As the pandemic continues, we’re not only dealing with the loss of lives and perhaps even unemployment but we also come face to face with some of our biggest fears which inadvertently impacts our mental health. Amidst the crisis a recurring challenge encountered by adults especially the younger ones are the different forms of anxiety and depression. The causes vary from trying to score the best grades; figuring out a career during a pandemic; the use of technology; shattered confidence; and most importantly securing love for one’s self and relationship with others.
Dr. Sheeza Mohsin – PhD., SPHR (LMFT, LPC), Public Speaker, Educator, Leadership & Executive Coach, Couples & Family Therapist/Counselor as well as the author of ‘Behind Closed Doors’; is an expert who deals with patients from multicultural backgrounds. During a recent discussion, Dr. Sheeza explains the cause of the anxiety, depression, recurring broken relationships (with self and others) and coping mechanisms.
The doctor opines, that millennials continue to struggle with age old beliefs and pressures enforced by parents. Impact of these can be in the form of shattered confidence, extreme anxiety and mental pressures and unsurety. Explaining that even though parents might be well intended, often times their personal anxieties can come in the way. “Parenting in our culture often times uses guilt and shame and I come across many young adults who are not
allowed to live their own dreams. Our loyalty culture unfortunately forces us to allow that.
On top of that we notice a lot of gender disparity too,” say Dr Sheeza. Girls might not be facing the pressure of having to raise and provide for the family but their mobility is closely monitored. On the other hand, boys have the pressure of providing for the family and that is a lot especially if you live in a joint family system as often seen in our part of the world.
When asked about the types of coping mechanisms one could adopt to better equip themselves to deal with the issue, Dr. Sheeza walks the audience through a few basic steps:
1. “The first thing you need to do is understand and recognize what is under your control and what isn’t,” explains the doctor. We’re put into a lot of circumstances especially right now when the feeling of helplessness heightens and aggravates anxiety. An example that the doctor shares, if a relative is not taking COVID-19 seriously even though you keep sharing information and try educating them, there’s little you can do. So instead of getting and anxious and feeling helpless, try following measures that can keep you secure. If you’re washing hands 10 times a day, wash
them 20 times now. Wear a mask. Do what is under your control.
2. Notice and identify “cheap seats.” Unfortunately, our culture invites a bandwagon of supposedly well-wishers who feel the need to give feedback and opinions on everything. Often times, these people are the ones who can shatter our confidence with their passive criticism. These can even be parents or friends. Recognizing them is the first step to knowing when to stop internalizing their feedback.
3. If at any point while skimming through social media you feel you are internalising depression or anxiety while looking at glorified version of reality, then remember to stop. Perhaps limit your use of social media. Balancing is always key.
4. Take a piece of paper and jot down your strengths. Remember to be honest though. This can help build confidence. At the end of the day, don’t obsess over achieving your goals. Rather, appreciate and get on with starting the journey towards your goal. Those who don’t notice your strengths, their feedback isn’t always necessary.
5. Self-care is very important. Focus on yourself and don’t try to conquer the world. There’s a reason they ask you to wear the oxygen mask yourself first before helping others. Practicing self-care (both physical and mental), that’s the only way one can maintain healthy relationships.
For all those interested in touch with the doctor directly, you can connect with her via her website: http://sheezamohsin.com/what-we-do
If you’re looking to purchase a copy of her book ‘Behind Closed Doors: Healing the Emotional
Struggles of South Asians; it is now available on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Closed-Doors-Emotional-conflicting-ebook/dp/B084Q2Y3TG)