My guest post published yesterday on PsychCentral.com’s World Of Psychology blog. It seems it hit close to home for many people. It’s been shared nearly 1000 times on Facebook since yesterday! See if any of these ring true for your experience…(click the title above to go to the article)
Q: Are there any resources for my sister-in-law who’s suffering from anxiety, mood disorders, depression and wants therapy but can’t afford it? (concerned sister in St. Louis, MO)
Q: I don’t remember a time in my life where I’ve been totally happy but for the past approximately 2 years i have been extremely depressed as a result of my social anxiety and loneliness. I have always found social situations ‘awkward’, in fact the last time I remember frequently leaving my house for social reasons was when I was about 13. I then became more and more of a recluse from there on, i went out with my friends less and less outside of school, then upon leaving school i stopped doing things with my friends more and more until the point where i have not left my house for social reasons for about 2/3 years. I no longer have any friends and although my family is nice and supportive they cannot provide me with what I need. I have not spoken to anyone in person about my problems, I simply can’t. My parents will just tell me to Read more
Q: I have just recently dealt with the trauma of being molested by a friend’s father. I thought all of my erratic behavior resulted from this, but now I’m hearing that I am Bipolar. I am confused and scared. I have been given lithium, but the doctor has not spoken to my family and only spoke with me once for about 20 minutes. His assistants did separate interviews with me as well. I don’t have insurance so I am paying a lot and don’t if I can afford to get a second opinion.
Q: I’m pretty sure I have depression, I mean I have most of the symptoms. But I have nobody to talk to me and my mum aren’t close. I cant see a doctor without my mum finding out. So I think I should go to one of my teachers but I don’t know how to start the conversation and what to say. I think I really need help because I’ve been self harming for over 2-3 months now. Please help. (13 year old girl)
Q: (16 year old young woman in India) I am an intelligent girl. Always one of those A+ types. And like all geeky girls on the planet I have no friends. I do have these bunch of people I hang out with in school but we aren’t really true friends. Once when we had a talk with this career counselor our lunch period got missed. I was supposed to eat from the canteen that day. But since lunch was over the canteen got closed. And my so-called friends happily came to the place where I sit and had their lunch which they had brought from home without offering me a thing! I remained hungry throughout the day.
My parents are separated and like typical chauvinistic men my father can’t think beyond my brother. Whenever we meet he only talks about my brother and his future. My father didn’t even want me to be born!! He had tried to get my mom to abort me.
Q: I’m 26 and very lonely, a virgin and I have no close friends. I’m socially awkward and it has affected me all my life. I’m so alone that I made a time limit in my journal that if I don’t make friends or have sex when I reach 30, I’ll kill myself. Crazy right? I even know it’s crazy. I’m a really nice girl, but quiet. What is wrong with me? I have no help what-so-ever around me. I don’t even know what to do anymore. I’ve tried making friends, but it’s so hard. I’m getting desperate, I’m so alone.
A: Thanks for writing in about your desperate need to connect with others. I hear that your overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are so painful that you have considered putting a time limit on your life. Ironically, putting a time limit on getting close to others will likely increase your anxiety level and create situations that will make it less likely that you’ll create close and successful relationships. Instead of giving yourself an ultimatum (“You get close to someone or else I’ll end your life”), I suggest that you work on seeking sources of emotional and relational support, on self nurturing, and on actively seeking relationship skills.
I strongly recommend that you seek a psychotherapist as soon as possible to get someone on your “team,” someone you can explore your pain with, ease your loneliness, and help you find the tools to connect with others. Opening up to a therapist may feel very scary; however, therapy can be extremely helpful in resolving emotional blocks that are making it so difficult to get close to others, and help you develop emotional and relationship tools. Your therapist will also assess for a mental illness that is contributing to the feelings of loneliness or isolation. If you need help to find a qualified therapist please click here. Group therapy may also be a helpful treatment option for you at some point. Groups are a wonderful place to explore your relationship patterns and to practice relationship skills in real time with the support of a therapist. Thank you again for writing in.
Please take good care of yourself.
Facebook, and Instagram, and Pinterest, oh my! Now we can see instantly a play by play of friend’s amazing vacations, what they’re wearing, how they’ve remodeled their home…It’s easy to compare our imperfect real life to the perfect digital life of others. In this fun article, I share tips for how to conquer online jealousy.
Whining children are difficult to tolerate, but whining adults can be even more challenging! Unlike your children, you can’t send your neighbor, your co-worker or your best friend to their room when they start sulking or complaining incessantly. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where whining adults are tolerated and often even glamorized on reality TV shows. Somebody else’s chronic negativity can drain the joy out of your relationship with him or her—and zap your own emotional energy…
Secret #1: Take time for yourself
An hour away, a night out with girlfriends — make sure you save some time to call your own. Take time to recharge and take better care of those you love.
Secret #2: Find meaning in the mundane
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or working, part-time or full-time, finding a greater purpose in the day-to-day tasks can add more joy to your life.