I am a 30-year old, single sexual trauma survivor. I sometimes have flashbacks which induce a state of panic and I start to hyperventilate. I also become dysfunctional sometimes for a couple of days and have trouble getting out of bed and being productive. I cannot afford therapy sessions, so could you please give me some advice on how to cope?

I am deeply sorry to hear about your experience. You have taken the first right step by asking for help. It’s crucial to admit the reality of your experience and to feel the pain that arises from it. It is a form of self-validation. You can join sexual trauma blogs and support groups online to find help. Writing a letter of support to yourself is also a good idea. You can narrate your experience and write in detail how it has impacted your emotional and physical health. Your panic will start to subside when your hidden pain will find a voice. Meditation and mindful breathing can further help to calm you down in times of panic.

My son is hyperactive and is undergoing tests and therapies for ADHD. While I know what the issues are and I try my best to help him and be patient, relatives and neighbours are not so cooperative. They continually shame him and call him ill-mannered. I am so upset and heartbroken yet I can't cut off from everyone. What should I do?

Managing ADHD symptoms must already be stressful for you and your son. It’s important for you to clearly define the boundaries to your relatives and friends about what not to say to your son or in front of him. Let them know what the problem is and request them to be compassionate about your son’s issue. I’m hopeful that they will respect your concern once they clearly know about the problem from you. You can always choose to disengage from them if they continue their behaviour, considering your son’s emotional health in mind. •