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Inappropriate Emotional Responses to Stimuli

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

First of all, I’d like to apologize in advance if this isn’t as coherent as you’d like; my thoughts have the tendency to be a bit disorganized. Please don’t hate me. I just turned 20 and I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Major Depression when I was 17. I was later diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Mania. I’m really sad all the time. I’ve taken lots of different kinds of medication but they don’t work at all (except for Xanax). One of the problems I’ve been having is that I don’t seem to react to situations the way people around me do. I’m hypersensitive about what people think about me. Sometimes I get really upset about great things. I recently met a great girl and we got along really well so I started crying and tried to kill myself. Other times, people will hurt me and do really bad things to me, and it makes me laugh. If I get too excited about something like a new job, a trip to somewhere fun or even just a really good song, it makes me want to die. But at the same time I’m happy… Sometimes I think about hurting people I care about to show them how much I love them. When my friends do nice things for me, I want to stab them and hold them in my arms but I know that’s not polite. I avoid certain social situations like parties because I fear my excitement may cause me to become suicidal. It’s all really confusing. Is there anything I can do to be more like normal people? I want to be a good person; I don’t want to be evil.

Your reactions to the situations you have described are unusual. I’m wondering if you’re misinterpreting these situations or your symptoms. Because you contemplate suicide and have a desire to hurt others, you should be evaluated by a mental health professional.

A mental health evaluation could provide an objective assessment of what might be wrong. It would also determine the best treatment to address your symptoms.

The right medication could help but it seems as though you have yet to find a medicine that works for you. Keep trying. It can take a while to find the right medication but, once you do, it could eliminate these symptoms from your life.

Medication could help, but don’t overlook counseling. Counseling directly deals with the emotional aspects of psychological problems. Counseling could help to better define your problems and to help you better understand your feelings.

You are aware that your reactions are inappropriate but what’s less clear is how well you are able to control your behavior. If you feel as though you might hurt yourself or someone else, it’s imperative to call for emergency assistance. In the meantime, begin counseling. It might be the missing element in your treatment. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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