I feel like I seek validation too much and I don’t want to. What should I do?

As much as you might love to say that you’re open-minded, it’s difficult to hear out people that have contrary opinions. You mostly hang out with people with similar tastes that agree with you. You want to have fulfilling relationships and feel loved by friends and family. As per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (a psychology theory), esteem and love/belonging are an essential component of human motivation. Therefore whenever you have this urge to fall back on someone or the dire need to form a connection, please evaluate your close relationships and their affects on you, be it your parents, siblings, significant partners or close friends.

I cannot handle criticism well, I think about it all the time and it leads to constant self-questioning.

Self-doubt is linked to the confusion we have with our belief system and trust, early childhood experiences and attachment with parents is what shapes self-doubt. Attachment theory holds that children who experience consistently positive interactions with caregivers are likely to form a secure attachment, or a basic understanding that they can rely on their caregivers to meet their needs. This secure attachment bond is believed to likely help lay the foundation for good relationships in the future, and people who develop a secure attachment in early childhood are typically more likely to engage in relationships in which they feel loved and supported. An insecure attachment, on the other hand, is generally characterised by inconsistent or negative interactions with caregivers. This type of attachment can lead one to question one’s worthiness and may contribute to the development of a general sense of self-doubt, as well as other mental health concerns. A person with an insecure attachment may also experience difficulty engaging in and maintaining healthy relationships in adulthood. If you fall in the above mentioned pattern, a therapist or a psychologist will be able to bring you to the resolution stage of self-doubt.

I have episodes of depression whenever something triggering happens. How much time will it take to get it out of my system because I have become extra sensitive and I don't like myself like this.

Some of the common symptoms of depression are:

• Deep feelings of sadness

• Dark moods

• Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

• Appetite changes

• Sleep changes

• Lack of energy

• Inability to concentrate

• Difficulty getting through your normal activities

• Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy

• Withdrawing from friends

• Preoccupation with death or thoughts of self-harm

If any of these symptoms persist for two weeks straight without any improvement then you may be able to go towards prognosis. Depression affects everyone differently, and you might only have some of these symptoms. You may also have other symptoms that aren’t listed here. Keep in mind that it’s also normal to have some of these symptoms from time to time without having depression, but if they start to impact your day-to-day life, they may be the result of depression. There are many types of depression. While they share some common symptoms, they also have some key differences. It is highly advised that you seek a mental health practitioner who will be able to diagnose the type and kind of depression. Once that is done you maybe able to highlight the triggers leading to your emotional state.

How do I not let the other people’s trauma effect me?

The biggest medium of transferring stress due to trauma is social media, every video or picture would contain graphics that could trigger stress in individuals. Trauma, including one-time, multiple, or long-lasting repetitive events, affects everyone differently. Some individuals may clearly display criteria associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but many more individuals will exhibit resilient responses or brief sub clinical symptoms or consequences that fall outside of diagnostic criteria. The impact of trauma can be subtle, insidious, or outright destructive. How an event affects an individual depends on many factors, including characteristics of the individual, the type and characteristics of the event(s), developmental processes, the meaning of the trauma, and socio-cultural factors.

I stammer when I have anxiety. What should I do?

Stuttering is a complex speech issue that affects about one per cent of adults. People who stutter may become socially anxious, fear public speaking, or worry their stuttering will undermine their performance at work or school. Research shows that stuttering is not a mental health diagnosis, and anxiety is not the root cause of stuttering. Anxiety can, however, make stuttering worse. This can create a vicious feedback loop in which a person fears stuttering, causing them to stutter more. In some cases, anxiety about stuttering may disrupt a person’s relationships and ability to communicate. Things that can be done to avoid escalating anxiety are:

People who experience anxiety related to stuttering may find relief in a number of strategies. Those include:

• Meditation, deep breathing and positive self-talk may help.

• Spending time with other people who stutter through a support group can make stuttering feel less isolating, alleviating anxiety.

• Some people who stutter deliberately avoid social situations because of their anxiety. This can undermine their social skills, making them feel more anxious in social situations. Finding opportunities to practice communication may help.

• Understanding what stuttering is, may help some people feel better about their broken speech.

Most people who stutter are children. Parents and other family members can do a lot to help. Try the following:

• Create a relaxed environment around speech and communication. Don’t talk over your child, correct their speech, or ask them to speak more quickly.

• Attentively listen to your child while they speak. Children who stutter may worry the person to whom they are speaking is annoyed or bored. Give your child time.

• Don’t correct your child’s stutter or give them the word they appear to be looking for.

• Encourage your child to talk about their feelings about stuttering. Reassure them that stuttering is common and offer support for the anxiety they feel.

• Consider family therapy. Counselling at the right time can help de-stigmatise stuttering. The right therapist can offer each member of the family specific strategies for supporting a child who stutters. •