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What Is Wrong With Me?


I started a business two years ago, I make great money at what i do but I can never get ahead. I find myself putting off jobs, lying to my husband about going out to work when I haven’t and I have actually been losing customers because of my unreliability. I should be working right now but I am so tired I just don’t want to because the thought is simply dreadful to me. On top of all this, we must  move.  My Husband is on my butt every minute that he’s at home. I mean, this feeling of not wanting to do anything has even started to affect me and my children. They have school plays and functions this month and all I can think about is how to get out of having to go. I know that is terrible but I can’t help it. It’s just the way i feel.

Do you have any ideas of what in the world is going on with me? Why do I have this feeling of dread about having to to do anything that involves work?

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Hi Mom and Business Woman,

It seems to me that it is very possible that you are experiencing a combination of depression, anxiety and stress. Of course, only a mental health professional can give you a reliable diagnosis when they meet with you. That professional could be a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker or a Psychiatrist (MD).

It is challenging for most people to run and operate a business. However, the combination of running a business, raising children, operating a household and being a wife, is absolutely over whelming for most people. In my opinion, something has to “give” somewhere and what is “giving” or wearing out, is you! Mom, you need a break and that is my guess.

What do I mean by a break?

By a break I mean that you need to do things for yourself.

First on the list of things for yourself is to see a mental health specialist as I mentioned above. This would include psychotherapy so that you could discuss the things that are bothering you and motivating you to behave in ways that obvious trouble you, like not telling your husband the truth.

Second is to give yourself time for you to do things that are relaxing liesurely, refreshing and life enhancing. What are some of these things?

1. I do not know your financial situation but, it is possible that, at this point in your life, running a business is not a good idea. If it is possible to close the business and be just a mom and wife, perhaps that is enough.  This is something you really should discuss with your husband and then with your mental health professional.

2. Its a good idea to start an exercise program. Exercise relieves symptoms of stress and depression. Do not start such a program until you see your medical doctor.

Note: You really should have a physical exam to rule out any disease or physical problem that could be depleting your energy and ambition. Also, get clearance from your MD that you are healthy enough to exercise.

3. If you can live without working then you would have time and energy to go to the activities you children are engaged in at school. This is an important time in their lives and I am sure that they want you to attend. But, when exhausted from work and depression, there is not ambition remaining to motivate you to do these things.

4. Along with exercise and psychotherapy there are important things like yoga, meditation and time with friends to help you “unwind and feel better.”

Please understand that I don’t know for sure that your problem is work. However, it seems very possible that you might be experiencing depression and that is why you should see your Physician. Also, your husband needs to be made aware of what you are going through so that he can be helped to understand and be supportive.

If he cannot be supportive then something  could be wrong in your marriage, maybe.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

  • jollyme

    In school, we had studied ashtanga yoga which led greatly to all-round development. But I had no clue that when faced with the real pitfalls of life, yoga would cure my ‘severe and recurring clinical depression’ — for good!
    Relationship woes

    I’ve always been an outwardly happy person, but crushing blows from repeated failed relationships had left me feeling churned inside out. At 22, I was definitely sinking, compounded by the pain and lack of comprehension at how things had turned out. I’d spend hours weeping I would want to get home, just to lock myself in the bedroom and sob, hoping my broken heart would heal. As years passed, my general levels of clarity went down drastically, something my family noticed but couldn’t figure out exactly why.

    Soon, I started regressing into someone totally unreliable. I found every task unbelievably tedious — even a trip to a shop down the road seemed challenging. People my age were finding jobs and signing up for courses, my years were slipping by. I finally took up a job, only to quit within a fortnight claiming I wasn’t in the ‘right frame of mind’ to work. Truth was, I was simply not capable of handling responsibilities. Yet I felt I would be out of this ‘phase’.

    Meanwhile, the weeping got worse and I became emotionally fragile I could no longer make any new friendships. Physical conditions included a desire to sleep all the time and ‘twitching’ or sudden muscular jerks frequently.

    Help at hand

    Fortunately when things just seemed to go out of hand (thoughts of death were clogging my mind), I approached a wonderful counsellor, who suspected I was suffering from clinical depression — something even cognitive tests confirmed. Depression had occurred, she explained, as continuous grieving had changed the natural production of serotonin, the happy chemical in the brain. I needed a course of anti-depressants called SSRIs (Selective Sorotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) to remedy it. The word ‘anti-depressants’ worried me, especially its side-effects, but it was a relief to get diagnosed since it meant I understood what I was going through and could find a cure! I started with the medication.

    Square one

    The results were immediate. Within four days I started feeling ‘normal’ — I hadn’t been myself for eons it felt like getting a new life! Two months later I was back, with a steady job and was going from strength to strength.

    Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of my demons. Over a year later a stressful phase triggered the old symptoms. When I consulted my counsellor, the horror of my depression struck me. Since it was ‘severe and recurring’, it meant I was prone to it and it had re-occurred. Meaning, recourse to anti-depressants whenever it occurred since it was a life-long ailment. However, I was convinced that there had to be a permanent solution to this.

    Miracles do occur

    Finally, I found an answer to my stress — a column by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev in the Speaking Tree Column of the Times of India where he spoke about a technique to create a ‘favourable Inner Climate’ through yoga, so that no matter what was happening externally, internally you would be peaceful. After all, as he said, unless you are happy, you cannot be of use to the world. I signed up for the Inner Engineering programme and from then there’s been no looking back.

    Through a process of simple asanas, pranayams and AUM chanting called the Shambhavi Maha Mudra I learnt to leave my problems far behind.

    Now, depression is a distant memory that I recall only when I read about people committing suicide. If only everyone could do the right form of yoga there would be no more depression, no more suicide.

    I believe that those who are facing personal battles, like me, need not feel ashamed help is out there. Use this tool that has shielded me from external situations along my path.

    Fact file

    According to World Health Organisation (WHO) Depression will be the second largest killer after heart disease by 2020 - and studies show depression is a contributory factor to fatal coronary disease. Fifteen per cent of depressed people will commit suicide.


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