Dear Dr, I have been going through a Sexual Identity crisis..

Here are questions from readers that were addressed by leading psychiatrist Dr Manish Bajpayee. The identities of the solution-seekers have been withheld to protect their privacy. You too can send your questions at

Dear Doctor, I have recently been going through some sort of a sexual identity crisis. I am in my early 20s and I am still struggling with find out who I really am. My thoughts about my sexuality are constantly changing and I am not able to relate to myself anymore. Please advise me on what I should do as this is very unsettling.

From the age of 15, there is confusion regarding the identity. This is very normal. It is normal if the behaviour you identify with is of the same sex or different. If your desires and emotions are relatable to the same sex or different, then it absolutely normal. This should be accepted for a certain period of time. You shouldn’t be uptight or confused about it. It is fine.

Off late, I have been feeling extremely unstable. I cry very often and I think I suffer from anxiety. I don’t know what the cause of all this is. I know I feel as if my interpretation of memories is very imbalanced. Can you please guide on what I should do to stop over thinking everything. Do I need treatment, doctor?  

What you are going through could be a bit of both anxiety and depression. You should take help and meet a psychiatrist as soon as possible. Try to do some deep breathing exercises that will relax you. Breathe deeply and count till ten while you tighten your muscles from your toes till your scalp, one at a time. Focus on breathing and muscular contraction. It will help you gain control of your thoughts. Please keep practicing this and take a consultation from a psychiatrist. You will be fine.

My mother and I have always had a very tense relationship. She projects all her insecurities on to me. Despite having a talk with her several times, she does not seem to have grown. I feel as if our relationship is toxic. It is causing me a lot of stress and I want to cut her out of my life. How can I go about this respectfully? 

This is a subjective bias. It could be possible that your relationship with your mother is toxic. In case your mother is around you then cutting off shouldn’t be necessary. If it is toxic then you should attempt to take therapy with your mother as a couple. A couple could be any two people sharing some sort of a bond. Try and identify the communication gap and see the growth in the relationship. In case there has been some sort of abuse in the relationship, then it should be brought out as well. It is unlikely that this relationship is too toxic.

My best friend recently lost her only child in a very tragic accident. She and her husband are very traumatised by this. They have been seeing a therapist together. As a friend I am there to listen to her but her grief is very evident and naturally so. How can I help her move on in life and get over this trauma?

This is a form of complicated grief. It can be treated with medication also. It is very good that your friend and her husband are seeing the therapist together. In such situations, there is often a suicidal tendency and low mood. Guilt is intrusive in such a situation. All these things in due time can be treated. You should be there for your friend and listen to her but also try and give her space when she needs it.

Dr Manish Bajpayee

Dr Manish Bajpayee

Dr Manish Bajpayee is a consultant psychiatrist in Pune with over 20 years of extensive clinical experience in assessing and treating clients with a range of psychological problems and other mental health related issues. He is currently a consultant with Inamdar Hospital and Ruby Hall Clinic. Dr Bajpayee addresses reader queries every other Thursday on Pune365.
Dr Manish Bajpayee