For a while now I’ve had this problem where if something doesn’t feel exactly right I have to fix it until it does feel right and it’s hard to focus on anything else if I leave it. This can happen with anything. The way an object is positioned, which fingers I use to type something, how I say something, etc. This will usually make me look really weird if somebody notices. If something takes too long to fix, I will become frustrated and completely give up. This is making things hard during class, because if I can’t seem to write a word the right way or if I have to keep writing and erasing the same word I will get frustrated and want to push the paper away. It’s been getting really bad, and is making my grades go way down. My parents don’t really know what to do with me. Along with my problem, I have been feeling depressed for 8 months. All summer I was inside on the computer and barely went outside. Towards the end of summer I started running out of things to do online, but still didn’t want to go outside. So I stayed inside all day listening to music. I started thinking really pessimistic thoughts on life, getting myself down all the time. School started and it just kept getting worse, because of my grades and me losing friends. My problem is just making it worse. Are there any ways of controlling my problem? Is there a name to my problem? I just don’t know what to do. Sorry if this is confusing to read. (age 13, from US)
It wasn’t confusing at all. Thanks for writing in with your concerns. To answer your question, there may not be a good way to “control” your problem but you can get treatment for the problems you describe.
It sounds like you are beginning to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression, which go hand in hand many times. Specifically, it sounds like you might be suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the only way to truly know is to be evaluated by a mental health professional.
Please speak to your parents and your school counselor about getting some help. These problems you are having are real and there are very effective treatments available that could include therapy, medication or both. Feel free to print out your question and my answer if you think it might help you explain what you have been experiencing. Chances are that you will be able to bring your grades back up and begin enjoying life again once you get help.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts