotics by using Mucinex, and this is a big plus in an age where we are beginning to lose the advantage gained by anti-biotics because of their overuse.
Again, as I have said, if you have any serious health problems, you need to consult with your doctor.  However, make sure you take advantage of the kinds of products that are readily available right on the shelves of your local pharmacy and that can make your life a whole lot easier. 
Many attorneys have spoken to me about how these high conflict custody battles are often simply a test of endurance.  You are much more likely to succeed in such a test if you are physically and emotionally strong, so take advantage of what is out there and available to make sure you are strong. 
The products I have talked about here are the ones I have either used or heard about.  If you know of others, I would be interested in hearing about them, so please take the time to keep us informed in the comment section below. 

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Saturday, March 5, 2011


One of the lesser known symptoms of abuse and perhaps the most interesting is The Emotional Affair.  

Many women who are in abusive marriages are often carrying on with an emotional affair either with or without their abuser's knowledge.  Of course, when the divorce breaks out it is easy for the abused woman to feel guilty for having that emotional affair and for the abuser to feel justified in his abuse because it.  

So, what is an emotional affair? An emotional affair occurs when a married woman invests a substantial amount of emotional energy on a relationship outside of her marriage and obtains emotional support and companionship from that relationship.  Although the relationship is a platonic one on the surface, there is a lot of sexual tension and flirting going on, as well as the exchange of intimate and personal information that would ordinarily only be shared with a spouse.  

Many of these emotional affairs take place on the internet because it is such a freewheeling place to connect and disconnect and it is daily getting to be more so.  

Many women in abusive relationships with their spouses deal with substantial emotional and physical pain on a daily basis.  These women are essentially held prisoner within that relationship.  So what is their only escape?  Through fantasy!  

That fantasy can be that one day they'll hit the big time and win the lottery, or that they will have a major career breakthrough, perhaps getting that big role as an actress, or something like that.  Sometimes it can be a dream of traveling around the world or moving to California, somewhere far away from the abusive situation.  

Or else it can be finding some place in their lives, some place in their minds where their abusers can't get a foothold, and that would be within the context of emotional relationships.  Within a daydream space with a daydream lover who will be a sympathetic listener, the abused woman finds her ideal escape.  

And the good thing about it is that an emotional affair can be conducted anytime and anywhere.  It can happen when you catch a few minutes to text your emotional lover on the phone, when you locate common grounds in a chat room, or post on each others' facebook page.  Literally, you don't ever have to leave the house to keep it going.  You may never even kiss, you may never share passionate embraces, but the intensity and the pleasure of the relationship can outstrip that of any real relationship because it exists within the realm of the imagination, and it stands as this extraordinary object of beauty when compared to the drab and ugly daily lives of women struggling with abuse.  

The problem with these kinds of relationships are that within them an abused woman exposes herself doubly to ongoing abuse, the ongoing abuse from the abusive spouse, and the ongoing abuse of the man with whom she is conducting the emotional affair.  In the first instance, when a woman is completely distracted by an emotional affair, she may not notice what she needs to do to protect herself, or notice that her abuser continues to increase the level of his abuse.

In the second instance, any man who, platonically or not, involves himself with a married woman online or otherwise is essentially emotionally raping and exploiting that woman, encouraging her to share intimacies to which he is by no means entitled and using the access he has to feed his own narcissism.  

Unfortunately, so many abused women are in such pain that they are unable to recognize this danger.  But if you are one of these women, think about it.  Is it in the least normal to pour out your heart and soul to a person you only meet on paper or online, a person who may only be sharing with you a very edited version of who he is, and there is probably no way to verify that anything he says is real?  

Men who suck women into these kinds of relationships are fundamentally criminal, so if you are involved with such a man, run away as fast as you can.