I’m 19, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I almost always avoid social situations, or any situation where I feel like I won’t have a way to leave if I start feeling overwhelmed. I don’t feel comfortable being around more than one person at a time, whether it is close family or a friend since childhood. I have carried my backpack almost everywhere with me for about 6 months. I keep my laptop, chargers, random stuff that I wouldn’t want to lose. I have worn the same beanie since I was about 16. I can’t leave home without it on. It makes me feel more hidden from everyone. I can’t bring myself to see a psychiatrist.. I want to know what might be wrong with me. I have been searching what seems like forever for an answer, how to be myself again. I care about everyone a lot, I’m not able to show it/tell them though. I can’t talk to anyone about what’s troubling me. Last time I tried talking to a close friend, we were never as close again. I haven’t heard from her in months. Im constantly thinking about the past. After I hang out with a friend, I’m thinking of all the things I could have done wrong, or said that sounded odd. I hear voices of friends occasionally. Sometimes I think I hear them quoting everything I am doing in a sarcastic voice. I don’t talk to them. Most of the time I can tell if I am mistaking a sound for someone talking. No matter where I am, even in my own room, I feel like people are watching me or have set up a camera to record what I’m doing. I haven’t taken a picture of myself in years because I’m afraid that someone is getting copies of everything I do (pictures, internet browsing, text messages, etc). Usually when I go somewhere new, I look around for video cameras set up or people watching what I am doing. I am almost always listing off all of the possible negative things people could be thinking/saying about me. Whenever someone laughs, I automatically think that they are laughing at my awkward walk. I’m currently prescribed Amphetamine Salts (Adderall IR) 30mg 3x daily. I have been taking anywhere from 2-5 a day though. I can barely get out of bed in the morning until I take one. I think I am just putting everything into my head, and convincing myself that something is wrong with me. Even if I am, it is definitely taking it’s toll on my life. Im pretty sure, if anything, I have something similar to Social Anxiety.. I was abused from newborn, up until 16. Then my mom divorced my dad because he wouldn’t stop the mental/physical abuse. The fact that it was my fault has stuck with me to this day. I also went through one of the worst tornadoes in history May 22nd, 2011. Since then, I’ve lived in a FEMA trailer park. I’ve started smoking up to a pack a day. I’ve never done anything like this before, so I’m sorry if it was too long, too much personal information, or anything like that. It’s 4 in the morning, work in 5 hours. Any advice would help so much.
Without interviewing you in person, it is difficult to know precisely what may be wrong. There are two main possibilities. The first is that you have social anxiety. The second possibility is that you have schizotypal personality disorder. Individuals with schizotypal personality disorder characteristically have a great deal of social anxiety, tend to be loners, misinterpret situations, experience paranoia and have paranormal or peculiar beliefs.
A complicating factor in your situation is that you have been displaced from your home. Not being able to live in your home may be contributing to your anxiety problems.
You also mentioned that you have a history of abuse. That further complicates the situation and it may also be contributing to your current psychological symptoms. You blamed yourself but it is important to know that you are not to blame. The adults are to blame; you were an innocent victim.
In your letter, you stated that you have been prescribed medication. That means that you have likely been evaluated by either a mental health or medical professional. I would encourage you to speak to that person about the symptoms you have described in your letter.
The fact that you’re taking a medication that is not working is also important information that the prescribing physician needs to know. Ideally, you should be evaluated by a mental health professional and referred to a psychiatrist for psychiatric medication, if necessary. My main suggestion is that you need to contact the proper mental health professionals so they can properly assist you with your psychological problems. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle