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eyva

all wrong

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Hello,

I apologize in advance for any mistakes. My native language isn't English. I hope that everyone will understand me.

I ask for help in this section, although I'm not entirely sure if it's a good place. I don't really understand my condition and I don't know what is wrong with me. For several years I have been treated for major depressive disorder, but the doctors I met on my way didn't notice some of my problems, with some of them I was ashamed to speak. At the moment I'm in a fix. To make matter worse in less than two weeks my final exams are waiting for me. I can't stand the pressure.

It all started with emptiness. Ever since I can remember I feel a huge sense of meaninglessness of existence. However, this is not all the time - there are times when I forget about all this and I'm glad - you can even say - I fall into 'mania'. However, these bad moments far outweigh in my life and a few times I tried to kill myself, and so far I hurt myself (cutting hands, stubbing out cigarettes on the skin). It's not like that in my life something terrible happened - I have great parents, no one close to me has not died, I wasn't beaten or abused. As a child I was very shy and I became 'a pray' of my school mates. Because of that I am terribly afraid of other people. On the other hand I terribly need them - I hate to be alone, even just met a person automatically becomes a super close to me, he or she knows all my secrets.

When I entered puberty and experienced my first time, there came another problem. I hate sex. At least with a man. I wondered for a long time if I'm a lesbian (only movies depicting two women turn me). On the other hand, some men really attract me. I can't imagine myself witha woman and my fantasies represent only men. However, sex with a man doesn't give me any pleasure, it's even unpleasant. I feel pain. Mental and physical. It doesn't change the fact that I have always been searching for relationships. At the moment I'm with a girl, a little younger than me, with who I didn't have sex yet. However, my huge mood swings caused our quarrels and even now we don't talk to each other. Because of that I started to search the Internet to find some new people, mostly men, with whom I am even willing to make an appointment just for 'fun'! I can't even stop it now, I'm able to do anything just to meet people. I start meeting new people because of anger and then I can't say no to them. I can't even explain it well. In a nutshell: I'm a horrible wh**e.

And there is another thing. I often use psychoactive substances. I don't mean I use some heavy drugs, just these commonly allowed like some meds. Just for pleasure. I prefer to get away from the world in which I live, I really hate it.

And another: eating disorders. But it's just a part of my very low self-esteem, I hate myself, my appearance and my life, I can't look at the mirror. Everyone tells me I'm skinny, I'm pretty, and I don't believe it. From time to time I do 'a hunger strikes', but I can't stand it too long. I'm thinking about starting to throwing out like bulimics.

Everyone tells me that I have huge mood swings. I don't notice it, but people in my surroundings always repeated that. I can fall into a rage from euphoria, one wrong word and I can stop speaking for a week. These "nice" times lasts really short, most of the time I spend angry or sad.

Is there anything that fits into this scheme (in some way)? I ask because I have no idea how to deal with it. In real conversations I am too ashamed to say everything. So please help me. What to do with all of this? Am I sick? Are the doctors right and I am just suffering from depression? I think that it might be some kind of personality disorder, but I'm not a specialist. And further, whom can I ask to help? Find a psychologist, psychoanalyst or psychiatrist? Or maybe someone else? And do you have any other questions? Do you understand everything?

Thank you in advance,

Ewa

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Hello again. There is no need to worry about where you post; it's good that you are reaching out.

It sounds like there is a lot going on for you! :( We don't do any kind of diagnosing here at the site, but I would recommend consulting with a trained professional who you can work with.

We can listen and support you here. I know for me sometimes if I think about too much at once, I feel overwhelmed. Which difficulty would you say is causing you the greatest distress at the present time? I hope it is helpful to express yourself here.

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Hello, Ewa, welcome! :)

Don't apologize for your English!! I think it's very good and even if it wasn't, it would be OK as long as we understand (and we certainly do ;) )! BTW; I'm from a country very close to yours (I don't disclose it here in public, but you might ask me in a Private Message here if it matters) ;). I worried about my English, too, when I came to this forum, but it turned out to be unnecessary.

I see your situation is complicated :(, but it's very often the case, probably no mental problem is "simple and clear". My main advise to you would be to find a good psychotherapist asap, but I'll try to comment on some things you've mentioned, too:

For several years I have been treated for major depressive disorder, but the doctors I met on my way didn't notice some of my problems, with some of them I was ashamed to speak

It seems to me (from what I've read so far here and on other places) that quite many people have the prejudice that "the doctor should notice all my problems" (some even blame harshly those who don't). But psychiatrists cannot do "mind-reading". Yes, they should pose a lot of good questions, but for a reason or another, they often don't "hit on" / "nick" the things we hide from them. I used to hide several issues from my psychiatrist and psychotherapist (-in one person) as well, for some time (few or several months) - I needed "the right time"to come, to become able to address those issues with him. So I can understand the tendency to hide, but... I also know it's very important to disclose the most important things (those that affect your every-day life the most!) as soon as possible. I used to hide things that were only "secondary" problems, not acutely endangering but it seems to me some of the issues you're "hiding" can be even the most dangerous for you and would need an immediate attention. Maybe you can't recognize them yourself, but in that case, you could disclose to a therapist at least the problems you described here. I know it may sound too difficult, but in reality, it's not that bad. There are some ways to make it easier - the best I know from (not only) my experience is writing: You might print the text you posted here (or write a similar, probably longer, text in Polish) and give it to your psychiatrist and/or to your therapist (-when you'll meet one). It could be a good starting point.

My subjective impression is that the most acute dangerous problem is your substance abuse (as it can lead to addiction and other deteriorations of your health) and your feeling that you "can't handle the pressure (due to upcoming exams)" - mainly with regard to your previous suicide attempts and your uncontrollable moods swings (you don't know where this "pressure" might lead you so it would be the best to prevent anything "bad" by addressing the stress and the moods!).

It all started with emptiness. Ever since I can remember I feel a huge sense of meaninglessness of existence. However, this is not all the time - there are times when I forget about all this and I'm glad

This is a rather common kind of problem. I'd recommend you to read a lot about existential issues. I personally prefer I. D. Yalom the most (his Existential therapy, for instance), but also Nietzsche (which might yet be too dangerous for somebody confused, mainly if just some of his ideas are taken without the whole context), Viktor Frankl, .. the philosophy of "the existentialists", ... But that's a long way to go, for several years. I think it's useful to educate ourselves in at least some philosophy to help ourselves think more profoundly and more "usefully"about existential issues, but it's not a "quick fix"... Neither is psychotherapy (it may take several years!), but therapy can (at least sometimes, but I hope that often!) do much good already in the beginning, in the acute phase of problems.

You might check this, for the beginning:

- just to have an idea about Yalom:

http://en.wikipedia....tential_therapy

Existential psychotherapy is a philosophical method of therapy that operates on the belief that inner conflict within a person is due to that individual's confrontation with the givens of existence.[1] These givens, as noted by Irvin D. Yalom, are: the inevitability of death, freedom and its attendant responsibility, existential isolation (referring to phenomenology), and finally meaninglessness. These four givens, also referred to as ultimate concerns,

- This seems nice and insightful to me:

http://ibibliophilia...ry/irvin-yalom/

- Some theory:

http://www.dotcomtoo.com/exist.html

In my words: Meaninglessness of existence is not "just your feeling", it's a fact we all have to deal with. Some people deal with it by belief - they believe that there is a meaning (given by a God, most often, but not necessarily). Some think they know it, some think it's only hidden but it does exist, ... Some of us try to find things that provide a temporary sense of personal "meaning/purpose" to be able to get motivated, to live. Therapy isn't supposed to provide you with a meaning of life, but it can help you to find your own strategy that will work for you and allow you not to suffer so much unnecessarily.

What to do with all of this? Am I sick? Are the doctors right and I am just suffering from depression?

"just"??? Depression is pretty much a serious sickness... ;) Sorry. I'm not kidding. As IJ already wrote, we cannot diagnose you. What matters is that you do suffer and that you may be in danger. There are effective therapies for depression as well as for personality disorders. It's possible that you won't find a good specialist the first (or second, ...) time you try, but you have to keep searching. Searching for a therapist who is well trained to work with patients like you and who you'll feel OK with.

And further, whom can I ask to help? Find a psychologist, psychoanalyst or psychiatrist? Or maybe someone else?

I wouldn't try "someone else" but for the purpose to inform you about recommendations of patients and former patients (I suppose there are such websites also in Poland...). You already have a psychiatrist, you may start to consult it with him/her, but I don't think it's key. The most important is to find a good psychotherapist (it might be a psychoanalyst, yes, but not necessarily). (Don't forget that not all psychologists are also therapists.) Psychotherapists of different schools have their "national" organizations (it might be something like, for instance, "Association of psychodynamic psychotherapists of Poland" etc.), there you might read more about the schools and their availability, some psychiatrists have also their personal websites where they present a bit the method they use and the kind of problems they treat, ... I believe there are many resources of this kind (as I know they are in my country).

in less than two weeks my final exams are waiting for me. I can't stand the pressure.

I wonder if it would be possible for you to "postpone" all the worries and the seeking of help and focus now on the exams and then, just after the exams, seek the help. In my experience, exams can be (for some of us - we are all different, I know) a good opportunity to really focus on "something else", not on our personal problems and mental issues. Maybe you can do it, too!

I suppose you're capable of learning and passing the exams sufficiently well. The problem is, it seems, only your fear.

What is it that generates the pressure? Fear of failure? But what would happen if you didn't pass the exams?? Nothing so bad, in a larger perspective. You surely can repeat them later (after some therapy, I presume). So... what if you tell yourself now that you don't care about a possible failure and you just focus on learning what you have to learn - as much as you can (don't expect too much - nobody is perfect and remembers and understands everything!)? The pressure would be gone and you'll be more capable of learning, so the failure would also be less probable. I know it's easy to say and difficult to do, but maybe you could try it. In you one day notice that it doesn't work, then you may go immediately into the searching for the therapist, regardless of the exams. They'll wait for you. Imagine that you'd be physically ill - they also would have to accommodate the exams for you! You have depression - and if it will become acutely too bad, than it will be like any other illness. One should focus on acute illness first.

I hope my too long text isn't overwhelming... :o

Take care!

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Hello!

Thank you so much for answers. These really made me cheerful! :)

Which difficulty would you say is causing you the greatest distress at the present time? I hope it is helpful to express yourself here.

Well, I think the worst problem I have now is inability to define my sexuality as well as general depression and great fear of people. I'm terribly afraid of being judged by others. When I hear my name (which is quite rare in Poland) I'm automatically sure that someone speaks badly about me.

It seems to me (from what I've read so far here and on other places) that quite many people have the prejudice that "the doctor should notice all my problems" (some even blame harshly those who don't). But psychiatrists cannot do "mind-reading". Yes, they should pose a lot of good questions, but for a reason or another, they often don't "hit on" / "nick" the things we hide from them.

Actually, it doesn't look like that, I wait until they notice it. Most of things I told them direcly (for example about mood swings) but they paid attention only to thoughts of suicide, self-harm and low self-esteem. It fits perfectly into the typical depression. Actually, I'm afraid to speak only about sexual problems. But the idea of describing everything on paper is great! It would be much easier for me. Thank you for the wonderful idea! :)

This is a rather common kind of problem. I'd recommend you to read a lot about existential issues.

Thank you about this too, I promise to read this immediately after the exams!

Psychotherapists of different schools have their "national" organizations (it might be something like, for instance, "Association of psychodynamic psychotherapists of Poland" etc.), there you might read more about the schools and their availability, some psychiatrists have also their personal websites where they present a bit the method they use and the kind of problems they treat, ... I believe there are many resources of this kind (as I know they are in my country).

Unfortunately, in Poland it's hard to find another school therapists than behavioral psychotherapy. I have no good memories with them, that kind of therapy has never helped me. I finished it with the same mental state or I started to be panicky afraid of the therapist. But I'd like to search for some other methods. Can you recommend me any?

And about the finals: well, I am scared of them. I know that I'll pass them (mock exams went quite well), but to get into a good university in Poland I need very high scores. I regret also my choices (we can choose subjects we're going to take). I should have chosen the subject that I like and know well and not to try passing advanced Polish (which is a nightmare for me).

But yes, I can try again next year. But I already lost one year because of my mental health (all my classmates from primary and middle school are in universities now). I think I'll try to pass the exams and then I will search for good therapist.

Thank you again :) I really appreciate your help!

Take care :)

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