I’m incredibly angry all the time, sometimes I don’t even know why. I practically live in the world I’ve made up. I’m currently in therapy for social-phobia but I’m too afraid to talk to my therapists about this. All my life I’ve been making up fantasy worlds, the earliest memory I’ve had of one I must have 3-4 years old and even then the characters have been killing other people or trying to avoid being killed. All my worlds have been incredibly dangerous, filled with people who have gone completley mad and there is no government or rules. I practically live in these worlds, I sit on the couch for 5 hours a day and just imagine them, it’s all I think about in school and on car-drives ( which is a daily thing usually we drive for 1-2 hours ). These worlds are all I care about I don’t currently have any friends, and when I have in the past I’ve never felt like I connected with them and eventually the friendship would just dissolve or they’d be weirded out by something I’d say. For example people usually are freaked out because I think I’m psychic, I just know when something is going to happen instinctively. Another problem I have is my anger. I get so frustrated by what other consider to be little things, a former friend recently began taking my lunch seat ( I’ve sat in the same seat everyday all year and she’d sit next to me ) and whenever she does I get so angry that I dig my nails into my elbow ( so hard that they nearly bleed ) it ruins my whole day. Whenever she and the boy who sits across from me get into a conversation I just feel completely enraged and can’t help but want to set her hair on fire ( though I doubt I ever would ). I’m furious that I have to go to school and have actually considered starting a fire there. I feel like no one can help me figure out why I have these thoughts and I just don’t know what to do. Thank you for your time.
You are very fortunate to have access to a psychotherapist. I receive many letters from adolescents who suffer from a variety of mental health issues but who don’t have or may never have the opportunity to consult a mental health professional. In many cases, their parents “don’t believe” in therapy. In other cases, they may be frightened to request therapy. Many teens suffer in silence. Some live in rural areas where no mental health services are offered or their parents simply can’t afford the cost of treatment.
I would urge you to utilize the mental health services you have access to. You may worry that your thoughts or fantasies may be too shocking. Perhaps you are concerned with how the therapist will perceive you if he or she knows about your fantasies. It’s important to know that therapists are trained to deal with all situations. They recognize that fantasies are just fantasies. What someone fantasizes about doing is not necessarily indicative of how they would behave. In addition, it is common for teenagers to fantasize. It’s actually quite normal.
You have also mentioned that you struggle with anger issues. There are occasions when you feel the urge to harm someone or to light their hair on fire. You “doubt” that you ever would but you need to be certain of this. The most responsible way to handle these urges is to report them to your therapist. The therapist can assist you in developing constructive anger management strategies.
The main problem, as I see it, lies in your reluctance to be honest with your therapist. I would strongly encourage you to report the information that you provided in this letter to your therapist. If you withhold important information, then he or she can’t assist you. Try to be open and honest. The more information you can reveal to your therapist the better he or she can assist you.
I hope this answer provides some guidance for how to handle the issues discussed in your letter. Use the mental health resources you have available to you. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle