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Identity Crisis

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am seeking help because i don’t really know the nature of my trouble. I can’t finance my visits to a psychiatrist. My problem begins a year and half ago when i think had an identity crisis, i was a kind of person who is never satisfied with himself and always thinking that there is something wrong with me. Then, i began doing things i personally don’t agree with but i would do it and cry after it, i pushed myself to very uncomfortable situations, to do things i don’t accept and forced myself to deal with it for a long time without ever stopping. Then i began to lose sense of my own self like losing sense of what i am doing, losing and gaining weight, etc.. it felt like i was doing a bunch of acts that are not connected in any way or any sense. what is happening to me now is that i can’t work because i have a weird feeling all the time that i am not comfortable with myself, my mind is always busy with something that i don’t know. I feel like there is something i should do and because of that feeling i don’t want to engage in conversations, i don’t want to sleep or eat or have fun and my stomach hurts all the time. i don’t concentrate with anything like even when watching a movie i feel like my mind is elsewhere.

Now i don’t have any sense of time or days or myself like changes that happen to me, i don’t have different moods, all i feel is anxiety that i am now used to to the extent of forgetting what it feels like to be normal.
I can’t work because i can’t focus on work or have the focus to maintain a minimum level of human communications at work since my mind is so busy.

I hope you could help me by any advice or opinion as i am losing control everyday.

Maybe you can’t afford a psychiatrist but there may be resources in your community of which you are unaware. What about a therapist? Therapists focus on thoughts, feelings and behaviors. A therapist would be in a good position to treat your anxiety.

Try calling your community mental health center or other community center and asking about what services might be available to you. There might be free or low-cost mental health services.

Another idea is contacting local universities to determine if they have a counseling center for people in the community.

You might also try reading self-help books about anxiety. Your local library might have some good options. I would recommend self-help books by David Burns.

In the absence of available mental health treatment, you should try your best to focus on reality. Just because you feel a particular way doesn’t mean that your feelings are accurate. You shouldn’t just blindly follow them.

For instance, let’s say you have an argument with your mother. She said some things that hurt your feelings. Now you’re upset. Just because your feelings are hurt doesn’t mean that you’re justified in feeling the way you do. Maybe your hurt feelings are legitimate but hurt feelings alone are not, in and of themselves, the most accurate indicators of truth.

In another example, consider agoraphobia. People with agoraphobia are highly anxious in social situations. Their fear can lead to panic attacks. In severe cases, they are so overwhelmed with fear that they refuse to leave their homes and become trapped.

People with agoraphobia feel that social situations are dangerous. In reality they are not, but their feelings trump their judgment. And thus they are ruled by their feelings. If they perceived reality as it was, rather than how they felt it to be, they might not be agoraphobic.

That is the power of truth and reality.

Those examples might be overly simplistic, but they highlight the fact that feelings are not facts. The more you can train yourself to believe in what is real, the less you will be impacted by irrational feelings. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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