in mind

Grade 11 student bogged down by stress and negative thoughts

'Sometimes I sit in the washroom all alone and cry for hours...please help me'

Moderator: Biju Mathew, Web Editor
11:40 May 12, 2014
Family problem

A student asks: I am a Grade 11 student in one of the schools in Sharjah.

During spring holidays, a bunch of people told me about the pressure I will go through in Grade 11. It's not been a week since my new term has begun and I am being extremely negative. I also have no control on my emotions the way I did before.

Moreover, family issues are disturbing me a lot due to which I am not able to concentrate. I speak of only negative outcomes and what would I do to face this issue.

I try my best to be positive, which does not work! I don't have any such severe family problems, but when I hear my mum yelling at my sister I feel very scared and insecure. It becomes even worse if they yell at me. It was never like that, only since I have entered Grade 11, I am reacting like this.

Sometimes I sit in the washroom all alone and cry for hours... Please help me !

Linda Sakr (Licensed Counselling Psychologist, Dubai Community Health Centre) replies: It sounds to me as though you are under enormous pressure due to your exams, which is quite a natural response.

In our lives, there are external as well as internal things. We have no control over external things like exams, the weather, other people and so on. However, we have complete control over internal things such as our thoughts, our feelings, our perceptions, our attitudes and our behaviours. So, for example, if we have an exam stressing about it and not doing much else about it will not get us very far. Nevertheless, stressing about it (normal reaction) as well taking action (studying) will yield far better results.

Bear in mind that negative thoughts turn into negative words, which turn into negative actions, which turn into negative habits, which become a part of your character and in turn destiny.

Simple rule, what's in your hands change, what's not in your hands accept.

Negative thoughts only become an issue when you give them attention. They're like an unwelcome guest, either you welcome him in and offer him tea and coffee or keep him out and let him knock on another person's door.

10% of life is based on events and 90% of it is your interpretation to any given situation. So this way there's no right or wrong way of looking at things. So for example, if two people were to end up in a car  accident, one person might say: "It was the worst day of my life, I'm never getting into a car again, I never want to see anyone again" (negative interpretation); and the person sitting next to this person might say: "This accident made me appreciate my life, look at life differently, see how short life is, take better care of myself" (positive interpretation).

It might be worth discussing with your mother and sister how upsetting you're finding the screaming and yelling and would rather like to avoid it now that you're stressed out.

All the best.

DisclaimerThis blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of psychiatrists are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.