Hi,

I'm a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PROOF). I work with clients who have anxieties. The big issue now is anxiety related to being in quarantine.

I also a wrote an eBook (FREE ON KINDLE TODAY) to help maintain our sanity during this difficult time.

Social media links: Facebook Page

Comments: 117 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

true_spokes45 karma

What would you say to someone who finds social distancing to be incredibly liberating? I can’t remember the last time I felt this free of anxiety and intrusive thoughts.

khanfahad23 karma

You're lucky and definitely in the exception category... I hope and pray that this feeling will last...

My perspective is that life should be balanced. For introverts (like myself), this includes small doses of social interactions every now and then...

Whatever you're doing, keep it up... But also keep in mind that this will end. We wouldn't want to get too comfortable with the situation so when it comes to an end, we collapse...

Xukay33318 karma

How is a psychologist like you coping in theses times with all theses people needing help and just through the situation itself?

khanfahad20 karma

Wow. thanks for asking.

I'm doing what I've always done. I compartmentalize it all. I try to work the same 40 hours, try to spend the same time with family as I did before.

I have to accept that I cannot do it all, help everyone. Even if I made myself available all the time, there will be people I just cannot help due to reasons beyond my control.

I've learn to let go if things are not in my control.

BlueCollarDropout8 karma

My girlfriend is having anxiety problems due to convincing herself she has COVID symptoms.

She is the rare type of person to want to be busy 24/7. Even after a long day of work she wants to have plans to go out and run errands until bed time etc.

With being stuck in the house, it seems like every time she gets alone time with nothing to keep her moving or busy, she gets shortness of breath and has trouble breathing. I then need to remind her to take normal breaths and after 45 min or more, she's fine again. But while it's happening she starts panicking that it's COVID. Which of course worsens the anxiety spiral.

Do you have any advice for her?

khanfahad3 karma

hey it seems like she has a Type A personality and some anxiety already. She should see someone for that. It's probably attributing more towards COVID now.

Have her make structure out of this chaos. She can still do so many things and plan stuff. She can structure her time and control her schedule by doing things that are healthy. Like learning new things, or yoga. You are right about taking breaks. Instead of saying take a break, i would say let's do the next activity (taking a walk, or yoga).

My book does offer some other practical ways and it is free today. So definitely take a look.

woke_in_progress8 karma

I am having a huge urge to cut my hair to #4 buzz. Am I being crazy or should I go for it?

khanfahad9 karma

go for it!!!

what's the worst that can happen?

when i started reading your comment, I thought it was related to you having urge to cut yourself... now that would not be okay :)

Spirited_Release6 karma

What advice do you have for parents of small children who now feel like they are “on” 24/7 with no foreseeable end in sight?

khanfahad3 karma

my next book is on that subject. Hopefully out in a week or so.

  • Keep a schedule to maintain structure
  • Make sure everything is balanced with breaks (excessive continuous screen time is bad, too much school work for a long time is also bad)
  • Excessive and continuous screen time puts kids into fight/flight mode, so they appear to be "on"
  • Look up classical and operant conditioning principles and schedules of reinforcement with children.

QuantumHope5 karma

Have you ever encountered a patient who seemed immune to all strategies for coping with stress?

khanfahad7 karma

YES!

One of the biggest anxieties for psychologists is that their treatment is ineffective.

Whether a person is able to bring change to themselves, is determined by many factors: internal and external. For example, underlying mood issues can lead to lack of motivation. Sometimes people don't have the means to do certain things.

Humans are... interesting... to say the least

lookingrightone3 karma

[question] how does social distancing causing anxiety?

khanfahad3 karma

Human beings are social creatures by our very existence. Even for an introvert, it's very abnormal to isolate oneself.

Now, we are FORCED to do it. If you're forced to do something, even if you like it, it'll eventually cause anxiety.

I talk about these factors in my book. Free today, download and read it :)

https://www.amazon.com/Maintain-Sanity-During-These-Insane-ebook/dp/B086SX3MKV/

lookingrightone0 karma

What about this forced stuff is for public safety though. Still it create stress and anxiety??

khanfahad6 karma

yeah. Because you can justify it or rationalize it. It still doesn't make it abnormal and against our nature...

My personal example is eating chicken. I love eating chicken. So when I went on Atkins, I was happy I can eat chicken all day every day. Well that was a mistake... I started hating chicken after the first two weeks...

PamelainSA3 karma

Thank you for doing this!

I’m a high school teacher, and we’ve been strictly online since the middle of March. Before school was closed, I had been implementing social-emotional learning for my students into regular class curriculum. One of the things my students responded well to was the sense of community we were able to cultivate from the beginning of the school year. Now that we’re all separated, I’ve had quite a few emails from students who say they really miss having our class and seeing each other. My district isn’t crazy about using Zoom due to all the security issues (and also because my students are under the age of 18), so video chatting seems to be out of the question.

My question for you is how can I ensure that I’m reaching my students and still helping to foster that sense of community, but in more of a virtual sense?

EDIT: I also have another question, if you have time: Both my husband and I are educators, so we’ve both been working from home since mid-March. I would describe myself as fairly introverted, and I enjoy being alone, so the quarantine hasn’t affected me too negatively. However, my husband is not the same. He’s suffered from depression in the past, and likes to be social. He’s tried to keep up with the things he’s enjoyed doing indoors, like developing film and reading, but I’ve noticed lately that he hasn’t been motivated to do the things he’s usually enjoyed doing.

What are some ways I can help him with this?

khanfahad1 karma

You're welcome!

First, there's a difference between being physically and emotionally close to one another. The two often occur together but can be mutually exclusive. This is probably a good time for them to learn that they don't have to be physically closer to be socially, emotionally, and spiritually close to one another.

I'm sure your school can allow some way to stay in touch. Look into starting a discord server or some social media way (facebook group) to stay in touch. Obviously, you'll have to maintain professional boundaries.

Ask them to write physical letters to one another. Maybe play a game together through their devices. I think teachers are having this difficulty all over. We just have to be creative.

Sorry if this wasn't helpful

thepotofbasil3 karma

Since switching to zoom, my therapy sessions have been triggering intense anxiety attacks. Perspective? Suggestions?

khanfahad5 karma

So online sessions are never the same as face-to-face sessions. There's something about being is someone's presence that cannot be replicated online (not yet at least). Not to mention the feeling that you're alone is also anxiety provoking.

- First, recognize that anxieties are high due to the COVID situation

- Humans tend to misattribute their emotions. Your anxiety may be due to other factors, possibly unrelated to what you consider as the source

- My book on the topic is free today, it provides a lot of suggestions: https://www.amazon.com/Maintain-Sanity-During-These-Insane-ebook/dp/B086SX3MKV/

Hoangk20063 karma

how do you deal with being worried all the time?

for some reason I am worried about school so much it's a problem because I can't have fun on the weekends, ever since distant learning, it got worse I think because of individually calling the teachers, I need a way of overcoming this problem, Thanks.

khanfahad5 karma

You might have generalized anxiety. Of course the best method is to see a psychologist and even consider medications (if needed).

There are many approaches to treating anxiety: Cognitive, Acceptance-Based, Emotion-Focused.

Try this free self-help course: https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/step1.htm

TheAlmightyJanitor3 karma

Does being a psychologist make it easier to handle any personal problems you yourself may face?

khanfahad9 karma

It reminds me to practice what I preach. To use the knowledge and experience I've gained on myself.

It also creates bigger issues. For example, I know how relationships and childhood experiences affect our functioning. So when I'm anxious, I can figure out where it's stemming from. That is a whole new set of "problems" to deal with :)

Thank you for asking

CallMeDonk2 karma

Do you think the converse may also be a problem in time. Do you expect to see an increase in cases of agoraphobia when theses lockdowns eventually end?

khanfahad1 karma

Great point. I think it’s very much possible. Anxiety occurs when we go outside of our comfort. If our minds and bodies get used to this, going out will be uncomfortable at first.

kaitmeister2 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! A lot of people I know with anxiety and PTSD have said that they’re actually coping better than those who did not deal with these things before. Do you agree with this, and why do you think it might be?

Also, I’m still seeing my therapist (via telehealth), but on top of the weirdness and discomfort of doing video sessions, I’ve found myself holding back because I’m worried about how my therapist is doing. How would you recommend coping with that and opening up again? Telling myself that she has her own therapist is not really helping.

khanfahad2 karma

  • for anxiety, it depends on the type of anxiety. For those who had difficulty leaving home, are probably loving it. While those with claustrophobia, it might be challenging
  • ptsd causing avoidance. So people staying at home May help them avoid certain places and people
  • it’s ok for you to ask your therapist about how they’re doing. Therapy doesn’t have to be one way. You may feel better after asking that and providing support.

Norgeroff2 karma

What color is your toothbrush?

khanfahad2 karma

White. It’s one of those electric ones.

NothinInMyPocket2 karma

one of the questions that has plagued my mind for [months now] is this: Why do perfectly sane people still refuse to distance in the US? I asked them and they just sort of shuffled about the question, saying that they arent stupid, and wont let a silly flu stop their lives.

Like seriously, I went to a walmart in the MS area and people were hoarding the self checkouts in droves! None were wearing any form of PPE or trying to distance, it was a shitshow.

khanfahad1 karma

I have to confess, I was also in denial in the beginning.

Having denial is actually normal. Think about it, who would have thought that this day would come. I never actually thought that we would have this big of an issue in 2020. So most people are in denial.

Also, wearing PPE looks like a sign of weakness and no one wants to come off as weak.

Now if they have gone into full insane mode, then we let natural selection deal with them :)

NothinInMyPocket1 karma

True, but it just depresses me to see the American populace in a 50/50 of insanity and denial.

khanfahad1 karma

these probably the same people who don't vaccinate their children... there will always be ignorance in this world...

mightyshuffler2 karma

This may be kind of out of left field, but I am finding it very hard (since having to work from home) to feel motivated or engaged in my work. It feels trivial, on one hand, and I am also realizing that I do better when I have people to talk to, share with, and SEE. The group I work with, normally we often punctuate our days behind desks with walks down the hall to see each other, spontaneously vent about a frustration, and to talk about fashion or what we are eating for lunch or whatever.

I've heard about people organizing video chats throughout the day to take the place of this, but it feels unnatural to me. I have undiagnosed social anxiety and diagnosed ADHD - both of these things together make scheduling a coffee break an intense challenge. If I remember to do it, I'm intimidated by the prospect of the invitation. In short, I've relied on the forced nature of the office environment as social lubricant and a stand in for having to plan to make social connections. And now I'm suffering the loss of variety and emotional support.

Do you have any suggestions for working on this? I'm feeling depressed and exhausted during the workday just trying to stay engaged.

Also I have access to telehealth counseling BUT I always tell myself I don't have any real problems to talk about so I never actually do the call. I know this is wrong intellectually, but I'm basically afraid to call and not be taken seriously.

khanfahad2 karma

First and most importantly, a trained professional (psychologist, counselor, therapist) will never brush it off and not take you seriously. And therapy is not only for "crazy people."

Here's what I recommend (and i go over some detail in the book - FREE today):

- create structure out of chaos: maintain a schedule, sleep on time, wake up on time, and eat on time. Schedule should be fluid and flexible, modify it as needed.

- create a space for office work and don't do anything else there. As someone with diagnosed ADHD and Anxiety, I can empathize to a certain extent. If you start getting distracted, go sit somewhere else and take your break.

- For people like you and me, procrastination has been our struggle long before some dude ate a bat. Find ways to over come procrastination: breaking up a task, using Pomodoro technique, etc

greybeh2 karma

I get so annoyed with scheduling right now. I need to do it. I printed an hourly schedule that I used very loosely... 2 hours doing X, 3 hours here for doing Y... and then I ignored it!

I feel like I am resisting this structure but I need it very much. I self-sabotage goals I set too. I used to be very type A... If this is burn out, then it I am a few years into it now.

khanfahad1 karma

key is to not have a loose schedule. Make it half hour by half hour. But it can be flexible, so modify as needed. Specific goals are always better.

If you can't get a goal done, try not to get stuck on it. Keep going. Maybe the goal needs to be broken up into pieces. Maybe you need to postpone it.

CurrentlyNobody2 karma

I see heroin addicts walking their skeleton frames down the street while wearing face masks and gloves. What is it that makes them apparently more fearful of this virus than their addiction?

Amd why of all things was toilet paper the go-to thing to panic buy and not cough syrup or Vapo Rub?

khanfahad3 karma

Addiction tricks our brain to think that it's not as bad. Simply because it's pleasing to us, increases our dopamine levels. Nothing about this virus will bring pleasure, unless you're someone who loves and prefers death.

I think when people go into panic mode, with high anxiety, rationality is out the window. My theory is that someone thought to himself/herself that they'll run out of toilet paper and bought like 5 dozen of them. Then someone else saw that and probably thought "hey, not a bad idea" or "this person may be on to something i'm not." Because rationality and logic is low, we become impulsive.

Stupiddrug2 karma

Why do so many people dislike psychologists?

khanfahad4 karma

probably because we ask personal and deeper questions, we analyze stuff too much at times, we talk about emotions and most people avoid that...

OldGentleBen2 karma

Are socially anxious people the minority (except on Reddit of course) with most people being anxious of being confined?

khanfahad1 karma

No. Anxiety is one of the most common problems in the world!

And social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety.

Social anxiety is going to be reinforced due to quarantine.

Treatment for any anxiety is to face it, not avoid it.

Pedro_Scrooge2 karma

My mother has existing anxiety.

It has now warped by the news and social media into a fear of leaving the house.

She isn't in one of the protected groups, she used to work is medically trained so knows how viruses work, she says the thing that tripped her up was learning that there's no actual treatment other than just trying to keep you alive.

How can I help her living 30miles away unable to visit?

All she does all day is watch the news (hearing how many have died each day, cheery stuff) and reading Facebook which is full of her idiot friends all just freaking eachother out. Which just makes things worse, but doesn't want to come off social media as she will feel isolated (fair point).

She lives in a small village, people don't wander around before this all started so why would they now. Everyone locally gives eachother plenty of room and social distancing is going well if I'm honest.

She knows it's silly and unless she licks car door handles she will be fine but she gets into a bath of sweat and has palpitations when trying to tie her shoes to go for a walk, so then doesn't.

She won't even go into the garden and has closed all the windows for the last 3weeks.

Any advice would be great, I only found out how bad it is today....

khanfahad2 karma

Call her as much as you can. Please don't tell her what to do. It's obvious (even to her) but it's not easy. That's because anxiety does this to us. It affects our rationality.

I often get this question: how do I get X to do this and that?

The simple and difficult answer is: you can't. Motivation and change comes from within.

What you can do is empathize with her, listen to her, offer support. Once she sees you on her side, you can begin to give her small doses (e.g. let's turn off the tv just for 5 minutes OR let's open the door but not go outside). She might be open to those once she knows that you are not just questioning or attacking her behaviors.

I'm glad to know that she is at least safe.

Pedro_Scrooge1 karma

Thanks for the pointers. I have nightly WhatsApp video calls with her. I'll keep those going.

I haven't told her what to do as didn't want to make it worse, as I said today is the first I heard of it. I kind of went "oh...ok. here if you need me/want to talk?"

I've also just messaged her about your ebook. She may ignore me, but it can't hurt.

khanfahad2 karma

i think you're doing whatever you can. if you have other family members that can also help, let them know. So all of you can keep her mind occupied.

nuzleaf2892 karma

What's the process look like for beginning to see a psychologist?

I've noticed that I can t realize my symptoms in the moment and sometimes I get frustrated because I can't even figure out why I am anxious or depressed. I am technically not diagnosed with anything but the swings of intense focus, crazy energy, and anxiousness to the lack of motivation, overly numb and cripplingly sad are getting worse. I've had these swings as long as I can remember and always swung longer on the first one, but now I'm swinging more often on the second and it's hurting every aspect of my life.

I've been putting of seeing a therapist because I don't understand what happens after I schedule that first appointment.

khanfahad2 karma

Great question.

Finding a therapist/psychologist. This can be done through psychologytoday.com or through your insurance, or google.

First session is almost always about information gathering. It's more question and answers than therapy. You may not see anything out of it and may lose hope. The professional is trying to understand the problem and create a plan for you. It usually takes 3-4 sessions to see some benefits and 8-12 sessions for someone to achieve their goals.

Also, keep in mind that not all the therapists are the same. One of the determining factors of success is the connection between you and the professional. If it doesn't happen, don't hesitate to look for someone else. It's like dating, sometimes it'll take a few before you can call someone your soulmate.

I hope I answered your question. If not, plz ask more.

nuzleaf2891 karma

What kind of questions are common for the first session?

khanfahad1 karma

Asking about what the problem is, how it began, what makes it better or worse? Asking about childhood and overall life. Asking about suicidal or homicidal thoughts. Assessing sleep and eating behaviors. Etc

[deleted]2 karma

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khanfahad2 karma

a) human beings are social creatures. being away from people is abnormal. so it causes a lot of problems

b) when we are alone, our thoughts can wander. especially toward a negative direction. a normal/sane person can become insane if left alone for too long.

saladobien2 karma

hi, I don't know if you're still answering. I have a non urgent medical issue, but I can't set an appointment because all doctors in all specialties have stopped setting them for indefinitive time. I know I can deal with it, sort of, but at some point I might have to get a small intervention to fix it. The thing is I get extremely anxious, and I find hard to focus on other stuff, and get nervous stomach aches, or just cry, because the uncertainty makes me. I know rationally I can deal with it, but it's just not happening mentally. What can I do to feel a bit calmer? I have been clinically depressed before. tx.

khanfahad1 karma

I'd want to know a few things:

  1. How long have you been feeling this way?
  2. What caused it to begin (if not lifelong)?
  3. Is there family history of depression or anxiety?
  4. Do you have any history of trauma or abuse?

EvaGrayInTheGrave2 karma

Hello, so I should start by saying I grew up poor and am still without a lot of money. It's never been in the books to see a doctor about my mental health. But I do believe I have depressions and anxiety. From about age 15 or 16 to age 19, I was extremely depressed and anxious. It was a serious issue that my family member ignored and let me sit and suffer through alone. I had to force myself to get my feet back under me if I wanted to feel better. It took years and some persuasion from my grandmother who was the only one trying to help me. I'd be dead if it wasn't for her.

Now I'm 22 and the depression isn't a problem as long as I keep a healthy routine, break it and I spiral and that's super great, but the anxiety hasn't been as manageable and it does make a lot of things difficult.

Recently the thing I'm struggling with most is my boyfriend being away. He's my first relationship (ik, at 22 right? But I found it pretty common within my friend group so there's that) and we've been dating for 6 months now.

His family lives pretty far away, and every time he takes a trip to visit, I don't do well. A few days ago, he left to see his dad who works to put up huge electrical poles in the middle of nowhere.

My boyfriend is really patient with me and made it clear that I could ask him to stay, but I wasn't about to dictate what he does. It's been 4 days since he left, and I haven't gone a single day without crying or shaking and I can't get any work done. His dad has even offered him a job which means he could be gone for 2 months in the middle if nowhere finishing this work contract with his dad.

Even writing it down, I can't freaking breath. Any advice would be great.

khanfahad1 karma

Hey, You see to be in a very difficult situation. First, you can get therapy even if you don’t have money. You just have to keep looking. Especially now, a lot of state governors have initiates that offer free therapy. Please utilize it.

Based on what you said about your grandmother and now your boyfriend, you seem to be emotionally dependent on those you feel close to. I understand that it helps you stay stable. However, dependency -especially unhealthy, is not good. If you’re into reading, you should look up books on emotional wellness. Send me a private message and I can send you a workbook on emotion focused therapy.

It sounds harsh but now is probably the best time to work on emotional independence. Because being alone is no longer an option for people, it’s a necessity.

I hope things work out for you.

biglarsh2 karma

How do I handle the stress causing by working from home?

I never bring home work but now work is home and it’s causing me so much stress just thinking about work at a place that I’m supposed to feel relaxed.

khanfahad1 karma

In my book, I talk about the concept of spaces and places. I’ll try to summarize it here.

Wherever you’re living right now, try to create spaces and places for specific activities. Even if you live in a studio or one-bedroom place, have a specific corner that’s set for work and a specific corner that’s for relaxation and a specific corner that’s for sleeping and a specific corner that’s for eating.

If you have a larger space, set one room for work only. Also work on having a set schedule.

itookyourcat2 karma

How can you prevent or combat anxiety from grocery shopping/being out in public right now? Even with a mask, staying far away from others, & doing everything in my control I still am fearful of contracting the virus.

khanfahad1 karma

The fact is that, unless you go in a bunker and not come out, there is always going to be a chance that we may get the virus.
Things usually fall into two categories: what you can control, and what you cannot.

It seems like you're already taking care of what you CAN control. As for what you cannot, there's no better approach than acceptance.

Accepting that you have no choice but to leave the house (even if it's occasional), that you may still get this virus even with all the safety measures.

I'm going to be a bit blunt here so plz forgive me: Someone said that there may be a 5% chance that you may get this virus and die, but there's a 100% that you will die. Meaning, death is certain and will happen. There's no escape from it. We do what we can and accept the rest.

I'll be honest, i feel the same way when i go for grocery run on Monday's.

[deleted]2 karma

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khanfahad1 karma

i'm glad you found it helpful. Be safe and stay strong!!!

TheAncientYouth2 karma

How many of the people who are consulting you now are extroverts Vs introverts. Are the numbers different from when the situation is normal?

khanfahad2 karma

I think those who were extroverts are having the most issues. Because this is way out of their comfort zone. The introverts had a taste of this before and they preferred it to a certain extent.

123coryp2 karma

Thank you so much for answering questions, that's very kind of you!
I have a question about trying to care for myself emotionally at home until it's easier to see doctors and psychologists. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder about 17 years ago and it comes and goes in waves. I was off all meds for a while and then I started noticing depression symptoms returning so my PCP prescribed a medicine I hadn't tried before. This was in November and before I could fully see if it was going to be helpful, he stopped accepting my insurance at the end of December. To establish with a new PCP where I live includes very long wait times. I actually called a new doctor in January and my appointment is supposed to be April 20th. Meanwhile, the medicine is not really working and my depression symptoms are worsening. It's not dangerous in that I want to harm myself or others, but I am definitely struggling with completing daily tasks, cry off and on all day and, my least favorite symptom, I'm super irritable. There is a local mental health clinic that I was a patient of before my previous PCP but they are not scheduling new or returning patient visits until after our stay-at-home order is lifted. I can't find any other mental health professionals that are taking new patients at this time either. My new PCP has let me know that since I am not yet an established patient there, that appointment will likely be rescheduled. So for now I'm kind of stuck with just the one med that doesn't really work and I'm not sure what I can do. Can you recommend any techniques I can do at home until I'm able to see a professional again?
Thanks again for your time :)

khanfahad2 karma

Since you have a proper diagnosis, both therapy and medications will be necessary. First, you need to find a doctor and a therapist. Many states have lifted their rules so people from other states can offer services. Keep looking for a therapist/psychologist you can see online right now and a psychiatrist as well.

Which medication were you prescribed? Maybe you can talk to the doctor and adjusting the dosage may be useful.

As for what to do at home:

1) Sleep on time, wake up on time

2) eat something at the right time

3) take walks outside, get some sun

4) physical activity (in case you can't go outside)

5) social connection: find people to connect with through the options you have

6) yoga/meditation and prayer (if you're religious)

7) write in a journal

8) make a schedule and stick with it. modify it as needed but don't go off track.

greybeh2 karma

Two questions, if I may. First of all, I thought I was doing fine but I guess there is a fierce, underlying panic that i am not in touch with until I am unexpectedly of my comfort zone.

I guess examples would help explain this better. First example is that there was all this stuff about drive up testing in parts of the city I couldn't get to. I don't drive. I rely on public transit and live alone, away from family. Lots of people in my building don't drive either. So, I figured that there probably is some solution if people like us got sick and needed testing. I call this city hotline that was set up to answer questions.

The lady on the other end of the line unhelpfully tells me that I would need a prescription first, to be tested. And then what? She tells me I would go to one of the drive up testing centers. I again explained I don't drive and she lapses into telling me I would need a script first...

I try again to tell her I don't drive, and that I want to know, if I had a script, how could I be tested if I didn't have a car... that I wouldn't want to board public transit and infect anyone. She asks if I really want help or if this is a prank call!!!

I let out some expletive at her, more out of disbelief and frustration... and hang up and am suddenly sobbing.

I also had a situation where my mother was telling me I had to go to a Verizon store or UPS store "or else" to return a piece of equipment, and I said, "It's not like I can hop in a car and go..." I ended up yelling "FORGET IT!" and hanging up and then throwing my phone across the room (because you can't slam a phone down on the receiver anymore, I guess). And I spent that day on the couch in tears and ignoring phone calls.

Second question: I came into this full speed ahead and excited to have time to work on home projects that I never have time for. It started out well. I feel like I am on an even keel emotionally again (except for staying up until 2 or 3am). I just self-sabotage on projects and now my work from home job-related work too...

How do I get back on track? I feel like being productive will be more fulfilling right now. Thank you so much!

khanfahad1 karma

I want to emphasize the importance of sleeping on time. It is probably the most important aspect (in my humble opinion) that plays a key role in emotional wellness.

khanfahad1 karma

Hey thanks for the questions:

1) It seems like you have unhealthy anger. It's either directed towards yourself or others. And situations (even those outside of your immediate control) cause you to feel frustrated and lash out (emotionally and physically). If this is true, it is probably something that was built up over the years. Some people react this way due to adverse childhood events or trauma. Some do it because they weren't assertive enough before and now it has built up to its capacity.

2) The answer to your second question will also help with the first. In my book, i go over having a balanced schedule and creating spaces for yourself in the house. You must adhere to a schedule. Now, if something is not working, change it. But you still cant compromise on certain areas: e.g. sleeping on time, having physical activity etc.

Start a journal. it will help. Write whatever you want in it, scribble and draw if you want, but you need a healthy outlet of emotions.

I hope this helped.

chiapet002 karma

(F, 27) I went through a severe depression this summer and fall. A large part of it being due to accepting my sexuality (gay) and the end of two significant romantic relationships. I lived in a studio and ended up really isolating myself because I was too depressed to get out of bed. I work from home so it was easy. I finally got back on track and started to pull myself out over the winter by leaning into dating, self-care, getting out with friends, working out. I also came home to live with my parents right before covid and now I’m right back in the isolation with no end in sight. I feel like I’m falling back into the depths and idk if I have the strength to pull myself out all over again once this is over.

What do you suggest for people who were already struggling with depression and anxiety?

khanfahad1 karma

Wow sorry to hear. Definitely considering seeing a therapist. I would focus on structure and balance. Structure starts with creating a schedule. Balance all aspects. Sleep, eating, fun times, physical activity. Not trying to plug but definitely go through my book. Free today and it’s not a big one. It’ll guide you for sure.

If you get too depressed, don’t hesitate to use medications.

Slavictymahhon2 karma

I wanna pursue a Clincal Psychology career or even becoming a Psychology/Child Development College professor but I am loss in how to enter such a field in a future. Are there any ways you can tell me step by step as to how to become a Clinical Psychologist and/or a Professor?

khanfahad2 karma

Psychologists generally go into three areas: clinical work, academia, or research.

You need and should get a doctorate degree. Make sure the program is APA accredited. Doctoral programs can be traditional PhD where you don’t have to pay tuition and may even get a stipend. Or it can be non traditional PhD or a PsyD where you’ll have to pay tuition. Make sure you go to a non profit institution. Also, make sure the program gets you ready to become licensed after it.

Before that, you need a bachelors degree. You can also get a masters but it’s not required if you’re going for a doctorate. Bachelors can be in anything but psychology preferred.

And GRE exams to get accepted. Traditional PhD programs are more competitive.

Stay in touch and I’ll guide you.

Altruistic-Shoe2 karma

Hi,

I'm wondering if you have ever treated patients with anxieties or phobias that may be more likely to be provoked whilst self distancing.

For instance, I have this really odd phobia of choking and I'm not sure why, as its never happened to me and just came on in my early 20s. I can eat kind of okay whilst there's people around, but whilst I'm self isolating and my fiancée is with her parents, I just can't eat. I either have a few bites and then it just feels like nothing more will go down, or I get some food down and then have a panic attack.

I'm on a waiting list to receive cbt for this as I'd love to get on with my life as normal, this flares up whenever alone... And during quarentine its a bit grim. Can this be helped by cognitive behavioural therapy?

Hope you're well.

A

khanfahad2 karma

I’ve seen something similar in my practice. I’m wondering if this might be OCD or it’s phobia. In any case, CBT will and should be focused on exposure and response prevention. That will absolutely help.

Altruistic-Shoe2 karma

Could be a bit of both, I have a strong reaction which feels like a phobia, but also some excessive 'checking' tendencies that I've been trying to work out.

Thank you for your response, I'm determined to overcome this before my wedding to not burden anyone else with it, so I'll put my all into the therapy once I receive it. Gives me confidence I'm doing the right thing.

I think the best thing I can do is read until that point. Thank you for the resources.

khanfahad1 karma

It can be both. Phobias tend to be specific to a situation or context. OCD can also be specific but OCD thoughts are intrusive and can't be stopped unless you do something compulsively. Both are under the broad category of anxiety.

You can and have the capacity to do it. You will overcome it. Positive affirmations like those can get you across.

intellectualpea1 karma

I'm an aspiring psychologist (not sure if I want to do clinical or research). I've been told not to pursue psychology because they've said I'm not strong enough and won't be able to cope with the challenges that come with doing clinical work. Do you have any advice?

khanfahad1 karma

the only time I tell people not to pursue psychology is when they ask about how much money i make.

I think if you want to be one, you should be one. Good thing is that, as long as you get a degree from a good school, you have a lot of options. So if you don't like clinical work (or can't handle it), switch to something else like research or teaching or consulting.

Go for it, get your doctorate.

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

khanfahad1 karma

hey. sorry not specifically

major_lame1 karma

What about regular anxiety? Do you treat that and are accepting patients? I’m 10 mins from Lombard and am looking for a doctor.

khanfahad1 karma

Yes. I'll send you a message.

xQuizate871 karma

Have you read "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions" by John Donne? Its incredibly relevant to the state of the world today.

khanfahad1 karma

No I have not. I'll check it out.
Thanks

_Friendly_Canadian1 karma

what are some things we can do to ease the stress of being locked inside our houses?

khanfahad1 karma

that's what my book is on. But here are few pointers:

  1. create and stick to a schedule
  2. dont mess up your sleep routine
  3. balance your day with all sorts of activities (physical, entertainment, social, etc)

Elruler221 karma

What has been the craziest excuse you heard from patients?

khanfahad1 karma

Excuse related to what exactly?

viniciusmiguel1 karma

I have ASD - Asperger, I'm mostly alone. What should I do?

khanfahad1 karma

How did you manage it before and how has the current situation made it difficult?

grimview1 karma

Have you had success in treating anxiety as an addiction? My theory is that Anxieties, OCD, excuses or imaginary diseases are all learned by taking challenge to the extreme. For example, "Noise bothers me" was my first excuse, where I used the excuse to avoid doing some work while obsessively doing other work. "Equality" was also an excuse to similarly get out of work. Combined, I was similar to Ruth Batter Ginsburg in the film on the basis of sex, where we both graduated at the top of class but had trouble finding work while blaming the imaginary disease of lack of equality. However, when Ruth was offered the perfect job by her husband her excuse not to take the job was "I don't do tax cases;" similarly I made excuses not to take a register job (over fear of noise) claiming to have experience in stock, only to complain about inequality in requirements for men to lift heavy things. However, once working around register I realized not only could I do customer service but that I could compete better and I was right. At that point I no longer care about the noise or inequalities as I had new imaginary diseases. Like the security departments issue of Identity theft which I change script to include phrase "you could be a mystery shop sent in here to catch me not doing my job," to take away customer objection to Id theft. For few months panic spread thru out to store over fear of mystery shopper coming to take our jobs, because customer that supported ID checks repeat my phases. They used to repeat "I could be a criminal master mind committing Id theft" but cashiers didn't care until shoppers threaten to report & take away employment. Anyway you get my point, once peer pressured to follow a rule, we may become extremely addicted in competing to follow the rule, even if its imaginary. Closest I found to similar explanation is Co-dependency & Aggressive vs passive aggressive.

khanfahad1 karma

I’m going to be very honest, I’ve never heard of it from this point of view. It sounds very interesting and I’m not going to outright reject it. I think when it comes to the metaphysical, anything and everything is possible.

To answer you question, I have not treated it from that perspective.

ych31 karma

How can I help my boyfriend who can't stop thinking about his intrusive thoughts or how can he stop thinking about them? We have not been able to speak to a psychologist and he is getting worse

khanfahad2 karma

it seems like this may be OCD. With pretty much any disorder related to anxiety, especially OCD, the treatment is exposure.

OCD is when there are obsessive (intrusive, repetitive) thoughts that cause uncertainty, then a behavior (or a thought) is carried out to ease the anxiety of uncertainty. Problem is that the thoughts come back.

Treatment entails staying with the uncertainty without compulsive acts and facing/dealing with the anxiety. send me a private message and i can send you a workbook.

im_pressive-2 karma

Why should any take you more seriously to local wisemen? Why do you assume your methods are helpful simply bc of approval from foreign bodies?

Isnt psychology in the most pitiful state, then ever?

khanfahad1 karma

I don't believe i'm better or wiser than anyone. You might find a more useful and wise advice from someone who's not educated at all.

My methods may help some and may not help others. There's no way for me to know. I try to go by research and data (which can be flawed at times).

Psychology is in decent shape, mental health is in crisis. And yes, there are a lot of things that are just not working. I think i'm going to keep trying and not give up.

Thanks for your criticism.