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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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I have trouble concentrating and focusing. For example when

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i have trouble concentrating and focusing. For example when I a attempting to write a computer program , if I dont find the answer quickly to a problem I get angry quickly and give up. then low self esteem and low confidence settle. it gets worse because when I get stuck I use google, but then I feel guilty and say why should I be using google? why shouldnt I know the answer I am a programmer after all. The second problem I have is that I get FURIOUS when people dont listen to me once! especially my spouse and children. I dont feel im in control. one last this - I seem to want to finish large projects in one sitting, when I know full well large projects have to be split up into days and tasks. why do I do this? why cannot I accept the basic laws of the universe? please help

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

I'm sorry to hear about your experience.

It sounds like you struggle with two things - managing your sudden onset of anger and second regulating your emotions. In other words, when you don't find the answer you're looking for your anger quickly sets in and then you have trouble containing it or letting it go. The other piece of this problem is that you have high expectations from yourself. So the goals you set for yourself are very lofty and often unrealistic. Many people have this tendency. What happens in these situations is that you might then feel a resistance to taking on a large project because you already have ideas in your head of how fast or how well you should finish it and a part of you knows that those goals are just not achievable.

Another very acute observation you made is that you don't feel in control when your spouse or children don't listen to you. The furiousness you feel is often a result of low self-esteem where your sense of confidence or self-esteem are directly connected to whether the other person is paying attention to you.

I do want to share with you that you are not alone in feeling this way or facing these challenges.

I would recommend a few things for you to deal with these issues.

First, I would recommend that you start by setting smaller goals for yourself. So whenever you are required to say complete a large project, break it up into pieces and tell yourself that it is far better that you complete all the small goals you set yourself than set a huge goal and fail to meet it. You can even list out the smaller goals of the project and check them off as you complete them one by one. This will give you a sense of momentum.

Second, a very important aspect of leading a healthy, productive life is our ability to regulate our emotions. So the anger you feel rising may be felt by many people, the challenge is to be able to calm yourself down and regain your composure and not let those upsurge of emotions affect you. I'd like to recommend a highly effective book,, well it's a workbook actually, that uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) (thought to be the most effective in addressing emotion regulation issues) to acquaint you with emotion regulation techniques. Here is the link. I'd recommend that you locate the book in your library or a book store and give it a try.

Third, I see your anger getting in the way of things. Anger is a natural emotion and to an extent it is a helpful emotion. But when it starts to acquire a life of it's own, and springs up at the slightest of things then it is clearly necessary to address it. There are actually clear cut techniques to bring your anger back under control while still retaining the passion/zeal for your work. Here is the link to a book that talks about controlling your anger that many people have found helpful.

Forth, as you already know, many of your needs (need to feel in control) and self-doubt, frustrations etc. could be a direct outcome of the low self-esteem issues you struggle with. For this I'd recommend a book that uses cognitive behavioral strategies (CBT). CBT is thought to be the most effective therapy model for addressing self-esteem issues. Here is the link.

I do want to add here that the above issues are all interconnected. So addressing one will start to help with the others.

Finally, if it is possible, you might consider consulting with a therapist to work on the anger management, emotion regulation and self-esteem issues.

If you can implement the above, I am certain that you will start to see a considerable positive change in your life.

I hope this was helpful. Please consider clicking on "Accept" if this was helpful as experts are not credited for their time or service.

Feel free to continue the conversation even after clicking on "Accept".

Kind Regards,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
why do I feel guilty asking people for help or using the internet when I get stuck in programming and other issues? is this a pride issue. Why am I so impatient? I keep thinking that I have to do everything quickly and efficiently - do I sense a perfectionism problem? because thats what my colleagues say. I have to do list on my mobile and I am frantically checking it every 20 minutes, I keep thinking that I will miss out something important and some big damage will occur. I think all of this gets worse when people keep phoning me and asking for help - overall this depression and thoughts keeps me in bed and I just want to sleep. When you mention that I have to split my large projects into goals , I get angry - I keep thinking - WHY CANT I JUST DO IT ALL AT ONCE? its a stupid thought nevertheless it has stopped me progressing in life.
Hi there,

Thank you for the additional information.

Not being able to ask people for help is again a sign of the high expectations you set for yourself. The guilt comes from "failing" in your own eyes. The impatience could be a sign of your drive/ambition and while many ambitious and driven clients I have worked with report feeling this sense of urgency and hurry about their goals, they key is to be able to regulate those thoughts so that they can work to your advantage and not turn into your weakness, as is happening in your case.

If you find yourself repeating actions (like checking your to-do list) over and over to the point where it is like a compulsion then I would encourage you to consult with a psychiatrist for a mental health evaluation to check for presence of obsessive compulsiveness (OCD). Even the depression you mention should be assessed by a psychiatrist so that if required you can be prescribed medication. The anger you mention is could be a sign of your impatience and to an extent is normal but being able to contain it is critical. At the end of the day you want all these attributes (your sense of urgency, ambition, need for perfection, etc.) to work to your advantage and not become your weaknesses. That is where the books, a formal diagnosis and consulting with a therapist can help.

I hope this was helpful. Please click on "Accept" if this was, as otherwise experts are not paid for their time spent on writing the answers.

Kind Regards,

Arundhati and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Many thanks for your help.
Thank you very much for accepting.

It was a pleasure to be a help.

Kind Regards,