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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I'm having trouble thinking, concentrating, getting angry,

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I'm having trouble thinking, concentrating, getting angry, and having headaches. I find myself mentally "getting lost", I try to figure out what I was supposed to be doing and the harder I try to "pull it together" the worse I seem to get. Even when I'm just sitting down, I feel like my brain is being over active, buzzing, working hard, and all I'm trying to do is "chill". I'm frustrated and I don't know how to make things get better.

Norman M. :

I see that you are offline now, an I do need some more information in order to help you.

Norman M. :

Can you please answer the questions below?

How long has this been going on?

Have you been suffering any major stress recently, or have there been stressful events in your life at home, in relationships or at work?

Do you have trouble getting off to sleep?

Do you wake earlier than usual?

How do you feel when you wake up?

Do you still enjoy the things you used to enjoy?

Do you find yourself putting things of, or not finishing things that you have started?

How is your appetite?

Are you abusing alcohol or recreational drugs?

Do you feel anxious or panicky, or just sad and disinterested?

This information will give us a good foundation to work on.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This has been going on for a couple years now probably, things are a bit stressful right now, business is picking up a lot and it very hard to keep up with everything, I find myself starting 1 task, getting pulled of that to do something else, and then getting pulled to another, with very little getting completed, I'm having to tell family to wait while I finish typing something because if stop to listen to them, and I haven't finished what I was typing, I can't process what they are saying to me...something as simple as, "Do you want ice in your water?" causes me to "crash" or "jam" and I get stuck, frustrated, confused and angry at myself and them.

Sometimes I do have trouble sleeping, last night I did...stayed up until 2:30 just trying to relax my mind.

I'm having a harder time enjoying the things I used to, I don't do fun stuff often enough.

When I'm awake, I feel out of balance, usually headachy, today the headache lifted and I realized it suddenly, it was like, "WOW!!! My headache is gone, NICE!"

Not finishing stuff is a big problem, especially cleaning up after myself, I've realized that I have a SEVERE aversion to looking for items in cabinets, especially dimly light and cluttered. I am having trouble with putting things off, I need to do some financial paperwork and I keep putting it off, even though it's required and not out of my budget.

My appetite is strong unfortunately, I'm trying to start dieting and I think that's making matters worse, perhaps causing anxiety and almost shame.

I've never abused alcohol, I may have 2-3 beers some months and none others. I have abused stimulants for years, though people find it hard to believe, I have a pattern of using 1x every 3-4 weeks, I have not done this in over 6 weeks.

Anxious and panicky, super excited, and at times depressed, I work that range daily sometimes.

From everything you tell me it seems likely that you feel that thinks in your life are a bit out of control.

This , I suggest, is the source of your anxiety and anger, and the symptoms you have told me that indeed, you are probably suffering from depression.

Part of the problem is that you seem be suffering from mixed anxiety and depression - depression is causing you to feel bad, and the other part is that your negative thinking about your life situation is just adding to that.

Both these things can be dealt with by a combination of proper medication and a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

The first thing you need to do is to see your Doctor – he will give you a full diagnosis and if appropriate, start your on a suitable anti-depressant medication. He will also want to rule out any physical cause of what you is experiencing.

Depression is seen as a chemical imbalance in the brain, just as diabetes is a chemical imbalance in the body. Diabetics take medication to stay well, why shouldn’t you?

Don’t be afraid of taking medication – it could really help turn your whole life around

Two important issues about this - when you is on medication, you must take it at the correct dose and as prescribed. It is no use missing doses or messing around with the dose.

Secondly, you should know that anti-depressants can take up to 8 weeks from the start of therapy before they begin to show beneficial effects, so it's no use quitting after two weeks.

I mentioned CBT - is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Make the first step NOW – get an appointment with your Doc, and you can start to get better.

You’ll also find some very good help here:

Best wishes, Norman

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your response, you mentioned that I should see a doctor, what kind or specialty?

Just your normal primary care physician.
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