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Dealing with Depression/low self-confidence, depression, etc.


Hi. I am 37 and have been dealing with depression for many, many years-since I was about 20. I realize you will not be able to answer or address all of my issues and help me with simply this one response, but would like your thoughts and ideas. I am making an appt. with a psychotherapist tomorrow. I have taken Klonopin and Wellbutrin for about 3 years and they help a little, but know I need talk therapy as well. I have very low self-confidence with regards to feeling like I can do well at a career other than retail, which I have been in since I was 18. I also feel like I will be alone the rest of my life and not find a boyfriend or husband. I have been on a major dating site for nearly a year and have had a handful of interested men. None resulted in dates, though-either they had second thoughts about me or I wasn't interested. I'm not TOO picky, though. So I am feeling very, very discouraged and feel that marriage is probably not in the cards for me. I don't have a big social circle with friends and relatives who would know of available men.  Another issue I struggle with every day is that I cannot figure out what to do as far as a career that I can support myself on and that I enjoy at least sometimes, one where I also know that I can see myself doing for a while or quite a while. To be honest, I don't enjoy school at all and I get a lot of anxiety when I am attending school. I have completed an associates degree-many, many years ago. I initially attended college to become a psychotherapist and it still interests me, but it's too far-fetched for me. I have to study many, many, many hours to get an average grade in a class. I don't have any learning disabilities, but very low self-confidence. I just don't know what I would be good at that doesn't require a ton of schooling. I still would have to work full-time if I went to school. But just the thought of going back makes me incredibly, extremely anxious. I'm deeply afraid of failure, even though I have failed many times in my life. I wouldn't mind being a store manager at some certain specialty stores, such as beauty or candle stores, but I don't have management experience and typically they hire in at part-time only, for non-mgmt. positions. Do you have any thoughts and advice as to what steps I can take to move forward?  If you can even answer this right now-yes, I do need therapy as I mentioned. I can tell you what some of my interests are: animals, young children, beauty products, helping others, (NOT good at math and science), . I very much like trying to help others, helping with their dilemmas and listening. I am very much a people person, but am a little on the quiet side at times-I am a balance of introvert and extrovert. There has to be careers I could enjoy without requiring a bachelor's degree. Is it an absolute must that I go back to school to better myself?? I cannot figure this out and have been in retail far, far too long and have to do something else. I cannot support myself in the position I am in and this constantly stresses me out as well. I feel like such a loser, that I never will amount to anything decent. I feel like a huge burden to my parents and sometimes I even have suicidal thoughts. I don't know what to do.

Hi Holly,

Sorry to hear about all the things you are going through.

Re: Jobs without a 4 year degree:  Check out Community colleges that have
vocational programs that are only  years and you do not need a 4-year to get a job.
They train you in many areas.  So, check out what they have and see if any thing
interests you.

Next go to the library and find out if they offer free career counseling.
I think most libraries do offer this or can refer you.  In Career counseling they give
you some tests involving questions of things you are interested in. Then they
talk to you about the various areas that you could be happy in.

Also, go to the library, or book store, and get "Please Understand Me, II"
Photo copy the test questions at the beginning of the book.  Answer the questions
and read the directions of adding up your scores. Then it leads you to your personality
type and within the book you find jobs, even what type of partner you may be happy with, etc. relating to your personality.

Hope these ideas help you, and I am glad you are seeing a therapist.
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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