Stress Management Case 1

This case involves a 26 year old female from India who was under excessive stress from family members wanting her to do things that she did not want to do. She was independent enough to make her own choices in life, however she was experiencing conflict with cultural expectancies and an over demanding family.

This is one of those cases where the need to understand cultural expectancies different from your own is very important. The most important key is to identify when people are overstepping and causing harm to others. However once a person has reached adulthood and society recognizes them as an adult, they should be free to conduct their lives without interference from others, and that is particularly true from others who are self serving.

In this case she did not grow up in India. When she was 5 she moved to Thailand and attended  international schools that exposed her to a variety of other cultures. It is here where she developed her independence and felt that her own culture pertaining to how women are placed in society was in conflict with her own ambitions. This was particularly true where arranged marriages were conducted and she wanted no part of that, and she felt insulted and deeply upset that she was being seen by some as a commodity.

The stress started when the elders of her family started to suggest that the time was near that she should be getting married. She had no idea until she was 21 that her husband had been selected for her while she was still in diapers. Needless to say being exposed to other cultures she became what perhaps is best defined as a cultural hybrid and at first said no to the idea. However as time passed the pressure continued to build until the word came down that she would be disowned from the family and their wealth if she did not get married to the person that was selected for her.

This left her in a big dilemma as she had grown comfortable enjoying the fruits of a wealthy family, and to turn that down had it’s own consequences. So the reason she came fore help was not for me or anyone else to decide for her what to do. She wanted help in sorting past what was twisted truths and manipulation by others meant to control her, and also to remover her stress so she could have the clarity of thought so she could decide what to do.

In this case as my approach is to deal with the cause and not the effect, several sessions were needed to go over and debunk the things that were said to her over the past 5 years meant to mess with her head to get her to concede her free choice. Those things included the threat of being disowned by her family.

In the end she felt confident enough that her life was hers and it did not belong to another to make her choices for her. Also she decided that if needed she would let her family disown her as she strongly felt that was just a bluff. She had studied dentistry and she would be fully capable of supporting herself if needed. The hypnotherapy was able to remove the emotional stress and she approached the decision as if she was the CEO of her own life being totally objective and free of emotional influence.