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Ask Allison: ‘I can’t stop thinking about the mistakes I’ve made in the past’

Our resident therapist answers your queries

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Q: I am normally a very happy, stable person but recently I have been going over mistakes I made in my past. Maybe it is the effect of lockdown — it started with dreams about old friendships that ended badly and moved on to things I thought I had long forgotten about.

They are small things like stealing a bag of crisps once from a part-time job I had in college or cheating on a project for an important exam (something that was very out of character for me and was encouraged by one of the friendships that ended), to cheating on partners in my early twenties and so on.

I am a middle-aged man now and would never do any of these things but it is making me so anxious and I feel like I am a horrible person deep down. How can I make it stop?