I’ve felt like this since I was 16. I feel empty inside and it’s almost a constant thing. I have tried to ignore the feeling but it didn’t work. I can’t remember the last time I really felt something. Right now I just feel sad. I feel guilty for things I shouldn’t and I feel so alone and isolated, despite having others around me. I feel like no one really cares about me and that I’m bothering them. I have no energy, I feel tired and all I want to do is stay in bed. I have no motivation for school and I can’t concentrate no matter how hard I try to. I feel awkward and slow, physically and mentally, which results in me thinking I’m an idiot if I do something ‘wrong’. When I get like this, I don’t eat like I usually do. Sometimes I’ll oversleep and still feel tired or I’ll sleep very little with tossing and turning. I don’t feel interested in what I like. Sometimes I just get so angry and the only way I can calm down is by punching a wall. What I hate the most though is that when I get like this, I feel like I’m not real; I feel like I’m watching someone else living their life. I feel like I don’t know who I am. The longest I’ve felt sad has been around 3 weeks, as far as I’m aware.
I know after this mood passes, I’ll either feel normal or I’ll go crazy. It’s like a switch is turned; suddenly I’m the happiest person alive. It’s so addictive — I get loads of energy from nowhere and I get restless; all I want to do is move. I start projects but I never finish them because I lose interest quickly. I get all these ideas and it feels like my head will explode if I don’t talk. I rarely sleep more than 5 hours. I’ve bought things without thinking, I’ve changed my mind on so many things, from my appearance to university. I’ve done things online that I shouldn’t have (involving a webcam). I’ve gotten angry and fought with family and friends. I get delusional, like people are watching me or can hear my thoughts. This usually lasts a week or two.
I feel like I’m suffocating. Am I overreacting? What do I do? Thanks for reading.
It does not seem as though you are overreacting. You seem like a person who is suffering and who would benefit from help. When it is evident that something is wrong, then you should seek professional help. I would recommend an evaluation with a cognitive behavioral therapist.
An evaluation involves describing your symptoms in great detail, including your psychosocial history, your family history, and so forth. Once those facts are gathered your therapist makes a determination about what might be wrong and develops a treatment plan for addressing your symptoms.
Your therapist might recommend an evaluation by a psychiatrist for medication. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who will prescribe and manage medication. Your psychiatrist will conduct his or her own evaluation and determine what medication he or she thinks will best address your symptoms. The combination of psychotherapy and medication could significantly decrease or even elevate your symptoms.
You should not avoid seeking professional help. It’s the most efficient way to address your symptoms. Ask your primary care physician for a referral or click on the “find help” tab at the top of this page to locate a therapist in your community. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle