Ask an Expert: Part 1

Here are some of the questions that you sent in for our expert, Karuna Kunwar, a Senior Psychologist with almost two decades of working experience.

Q: I am usually a soft spoken, calm, and very cool headed person. I do not get much angry at people except for the one who brings out the worst in me even when we are trying to have a peaceful dialogue. I talk to make that person understand where I am coming from, but being constantly dismissed and having to repeatedly explain makes me very irritated and gets me to make irrational decisions. How can I not lose my calm when I am dealing with someone very “difficult” like them? 

A: Every single person is different and has a different way of thinking. Acceptance is the key to a peaceful mind. Once you accept that the other person does not think like you do, it becomes much easier to deal with anyone.

Q: All my life I feel like I have so many things going on in my mind but nothing stays. I get very excited thinking about a new project and then soon enough my interest goes away. It has impacted my life in many ways. Do you think I have an illness?

A: Its normal to lose interest in things you were once really excited about. It might be because it doesn’t satisfy you as much as you thought it would. But if it always happens, it might be because of low self esteem. When you can’t keep up with a decision you made some time earlier, it shows you have little self respect. You can work on uplifting your self esteem and you should be fine. 

Q: My friends describe me as a calm person but my anger is really bad. I go from 0 to 100 in no time. What would you suggest I do?

A: Anger is as normal and healthy as any other emotion. It becomes an issue when there is irrational anger that escalates quickly. There may be various factors acting to develop anger issues like negative thoughts, early traumatic experiences, upbringing, hormonal changes, etc. In some cases anger issues can be a sign underlying mental health issues like personality disorder. Anger issues, if not treated in time, may have extreme outcomes. Journaling and meditation are highly recommended to manage anger issues. There are various other healthy ways to deal with your anger like practicing empathy and expressing how you feel. If you feel like nothing is qorking and the situation is getting worse, I recommend you to visit a therapist.

Q: Are there therapists in Nepal? I think I might want to go to one but I don’t know anything about it. Also how much does it cost? I am a student so I cannot afford anything expensive. 

A: Yes, there are therapists in Nepal. You can find them in various hospitals and organizations dedicated towards mental wellbeing. The cost depends upon expertise of the therapist and the issues you are going through. Patients are recommended to pay at least some amount for the sessions, although many therapists provide discounts. Paying adds value to the sessions leading to the improvement of the patient. Also, if you visit a good therapist just a couple of sessions would be helpful enough.

Q: I am almost certain that I have OCD. When I try telling my friends or family, they make fun of me. How can I get them to understand what I am going through?

A: Talking about any mental issue is a hard conversation. It is very difficult for a healthy mind to grasp what an unhealthy one goes through. For people, OCD seems like a behaviour of yours. They have no clue what goes on inside your mind. If you have tried talking about it, you are already a step closer to the cure. When you are discussing about OCD with your trusted ones, try to explain them what its like inside your mind. Talking to one person at a time makes it easier to express than in a group. Make a list of your symptoms before you talk about them. That makes it easier for you to explain and for them to understand. Let them know what you want- is it just their support or professional help or just someone you can talk to? They may take some time to understand, but thats okay.

Have questions you want answered? Fill in the anonymous form here:

— Compiled by Dikshya, Kathmandu

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