From a teen in the U.S.: I know that you’ll probably roll your eyes at the “controversial disorder” but I am truly scared for myself and other people. I am a soldier in the Army, and I am on track to be an Officer in a couple years. I am also a freshman at university. I went to Basic Training last summer, and I suffered stress fractures, resulting in a breakage of my left hip. I am healed now, but I do fear that I may have suffered a bit worse mental health-wise.
Because I am on track to be an Officer, I have to go back and do BCT again, and the very thought causes me unbearable fear, which I cannot seem to control.
To escape the looming fear I have, I tend to store it in a “lock box”, which helps me forget about it. However, several times last week, I heavily considered suicide- which is absurd for me- and I could not wake up from the “dark place” in my head. Over the past month, things have been worsening: I am constantly confused, having to retrace my steps frequently, and I am forgetting things that I shouldn’t be forgetting, like the name of my boyfriend. Overall, I feel lethargic, however, I’ve had some strange and very extreme mood swings for no reason. I feel like I am out of control- like watching a movie go down- and I don’t trust myself with anything. I hear strange and angry voices in my head that I didn’t use to hear before- not my voice. I’m scared, worried, sad, and I fear the worst: a diagnosis.
I know- it sounds ridiculous coming from a young female such as myself, but all I want is to figure out what is wrong, and how to treat it so I can live my life to the fullest.
Is it possible I developed an unhealthy coping mechanism in attempt to save my self from the fear of BCT? I fear this condition would make me a very poor Officer in the Army, and I run the severe risk of hurting others. Should I seek help, or hope it goes away? I know the dangers of “self-diagnosis” so I feel like I should seek assistance.
Thank you for your time, and please respond soon.
Thank you very much for writing. You are an intelligent and sensitive person who is asking important questions. I think you answered your own question early on. You are afraid. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Often fear is protective. It makes us aware of something that may be dangerous. It’s unwise, indeed, to ignore the feeling.
Fear can do strange things to a person. When locked down, it tends to find cracks in our personal armor and spills out in sometimes unrelated places. Your “locked box” isn’t working — and shouldn’t. As you pointed out, as an officer you will be responsible for the lives of others as well as your own. It’s a huge responsibility. That should be taken very seriously.
Yes, you should seek help. I’m sure your university or your Army base has a counselor who can help you. if you just push yourself to go ahead with something your whole being is resisting., you are at risk of hurting yourself and others. You need to tease out whether your fear is something you want to learn to deal with — or whether maybe being an officer isn’t for you. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to people who would be under your command if you do become an officer.
I wish you well.