Lobsters can be found everywhere; in relationships, jobs and homes. What’s good about them is if you gradually increase the pressure on their situation, they tend not to notice. Like a lobster. 
In order to cook a lobster you don’t put a live lobster in a boiling pot. They’re not stupid, they’ve got reflexes and would jump out. What  you do is you put them in a pot of cold water and gradually turn up the heat  until they’re cooked. This way, they don’t really notice. However if they’d known about the end situation at the beginning, they wouldn’t have got into the pan. 

How do I know if I’m a lobster?
There’s a simple question to test whether or not you’re exhibiting lobster-like qualities:
‘If I had known it would be like this when I got into it, would I have done it in the first place?’

For example – if you’d known that your whole team at work would be gradually made redundant and their work given to you, would you have taken the job?

If you’d known that on the flip side of a passionate man you’re  dating was an increasingly bad temper, would you have gone out with him at  all?
What’s wrong with being a lobster?
Lobsters are often ‘putting up with’ a situation that they’re not at all happy about (being cooked). If they had been dumped in that situation their reflexes would have told them to get out, but having had the heat turned
up gradually, they’re numb to it.

Is it fair?
If you have identified yourself as a lobster, you might want to ask yourself whether it’s fair. Given you’d have jumped straight out of that situation had you known in advance, is it fair to expect yourself to endure it now?
Look after yourself
Once you’ve recognised that you’re now in a pot of boiling hot water that you definitely wouldn’t have got into in the first place if you’d known, it’s important to get out. It may be as simple as recognising the situation as unacceptable and walking away, or you may like to have some coaching/support to put together an action plan. Either way, it’s time to get out of the pan.

This was the headline to an article about tranquiliser abuse among women on the front of the Metro one day this week.  It’s a fairly confusing and not very well written piece, but the gist of it is that, while 3.5% of women in Europe smoke cannabis (the world’s most popular drug), 4.2% abuse tranquilisers.  Dr Peter Swinyard, chairman of the Family Doctors Association apparently said, “Some women just need something to help them get through the day and deal with all the stresses of life such as looking after children and work, or lack of it – and sometimes doctors just dispense pills and sympathy.”

While I think that the Zombie Epidemic headline is very harsh – my experience in addiction services has certainly given me an awareness of how serious the problem of over-use and addiction to prescribed drugs actually is.  Many clients I have seen have been taking diazepam (valium) for decades. But many others, and certainly not only women, have become addicted to other drugs including anti-depressants, sleeping pills and pain killers.  Last year the Guardian reported a 43% increase in anti-depressant prescriptions over 4 years – up to 23 million – I find this figure absolutely staggering.

Is there an alternative?
Why is it that women in particular apparently “need something to help them get through the day”? What sort of society is it where so many people are apparently ‘depressed’ to the point of needing medication – despite Government pledges to increase the amount of money going into ‘talking therapies’? 

I know that, certainly in Surrey, the wait for these talking therapies via the NHS can be 8+ months – if you’re feeling seriously depressed or are not coping that could be way too long – hence, I suspect why doctors tend to prescribe 

anti-depressants which, while they may help in the short term, may also end up causing more problems of dependence and overuse.   

I believe that, for many of these people who are struggling with low mood and feeling unable to cope, some simple advice on sorting out their values and looking at what really matters to them, managing stress and work/life balance, working on their thought patterns, building self-esteem etc could change their outlook dramatically and eliminate their need for drugs or long term ‘therapies’.   

NLP coaching can be remarkably successful in these situations – so if you’re feeling depressed or are struggling to cope, think about giving this a try first before you embark on any potentially addictive drug treatment.  And if you are already having trouble stopping some prescribed medication, check out our Alcohol page which also covers drugs – we can probably help you.