2 minute read

Been having a hard time lately focusing.

It’s like whenever I start doing anything of any significance I get derailed, and fall into this spiral of thought where I reconsider whether what I’m about to do matters, why it would, and whether I could be doing something else that would be more “productive”. The end result is that I end up doing nothing (no, the irony is not lost on me).

This is a strange state for me to be in, because it isn’t one I recall having gone through before. I’m usually able to operate at a high cadence, get stuff done and just generally apply myself to projects with high autonomy and little structure.

I think it may have something to do with the overall situation around COVID, and that I’ve been effectively operating indoors for the past 9 months (!). Cafes, restaurants and most public places are still take-out only, so this makes it difficult to hang out in person (if you’re not working at an office).

I don’t know if these are symptoms of depression, or if they are just general apathy resulting from severely diminished social contact. Maybe it’s a bit of both? Again, don’t recall ever having going through a “proper” episode of depression before, so I’m unsure it is in fact that. I was reading about it on Wikipedia yesterday and came across an article describing negative self-talk, something I definitely encounter alot more as of late. The article suggested Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a solution (in addition to exercise, which I do a few times a week already).

CBT is a program often run by a counselor (in-person) and involves examining the Behavior, Thoughts and Feelings of a subject in order to pinpoint the specific behavioral pattern that needs to be changed (either intensified, or diminished). This all sounds great in theory, but finding a therapist that I trust to do this sounds like a real chore - especially in Bahrain. I’ve found online providers that delivery virtual therapy; I’ve also read that CCBT - Computerized CBT (delivered primarily via apps) can be effective if used consistently.

And so that’s what I’m doing now - using an app called MoodKit (iOS only) that sends me occasional triggers to jot down what I’m thinking, and walks me through the process of assessing my thoughts to see if they’ve fallen victim to “distortions” (yes, you bet they have!). I’ll report back once I’ve had at least a few weeks of experience with it and let you know how it all went.

Of course, I don’t plan to just sit around all day while I wait to get better. I want to apply myself, to express myself creatively, and make something useful. But that’s the operative word: “something”. Like, “one thing”. Not 500.