From the U.S.: Well, here it goes:
I hate myself and don’t like most people. I’ve pushed my friends away/out of my life. I feel I can’t talk to my own family about my real feelings. I haven’t been in a romantic relationship in 20 years (since high school), which only magnifies my self-loathing. I have zero self-confidence. I’m in a career that pours machismo, which I have none. Most every day I have thoughts of the “s” word, and this has been consistent since Jr. High.
My social anxiety has spiraled to the point where I never leave the house (I peer through the window before I even get the mail or take out the trash). No social media because my heart beats out of my chest making a simple comment. It feels like the universe throws every possible obstacle in my path. I always end up feeling worse.
These are just a few of a long list of issues I grapple with every day. I tried to drink away my feelings during my 20’s which culminated in a 30-day stint in rehab by age 32. I have not had a drink since and I don’t take drugs, other than smoking weed since age 13.
I fear antidepressants because I don’t want to become dependent. On past doctor visits, even though it was on the tip of my tongue, I was too embarrassed to ask about depression. But I feel I’m at my wits end, which has led me to create an account and “ask a therapist”. The only thing I feel is in my favor is an incredibly strong sense of empathy towards everything, especially animals. Crazy, right?
Nope. Not crazy. Probably you are suffering from depression as well as social anxiety.
Stop kidding yourself, please. Yes, you are taking a drug. The weed isn’t helping you one bit. In fact, although it may make you feel a bit better, it is probably contributing to the problem.
You already know that you need help. That’s why you wrote to us. Now please follow your own good instincts and get the help you need and deserve. Start with a complete medical check up to make sure there isn’t an undiagnosed medical issue that is part of the problem. Do be honest about how often you are smoking weed.
Then ask your doctor for a referral to a licensed therapist. The first thing that will happen is a thorough evaluation. Then you and the therapist will talk about the therapist’s recommendations.
Medication may or may not be recommended, but it is at least something to talk about. (A course of prescribed medication will probably do more for you than marijuana.) But even more important will be getting to the root of your feelings and providing you support to take the necessary steps to change your life.
Please follow through. You are only in your 30s. You can have decades of good life ahead of you if you take care of yourself by getting the help you need.
I wish you well.