I used to be a confident, vocal and eloquent person but I am increasingly becoming so anxious that my speech has started to slur, I cannot focus on my writing and I am suffocating with worry that I lost my one good skill. I constantly have this feeling 'to go back' and I cannot stop obsessing over my lack of productivity. What should I do?

It is relatively easier to acquire back a skill you once had than to develop a new one. You need to make a timeline in your mind about the series of events that may have happened in the past. Explore through the timeline whatever shattered your confidence. It can be something insignificant as well as big. Once you are aware of the emotional reason behind your anxiety, you can slowly working on your speech again. Try addressing yourself in front of a mirror. Make eye contact while talking to your self. Practicing this skill will gradually bring back your confidence level.

I think the corona outbreak has made a germophobe out of me. I haven't left the home except once or twice, I am compulsively washing my hands and sanitising and I can practically see the germs crawling on surfaces. I also quit my job so that I could stay home. Please help, how do I follow precautions in a sane manner without driving myself crazy?

Covid-19 has triggered old patterns and phobias for most of us.

Cleanliness and hygiene are very important for the current situation but one shouldn’t get paranoid and obsessive about them. It seems to me that your compulsive behaviour around cleanliness is not new. It has probably worsened by the pandemic. It’s a good idea to de clutter your thoughts by writing a journal regularly where you can write whatever comes to your mind. Ask yourself if you are feeling a lack of control on an important matter in your life. Your obsession with cleanliness is most likely a symptom of an underlying stressful situation. Whenever you start feeling that you need to clean a surface unnecessarily, take a break, pause and see what’s happening for you on an emotional level. Short term therapy may also help you overcome this state. •