How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Z is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have encountered a cultural shock, i really don`t know

This answer was rated:

I have encountered a cultural shock, i really don`t know what do i want and/ or what can make me happy, nothing move me, its like i have died emotionally or i just feel confused. i don`t know where i am, or where i wanna be, everything look so complicated...
Dr. Z :


Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Customer: hi
Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are having these depressive symptoms, I can imagine how distressing this must be for you

Customer: are you there?
Dr. Z :

May I ask, what happened to cause these symptoms?

Customer: i`m not sure
Customer: you know alot of things happended
Customer: but generally , i feel this way since around 8, 9 months ago
Dr. Z :

Well you described it as a culture shock, why did you state that initially?

Customer: because i left my country around 3 years ago
Customer: and i got familiar with cultural differences in different countries, which i felt in love with studying more and more on it,
Customer: i even researched for that for my thesis
Customer: but now i feel lost personally
Dr. Z :

Well it definitely sounds like you may have entered a depressive state, but the good news is that this can be cured effectively with the right therapeutic techniques to help you.

Customer: i don`t know
Dr. Z :

I would like to teach you some proven therapy techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is the most evidence based therapy to date that can treat this. CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Dr. Z :

These feelings of not being happy, emotionally numb, confused, not motivated, etc... are all symptoms of a depressive disorder

Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Dr. Z :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen depressive symptoms. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Customer: i don`t have negative thouts
Customer: my mindset is been changed , i feel i was not as strong as i can accept this dramatic changes in my mind , values , everything
Dr. Z :

Well those are actually negative thoughts right there, where you do not feel as strong as before

Customer: oh , i see
Customer: yes, i feel i`m not in a place that i should be, but at the same time i dont mind!
Customer: so , how do i proceed through this forms?
Dr. Z :

Well I want to give you a couple more forms to help you, but basically when ever you feel sad, emotionally numb, want to write down exactly what you are thinking and then you want to write down alternative thoughts that are more objective and positive and then focus on those. This will slowly and gradually re-train your brain to focus on a more objective thought process and your symptoms will lessen and you will feel better.

Dr. Z :

Now if you want a quicker fix, I can recommend medication, but I am not sure if you want those or not at this point

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with similar symptoms may have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your symptoms better.

Dr. Z :

Individuals with a depressive disorder also may have low self-confidence, so this technique will help you replace any self-critical thoughts that you may have with more positive self-beliefs.

Customer: you know, i feel sad, whenever i remember some bad memories too, if i try to remember those times, or the circumstance in which i was, i remember more bad memories, how may i turn it to positive?
Dr. Z :

Also this website has great CBT techniques that you can use whenever you like.

Dr. Z :

Well that is the thing about CBT, is that you want to avoid thinking about the past because you cannot change the past, so instead you want to focus on the "here and now" because that is moment you have control of

Dr. Z :

So the bad memories will effect you, but slowly you will learn (through these techniques) to not focus on them so much and then you will focus more on the present

Customer: currently i try to focus on the present, i try to do something all the time, and pay attention to any details around me, i mean nobody think that i`m depresses, as you say, but it`s like something is bothering me in my unconsious mind i1`m afraid
Dr. Z :

Well I think you are very good at hiding being depressed inside from others, which is a common defense mechanism. The techniques will help you because if you get sad from a bad memory, I want you to focus on the alternative thought that it was in the past and that pain is gone now, and right now I am a much stronger and more confident person currently.

Customer: besides, the behavior of people around me , make me uncomfortable, i don`t have any reaction , but it bothers me
Dr. Z :

The negative thought is the past memory, acknowledge and label it as a negative thought, and then focus on the alternative thought

Dr. Z :

What does their behavior do that bothers you?

Customer: when people judge, or put their nose on each other or me, or when they talk and act aggresively , specially when somebody talk loudly
Customer: or repeat something
Dr. Z :

I can understand why that would bother you and make you feel uncomfortable. That would make anyone feel uncomfortable actually. Does this make you angry and frustrated, but because you have no reaction you keep it bottled up?

Customer: or say and ask something that i don`t have anything to do with
Customer: yes, i have backed to my country since 7 days ago, and currently i`m living with my parent house
Customer: last night my father was asking me to do something that is not under my control.
Customer: and i just went to my room , very gently that he doesnt notice, i closed the door and i was swearing to him quietly in myself
Customer: but i notices that my hand were shaking slowly , and something dropped from my hand
Customer: today when i wanted to take shower , i didnt notice the soap place by the shower and when i moved my left hand up , i got my skin tore by hitting it hard
Dr. Z :

I think you were having an anger/stress reaction that caused your hand to shake. Well I would like to teach you this technique that can help you express your anger/frustration in a more assertive and appropriate manner, because if you hold it in it will fester and cause issues with your psychological health.

Customer: that time i was thinking about my father too
Dr. Z :

I am so sorry about your hand, that must have hurt

Dr. Z :

Because you did not release that anger and frustration it caused to still be angry with him and think about him.

Dr. Z :

This will take time to help you, but the techniques will be very effective for you

Customer: yea, that right
Dr. Z :

I think once you learn to understand your feelings and take control of them, your symptoms will lessen and you feel a lot better and also more confident in yourself again

Customer: that would be great
Customer: so what should i do with the forms after i fill them?
Dr. Z :

Well filling them out is effective for you in re-training your brain. You can keep them if you wish, but the more you practice and use them, the more effective you will re-train your brain to a point where the objective thought process will become habitual and you will not need the forms anymore.

Customer: i just looked at some of them. do you think its easy to fill them?
Customer: i mean can i do it right?
Dr. Z :

They are pretty self-explanatory and they are meant to be very easy for you to fill out. I use them with patients all the time, and the website I gave you too has a lot more techniques as well

Dr. Z :

I am confident that you will be able to use the worksheets effectively and that they will be able to help you a lot

Customer: Oh, awsome!
Customer: I feel better
Dr. Z :

Just remember that this is a gradual approach, and it will take time to be effective, but the more you use the forms, the faster this objective/positive thought process will become ingrained in your mind and your symptoms will lessen.

Dr. Z :

Usually around 2-3 months is when most patients start to feel better with these techniques and then another 6-9 months for the maximum benefits.

Customer: OK, its ok
Dr. Z :

Good. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer: I hope i asked all the questions i have.
Customer: thank you
Dr. Z :

You are taking a big step to help turn your life around for the better, and I wish you all the best with your future treatment and I hope these symptoms go away very soon for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Customer: OK, sure. should i contact you the same manner , if i wanna contact you sometmes?
Dr. Z :

You can put "For DoctorZ only" before typing a question, but the best way to contact me in the future would be to use this link to my homepage and then write your question there.

Customer: OK, thnx
Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

those forms were helpful, i fill on a form everyday... :)

Great I am so happy that they have helped you :) I am always here if you need anything else

Related Mental Health Questions