Q. How can I overcome anxiety and lack of motivation due to childhood trauma?

Answered by
Dr. Ruhi Satija
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 11, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have started using Ritalin recently, as suggested by my doctor, for lack of motivation. But I feel less motivated after taking it. Also, my childhood trauma has been manifesting, causing anger. I started using Sertraline 3 years ago, but I stopped taking it because the doctor said it would have adverse effects if used along with Ritalin. Before taking antidepressants, I was paranoid (about my relationships with people and their perceptions of me) and had frequent crying attacks. I also lacked real emotions. While taking Sertraline, I became emotional, empathetic, and calm and got better grades. Since elementary school, I was aggressive and could not think about anything other than things that annoyed, irritated, or made me sad and anxious. On 50 mg of Sertraline, all of these went away. I do not remember being angry ever while taking Sertraline. I started Ritalin because I had some laughter attacks in class, lacked motivation, and was unconcerned with my future. I was continuously happy and kind of hyperactive.

Kindly help.

Thank you.



Welcome to

I read your query and understand what you are going through.

Untreated childhood traumas may cause extreme stress and mental health issues. You have mentioned the medicine you are taking, but I think you have not been taking therapy along with it. I would strongly suggest you start counseling therapy sessions. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy will help you release the trauma and its emotional impact. It would help if you found the subconscious thoughts that keep you in the loop of negativity. Healing is a psychodynamic process, and you will feel better when you work both on the physical and psychological issues you face.

Medications with therapy are the best way to deal with a mental health issue. Please find a local therapist and start the treatment as early as possible.

You can also start with journaling your thoughts and maintaining a mood diary, and it will help you vent out and help the therapist understand you better. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you.

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