Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Overwhelmed

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Hello,

I use to be depressed when I was young and into my teens from emotional abuse from my father who was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, his rage stage tended to be geared towards me and my mom, as I got older (teenager) it was solely focused on me, I got to the point where I was miserable of living in fear, got depressed, abused drugs, alcohol, mutilated myself for 4-5 years, suicide attempts by the age of 16. Finally my mom shoved me with a psychiatrist and he saw nothing wrong with me, he started seeing my dad and we found out that was the problem (ironic right?) Dad went on meds, I moved out, stayed away from him and got myself out of my depression (drug free I might add) and hole I had found comforting for many years (14 years to be exact). I stopped cutting, smoking, drinking, drugs, self loathing etc.

Currently I have build a wonderful life with a career, husband, just bought our first home, bought my first brand new car, career is taking off - all is well. However I feel overwhelmed. Today I had a breakdown from stress overload, the mental breakdown that isn't pretty, my husband had to calm me until I could stop hyperventilating, crying, shaking. I'm losing control of everything I've built for so long, my relationship is okay but we're both stressed and over worked trying to start a good life, it's taking it's toll over the last couple years. He's a good man but a man (lazy) and unfortunately I pick up the slack. I'm "on" 24/7, I'm constantly doing something even when I'm trying to relax, I can't turn off. I get a massage and I'm fidgeting, moving, talking, thinking. Eevrything I do is stressful, maybe I make it stressful, I'm not sure....

I don't even know why I'm talking to you. I don't know what I'm looking for. 14 years of climbing out of a pit and I feel like it's going to crumble back in on me if I misstep even the slightest.  

How do I let go of control but if I do, it falls apart?

Thank you.

Answer
Kris, I hate to start by seeming to back away, but there are several reasons why I can't respond as a professional. But, if I may, I'll be glad to comment casually, as if just a friend, neighbour, or relative.

Lots of people, even those lacking the inner strength and common sense that you seem to have, experience transitory self-doubting, even panic-like episodes. No sense looking for why -- who knows -- but it's always good to have a strategy for dealing with them, and most clinical psychologists are well trained in this. Shouldn't take many meetings or cost a lot.

After that, and more generally, some individuals find considerable benefit from what's sometimes called supportive counseling.

If those comments might have some appeal for you, but you have questions about them, please feel free to send me a follow-up. In the meantime, I thank you for asking us and wish you all the best.

Alan  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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