Suggest treatment for anxiety and depression

Posted on Tue, 14 Apr 2015 in Anxiety and Stress
Question: I am 15 and a half years old and I was bullied very badly in school last year in February and March 2014. Those bullies were threatening me and I got a psychiatric illness. It caused anxiety and depression. I went to the psychiatrist in May and he prescribed antipsychotic drugs which were wrong. I was on those drugs for 8 months till January 2015 and those drugs made me worse. So I went to a new psychiatrist in February 2015 and he prescribed anti anxiety and antidepressant drugs. They are making me feel little better but I have my board exams now. I am not able to study properly because those bullies were threatening me that they are going to kill me if I do well. My IQ is 143 but I am still thinking about those bullies threatening me, I am getting irritating feelings in my head about them and I am getting mental blocks. Now what do I do about this? I didn't even take any revenge or complain to anyone till now. And I also tried to make my life like those bullies because I took everything what they told me seriously. They were calling me ugly because I am very good-looking, I actually started believing them and I was exceptionally good at studies earlier but after that bullying, and when I was on wrong medication, I started failing. I feel that I can't be myself and while studying I am not able to live my own life. Now what do I do about all this? Is it because of that bullying? I was also getting thoughts of committing suicide. And I am hoping that I don't feel like this throughout my life. I feel that my life is controlled by those bullies and I don't have a brain of my own, my brain has started thinking like the brain of those bullies.
Answered by Dr. K. V. Anand 21 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Be realistic. Be positive.

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXX,

Welcome to HCM
We understand your concerns

I am very sorry to say that you are having simple illusions about what your brain may think and in fact you are stimulating yourself. In other words, we call it being obsessive.

You got bullied by some people who don't want you to perform well or wanted to ill-treat you. That was the circumstance then. You got bullied because your circumstances then were different.

But Now?. Are those circumstances same? Almost an year passed by and you even had psychiatric treatment for your illness. Even now you are having treatment. That aspect itself should bring positive confidence in you.

That is why I told you in the beginning, you are being obsessive.

Those bullies wanted to cripple you and they got succeeded without dripping a single drop of sweat. You, at the same time, is suffering due to that bullying. What is there to get worried? Bullies are just people. There is a limit for what they can do to you. You are grown up. You have the capacity to stop them. Then?

I presume, you have enough time to think about these. You are unable to concentrate on studies mainly because you are not being realistic about that bullying episode, because of your own negative thinking. Be realistic. Be positive. I assure you, you are a grown up person. Those bullies cannot do any harm to you. Even if they try, you have the physique and help to resist. Over and above, they cannot hamper your brain and IQ.

Please let me know the details of people who bullied you. Also let me know the words and weapons (if any) they used. You can share any significant information with me. Let me try to design a cognitive behavior therapy for you.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. K. V. Anand 2 hours later
Those bullies used to call me a slave and a beggar because they were jealous of me. In my class I used to get very good marks in my tests, and I was also very intelligent and used to give very intelligent answers in class. I was very inventive and showed keen interest in Maths and science related topics. My teachers used to tell me to become a doctor or I could invent a new element in chemistry and name it by my name. They were not as intelligent as me, they were average, some below average. I was also very good-looking, my height is 6 2", people were telling me to be a model. They also came to know that my family is very rich and I have good cars. I can also sing, play the piano and guitar very well, and a good tennis and table tennis player. They got to know that I was very talented and I used to get chosen for many inter school competitions and tournaments, and I also won many. But I was a very quiet and shy child, and used to not talk much, and I used to doubt my capabilities. They were very jealous then so they started telling me that I'm the ugliest person on earth, and started calling me a "bhikhari", and forced me to become their slave. They were also threatening me that they have "gunda" people with them who can kill my family. I actually started thinking of myself as very ugly, and whenever I then used to look at myself in the mirror, I was very depressed and I gave up on myself. I also started thinking of myself as a slave and a beggar, and all this happened in February, March and April. After April they stopped bullying me, but I was still ruminating about the past, because I have not taken any revenge or complained to anyone about it. Whenever then I used to come to school, I was very anxious and didn't feel like coming because I was afraid that I will be bullied. I also began to give wrong answers in class purposely, because is thought those bullies were greater than me, and I am their slave, so if I do well they would bully me more. They also hit me two times (but that didn't hurt me physically). I started feeling very bad. So whenever I was reading, I came to know that I have a reading problem. When I used to read one line, and go to the next, my eyes used to get some jerk-like feeling, and that troubled me a lot. I just spoke to one of my school teachers a few days back about that problem. He told me the real reason. He said it was due to lack of coordination between the brain and eyes, he said along with the material, my brain is thinking about 2 different things. It is also thinking about the bullies at the same time while reading, so I tried to make my brain focus on the material only, and that problem went away totally. But I had that problem for 1 full year, because I didn't tell anyone about it, because if I did, then they would call me abnormal. I thought it was a problem with my eyes, and I put eye drops, but that didn't help. Also, in May I went to the psychiatrist and he prescribed antipsychotic drugs which made me worse. So by the time of October, I felt like committing suicide, and I felt the world is going to end. I lost interest in all my activities and started failing in studies. Those antipsychotic drugs had side effects of delirium or acute confusional state, and then I started thinking that I have a thought disorder. I stopped those drugs in January and went to a new psychiatrist, he prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs which have made me better. I have my board exams going on now, I am hoping that I will do well with all this treatment, in my boards and also in life. But still, whenever I am studying, I still think about those bullies threatening me, and I feel that I do not have a mind of my own. I feel that I that my brain has begun to function like those bullies' brain and I can't be myself. Why is this happening (the brain thing, that I feel that I don't have a mind of my own and I feel that my brain has begun to think like those bullies brain) ? What is the solution to this? And I also still feel that my life is controlled by those bullies, even though now no one bullies me, but I still ruminate about the past. And whenever I think about becoming a businessman, doctor, model, or a musician when I grow up, I still think about those bullies calling me ugly and threatening me and I feel that they have hampered my progress. I am a gifted student, with high intelligence, and I am very upset that I was bullied.
I also got angry and became violent with my parents for a few months after I was bullied, because I had not complained to anyone and I had no one to take out my anger on. I have my ICSE board exams going on now and I just finished my 10th standard, the last year of school. My friends are telling me to forget about it, because they will no longer be with my in college or anything, but I am still upset that I was bullied and threatened, and it made my life very sad, bad and difficult for 1 year.
Answered by Dr. K. V. Anand 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
Present is a "present" (gift of god)

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXX,
Thank you for the follow up and details.

I am sincerely feeling elated to talk to an intelligent person. You yourself know, you have so many positive attributes within you, so many confidence building attitudes within you. You were good at your school, home, instruments, an all-rounder. Teachers parents and well wishers were proud of you and your abilities. You were a cause of pride for so many people.

Except these bullies. I understand these bullies are from your own school and were almost of the same age. They started threatening you, mock you, and you know that is because of their jealousy towards you. You knew and you know.

People can curse you, but according to psychology, that curse will curse you only when you did any misdeeds that warrants that curse. In this case, you did nothing that warrants their curse. Therefore that curse has already vanished into thin air, without touching you.

Just imagine, a mad person comes and stand in front of your house and curses you every day, what will be your reaction. Initially you will do everything to keep him away. Acting yourself, telling your parents or well wishers, police etc. In spite of all these, if the mad man repeats, you simply ignore, and gradually the mad man looses interest in you. That is reality and that will be the reaction of you and anybody.

Here, in your case, your brain is behaving like a mad man, just because you are thinking about the same incident again and again. The more you worry about it, the more it will trouble you. The best option is to ignore the thoughts and be active.

Your past had so many incidents. Positive and negative. Positive incidents taught you POSITIVE LESSONS. Negative incidents also taught you POSITIVE LESSONS. There are no NEGATIVE LESSONS. All lessons we learn from our experiences are positive assets which we use in our future. In that case, why do you want to think about the negative incidents? Leave incidents away, and nourish yourself with positive lessons you learnt.

Bullying cannot alter your brain's anatomy, physiology or biochemistry. But your own negative thinking can alter. That is what you are experiencing. Continuous negative thinking made your brain to think negative aspects. In that case, surely, continuous positive thinking should also have positive effects, Isn't it?

So that will be your exercise.

1. Write 20 to 25 positive attributes and attitudes about you in a peace of paper and keep it in your pocket. Whenever you feel negative, take it out and read it aloud.

2. Exercise and indulge in games. Two hours per day. Inactive body and mind provides more time for the mind to think and naturally thinking will be negative, as that is your habit currently. Active body always is positive.

3. Stand in front of a large mirror, Talk to the mirror image. Address the image as YOU. Tell all those positive attributes about you and boast yourself. Please remember to address the image as YOU.

4. When you start reading those positive sentences about you, you will have more confidence about you and you sill have concentration on your studies.

5. Please do not force those negative thoughts away. Accept that those thoughts are real and tell your mind, you do not have time to think now, now I have other task to do, I will think about it later. Prioritization and diversion is the technique.

6. Indulge in breathing exercise whenever you sit idle, drink enough liquids and include two tomatoes in your daily diet.

Past is past, it is over. Future will be according to what you think and plan for. Present is a "present" (gift of god). Utilize it properly for your future. Do your duties which makes your future colorful.

God bless you. Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. K. V. Anand 4 hours later
Okay, when I look at myself in a large mirror, how should I think of myself? As my name (Yash)? If no, then as what? How do I address the image as "me"? And I should ignore the negative thoughts, so that they will go away automatically, and not try to force them away, right? Because if I force them away they will come back, that will alter my brain's anatomy, right?
And I wanted to ask few more things-
1) I was worried about myself, because I am a gifted and unique person. I was getting the negative feelings, and I didn't know it was because of the bullying. I thought of many other reasons why I was getting them. I thought it was because of wrong medication, but then I came to know I was wrong. I searched on google about bullying, and I found an article on how bullying affects the gifted student. It impacts the gifted student in a unique way. It said that they see their academic gifts as flaws, they tend to mask their giftedness, they try to fix the situation themselves, they become perfectionistic, they experience strong reactions, they struggle to understand why they are bullied, they become self-critical, lose interest in school etc. This was exactly what was happening to me, so then that was how I got to know why I am getting all these thoughts. When those bullies in my class were bullying me, I did mask my giftedness, and I was wondering why I was being bullied for no reason. I just got to know it was because they were jealous of me. I used to be a good student, but those bullies were telling me that I'm the worst and they are much better than me, and they look much better than me, and that I'm very ugly. Because I started thinking that I look ugly etc, I also started behaving in a dumb manner, and that is why my friends were also wondering why I was behaving like that. But still, I didn't tell anyone about the bullying. And I also just got to know when I read that article that I was behaving abnormally because of that bullying, because each and every point which was mentioned was exactly happening to me. So will this affect my life later? I want to get back to the guy who I was before being bullied, that is one year ago. Is that possible? I feel it is, because I now know that I am actually intelligent, because is tested my IQ just a few days back, and it came between 140-150. Earlier I used to think, that intelligence is temporary and delicate, and can disappear through someone telling me that I am dumb, and I didn't know that there is something known as IQ. I didn't know that intelligence stays with you throughout life.
2) The second thing is that I am getting this one very irritating thought. I don't know if it is a thought (negative thought) or it is real. I feel that my life is not continuous (it does not have a continual flow like others' life). Whenever that thought strikes me (or I don't know if it is real), I feel that I am going to die or collapse any moment. This thought I started getting since October, when I was on wrong medication, I was feeling bad due to bullying, and I had my exams, and I wasn't able to study, which was getting me more and more stressed, and then I started feeling that I am going to die or collapse. That feeling has not gone. Since then I have started thinking that my life is not continuous, and my end is going to be any moment. Before I used to not get this thought, so I feel that my life was continuous before and now it is not. And everyone else didn't get this thought, because everyone else wasn't on wrong medication, and was not bullied. So I have started thinking that everyone else feels continuous of their life, and I do not, and I feel that my end is any moment from now. And because of that I have started feeling that I am inferior to everyone else on this earth, and everyone else has a much better life than mine. Now what do I do about all this? Is it just a negative thought, is it due to anxiety, or is it real? I am sure it is not real, because I am not dying any moment, but I am doubtful and worried about this. And this feeling, or thought, when it strikes me while I am doing something or I am sitting idle, irritates me, I get distracted and I feel sad about myself.
3) The third thing is that, whenever I say those bullies' name/names in my mind, or someone says them aloud, or I read them somewhere, while I am studying, I get distracted and I get mental blocks, and I feel that my mind has started to function like those bullies' mind. Why is this happening? What is the solution to this? And I also feel that my brain has a grudge or revengeful feeling against those bullies' brain and vice verca, and I feel that the grudge will remain forever in life, and that is why I can't forget about the bullying, because the grudge will remain. And I feel that that is why my brain's anatomy has been ruined. And sometimes because of that I also feel that my brain has become empty, and has no information in it, and I feel that whatever I talk or write or message is "shit"(but actually people tell me that whatever I talk and write is very interesting, but because of this empty-brain feeling, I feel like that)
If these 3 problems can be solved (the 2nd one being the most irritating and painful), I feel I will be fine. Can they be solved? If yes, can you please give me a solution to them?
I am sorry that I am wasting your time, because I know that you have a busy schedule, but I seriously need help in my above mentioned problems.
1 more thing... 4) Whenever I am studying or reading, I feel that my mind is closed, and so I can't keep my mind open, so I don't feel like studying. But if I've studied, without thinking like that, and I try to revise by doing some problems, I can easily answer or solve them. But why does this feeling that the mind is not open happen? What do I do about it? Is it real or it is just another negative thought, and can easily be solved?
Answered by Dr. K. V. Anand 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
The willingness and readiness for a change

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the follow up.
Let me explain things one by one.

For Point 1) You yourself know now that you were treating yourself negatively. You are gifted, having good aptitudes, skills and attitude. How can you believe you are not gifted or worry that you are a gifted and unique person? Your IQ was high because you were gifted. Even now your IQ will be high because negative thinking and anxiety disorders cannot alter a person's internal aptitudes and skills. Internet articles do tell so many things. If you start believing them, your life will be ruined. You should learn to be able to take the good part and ignore the bad part of any articles.

For point 2). You are having these type of thinking because you do have health related anxiety too. That is normal with usual anxiety disorders. You are also having obsessive thinking.

For point 3). This happens because you associated "whatever happened" with those bullies and started fearing them, whereas the truth is "nobody can do any harm to you mentally unless you desire for it".

For point 4). Your mind is not closed, but you are feeling as though. You can see how obsessive thinking works.

Empty brain feeling is due to your own negative thinking and in spite of people do not find any fault in you, you are counting yourself as inferior.

When you talk to the mirror image use these sentences also. You can construct positive sentences like this.
"You will change, you will be able to clear all your problems"
"You are Intelligent"
"You came through experiences that changed your life positively"
"Bullying cannot alter the biochemistry of your brain"
"You don't care with which words (first bullying person's name) bullied you, but it had a positive effect on you it helped you understand yourself" (repeat this sentence for every bullying person)
"You are utilizing your intelligence and gifted skills to think negatively about you. Stop it"

You are having all these negative thoughts and obsession mainly because you do not have any interesting activities. Engage yourself in exercises, indoor and out door games, hobbies etc. Thereby reducing the circumstances of negative thinking. The more you are active, the less negative thoughts.

Regarding studies for exams, instead or plain reading, use alternatives like combine study with your friends, use internet, images, videos, writing notes, creating poems with important points etc. Be as creative as possible.

The most important factor for all of the above is : The willingness and readiness for a change.

God bless you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. K. V. Anand 38 hours later
This feeling that my life is not continuous is constantly irritating me. I know it is obsessive thinking, but I wanted to ask you, that the 6 things which you told me to do, are to reduce my obsessive thinking, right? Because I keep thinking that others in the world are feeling continuous of their life, and I am not. This I started feeling when I was on the drug (pacitane) which causes delirium or acute confusional state. And that time I used to feel that it would be better to die instead of living, because I was not enjoying living in confusion, so I didn't feel like living and kept thinking about my death, and that was another reason why I felt that my life is not continuous. It's been 2 months since I stopped the drug, the confusion which it caused has gone, but when I used to take it, I used to wish that I had someone else's life, and not this one, because no one else was feeling how I was, and I also used to feel that I have the worst life. I still think about living someone else's life, but now I don't wish that I had that persons life. Whenever someone is talking to me, I think about living his life (earlier when I was on that drug, I used to think about it acutely, but now it has reduced). But why do you think this is happening? And what do I do to get rid of this feeling that my life is not continuous? And the acute confusion which the drug caused, made me feel that I have a thought disorder. For example, when someone was talking to me I didn't know what I should think about. And I still feel a bit like that even after stopping the drug. But do you think if I,actually have a thought disorder or I am just thinking that I have but actually I don't? When one new negative thought strikes me, I keep ruminating about it. This mainly happens when I am sitting idle, and I start getting negative thoughts, and then when I sit down to study, those negative thoughts irritate me. When I go down for a walk, I feel little better, but then when I return, they again come back. And even when I am studying, I feel that I don't have a mind of my own, and I also get some foggy feeling in my head. Whenever I hear or think of some other persons name, I feel that my mind has begun to think like his. Now why does this happen and what is the solution to this? And sometimes, when I am very anxious, I feel that those boys who bullied me in my class are going to come from nowhere and kill me from behind. I also feel that people talk about me behind my back. But these feelings have become less when I started anti depressant and anti anxiety drugs.
I also feel that I don't know how to live.
And also that feeling of enmity towards the bullies keeps striking me while studying.
Answered by Dr. K. V. Anand 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
No one can kill you. You will live through it.

Detailed Answer:
You already know that your thinking style is obsessive. Obsessive thinking is irritating because it does not allow you to do anything. That is why I told you to be busy and active. Playing engaging Games (badminton, football, hockey etc), hobbies like painting, sewing, computer programming etc engages you and you will be so engaged that you don't have the brain set up to think. This is called reprogramming the brain. In later stages, the brain will be habituated and automatically be creative.

You are thinking about living the other person's life, most probably because, you started hating your life. Such an attitude happens when we are totally disappointed with the current life and those thoughts itself becomes obsessive. That is normal when you are already obsessive. Once a person becomes chronically obsessive, so many negative thoughts cross in and becomes obsessive. You need to understand it.

I request you not to think more about the drug. I agree that the drug has side effects which you had experienced, those side effects are nullified within almost a month of stopping that drug. In your case, that period is over. If you start relating your current problems with that drug, it again becomes obsessive and as your problems goes, disturbs you continually.

You are just 16. Your duty here is not to think and confuse about your future, problems, responsibilities etc. That can be taken care of when you become adult. Now you are preparing to become an adult. You are supposed to think about Career oriented Education, current short period tasks like exams, relationship with your family, friends etc. That is your current task at your age, THAT IS ALL. In your condition, you are carrying on thinking about everything around the world, and simply avoiding the essential ones.

The tasks (Career oriented Education, current short period tasks like exams, relationship with your family, friends etc.) are like food and breathing. You cannot live without them. Be self motivated. learn to be self motivated. Nobody is going to help you in that aspect. The motivation I (or anybody) gives you provides momentary elation. But it wanes off very fast. Self motivation stays.

If you feel that you are still feeling anxious and depressed and obsessive, that means the medicines you are using now, despol and clonotril, are to be updated. You should consult your psychiatrist to work on this problem.

Psychiatry assures a combination of psychotherapy, relaxation and drug work wonders in mental disorders. The 6 steps which I gave you comes under psychotherpy. There are several steps you need to practice. These are first among those several steps. So I request you to be patient, go with the tide, practice those steps regularly and contact me once in a month. Every month I will provide extra steps to work on. I am sure you will be able to manage it yourself within around 6 months.


Take Care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
Follow up: Dr. K. V. Anand 8 days later
I spoke to my psychiatrist regarding the medication. I told him that I want to stop it because it was making me feel acutely drowsy, and I felt that it was causing all the problems because of which I was not able to study. He said that he had given despol (anti-depressant) for my concentration and clonotril (anti-anxiety drug) to reduce my stress for the exams. He said that I could stop it after the exams get over (I now have 2 exams remaining) but it was causing problems so I told him that I will stop it now only and I will see, because I had a five day gap for 1 exam so I could see how I feel on the first 2-3 days. When I stopped it I felt much better. Those feelings that my life is not continuous and I am going to die or collapse, I am inferior to everyone else, that foggy feeling in my brain or head, obsessive thinking have gone. But I still have a few problems for which I need your help-
1) I've started feeling empty-minded since a day (I don't feel empty brain how I used to feel while taking the medication, empty mind is different). I don't feel like doing things, and I just lay on the bed with an empty mind. I feel it is due to the bullying only, because when those boys used to threaten me verbally, I felt bad, depressed and empty-minded. Is this empty-mind due to the bullying only? And what do I do to get rid of it? Because I feel that I am weaker physically and mentally compared to the bullies. I have used your psychotherapy, and it has helped a lot and brought a lot of positive confidence in me, but suddenly I started feeling empty mind since a day, and I just sit idle or lay in bed depressed and wanting to seek revenge against those bullies. Even last year in April and May, that is when I was bullied and I wasn't on any medication, this empty-mind was occurring, and the exact same thing has started to occur now. I am feeling the exact same how I was feeling before I started any medication (although now I know that those people were bullies and were jealous of me, and just wanted to ruin my life and not want me to be successful, that's why they were telling me things).
2) I also felt blankness in my mind during my last exam. I think that the blankness and the empty-mindedness are the same thing and are occurring due to the same reason. But still, if it is occurring due a different reason, then what do I do about it? I thought that the blankness and empty-mindedness are occurring due to lack of sleep, but they weren't. I slept after coming home from my exam for two and a half hours, but I am still feeling blank and empty minded.
3) Whenever I am reading something, and I go from one line to the next, my eyes feel a jerk and they twitch or something. I just don't know why this is happening and I want to know the real (scientific) reason why this is occurring. Because I got my eyes also checked (I thought it was a problem with my eyes), the eye doctor said my eyes are perfectly fine, but still he prescribed eye drops. After putting those eye drops I felt that this problem went away, but actually it didn't, because I came to know that eye drops have no effect on movement of eyeballs. This problem started last year in April, the month I was bullied, when I was reading something about studies from a textbook, and I suddenly started feeling this jerk-like movement in my eyes. Then even when I was reading messages on my phone I came to know I have this problem. Then even while reading my question papers during the exam I came to know I have this problem. This was also another reason why I couldn't study, and it was giving me nervous breakdowns, because I couldn't study as it was irritating me continuously. I started thinking that everyone else might have also developed this problem, so I need not worry, but when I asked other boys, they said that nothing like that happens to them. Then I was very depressed because I had this problem and I didn't know what to do. Because of this I also started failing in my exams. I got my eyes checked in October 2014 (when I was on wrong medication), but the problem was still there. This still happens and I still get irritated about it. Why is it happening? Is it due to anxiety? Or is it due to lack of coordination between the brain and eyes? Or is it because I am continuously thinking about those bullies while reading and they won't go out of my head? Because I keep wondering why this is happening and it is just not going away.
4) I also feel that there are 2 ways of listening-active and passive. This also started happening in April 2014 when I started feeling empty minded. I feel that active listening is when you listen with full focus, and passive is when you listen in a lazy manner and with an empty mind, from the back of your ears. I feel that I sometimes listen actively and sometimes passively. I thought that this was a problem with my ears, so I got my ears to checked, in October 2014, but that didn't help. My ears were perfectly fine, and it also thought that everyone else might have developed this problem, so I need not worry, but then I felt that this is also not normal. This still happens and irritates me, especially when I am feeling empty-minded, and I can't focus or pay attention because of this, and I feel that I listen in an abnormal manner. This is also another reason why I started failing. Now why is this happening? What is the scientific reason for it? Is is due to depression? Or anxiety? Or lack of coordination between brain and ears? And what do I do to get rid of it?
If you feel that all this is due to depression only, then if will speak to my psychiatrist and tell him that I will again start the anti-depressant drug, but I won't continue the anti-anxiety drug, because is feel that it is not anxiety which is the problem. I am not at all stressed about my exams, I am worried about all these problems first.
And a few more problems I forgot to ask-
5) I feel that bullying has affected me emotionally, mentally and psychologically. It us changed my behavior towards others, the way I used to treat things, my likings and dislikings, my way of thinking, the way I used to respond to others, my way of talking, I've started behaving like a slave because they used to treat me like one etc. Those bullies were jealous of me and didn't like my likings and dislikings, and were forcing me to like things which I didn't like. It has hampered my progress. I feel that I would have much more successful in life if I wasn't bullied. Has bullying caused all these problems or I am just thinking that it has caused them but actually it has not? If it has, then what do I do about it? Because I also lost all my good friends due to all these problems. I feel that I am not as intelligent as I used to be be before I was bullied and I want to get back to how I was before I was bullied. I am not a normal student, I am a unique and gifted student, and I feel that bullying has impacted me in a unique manner.
6) Even while writing my board exam paper, I was getting negative thoughts about those bullies telling me things, which I feel was causing the blankness. I also used to tend to write wrong answers in the paper purposely, even if I knew the right answer, and I wasn't able to concentrate on my paper. Now what do I do to get rid of those negative thoughts while writing my paper? Should I force them away, or should I ignore them, or what should I do? Because now I feel that I won't even be able to touch 90% and I will hardly get 85%.
7) Even girls from other schools (my school is a boys' school) used to like me and tell me that I am attractive. Even I used to show love towards them. But after I was bullied, I stopped thinking about them and only started to think about those bullies and being a slave. I also now find it hard to get along with those girls and other people. Could this (stop loving and only thinking about bullies) be another reason for all these problems?
8) The drug which made me develop delirium or acute confusional state, the drug which was giving me masked faces (now I stopped it 2 months ago and all those problems have gone), I feel that they are also another reason why I am not able to get along with people and I can't express myself properly. I stopped expressing myself, I stopped getting laugher and I stopped crying also. Whenever used to talk something funny, everyone else used to laugh, but I used to not get laughter, and I was wondering why that was happening. I was also feeling that the world is going to end, so everything has become serious so I have stopped getting laugher. When I stopped those drugs, I came to know that it was due to them. Now I have again started laughing and crying, and expressing myself, but I still find it a little hard and it is not the way it used to be before. Will all this also get fine?
I have used your psychotherapy, it has helped me, but first I want to get rid of all these problems.
For point no. 5, I also forgot to add that those bullies used to call me ugly which I feel has affected me emotionally, mentally and psychologically.
Answered by Dr. K. V. Anand 11 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Happy to note that you are dping well without medication and the obsessiveness are not troubling you.

Empty mind and empty brain are one and similar. Only name changes. You are unable to think and unable to do anything which rejuvanates you. You just sit or lay somewhere and think over and over. You told me you are doing my psychotherapy methods and you are fine. But I did rather say, you are not doing them properly.

For any psychotherapy to work, the basic ingredient is self motivation and physical exercise. If you are unable to do it, try again and again. The moment you engage yourself in physical games and entertaiining activities, half of your problems are solved. Sitting inside home will not solve any mental disorders. Please understand.

Bullying episode was there and it was troubling you for the last one year. That is OK. Don't you want to come out of it? There are no medicines which can block your negative thoughts. If they block, they block negative and positive thoughts together, thereby you feel more stupid and lethargic. You need to get self motivated and act. You need to forget the bullying episode with the help of logic. They bullied you once, that never means they come back again and agin and bully you, that doesnot mean that they will bully you in future. They are gone. Now you are the person making many mistakes. Understand. Get up and act. For your sake.

Even when you are speaking about your eye problem, you are mentioning the bullies. That is not a physical problem and that was clarified by your eye specialist. That too is obsession. Anxiety, stress etc can produce many weird symptoms across your body. If you start obsessing with them, then those symptoms present again and again. That is why it called obsessive and called psycho-somatic. Ignore them. They cannot do any harm to you unless you obsess with them.

The matter of active and passive listening is correct. Anybody who is mentally disturbed, stressed, anxious, depressed etc cannot listen whole heartedly. That is natural that they have passive listening.

Your psychiatrist did a good job by saying you cannot stop the medicine now. You need to give rest to brain's obsessive thinking process. Anti-depressant and anti - anxiety conbines effect this. You are getting relief from stopping medicine just because you are feeling happy. within a week or so, you will feel otherwise, you will be wanting more medicines, unless you do the psychotherapy perfectly.

You are writing so many things about those bullies and bullying episode, as if without remembering those episodes, you cannot live. You are locking yourself within a iron cage and requesting for help. That is where you have to change. You should continue taking medicines at least for another 6 months. you should practice psychotherapy techniques which I provided along with those medicines. Also tell your psychiatrist about the methods you are using.

Bring a change in your life style. Make a daily time table. Include Morning jogging, evening games in the time table. Provide time for every psychotherapy technique in the time table. Stick to that vehemently. Self motivation is the key. Nobody can motivate you unless you want to change. We provide guidelines and exercises for change. It works only when you stop thinking and talking negative and engage yourself in psychotherapy.

You are almost an adult now. Keep that in mind. You are not a child. You have the expertise to know between right and wrong, truth and lies. Use that wisdom to move forward.


God bless you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. K. V. Anand 48 hours later
I am trying my best to get those bullies out of my head, but they are just not getting out of my head. Especially one big bully, I keep thinking about his bullying incidents and I feel that my life is controlled by him. I feel that the bullies will only get out of my head if I go to them and take revenge against them, otherwise it will not and will keep remaining in my head. What do I do about this? Can you give me a way or a solution to this to get it out of my head? Because even if I want to go out for a walk or play something or go to the gym, I don't feel like because that bully isn't getting out of my head. And I keep worrying about the next time he will bully me. Even while studying or writing my exam, I feel that I shouldn't study because if my life is controlled by that bully, then it is no point doing anything in life, and so I tend to purposely write the wring answer. And is all this happening because my mind has paired the symptoms of anxiety with the bully and his name?
And did I get this anxiety disorder and depression because of the bullying or it just occurred to me? Because before I was bullied I wasn't getting any of these problems. My psychiatrist said that I am an anxious person by nature, so it is not a psychiatric illness, he said that it was anxiety which is the problem which is causing depression. But I just wanted to confirm that bullying cannot cause depression and anxiety, right? Or does it?
And when I am studying for an exam, how do I think about the syllabus? Because I keep thinking that I am behind everyone else in the syllabus because they didn't have any illness like me and they have finished their portion and are revising, but I haven't because of this anxiety and deprssion. And when I think like this, I am not able to study or focus at all. So what do I do? Should I think that it is only me who is appearing for the exam, and no one else? Will I be able to study then? And I keep thinkin about the results also. Will thinking about the results help, or should I not think about them?
I am again continuing the medication, but my psychiatrist said that he cannot increase the dosage because it would make me very drowsy. He said that he would take care of my anxiety after my exams get over.
And I feel that big bully is physically stronger to me, so he can easily harm me any time in the future also, and I keep worrying about my body that he should not harm it.
And I am also worried about my death and I still feel that I am going to die or collapse any moment and I keep thinking that. What do I do about this also and why is this happening?
Answered by Dr. K. V. Anand 8 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXX,

You are an intelligent person with high IQ and you are acting like a below average person. I am sorry to hear from you. You need to understand some basic facts about your problem which I explained previously.

I told you, you have to follow strictly those steps which I provided you. Psychotherapy is a process and it will take time to act on any person. The result purely depends on the attitude of the patient. If his attitude is positive, we can expect early result.

Please understand, motivation, attitude, peace of mind etc are things which you cannot buy anywhere or nobody can provide you. I may motivate you using my experience for the time being. But to sustain you have to motivate yourself.

I am not asking you to forget the bully. I am asking you to accept him, but ignore. I am not asking you to force his thoughts away, I am asking you to think positively about you and your bullies and change your attitude towards them.

Psychotherapy techniques works as medicines. Depression medicines are to consumed once or twice a day with or without water. You do that without fail and without anybody forcing it. In the case of psychotherapy also, do it with your own will and just believe that it will work.

You were able to take food thrice a day throughout these troubling periods (even though in reduced quantity). From where you got the motivation? Did these bullies and negative thinking caused you to skip food? How many times? Then how can these bullies and negative thinking can make you not to study? Because you are not taking education as essential thing of life as food, water and shelter.

You should look into realities and learn. You should learn from your past. Throughout the question answer sessions between you are me, you always complain. I am sure about one thing. You never tried any of the steps I gave you. You have many excuses. Fine. But who will do it? When all those excuses cannot save you, you will think of doing them one by one.

Be realistic. You will pass exams, you have the intelligence, capacity, just study. Let the thought trouble you, ignore.

Do those steps continuously, without fail, for one full month. We can only prescribe medicines and provide psychotherapy techniques. The responsibility to use them is purely yours. You should be self motivated. In that sense, nobody can help you, except you. SO LEARN TO HELP YOURSELF FIRST.

Then you will feel good. Come back to me.

God bless you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. K. V. Anand 48 hours later
My exams got over today. I had only done the psychotherapy partially before and not all the steps. I did look at myself in the mirror and address the image as me, and I indulged in breathing exercises. I didn't go down to play because I didn't have time and it was far from my house. I didn't write down 20 to 25 positive attributes about myself on paper, instead I tried doing it in my mind and saying it orally. But on Saturday night, after I got your reply, I forced myself to do it. I wrote down 25 positive things/talents about myself on paper, and I also constructed 20 positive sentences about myself such as "bullying cannot alter the biochemistry of the brain, you are intelligent, you are using your intelligence and gifted skills to think negatively about yourself. Stop it" and many more. I used all the sentences which you gave me and I added many more. I did my psychotherapy (the 25 positive attributes and sentences) on Saturday night after getting your reply and then went to sleep without taking the medicines. When I woke up in the morning I felt much better and I could study better, and I automatically stopped thinking about the bullies. But in the night I started feeling empty-minded, blank and depressed, so I had to take the anti-depressant drug and I did the psychotherapy (I read out the 25 positive sentences to myself, stood in front of the mirror and exercised for 25 minutes). I didn't take the anti-anxiety drug, because I feel that anxiety is not the problem and it is not helping me, and the problem is simple depression. I also sat for my exams with a carefree attitude and was not at all anxious or depressed, and I was continuously saying in my mind "who cares", which clearly indicates that it is not anxiety with the problem. Today morning when I went for the exam at 11am, I knew everything, I didn't get a single negative thought, I wrote everything and my paper went very well. But now even though the exams are over, I am still not feeling better. I went for a 1 hour walk in the park and garden but I am not feeling at all better. I have started feeling empty from inside since the afternoon. I feel that even servants have a much better life than mine, because they are not in depression but I am. I am in acute depression now, my mind is feeling totally empty, and I feel that that is why I feel that my life is not continuous. I feel that whatever I talk makes no sense and is nonsense and I don't respect whatever I say because I am empty from inside and everyone else talks sense. And the feeling that I can't listen properly (active and passive) and I listen in a passive manner also troubles me, whenever someone is talking, or when I am listening to music, and so I don't enjoy it. I am not sad, I am just in depression and I have started hating my life. I feel I do everything with the wrong attitude. I also feel that I can't think properly the way I used to think before. For example, whenever my mother or someone used to tell me that I am going abroad for holidays, I used to get excited. I am going abroad in a month as my board exams are over, but when I heard that, I was not feeling excited at all because this time I will not go with enjoyment, I will go with depression. I feel that I need a stronger anti-depressant and I feel that it is a psychiatric illness. I am feeling that I am going to die slowly and I don't feel fresh or enjoy my life. I haven't done my psychotherapy today, because I didn't feel like doing anything, and I was just sitting alone, empty and depressed and feeling sad about my depression. I don't know what is going on in my life and I am totally confused. I can't get along with people and I don't feel like talking because of this depression. I will do my psychotherapy (the 25 positive attributes and 20 positive sentences) before going to sleep, but I don't think I will feel any better. Now what should I do? Should I continue doing my psychotherapy and I will feel better? And should I visit my psychiatrist for the medication? And should I take the anti-depressant drug tonight or only do psychotherapy? Because I am feeling totally blank, low, depressed and feeling like doing nothing. I also banged my forehead very badly against a door unconsciously today and it has caused a bump on my forehead, which is making me even more depressed. All my other friends are very happy and relieved because the final 10th standard board exams are over, but I am in depression.
Sorry, I don't feel that the psychotherapy WONT help me, but I just don't feel like doing it due to all those feelings.
Answered by Dr. K. V. Anand 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Continue medicines and psychotherapy.

Detailed Answer:

I can understand you. You are suffering all these for one whole year. Negative thinking, obsessive thinking and negative attitudes has become a habit for you. That is what happens often. You told you are in depression. You should see further, you were in depression stage for over one year.

You did some of my psychotherapy techniques once or twice and got immediate relief and you were able to write the exams without much trouble. That itself shows the efficacy of the techniques.

But you cannot get rid of your "one year old" problems in one single day. Can you? It takes time. Also your Negative thinking, obsessive thinking and negative attitude habits need to be changed. The psychotherapy methods I gave you are called brain reorganizing.

You got some good results, but due to the habbit, your mind did not accept it and started troubling you. Don't give up. Do it with a vengeance. You will be alright.

Regarding medicines, you should consume those prescribed medicines without fail every day. You are not yet in that "stopping medicine" stage. Self skipping of medicine is often dangerous. Talk to your psychiatrist regarding this.

Continue medicines and psychotherapy every day without fail for at least for 15 days and then tell me the result.

God bless you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. K. V. Anand 28 hours later
I still have a few doubts which are not related to the psychotherapy-
1) When I went into depression last year, I thought that everyone else also must be feeling how I am feeling. So is everyone else in the world also in depression? If every else also is, the I might as well not do the psychotherapy or take the medicines. Because I want to be like everyone else. And even if I do the psychotherapy and take the medicines, will I be perfectly fine? Because I am not expecting myself to be the XXXXXXX who I was expecting to be. Everyone else grew up normally, but I grew up with depression. Will I be completely fine or will I grow up with faults?
2) I feel that the world is going to end. And whenever someone talks something funny, I don't actually get laughter, but I just pretend to laugh. Why does this happen? Is it due to depression and anxiety only and will it get better?
3) I had gone to play tennis once during my board exams, but while playing tennis I also developed depression and I felt that I was going to faint. That time I wasn't doing the psychotherapy. But now I am. But even now if I go to play tennis, will the same thing happen or it won't?
4) Now since my board exams are over, can you design a daily schedule/routine for me which will make me feel better? Like what things I should do?
5) I feel that I do everything with the wrong attitude and everyone else does everything with the right attitude. I also feel that I have the wrong attitude towards everything and everyone else has the right attitude towards everything. I also feel that everything in the world is designed for everyone else and not for me and the world is meant for everyone else to live in and not for me to. Why is this happening and what should I do about it? Specially that I do everything with the wrong attitude?
6) The feeling that my life is not continuous and everyone else's is also keeps irritating me. That is why I feel that the world is meant for everyone else to live in and not for me, because everyone else feels continuous of their life and I don't. But I only feel like that when that feeling strikes me or I think about it. Is there anything to do about it? In the 20 positive sentences which I wrote in the psychotherapy, I have written that there is nothing such as continuity and discontinuity of life, and that I don't have the wrong attitude towards things. It has helped me but I still feel that I do things with the wrong attitude.
7) Whenever I hear someone's name or think of someone's name, I sometimes start behaving, acting and talking like that person and I try to live his life. Why does happen? Is that normal or abnormal? Because this used to not happen before I was bullied. I try to act like other people.
8) I didn't understand how obsessive thinking works. Can you explain it to me and how it works and what it can cause?
How often should I do my psychotherapy (the reading out of the 25 positive attributes and the 20 positive sentences while standing in front of the mirror) Should I do it once everyday, in the morning, or night, or both, or whenever I feel negative? I do it everyday before going to sleep. I start feeling negative, empty-minded and depressed in the late evenings. Also, in one of the psychotherapy steps, you had told me to include 2 tomatoes in my diet. I am curious to know why. Is it because tomatoes contain lycopene, the antioxidant? And how should I eat them? Raw, cooked, or I can have the soup?
Answered by Dr. K. V. Anand 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
Continue medicines and psychotherapy

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the follow up questions
I appreciate your eagerness to know more and more about your problem. Very good. Understand every aspect of it but never be obsessed.

I request you to read every line of this carefully. Do not be hasty.

When you went into depression last year, you felt everyone else also must be feeling how I am feeling. That is just your feeling. That is the state of mind of a depressed person. Illusions. If you want to be like everyone, is it possible? Are everyone same? Every person differs. You can only be you. Anxiety and apprehension and obsession are created by self. Anxiety cannot be cured because it is body's defense mechanism. You can manage anxiety. You can decide in what occasion I should have anxiety etc. You did not grow up with depression. That is a misunderstanding you always carry. You obsess with that misunderstanding. Medicines and psychotherapy help you to think right and correct. No negative thinking.

World cannot end on your thinking. Some people laugh at jokes, some smile and some show no emotions. These are personality traits. If you are not able to laugh, no problem. But happiness is to be cultivated. You should smile at everything. Smile and laugh deliberately on everything. Smile releases positive hormones. Use laughter to divert your obsession. No negative thinking.

I will always ask you to go and play tennis or any other outdoor games which are engaging, like shuttle badminton, football, hockey etc. You may feel uneasy, but you will not faint,. That so happens because, you were sitting indoors, without any physical activities for long. Suddenly if you start playing, you feel uneasy. Start with walking, then jogging, then aerobics, then games. Slowly increase the tempo and hardness of exercise and games. Your body will learn to do and gain stamina. No negative thinking.

Regarding your daily routine, you should make one which includes every psychotherapy techniques I prescribed. You are your best judge. You know your current routine. You know your timing. You will be able to do it better than me.

Everything in this world is designed for everybody. That everybody includes you too. You think about all those negative aspects of your life when there are lots and lots of positives as well. This is called negative attitude and obsession. When you go out, you see birds, flowers, animals, vehicles, people, children playing etc. Can't you enjoy watching these? You can't because you are engrossed in thoughts. Thoughts are ruling you. Ignore those thoughts and enjoy the nature, you are showing positive attitude. This is not hard at all. You should have a will to do it. Initially you hesitate. Then slowly your life changes.

There is continuity in life. No misunderstanding. Everything that happens in your life gives you lesson as assets for your future. Accepting them as assets is positive attitude and ignoring these lessons and loathing self is negative attitude.

Trying to live somebody's life, or imitating somebody on some aspect is called modelling. This happens in everyone. When you grow up and become mature, you learn your own attitudes and therefore stop following others. For now, the given attitude is not at all abnormal.

I explained obsessive and negative thinking in my previous paragraphs. Go through them once again. If you think about the same negative things that happened in your life again and again then it is called obsessive thinking. Obsessive thinking causes stress, anxiety and allied troubles and even cause depression. Keep away from obsession.

The psychotherapy methods I prescribed for you is to be repeated every now then. Whenever you get time. Even when you walk, sit, watch TV you should always utter positive sentences. Make it a habit. If you do this continuously for 15 days, I challenge you, your 50% problems will vanish.

Regarding tomato. Tomato contains anti oxidant. Fine. Lycopene is also beneficial for depression, for your information. Eat them raw. Eat with Salads. I will not advise cooked tomato.

Continue medicines and psychotherapy every day without fail for at least for 15 days and then tell me the result.

God bless you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Pradeep Vitta
Answered by
Dr. K. V. Anand


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