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Ask a Therapist: I Feel Stuck in My Own Mind

Q: I’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes trying to formulate my thoughts into a paragraph but I can’t do it so I’m just going to list feeling as they come to mind.
1. I feel nothing on a regular basis.  For example if I got a call saying that my mother died, I don’t think I would even cry.
2. I’m irritable beyond belief.  If someone asks me to do something I get pissed for them even asking me.
3.  I’m not suicidal, but I constantly question why I’m living and try to come up with reasons to continue on.
4.  I don’t see people as individuals.  I see everyone as a mammal, which leads me back to number 3.
5.  I want to ask my parents, or anyone for help, but I’m afraid of being laughed at.
6.  I don’t even try to interact with girls.  I’m not homosexual at all, I’m still attracted to girls, but the effort I need to put in to get an outcome is unbalanced.
7.  I observe everyone’s actions with relationships and reasoning and feel like everyone is, for lack of a better term, retarded.
8. I bite my fingers all the time, not just the nails, but the skin around it.  After searching the internet I found over-focused ADHD which I believe I fit all the symptoms of.
9. I smoke weed.  I’m not addicted to it, but it is the only thing that makes me happy.  When I’m high my constant racing thoughts calm down allowing me to live normally.
10. Sometimes I get stuck on negative thoughts and experiences.  For example, if I call a friend and they don’t answer I immediately think they are ignoring me and go into a downward spiral of depression until I hear back from them.
I’m sure there is more but as it is it took me an hour just to get those 10 down.  Please help with some kind of advice.
Thanks – Lost Teenager

A: Please reach out for help from your parents as soon as possible. Ask them to take you to a psychotherapist or psychiatrist to get a mental health evaluation. Though I can’t diagnose you without seeing you in person, I can tell you that what you are describing sounds to me like depression — the empty feeling, the extreme irritability, and the difficulty finding a reason to live, social withdrawal, and negativity. The good news is that there are several very effective treatments for depression, including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and medication treatment. If your parents have generally been supportive of you in the past, they will likely respond positively to your request for help. If for some reason they aren’t supportive, please reach out to another adult, like a school counselor, for help. You don’t have to live the rest of your life with this much emptiness and disconnection.

Take good care of yourself.

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Originally appeared in my PsychCentral.com column

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