Depression and Withholding

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Please could you explain to be what "mental block" is. I work in the NHS and recently having counseling. I find that I am required to write reports for my manager but tend to believe that having contact with my clients takes priority. It has been suggested to me that I might have a mental block as I never had a good education, left school at fifteen without O levels. However at the age of 45 obtained a degree in nursing which was a uphill struggle for me. I am currently off work sick with depression which is work related. I felt at the time I was too busy to write a report for management when I had dealt with the situation at the time.

Zaracrowther


Dear Zaracrowther,

Thanks for your note. It's pretty difficult to describe exactly what a mental block is, but basically it has to do with motivation. The more highly motivated you are, the less likely it is that you will have a mental block. And I've found that there's a correlation between your self-esteem and your level of motivation. People with high self-esteem are more motivated than those with low self-esteem.

Also, I want to make it clear that I am not a medical doctor nor am I a licensed therapist...my experience has come from having conducted self-esteem building workshops over the past 17 years with athletes, at-risk youth and cancer patients, so basically, my knowledge has come from being on the front lines working with people. And, I've done a considerable amount of reading.

Over the years I've found that people who are depressed generally have a history of avoiding situations in their lives that may include some form of confrontation. In your case, it sounds like you've been bottling up your feelings and emotions, especially when it came to interacting with your manager and telling him (here?) how you feel. I refer to this as "withholding" and when you withhold it's a form of lying that demeans you and lowers your self-esteem creating psychological baggage that affects your ability to focus and process information. So starting immediately, you should stop withholding if, in fact, you are doing that. And by the
way, there's no reason you can't write your reports for your manager and still have plenty of time to spend with your clients. It sounds to me like an excuse and you need to recognize it for what it is.

The fact that you obtained a degree in nursing when you were 45 years of age is really quite admirable and tells me that in order to do that, you had to be highly motivated at the time and probably felt relatively good about yourself. But then (and this is strictly my opinion) between the time you received your degree and the present, you began not to be honest when it came to expressing your feelings and the result has been that you're experiencing some form of depression.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to meet with your manager and tell him (her?) how you feel...once you do that, I think you'll find you'll immediately start feeling better about yourself. And you'll automatically become more motivated. (By the way,I believe you can tell anybody anything if it's done in a sensitive manner.) And also, keep in mind that when you tell your manager how you feel, you are actually doing it for yourself...you can't change anyone...and since you'll be resolving a major issue in your life, the result will be a higher sense of self-worth for yourself.

Hope my observations have been of some help. Good luck...and you need to get out of that bed and get back to work. Sounds like there are patients
out there who need your services.

Sincerely,

Marv Fremerman


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