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Hi, I'm new to this site.

 

I'm writing because I would like some advice on my situation. I'm a teenager who has been diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. However, Im not sure if this is what I actually have, or if there might be something else. this is why I'm writing and seeking advice, because after thinking and contemplating about myself, I've decided that perhaps my worries might be true. I haven't talked to my psychiatrist about my mental health worries because it's hard to  meet up with him right now. Please don't dismiss this as just a teenage phase or anything, because some of the things that are bothering me, such as my behaviour, have been present since I was a kid. I’m not saying that this isn’t a teenage problem, it could be, but it’s just that after a long time of reasoning with myself and introspective thinking, I think that I should consider this to be an issue that needs to be looked at.  Sorry if this is really long, I'm in a terrible state right now with few people to turn to. My parents don’t understand, I’ve opened up to them many many times, but it’s just difficult. I am deeply grateful for any advice.
 
 
  Basically, this is about my behaviour and the symptoms I've been experiencing. I've always had a depressive, and introverted personality. I'm also imaginative, and I've never had that many friends, but I've never felt that my preference to be alone, or my behaviour or personality was ever an issue until I developed mental health issues during my teenage years.
  I  tend to spend a lot of time in my head, fantasizing about my own stories and other things and I would also say that I'm a bit of a messed up person, because my imagination tends to get quite dark,  as I like to write about dark and profound fictional stories about the human experience and all that. People have stated that I'm weird,  eccentric, and say weird things and the friends I had as a child also stated the same thing. I just assumed that I’m a creative person, but a lot of people do think I am weird, and I also have serious mental health issues, so I’m not confident in the fact that I should just embrace my crazy mind and be myself, because I’m pretty sure that my melancholic personality and tendency to fantasize all the time is one of the causes of my mental illness.
   I have difficulty making friends, like in terms of communication I just can't seem interesting enough to people or become close friends with them. People just talk to me for a while and our relationship is pretty superficial. Even the friends that I already have are closer to one another than they are to me. I would say that I’m not extremely hopeless in social skills because I can make surface-level friendships. But it’s just that I’ve lived a large portion of my life in solitude and the source of most of my social contact has been my family. A large portion of my life has been spent in my own head rather than with other people. When talking to people, I find it kind of draining to come up with something to say, and sometimes I can’t come up with anything interesting in order to  continue a conversation without sounding too weird for other people. Or if i do come up with something to say, people would just nod, laugh a little, or comment a bit. It doesn’t feel like we have anything deeper developing between us, just small conversations that turn into silence eventually. I’m graduating from high school this year and the couple of friends that I have made from these past years aren’t  people that I would feel comfortable divulging my deepest personal issues to, because we just aren’t that close. I feel like this behaviour isn't healthy or normal, and  since I've developed mental health issues, it probably isn't.

 I also grew up with an autistic brother who's really low-functioning, but for a long time I've never felt that growing up in this environment was distressful or anything. It wasn't until when I suddenly developed mood and anxiety issues later on that I began to think carefully about my past, and the kind of personality that I have. I'm not sure if the behavioral traits I described above are just my innate personality, or if they're actually reactions to some kind of stress experienced during a young age, which eventually turned into my personality. I'm not sure what to think yet, whenever I assume it's just my personality and there’s nothing more to ponder about, I'm reminded of how different my past and present self are from my peers. They all have friends, enough social skills to get by in this world, and don't have such a dark personality with such dark thoughts at an age as young as 11, and they seem to be able to overcome the difficulties they have in life. Right now I have mood issues that are literally destroying my life, giving me weird symptoms, like irrational fears, so I can't settle on the fact that I just have an unique personality and I should just embrace it because my behaviour is causing great problems for me. Some parts of it I can embrace, but overall, my life is being ruined right now and I have a huge road ahead to walk, so I have to start improving my social skills and lessening my chances of having another anxiety relapse or another mental illness, or otherwise it will be an extremely hard life.
 
  When I was 12 years old, I read about schizophrenia  because I was interested in psychology and thought about pursuing a career in it in the future. I did a predisposition test on it for fun back then, and some of the questions seemed eerily like me, and it had me seriously worried about myself. I didn't finish the test because I was alarmed by how some of the questions applied to me, like lack of friends, or interest in making friends, spending a lot of time in my head, not making sense when communicating, and being a fearful person. Sometimes people say that I don't make sense when I talk, usually when I'm cracking jokes. When people read my writing, they sometimes say that I don't make sense either, but this could probably be because I tend to think a lot. I also read that people who are predisposed or prone to developing psychotic disorders tend to be fearful individuals from a young age who have difficulties making frends, spend alot of time in their head, and show signs of depression at a young age. I never actually had depression in the mental illness sense as a child, but I had suicidal thoughts when I was 11 years old, but never acted on them or anything. It was just part of my dark thinking, and I also had some other disconcerting behaviours as a child as well. I was worried that I was prone to developing the disorder. it’s a spectrum, so I was worried that i might develop a milder type, since it’s less possible to get the more severe type.

 However, eventually I got over it and told myself that it was just a test, although developed by some kind of mental health institution, may not be an accurate measurement at all, and I'm just scaring  myself for nothing.
 I had found that i identified with some of the traits of schizotypal personality disorder to varying degrees.  It made me feel like I am just so messed up. Had I been an emotionally healthier person and still found that I identified with some of the traits, I wouldn’t have paid that much attention to it. But since I have so many issues, I wondered about the possibility. Eventually, I stopped thinking about these things and vowed to change the parts of my personality that  might contribute to making my life miserable. I worked on my social skills, fantasized less and paid attention to how much anxiety I was feeling, as well to the types of thoughts I was having.
 
 I was able to live well without any mental health issues and worrying about schizophrenia and other mental health issues became nothing more than a little bump in my life. I truly thought that it was silly of me to pathologize myself like that and my quirks and behaviours are just part of who I am, not a mental illness. However, I developed mental health issues that made me reconsider all that.

 
The first anxiety issue that I had experienced was when I was 15 years old. It got triggered when someone told me about sleep paralysis, about the hallucinations and the fear, and it invoked a visceral fear within me. I think that I was reminded of schizophrenia and of how fragile my own mind was, since I was easily scared by that test when everyone I talked to, like my parents and my friends didn't buy into things like that so easily. My fragility and how easily I get scared made me afraid that I might get something  as terrifying as that. Eventually I snapped out of it, telling myself that I might not get it. I also left this episode behind as a little bump in my life. After this,  I continued to work on some parts of my behaviour to reduce my likelihood of getting another episode of anxiety. I continued working on my personality.

  The reason why I have anxiety and depression right now is because of something very disconcerting that I had experienced 2 years ago. I've been experiencing mental health issues for two years now as a result of this even though I've tried reasoning with myself; the intense emotions didn't leave, even though I've changed my thought process, and also my mental state has completely changed.
  Basically what happened was that I was listening to a song I had recently found and began to really like. It ignited my creativity greatly and I just felt really great listening to it. But then one night a fragment of the song just got stuck in my head on repeat for the whole night. I couldn't dislodge it, or lessen the intensity. I tried singing it to the end, cocentrating on my breath and doing mindfulness breathing , and replacing it with another song, but it didn't help at all and the new song started getting a little stuck in my head as well. Eventually it got worser and I couldn't sleep for the whole night. There was no clear trigger to this. The day before this happened, I had felt relatively normal, just slightly more happier because of the song, and it also  happened on the night before summer school started, but I didn’t feel extremely worried about it or anything. There was no cause for worry or stress, so stress and anxiety, one of the causes of stuck songs (earworms) that I had found online, didn’t apply to me. It occurred from within me, with no obvious trigger. The only answer I can come up for this is that I must have unwittingly lost control of my excited, or happy mood and I must have unconsciously felt anxious about summer school. Combined together, it caused this to happen.  Now, every song I hear would get stuck in my head and occasionally my brain would repeat fragments of what people say. I don’t mind it now that I kind of got used to it, but I wasn’t like this in the past and these things just pop into my brain without my control.
  I know that stuck songs are common and that everyone gets them, and what I found online all state that having this is normal. But none of it stated anything about having it for the whole night, interfering with sleep and causing great distress. Eventually, I dug deeper and what I found was that people who experience severe song looping episodes already suffer from mental illnesses like OCD, or bipolar disorder. I was reluctant to pay any attention to bipolar disorder, but for OCD, I can see how my neurotic brain might be prone to obsessive thoughts since I already have anxiety. But then I read that creative people have a higher chance of suffering from bipolar disorder, and seeing how I already have moderate to severe anxiety and depression, I might be prone to mood disorders as well, since anxiety disorders are often comorbid with mood disorders. Some of my  friends have also told me that my mood is either really high or really low, with no in betweens. This might be that I'm just an energetic person, since I've been pretty energetic as a kid, but considering the fact that I’m hypersensitive and moody as a child and I’ve also developed mental issues, I don’t know what to think.  When I watch a movie or see something that excites me,  I get shivers down my spine and my creative side gets stimulated too and my mood becomes high and it takes a while to come back down. This didn't happen that much when I was younger (my creativity would get stimulated, but my mood never took a while to return to normal) This only started becoming more prominent recently prior to my anxiety episode and during it. If mood was the trigger for this stuck song, then I wouldn’t have had any control over it, since I felt that everything was fine, and then my brain decided to go crazy at night.
  So since the severe song looping episode occurred after a period in which I felt really happy, as I was listening to the song, I am worried that I might be prone to mood disorders, or if I'm already in an early stage of one. I feel that the frustration that this song looping caused me is abnormal; it is a stuck thought that had gone completely out of control and the anxiety it caused me was also completely out of control and abnormal. If it isn't just a possible mood disorder, then I probably have some symptoms of OCD too, since this episode really interfered with my life. During the early periods of my anxiety episode, I also found out that apparently nothing can prevent the onset of mental illnesses like psychotic disorders, or mood disorders, so apparently nothing I did in the past to prevent any more relapses would be able to avoid the development of other mental disorders. I also found a bunch of other stuff that completely changed my view of mental illness as a whole, such as how every mental illness share similar symptoms, so it’s hard to tell if someone has one mental disorder or if they  possibly have another more serious one as well. Apparently, OCD is related to Bipolar as well.

  My therapist didn’t really help. I don’t feel comfortable sharing my thoughts with her. She shut me down when I was trying to talk to her about some heavy topics, and she wants to cancel my session because she assumes that I’m doing better when in fact I’m not.  I’m still conflicted, and it seems it will be a while before I recover from the chaos in my mind. It really just seems like all the anxiety is right; I would worry about having a mental illness, then dismiss it a being incorrect thinking. But then later on down the road, I developed an anxiety disorder. Then I would just say that there’s no point in paying attention to anxiety and that it doesn’t mean that I’ll develop anxiety again after I overcome one episode. Then 2 months later, a mentally distressing event  with no clear caused occurred out of the blue and that intense feeling of anxiety came back full force I worked so hard at changing my behaviour, but then I’ll fall back ten steps. It’s challenging to live doubting my sanity, but I’m determined to overcome by mental health issues by any means possible. I'm dealing with all of this by myself now, and I would really like some advice on my situation. In addition, I feel like I have issues expressing myself clearly because i leave certain details out of my writing. For instance, after writing this I look back on it and realized that I should have mentioned certain things so that my point would have been conveyed better.
 
  If anyone has been through something similar to what I’m experiencing right now, any advice on how to navigate through these issues are deeply appreciated. In short, my behaviour and recent events in my life ( song-looping ) have led me to question my mental health. According to my personal history, should this stuck song episode warrant any concern? And according to my personal history, should I be concerned about my mental health, or should I just leave it as severe anxiety and depression?

My current mental state is messed up, though technically it’s an extension of all the messed up thoughts that I had as a kid. Basically I’ve always been a cowardly person, and right now my anxiety has me doubting everything, even things that are irrational.


To anyone who read this, I am deeply grateful for your help.  Thank you very much.

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Welcome to the community, Anne70436. I'm sorry you're going through a difficult time and have been struggling.

You mentioned that you have a brother with low functioning autism (I do too). I wonder if you have also been screened for this? I have done a lot of reading and research recently about this because I have two daughters with struggles. It's common for siblings to have a higher than average number of traits and/ or to struggle with other mental health issues, such as ADHD, anxiety disorders, as well as Schizophrenia. If you're interested in researching this further, you might search 'broad autism phenotype.' Here is one link.

https://spectrumnews.org/news/psychiatric-problems-common-in-siblings-of-people-with-autism/

I don't know if any of this applies to you or not; we don't diagnose here and I have no qualifications to do so. 

I'm sorry you felt shut down by your therapist. Would you be able to share this with her? And also, that you are currently struggling more than you feel she realizes? I hope she will be supportive of you.

I think if any symptoms are causing enough distress in a person's life to affect their level of functioning, their relationships, and their overall feelings of well being, this is something to explore further. I hope you continue to work with your therapist and psychiatrist and they are supportive and helpful to you. I hope things look brighter for you soon.

Take care.

 

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Hiya Anne, just to reassure you schizophrenia is actually not very common - it affects just about 1% of the population. I don't suppose an online test gives much in the way of real indicators anyway, more just worrying for you. One major problem of psychosis is losing touch with what's around you and it sounds like you have your feet pretty firmly planted. I'm sure people you know would notice anyway if there was a problem with that.

One word that comes to mind when I read your post is 'balance'. Just maybe trying to enjoy your creativity but develop some social practical activities as well, if you feel up to it. Was the song looping a one off? I've had something similar before now but I just assumed it was because of liking the song. Or do you get other 'stuck' thoughts? Just wondered. 

 

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If someone ever calls you crazy just say thank you with a smile and tell them all the best people are

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