I'm 21 years old. I feel that I have terrible anxiety and think about death or dying frequently, mostly due to worries that I am a terrible person and that nobody likes me. Even if I know that someone cares about me or likes to be around me, it doesn't affect me much. I feel like I haven't had a "good day" in a very long time and feel very lonely, even though I have friends. I worry contantly that the friends I do have say bad things about me when I'm not around, even if this thought has no basis. I have no idea what I want to do or be in life, and I have no idea how to set any kind of goal like that because I don't really know what makes me happy. I dropped out of college without really trying and I want to do better for myself, but I don't even know where to begin. I feel like I unintentionally hurt people who are kind to me and often feel paranoid that everyone is out to make me feel bad because I make them feel bad. I really don't want to feel like this, but I'm so terribly unhappy with myself and I have no idea what to do. Any help would be appreciated.
I'm so glad you reached out for help; no one should have to suffer so much! Without knowing much about you, I believe you would benefit from seeing a therapist and also getting a medication evaluation from a psychiatrist. If you live close enough to the East Bay, I can recommend a great psychiatrist (they are hard to find). My guess is that your brain chemistry is causing your symptoms, though there certainly could be environmental factors as well. If I'm right, you could feel much better, and begin to have the resources to build yourself and your life into something that supports your happiness within a few weeks of taking the right medication for you. Of course to really determine this, a psychiatrist would have to ask you more questions and prescribe something. Does any of this sound possible for you?
Actually, I live in southeastern Wisconsin, around the Milwaukee area. I just stumbled upon your website and thought that it was so amazing that you take the time to respond to every person who writes to you.
I'm not sure whether or not your network extends all the way out here, anything you could recommend would be helpful. I've been having these problems for several years, and it's really been getting to me. I'm not exactly sure what it is, I wish that I could be more specific, it's just that everything feels so difficult.
Well, I've been thinking, and I don't know anyone in your area, but I really like the Psychology Today referral site. It lets you search by area and gives a good amount of information about the therapists--and it has a ton of them. Here's the link to the listings in Milwaukee County:
I would look for a therapist you feel comfortable with, who has expertise in depression and who has a specific psychiatrist she/he works with for medication evaluations only. Someone the therapist feels good about referring you to, and a psychiatrist who does the evaluation in no less than an hour or hour and a half. Insurance may only pay for 15 minutes, but that is not adequate for a good evaluation.
Please keep us posted on what you end up doing, ok?