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QUESTION: Whether I am playing the piano or listening to my teacher talk in class, even though my hands moving like playing and writing, my mind is either lost in other thoughts or completely blank. I only tend to focus when I push myself to focus like saying "FOCUS, C'MON!". Furthermore, most of time, when my mother is asking me something to do, my mind is pre-occupied and I don;t realize that she's asking me of something. I think too much and too deeply about petty little things such as my reactions to other people when they reply to something and also think very negatively!!There are always negative and unnecessary thoughts in my minds that decrease my level of trust in myself and cause a lot of depression. It's like everyday's a struggle and I live a very difficult life. How do I change this and become a better, more focused optimistic person and lead a better life?

ANSWER: Hello Rajdeep

Mental focus is a very important function of your mind, and it is excellent that you want to learn to focus better and lead a better life. I will try to help you.

There are many underlying issues that may be causing your difficulty with focusing. I suggest that you explore those first, through the methods I will explain. Negative thoughts and the kinds of struggle you describe often arise from past trauma of some kind, although of course I have no way of knowing if that is the case for you. When you follow my recommendations, it will become clear to you.

It is also important to clear any residual negative emotion you may have from past difficulty. Negative emotion needs to be cleared and released, and you can do that on your own. This may or may not require counseling, that is for you to decide.

Finally, when you have processed the negative emotion and the underlying causes, you can begin training your mind to focus in a positive direction. This practice will actually help you to create a new default mental mechanism, that will help you to be more positive about your  past, present and future.

Learn about journaling and how it can help you to take these three steps toward a more positive and focused mental process.

Keep in mind, Rajdeep, that this requires consistent, regular practice. This is not something you can try once to see if it works. It's like a physical workout...you only benefit if you practice it regularly on an ongoing basis. The journaling about the past and about negative emotion will not need regular practice in the long term, but the positive journaling will be something you will benefit from for the rest of your life.

I hope this is helpful to you. Believe in yourself and your brilliant mind, Rajdeep. These exercises will definitely help you, but only if you practice them as recommended.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you Mr. De Foore,
Yes, I have had a past filled with chaotic family arguments that has affected me mentally. There  would often be fights between my parents. A Lot. I was very alienated from life. I had no friends and was always dependent on my mother, but when I started having a lot of arguments with he, so I was left alone in life as I felt I had no one life who could support me and love. But then I fell in love with girl at high school. But then I creeped her out when I gave her a present she wasn't expecting. I was wrong in every way about her. But in the end, I really liked her as I felt so detached from my own family. When this girl left me I grew even more depressed. I think these issues led to my mental disorders.
BUT IS THERE anyway could fix these things, so I can focus more on life??
Should I see a pschotherapist

Answer
Hello Rajdeep

It sounds like you transferred dependency from your mother to your girlfriend, and then when you and your girlfriend broke up, you were left feeling empty, with no one to depend on.

Ultimately, you will learn to depend on yourself, and become more self sufficient. In the short term, however, I do think it would be a good idea for you to see a psychotherapist. Be selective, and find someone you feel comfortable with. Trust your own feelings about who is the right person to help you.

You will get through this. A lot of it has to do with your development into an adult. Trust yourself, and your life process, and be optimistic about your future, as you seek to get professional help to deal with your depression.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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William DeFoore, Ph.D.

Expertise

I can answer questions about depression, anxiety, anger issues, marriage issues, parenting, addiction issues and general life coping problems. I will give a positive perspective, offering encouragement and an action plan about the next best steps for you to take.

Experience

I have been in practice as a counselor for over 38 years, working with individuals, couples and families with good results.

Publications
I am the author of: *Anger: Deal With It, Heal With It, Stop It From Killing You. Health Communications, Inc. 2004. *Anger Among Angels: Shedding Light On The Darkness Of The Human Soul. Health Communications, Inc. 2000. *Serai: Bringing The Children Home. Wingspan Press, 2007

Education/Credentials
B.A. in Sociology; M.A. in Clinical Psychology; Ph.D. in Counselor Education; Licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor

Past/Present Clients
All client information is kept confidential.

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