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Feeling Different From Everyone Else

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My name is Rachel and I am 15 years old. From the time i was born until i was about 6 I had watched my father beat my mom every day and my dad would smoke crack and pot while i sat on his lap. My mother and father got divorced when i was about 6. My mom used to and still sort of is an alcoholic; but she has slowed down very much. I used to wake up in the morning and find a different guy in my moms bed every day. My father has verbally abused me since i was just a child and that has made me feel worthless as a person.

Since i was 12 years old i have been harming myself; cutting burning etc. when i was 13 I tried to actually kill myself and took 2 bottles of pills. I have been failing all my classes in school since 5th grade; I got held back in the 8th grade. And i’ve always had a problem fitting in with people. I started drinking alcohol when i was 11 years old and continued to drink almost every other day until i was about 14. I started smoking marijuana when i was 14 and shortly after began smoking with my father and that made me feel extremly weird about the situation. I stopped seeing him about a year ago because eventually it all became to much for me to handle.

In january of 2007 I lost my virginity to a boy who i didnt even know and i dont remember anything about it; all i know was that he was 24! I felt extremly depressed after that. I started taking prescription drugs about a year ago (mostly opiates) and that slowly led to heavier drugs like heroin. I am an addict and I have been attending NA meetings because i am trying to get my life back in order, I recently slept with a boy for drugs because i was craving so bad.
I guess what i am trying to say is that; since i was a girl nothing has been good and i feel like things are always going to be this way.

i am already diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety disorder but i feel like there must be something else wrong with me. As strange as this sounds i have a hard time talking to people about my problems because i think that they are going to think that i am saying everything for attention. and that is a massive worry of mine. I have terrible self esteem and i do not like one thing about myself. I also have these really strange moments during the day that i will go from extremly happy and random for a few hours and than suddenly extremly depressed to the point where i dont like to tlk to anyone. There is alot more i could say but im hoping this will be enough.

I just want to know if anyone can tell me if i could have some kind of other disorder besides just depression and anxiety.. because i dont know anyone who is like me and i really am tired of feeling like this. Thanks. Rachel

Hi Rachel. From my perspective, you are a victim of circumstance. You were raised in an environment in which you were not protected, you were abused and drug use was encouraged. What happened to you was neither fair nor was it your fault. You witnessed your parents use drugs. Unfortunately it’s not surprising that you ultimately ended up using drugs yourself.

People need positive role models, especially during the early, formative years. They need people to show them their way in life. They need guidance. You did not have that luxury. Your parents did not take care of you. They left you to fend for yourself, perhaps because they had their own issues to deal with.

Understandably you have severe depression and anxiety. There may be other disorders that you could be diagnosed with but if other diagnoses were identified I’m not certain how that information would help you. It might help a doctor because he or she may know of a treatment that may benefit you but I fail to see how your knowing of other diagnoses would benefit you. Treatment in the form of counseling and possibly medication would be the most beneficial to you.

If you’re not already in counseling please ask either your parents or other adults in your life to get you involved. The issues you are struggling with can be overcome but it’s going to take time and the assistance of competent mental health professionals.

I’m very encouraged to learn that you are attending NA meetings. Many people believe that NA meetings and the people associated with them have helped to save their lives. It will take time to correct the damage from your childhood but it is doable. Your life can be better. Be patient, attend counseling sessions and NA meetings. Thank you for your question. I wish you the best luck. Please feel free to write back with followup questions.

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