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HomeHealthDrowning in a sea of problems, please help!

Drowning in a sea of problems, please help!

“I feel aimless, lack goals and achievements and struggle to find a future direction in life.”

Dear Haya,

I am writing to seek your professional guidance and support for a multitude of mental health issues I’ve been grappling with for the last seven years, which are progressively worsening.

Since 2016, I’ve been dealing with intense panic attacks, stammering and muscle tightness. Other mental health issues include symptoms like jaw clenching, memory loss and ceaseless overthinking. My disrupted sleep cycle leaves me fatigued upon waking and I’m always unable to focus on anything. I prefer loneliness and am mostly by myself, avoid interactions and harbour immense anger. I hate societal engagements and am generally uninterested in various aspects of life including relationships and work, which have led to losing several jobs.

I’m a software engineer, but I feel aimless, lack goals and achievements and struggle to find a future direction in life. The psychological burden is worsened by guilt about my lack of interest in studies, research and generally anything in life.

Despite these challenges, I’m hopeful to not lose hope and am actively seeking help. I am open to seeking counselling, therapy, medication or a combination of these. This urgency for support and intervention is fuelled by the realisation that my parents, who are in their 60s, need my strength and support.

I seek your expertise and guidance to sail through these issues and reconstruct my life accordingly. Your support in my journey towards mental well-being would be really valuable.

— In need of help

Drowning in a sea of problems, please help!

Dear reader,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experiences with me. It takes immense amounts of courage to acknowledge and address the challenges you are experiencing and your resilience and openness to seeking help is appreciable.

While this query requires personalised attention and support, I would like to give a brief overview of a way forward for yourself and for other readers who may be able to relate to your experiences.

The symptoms you have mentioned such as panic attacks, stammering, muscle tightness, jaw clenching, memory loss, disrupted sleep, feelings of loneliness, avoidance of interactions, harboured anger sound like you are experiencing a multitude of mental and emotional health concerns that need immediate attention and are impacting various areas of your life and your wellbeing.

First things first, I would like to bring to your attention that in our physical world, physical symptoms reflect our inner world. We are one being. You would need to deeply explore and work on what’s making you feel this way and create a way forward for you to get the support you require.

As a trained mental health professional, the first thing I would suggest is to get in touch with a psychotherapist or psychologist for a detailed assessment. A thorough evaluation will help in identifying the underlying factors and enable them to create an effective treatment plan for you.

At the same time, I feel a combination of different interventions will benefit you which you are also open towards.

Working with a psychologist/psychotherapist will provide you with the space to explore the root causes of your challenges, develop coping strategies, and work towards the life you want. In addition, they will be able to assess if a psychiatrist is required. Medication, If recommended by a psychiatrist can be a valuable addition to therapy in managing specific symptoms. Further, you may then add elements of coaching to work on specific goal alignment. However, trust your therapist’s call to guide you in this journey.

Remember that the journey towards mental well-being will be unique for each individual and yours will be tailor-made to you and your symptoms. What may work for you may not work for another.

Half our battles are won when we seek support for ourselves which makes me happy to see you doing. No one can force us into being well unless we don’t want it for ourselves.

It is crucial for you to remain patient and compassionate with yourself in this process as you work towards re-constructing your life. There is no timeline for healing. Your therapist will be a valuable and crucial ally in our journey, as they support you while you reconstruct and realign your life.

Last but not least, TRUST THE PROCESS. I see too many people giving up hope too soon. As I mentioned above, there is no timeline to healing and healing takes time.

Please note, that sometimes you need to try a few therapists to find the right fit for you. I wish you healing in your journey, stay resilient and don’t give up!


Drowning in a sea of problems, please help!

Haya Malik is a psychotherapist, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, corporate well-being strategist and trainer with expertise in creating organisational cultures focused on well-being and raising awareness around mental health.

Send her your questions to [email protected]

Note: The advice and opinions above are those of the author and specific to the query. We strongly recommend our readers to consult relevant experts or professionals for personalised advice and solutions. The author and do not assume any responsibility for the consequences of actions taken based on the information provided herein. All published pieces are subject to editing to enhance grammar and clarity.

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