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Give me some advice


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I'm 17, I'm on here because I've felt incredibly empty lately and I'm not sure why. It started about a year and a month ago. Nothing incredibly traumatic has happened to me to make me feel this way.

Most of the time I just feel like I'm floating around, observing life as it goes on around me but not actually experiencing anything. The strongest emotion I feel is anxiety. I used to feel everything else- sadness, love, guilt, happiness, joy, fear, disgust- intensely, and now it's as though these feelings are muffled. I still experience these feelings but they just aren't very strong. I constantly feel the way someone would when they're spacing out; everything seems so distant and I feel very detached from everything. Life is like a dream sometimes, and even now feeling this sense of worthlessness doesn't seem real.

The emptiness is beginning to affect my relationships with other people. I'm distant from my parents and constantly irritable around them. They'll ask me what's wrong and I get frustrated. They want to be a part of my life like any normal parents do with their child and I just continue to push them away. I feel like I'm losing my friends. Sometimes I'll notice more arguing, other times its the slow process of watching communication drop to only once every few weeks, eventually to mo talking at all. I feel as though I don't truly belong to the group of peers I have at my school. Sometimes I'll have bursts of extroversion but I can never keep a conversation going because I always slip back into that detachment. All the time I feel like sleeping, because my thoughts feel so hazy. I'm not providing in my relationship as much as I should be. I feel like a burden to my significant other (s.o., lets call them M), who is already suffering from manic depression and anxiety. I've started becoming upset over small things they do that don't even warrant being upset. Sometimes I give too much emotionally, and sometimes I don't give enough emotionally. Often I expect too much emotionally. I feel like I'm holding M back and I hate myself for that, but I'm also harboring a fear of them finding someone better, because really I don't deserve M at all.

I think about death a lot. I think about my own death a few times a week, I'd guess. To tell the truth the thought of dying terrifies me but living this emotionally numb way is slowly draining everything away, inwardly and outwardly.

So, if you ever read this, please tell me what to do. I hate feeling this way. Feeling like I'm floating and just empty. I haven't told anyone I know about this because I don't want to burden them. I'm afraid to approach my parents about it. I don't want them to shrug it off or blame the other people in my life that are close to me. What am I supposed to do? Thanks.

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Welcome, welcome caffeine. I am having some coffee right now. You are still growing at 17 and you are seeing the world more clearly than in the past. Not all of what you see pleases you and some is even frightening and this is triggering your anxiety and cognitive dissonance.

Try to just take one thing at a time. Chart your future but keep it simple. Accept yourself and give yourself permission to fail. Find things and people you enjoy and embrace them.

What other things are on your mind? Did you have a good summer?

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Guest ChinaDoll

Caffeine, so sorry to hear you're going through this. Could it be that you're having an existential crisis as well?

You're still so young and now that you're still in your teens is the best time for you to explore and find your niche in life. Maybe try something you've never done before or maybe join a club where you can meet new people? What are your hobbies? What kinds of things are you interested in?

You're very much welcome to express yourself here, CA. I'm always here to listen. :)

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It's not necessarily that I feel lost in life in terms of my future, I'm applying early action to Georgia Tech and a few others and applying for other scholarships along the way. I hope to get a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Master's or Ph.D. in Economics. I feel quite secure in terms of having a future plan, and I'm still doing very well in school. I know the feeling empty at times doesn't have a source in boredom, either. I stay very busy all the time, I do frequent volunteer work with the local humane society and for several academic honor societies at school. I head up my school's GSA, and skype M pretty much every night, and when I'm not booked I try to hang out with some friends.

To be honest I'm very lucky to live the life I do. So I can't understand why I'm unable to shake the feeling that I'm not all there, and that I'm not fully processing what's going on around me. And even though I have a group of friends at school I still feel like an outsider sometimes. I've approached my school counselor about this and her advice of "stepping back" for some perspective and taking time for myself seemed to help for about a week but then somehow I slipped back into this state of feeling like a deflated balloon, with little energy and starting to not care about the things I used to.

I may be feeling this way because of my stringent schedule. Senior year is stretching me incredibly thin. I'm hoping to delve more into my own interests once I get to university, where I'll have greater freedom and more opportunity to interact with people in the same vein as me. For right now though this problem persists. Still, thanks for replying, I appreciate the advice.

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