Dealing with the past

Stress is often about the problems we face day to day. But some peoples' problems have a lot to do with what happened in the past.

For example:

  • Someone who was hit as a child might find themselves stuck in violent relationships as an adult
  • Children who were sexually abused might have problems trusting people when they grow up
  • Someone who was bullied at school might be bullied at work
  • Sometimes it's obvious how bad experiences in the past can make life difficult right now. But that connection isn't always easy for us to see ourselves.

It can be helpful to talk to a professional therapist who can help to work out the answers to questions like:

  • Why does this same situation happen to me again and again?
  • Why can't I stop it, when this is so bad for me?
  • Why do I sometimes burst into tears for no reason?
  • Years later, I still can't cope with this bereavement
  • If I don't keep a lid on my feelings, I feel like I might explode

If your problem seems a bit like this, try to talk about it with someone you trust (including your GP). Even if the best you can say is I know I shouldn't feel like this, but I can't work out why, that can be a useful first step. The following contacts may help:

SurvivorScotland for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Rape crisis Scotland for anyone affected by sexual violence

Domestic Abuse Helpline - freephone 0800 027 1234