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Help is available for domestic violence situations

Dear Annie: My husband and l have been married for 22 years. When we first married, it was young love. But throughout our marriage, he has been adulterous and abusive toward me, physically and verbally. I have a disability and have a hard time defending myself. He has choked me and held a knife to my throat and told me that one day he’ll kill me. I am 54 years old. I have nowhere to go. What should l do? — Trapped

Dear Trapped: I’m sorry that your husband has abused you so terribly for decades. Although it may seem like you have nowhere to go, I promise you that isn’t true. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) to be connected with resources in your area and begin making a safe escape plan. You should not have to live in fear for your life another day.

Dear Annie: This is in response to your reply to “Regretful Mom,” who has struggled with depression and regrets not being present for her now-adult children. Another choice she can look into for helping her with working with the emotional memories connected to her past is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, also known as EMDR. Although people think of post-traumatic stress disorder as being related to extremely severe accidents or traumas, psychology is now aware that for lifetime events over several years, sexual abuse, multiple or ongoing difficulties that cause extreme emotional and mental anguish can also put someone at risk for suffering from PTSD. By using EMDR with a qualified therapist, a patient can recall these past events without experiencing the anguish. It is constructive in combination with talk therapy, and, when necessary, medication, whether short term or for a longer duration.

Thank you for letting me share this information. — Lorrie Finley

Dear Lorrie: Thank you for sharing it. Controlled and randomized clinical studies show that EMDR is efficient to treat PTSD. And although this is purely anecdotal, the treatment technique has helped friends of mine.

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