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Dealing with Depression/Addiction & Self Conciouscness


I am only 17, but a mature 17, I have been in serious relationships from the age of 13, currently with my 21 year old partner, of 2 years whom I live with.
Before I indluge into the relationshiop, I have various concerns of my own personality/thinking, which effect the relationship. I have the strong tenadcy to lie, I lie about how much money I have, the power my family has, anything which can enable me to look like the big shot, even with my boyfriend, and do anything I can to keep the lie looking realistic, I do feel concious about it and wish to stop, but don't. I'm very, very self concious, although anyone who looked at me, my family, friends and boyfriend believe me to be super-confident. I always act big headed, perfectly flawless and better than everyone, so I in retrun feel it, however i am the complete opposite. I am so self concious, I have had suicdial tendancies in the past.
Whenever I see a pretty celeberty, my boyfriend has to turn the channel or I'll have a huge fit, but don't show it. I criticise them in every possible way I can. I steal his phone, and speak to ex girlfriends, saying its him, to find out how I can make myself more like them. I don't let him use facebook, texts anything in which he can cheat on me, although he never has. He isn't allowed porn, when he did once, I broke down crying and became really unstable, it made me violently physically sick. Yet, no-one suspects any of this. Our sex life is ruined, and I know, I am the reason why, but I always think to myself, my boyfriend was very sexually active with his last girlfriend, who I compare myself to in everyway, so why cant he be with me? Why am i so different? and then, once again, critise myself in silence, whilst acting confident. this is ruining my relationship, it's ruining my life, and its scaring me in terms of my mental health. I also, have an addiction to prescription pain killers, which I abuse more so, when things go wrong in my realtionship. I'm not at the point in my life, where I beleive I am ready to leave my addiction, and I know I can't until I make progress in fixing my mental health.

Hi Kimberly,

Your addiction affects your brain cells just like sand instantly absorbs water.  Your brain is instantly affected by whatever substance you are using. One of the results is that it screws up your ability to think clearly. You do need to get help for your addiction (12-step meetings; rehab, whatever it takes) get your mind cleared so you can benefit from the help you get.

For your low self esteem, you do need therapy.  Did you grow yup in an alcoholic home or any type of a dysfunctional home? Did you receive a lot of negative comments from your parents?  If so, that could be playing a big part on your having low self-esteem.  Since you have had sex since age 13, do you think of sex as equivalent to love?  Any one can have sex, but to understand what real love is takes time and maturity.  You will benefit in therapy by discussing your relationships and your feelings.  It sounds like you want to change yourself so the other person will accept you. You are not accepting yourself first.  That will need worked on in therapy.  Meanwhile, look up a book entitled "Codependent no more" to help you learn some insight about yourself.

However, the basic truth of all of this is that nothing at all will change unless you first get help to completely give up your addiction.  Once you stop your addiction, you have just releaased yourself to move on with your life and learning about your self.

I hope my thoughts help you.  Take care.

Dr. Pat  

Dealing with Depression

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Patricia A. Schafer, Ph.D.


I received my Ph.D. from Kent State,in Ohio in Counseling.I specialize in various forms of depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and forms of addictions such as substance abuse,eating disorders and gambling. My licenses are: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor -Supervisor(LPCC-S) and Licensed Professional Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC) My experience includes counseling substance abusers, families of alcoholics/drug addictions, and codependency issues. I also specialize in social phobia; stress; anxieties; women`s issues; grief and adjustments to life changes. Some therapeutic techniques used are: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behaviorial Therapy)REBT (Rational Emotive), SFT (Solution Focused) and 12-Step, etc. If you live in the Cleveland area, you can contact me at my office for an appointment at: 440-349-4521. I accept insurance and EAP programs.


Twelve years experience as a professional clinical counselor; 30 years member of Al-Anon.


Experiences of prejudice among individuals in African American and Caucasian Interracial Marriages: A Q-methodological Study (Doctoral Dissertation - December 2008; Wilsnack and Beckman's book: Alcohol Problems in Women (1984). Alcohol use and marital violence: Female and Male Differences in reactions to alcohol(pages 260-279.

Ph.D. in Counseling - Kent State MS in Counseling - John Carroll University BS in Psychology - University of Pittsburgh

Awards and Honors
Previous president of NCOCA (North Central Ohio Counseling Association); previous president of Chi Sigma Iota. Two years VISTA volunteer on Navajo reservation in Inscription House and Shonto.

Past/Present Clients

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