Dear Dr. Archer,
I am in outside sales, and there are days when I drive around in my car, and forget where I am. I live in a medium size town and grew up here but still sometimes get lost.
I just get so lost in my own thoughts and kinda zone out and get distracted. Then I panic for a while until I can figure out where I am and will finally calm down.
I’m under so much stress at home; I'm going through a divorce, my oldest son is involved in drugs, and have I have financial problems. However, this forgetting scares me the most.
This could all be stress related. You may be more concerned with the zoning out, but I suspect it's the problems at home which are causing this, so you're caught in a vicious cycle.
I want you to set aside an hour every day to address each of your problems. Do nothing else during this hour but assess and come up with concrete answers to all that is going on in your life.
First the divorce. I know divorces are brutal, but you must open up communication with your husband for the sake of your child. Often a divorce can trigger acting out behavior, especially in teenagers.
If the two of you can agree to place his mental health first, that’s half the stress taken care of. Consider a rehab program, intervention or at the very least counseling.
As for your finances, put everything down on paper so you can see it in black and white. Write down what you take home, then write down debts and absolute necessities. Necessities, Lynne, not wants.
See how much of your paycheck remains and then start slashing areas where you're spending. Difficult to do? You bet! But it will give you some peace in your life and eventually you'll be able to get back ahead.
In the same way address any other issue which you have not listed, that you are stressed about. By setting the time necessary to come to grip with your problems, you'll not only find solutions, but you'll feel more in control of your life. You'll be able to concentrate on the job better and your stress level will go down.
If nothing helps and you keep zoning out, then it’s time for an appointment with your doctor for a full physical and lab-work. If nothing turns up there, then seeing a psychiatrist is the next step. Good luck!