Round window of the mind is the column about
mental therapy written by doctors of Kokoronomori Shinjuku Clinic.
Every day we see many patients suffering from work related stresses. They present various symptoms such as depression,anxiety, obsessions, psychosomatic symptoms, such as headache, stomachache, insomnia,nausea, etc. Of course, in the most of the cases, they have their own reasons that they cannot avoid those stresses. But sometimes, we may find a kind of patterns in their way of thinking.
One of the common patterns is high expectation. With this, I mean not only the high expectations or requirements for the patients from their bosses or their companies, but also, the patients’ high expectations for themselves. For
example, a patient may think, “There should be many more people who are working even harder than I, until later in the night. Therefore, I can’t complain it. I should not run away.” Thus he/she hesitates to take a rest, to seek for help to reduce their work load, or sometimes, even to seek for a treatment until their states get very bad, while his/her symptoms are ringing the alarm bells that the load is over the capacity.
Why is it so difficult for such patients to reduce their self-expectations? One of the reasons, I suppose, might be that accepting this idea that the load is over the capacity is felt by them as the limitations of their ability. It is hurtful for them to accept that they cannot do as they wished. They tend to think that seeking for help or giving up the current tasks means that they become “losers”. Although, they think, and sometimes say, that losing or giving up is “easy”, it is actually more difficult for them to accept that they have limitations.
However, they would not improve their symptoms as far as they deny their limitations, because the symptoms are the signs of the over capacity, and the alert for the collapse. Once they overcome the pain of accepting the limitations, we may be able to think of more realistic way to cope with the difficult situations.
Sometimes, I am asked by patients, “What will I get when I “lose”? I suppose the answer of this question would be that they develop and grow their personalities to have more balanced and realistic view of themselves and the world.