Psychiatry & Psychology--General/How do I fix all of this?

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Question
Thank you for taking time to respond to me.

I'm 23, been in the same relationship over 5 years, been a stay at home mom for 2 years, and have a 2 year old. I have felt sad and anxious practically as long as I can remember. Some days it is worse than others. Sometimes I can feel fine for months..."fine" meaning not necessarily happy but not unhappy either.

Lately, (past couple months) I am really struggling. I'd like to know whether my feelings are just situational or if I have a problem and should possibly seek help. I'd like to add I saw psychologists frequently as a young teen, and was prescribed awful medication(s) and am now afraid to speak in person to another psychologist, afraid to be put away, afraid of medication. All that aside:

It's been hard for me to drag myself out of bed. I do eventually just to take care of my child, but find myself doing the bare minimum. I find myself constantly thinking how much I loathe being a stay at home mom. I feel like I have no purpose in life. I spend a lot of my free time crying in bed. We move a lot to different states- so I have no friends at all- I don't even have acquaintances. I distanced myself from all my friends in my home state anyway so I suppose it doesn't matter. My husband is gone for work 2 weeks a month which leaves me more alone. My mother invited herself to move cross country into our home so now she's here *all the time*, and that is actually making me more miserable for some reason. I have been told before I have social anxiety, but I've been painfully shy forever. Not sure what the difference is. This makes it hard for me to go out. I panic in large crowds ex: Walmart. I get out of breath, lightheaded and feel furious. I don't know why. I don't come off as a very approachable person. I spend all of my days in my house with the exceptions of grocery shopping and such. I fear that alone will effect my daughter negatively- I can say that we have never gone anywhere "fun". She's been to the park maybe twice in her 2 years, and that's the extent of that. I used to cut myself from the ages of 13 to about 21. I still have the urges, but I don't' do it. I am very, very lonely. I fear my Husband will leave me one day and am always stressed about it. I sit and dwell on it reminding myself I'll be homeless with no job, money, or future. I have completely zero sex drive which just makes me more worried about him leaving. Sometimes I can't help but think my whole family would be better off if I wasn't here. I sometimes think about death, but I couldn't do it, so mostly I fantasize about running away. I can't take off my clothes for sex, I wear a coat around the house until I go to bed because I hate the sight of my body. I feel like the most worthless, pathetic, useless piece of crap on this planet. I tell myself I am and then think, "yeah, you're probably right." I have this little habit of being horribly nasty out of the blue, and it's like almost *wanting* to start a fight, and I say awful things that I don't even mean. The worst part is that I'm aware whenever I do it, I know I am sabotaging, but it seems like I can't control what I say. It's an odd feeling. I've been diagnosed with an assortment of diseases, but can only remember bi polar and social anxiety. I was told it was believed I had Borderline personality disorder, but they couldn't diagnose me with it at 15. I don't really like the labels such as these, and I'm not sure if they're relevant.

I don't know whether this is serious enough to see someone. What do you think? I know you can't diagnose me over the internet, but maybe you have steps/ideas/suggestions for me to feel normal or happy. I'm not sure what I need, but I know I need something. I just want to feel alive and like a person...I simply don't know what to do or where to go from here. Thank you again for your time.

Answer
Lauren

You are totally correct.  The labels are not important and while, as you noted, I cannot diagnose you in this limited format I can tell by your heartfelt letter that your, symptoms are significant enough to indicate that you need professional help.

I suggest you try to find a cognitive/behavioral psychologist who you can trust and work with that person to try to learn to control come of the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to your malaise.

The aim of this type of treatment is to make you as in control of your feeling as possible and then you can see what if anything is left over.  What is left over may be worthy of consideration some medication to take, but...

You never have to take medication, and no one can make you and no one can "put you away" unless you state categorically that you want to deliberately hurt yourself or another human being, so please do not worry about that.

Please do not be afraid to get some good help.

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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