Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Help.. ASAP please..

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Question
So I don't really know what I'm trying to ask. I just want to know what's wrong with me, I know something is. I hope this message makes sense.

Well first I think I should say that I have seen psychiatrists and therapists since I was little. And I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

However, my insurance company has been pissing around and can't send me my damn card in the mail, so I can't go see one now, when I need it the most.

I'm 19 years old and a college student. I have no idea what I want to do with my life. My main goal is just to survive. I'm a Liberal Arts major. I've changed my major many times but I can't see myself doing any of them.

I guess I would say that I have daddy issues, but my father never walked on me. My parents were divorced when I was 3 and he remarried to my step-mother, who mentally abused me until I was a teenager. My dad just let her do this. He never fought with her to try to stop her, even though I was his only daughter (until my sister was born). He did everything with my step-brother, coached his baseball, went to cub scouts with him, everything. I got left at home with my "evil" step-mom. She had an affair a couple years ago, and they got a divorce. After the divorce, it seemed like my dad wanted to repair our relationship. We started spending more time together, and it was great, but then he met his current girlfriend. She's awesome, though, alot better than my old step-mom, but my dad just fell back into his old routine of forgetting that I even exist. He spends alot of time with my little (half) brother and sister, and his girlfriend's kids, one who is my age and one who is a couple years younger than me. Sometimes he posts things on facebook like "spending time with my favorite girls" which always hurts me, because he didn't include me.

I still love my dad though, but I feel like he could never love me.

My real mother is amazing - we argue but she has always been there for me and we are extremely close. When I was younger she was an alcoholic and some would say an addict, but a few years ago she found religion and is a changed person. Still though, growing up I'd never want to leave my mom's to go back to my dad's. She is a very strong woman who's been through alot. Her father shot himself and died when she was twelve (she was in the next room). I feel like I can't talk to my mom about my depression because I'm afraid it will hurt her. She doesn't even know.

I'm also very close with my grandparents. My grandma (who's husband killed himself) is a very great lady. She also has no idea that I'm so depressed. My grandfather (dad's father) is one of my best friends, he was the father that my dad wasn't. And my other grandmother is another great lady.

My mom's brother, although he's never said anything about it to me, seems to be alot like me. He's threatened suicide before.

I'm in a relationship. My boyfriend is great, but I think he has trouble relating to me because I am so emotional and he is not. He says that I make things up in my head, and run wild with it. All I want from him is to know that he loves me and won't leave me. But when he tells me he loves me and won't leave me, it still doesn't convince me. I break up with him and kick him out at least once a week. I don't know why. I love him and definitely don't want to break up. But sometimes I feel like I hate him. But I know I don't. I just get so angry and jealous and I don't know. I yell at him, and bring up everything I can to hurt him. Even though I don't really want to hurt him. I really don't know why I push him away because the last thing I want is for him to leave me.

I have been a cutter for a while now. I usually ALWAYS try to hide it. However, there are a few people I trust that know about it. 2 of my best friends, and my boyfriend.

I think about suicide every single day, multiple times a day. If I ever did I would make it look like an accident. Drive my car off the road or something.

I've got serious anger issues. When I get mad I lash out and attack anyone and everyone I care about. If no one is around, I take it out on myself by carving the shit out of myself til I'm covered with red. Quick story: the other day I made meatloaf for my boyfriend and I. Then I accidentally dropped it in the sink, into dirty water. I tried to salvage it, but once again, I can't do anything right and it was ruined. I don't know what came over me, I just got so angry, and couldn't hold it in and I just wailed the plate of meatloaf at the wall and it splattered everywhere. It was ridiculous and stupid. I didn't even think about it I just did it, I was just so angry.

I cry ALL the time. I mean, ALL the time.

Generally, I feel like a failure. I feel like I have no purpose, I have no idea what I want out of life, what I want to do with my life, or even who the hell I am. I feel so hopeless, and so much guilt, I have no one to blame for myself.

I just need to fix my relationship. I need to make it better. I love him and I don't want to lose him because I'm psychotic. I need help. I just don't know where to turn.

Answer
Erica

Thank you for your thoughtful and heartfelt letter. It is not possible to professionally diagnose a person in this limited forum, but I will do my best to be helpful to you.

If you stay in college you will eventually figure out what you want to do with your life, it takes too long I know, but you will get an idea worth following and then follow it until it bears fruit or until you discover something else to do.  Remember, we need goals to keep us moving forward and to give us a sense of purpose, but they are interchangeable, so you do not have to wait to be guided by a profound insight about our own life to keep going ahead.

I do not think you are "psychotic," and you are obviously a smart and aware young person with a pretty challenging family history that you also seem to have a very mature understanding and handle on.  Please do not sell yourself short.

You will need a good therapist to help you along the way and maybe some judiciously applied medication to help with the extreme highs and lows, but I think you will do just fine.

Please try to bear in mind Elmore's definition of the difference between good people and bad people:

Everyone suffers in this life;  the good people take it out on themselves and the bad people take it out on everyone else.

Please try not to hurt yourself, and to also be kinder to the people who love and care for you, and do not be afraid to confide in those you you know care enough about you to want to help in a ways that they cannot if you do not tell them what is going on with you.

You are a good person struggling against the odds of this difficult world to make a good life for yourself and I believe you will succeed.

Best,

Dr. Elmore  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Andrew M. Elmore, Ph.D.

Expertise

I can answer questions about: Stress. Headaches. Stress-related Disorders. Anxiety/Panic Disorder. Depression. Psychopathology. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Personal Problem Solving. Life in General. Relationships: Love, Friendship, Business Partner, Coworker, Family,Child/Parent. What makes us tick. The use of psycho-pharmacological agents in combination with psychological treatment. How to deal with evil people in your life. How to improve your outlook under duress. How to control stress. How to control mood. How to control headaches. I cannot answer: Questions about Eating Disorders. Questions about computers.

Experience

30 years in private practice as a psychologist in Manhattan. Dealing with people from almost every conceivable ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and as many character types as exist in this country. Dealing with patients from 8 years old to 90 years old. Pioneer in biofeedback and the treatment of stress-related disorders. Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine since 1982. Treatment of stress-related, anxiety and depressive disorders with biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy. Developed personal problem solving, an extremely precise form of psychotherapy. Relationship therapy for couples, families, parent/child issues, business partners, coworkers, employers, and dealing with psychopathic individuals in your life.

Organizations
American Psychological Association. Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. Biofeedback Certification Institute of America. New York Academy of Sciences.

Publications
The journal, Psychophysiology. The book, Expanding Dimensions of Consciousness. The journal, Headache. The journal, Biofeedback and Self-Regulation. The journal Psychiatry Digest. The book, The TMJ Book. The book, Dental Phobia. The network, CNN. Parade Magazine. The newspaper, Newsday. The Manhattan TV station, WCBS. The national news program, The CBS Evening News. The newspaper, The New York Post. The national TV program, The Phil Donohue Show. The magazine, The New Yorker. The magazine, Glamor. The magazine, Redbook. The magazine, Health. The magazine, Bottom Line Personal. Web MD. The website, Healthology. The magazine, Newsweek.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. SUNY at Stony Brook, 1979. B.A., magna cum laude with Honors in Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University, 1974.

Awards and Honors
Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, First, Second and Third Editions, 1997-2000. Appointed to the Training Faculty of the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA), 1993. Senior Fellow BCIA. New York Academy of Sciences, 1987. Who’s Who in the East, 1983-present. Who’s Who in Frontier Science and Technology, First Edition. Citation Paper Author. Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Biofeedback Society of America, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1980. Biofeedback Society of America Scholar, 1979. Co-author, USVA Grant, “Variables Affecting the Experience of Pain in Migraine,” USVA Medical Center, Northport, New York, 1977-1979. Biomedical Research Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, 1978. NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship, 1976. BA, Magna cum laude, with Honors in Psychology, 1974. Danforth Fellowship Nominee, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois, 1973.

Past/Present Clients
Most of my clients are my private patients. However I have provided many seminars, lectures and workshops for: Columbia University. The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Museum of Natural History. The UJA Federation. The university, CW Post. The College of New Rochelle. Equinox Fitness. Travelers Insurance. AutoOne Insurance. Chubb Insurance. Metropolitan Life. Allstate Insurance. State Farm Insurance. Encompass Insurance. The public relations firm, Porter Novelli. The investment firm, Capital Re:. The Estee Lauder corporation. The law firm of Irwin Abrams. The National Insurance Crime Bureau. GEICO Insruance. Beth Israel Hospital.

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