Monday, 30th October 2017

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Mind matters: Am I thinking too much?

Stigma is one of the main reasons why people think twice about getting themselves mental healthcare that they need

By Minu Budhia
  • Published 7.09.19, 7:42 PM
  • Updated 7.09.19, 7:42 PM
  • 3 mins read
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We should consult a psychologist when we haven’t been feeling good emotionally Shutterstock

I feel I don’t fit in anywhere. I hesitate to speak up at work meetings and even have trouble voicing my opinion at home. How can I be less scared of talking in front of others?

It sounds like you’re having some self-confidence issues. And if you’re a shy person or an introvert, such situations can be especially difficult. The good news is, one can work on one’s confidence at any stage in life. With a little bit of practice, faith in yourself, and some professional guidance, you can recognise your self-worth and build your confidence from there. Write down a list of five strengths and five weaknesses and then first look at the strengths. Then move on to the weaknesses and pick the one that scares you the most and one that scares you the least. See if there are books you can read, and workshops or classes you can attend to improve upon these two. And if it still seems too difficult on your own, you can visit a coach or a counsellor to help you in your journey to becoming a confident person. 

I often worry about the mistakes of my past and feel anxious about the future. Am I thinking too much?

Overthinking is often a result of wanting to control our surroundings and chasing perfection in all aspects of our lives. We want to live in the perfect house, with a perfect family, have perfect friends and enjoy a perfect lifestyle. When the reality of our lives is vastly different from what we want it to be, we are often unable to control our thoughts and think of dire and mostly improbable outcomes and consequences. One worry ends and another starts and one cannot relax when one wishes to. If it begins to hamper one’s daily life, you should consider visiting a counsellor.

My spouse has been having a hard time for a while, but doesn’t want to visit a psychologist. What should I do?

Stigma is one of the main reasons why people think twice about getting themselves mental healthcare that they need. They wonder what others will think if they find out, or make fun of them if they don’t understand his or her problem. Another reason for people not wanting to get help is that they refuse to believe that they need help. They view it as a weakness rather than as an illness. You can have a conversation with your spouse to find out the reason. Also, you could explain that when we break a bone, have high fever, or even just a cough or a cold, we don’t hesitate even once to call the doctor. In the same way, we should consult a psychologist when we haven’t been feeling good emotionally.

I’ve recently been diagnosed with depression and have started going to see a psychologist regularly. My wife is very scared and doesn’t want our son and daughter to spend time with me. Please help.

Psychological issues directly or indirectly have an effect on almost every sphere of our lives. As depression influences our overall perception of our life, it also changes our attitude and decision-making skills, thereby affecting our relationship with others. As you had been dealing with a mental health issue without treatment till now, for a long time you might have been impatient, easily irritated, tired often, and disinterested in your surroundings. This may have strained your relationship with your family, so this may be a reason why your wife is having doubts. The fact that you’re getting the help you need is a positive step. Explain this to her, and after discussing with your psychologist, maybe opt for a few sessions of couple counselling. This will not only help you to get better, but also help to heal the existing rift. Also, you should sit down as a couple, explain to your children what the current situation is, answer any questions they have and show them how you’re working on healing yourself.

My husband is obsessed with keeping things in order and is furious if his books, clothes, or personal items are not kept the way he wants. He’s also very particular about everything being spotlessly clean. Do you think he has OCD?

Some people are very meticulous about their appearance and surroundings. Casual and blatant misuse of this term in conversation and across various types of media has led to a general misconception about what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder really is. If the person’s habits start disrupting their daily schedule and prevent them from living life as usual, it is best to get help. However, it is not possible to confirm a diagnosis without a psychometric test, so if you’re worried, please make an appointment with a psychologist.

Minu Budhia is a psychotherapist, counsellor, founder of Caring Minds, ICanFlyy, Cafe ICanFlyy, and a TEDx speaker. Write to askminubudhia@caringminds.co.in