i feel crazy

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: i don’t know what to call this issue or if this is any sort of real issue, but my most recent doctor told me i might have anxiety problems…but i feel like this may be different from that. usually i’m just worrying about stuff all the time…but now i feel like i’m hearing things i’m not coming from my friends. just today i heard my friend throwing up in a trash can, clear as day, when he didn’t throw up at all. and i woke up to him apparently “throwing up.” i was so confused when he didn’t know what i was talking about. i don’t know what’s going on and i hope it doesn’t happen more. i feel like i’m going crazy. i say things that make other people feel like they don’t want to be around me and even my own brother is upset with me for yelling about something that really made me upset. i know my mom struggles with depression but i don’t know if i’m experiencing depression at all…i just feel angry and i think this changes what i’m hearing and what i’m thinking.

i don’t want people to think i’m crazy…i just wish i didn’t have this problem. at times i also feel a little paranoid but nothing too drastic. i’ve heard doors open that didn’t move and seen dark shadows pass in the corner of my eye that have made me jump in my seat. my apartment mates just laugh at me when i tell them. and when i say something to a friend i think i’m saying it fine and they think i’m yelling at them. i scare myself sometimes. i don’t want to lose my friends. and today is my birthday; i really shouldn’t be worrying about this. what should i do?

A: Happy Birthday! You just gave yourself the present of asking for some help. Good job!

I’m assuming that your doctor gave you a complete physical checkup. If not, please get that done first. There are a number of medical problems that can make a person “see things” or be a little too loose about what they say and how they say it. An important piece of information to your doctor will be when you first noticed that your behavior was “off.”

Medically fine? Then the next step is to take your letter with you and go see a licensed counselor for an evaluation. At this point, it’s possible that what is going on is that you are so worried about your worries that you have become hypersensitive to just about anything and everything. In that case, getting confirmation that you are okay from a therapist will be reassuring. That, and a few sessions to help you settle down, are all that are required.

If, on the other hand, you are having symptoms of an illness, the therapist will work with you to make a treatment plan to address your different symptoms. This might involve some medicine for awhile and some talk therapy to help you learn to manage yourself better.

It sounds like you are catching things early enough to make a difference in whether your friends stick with you. Please don’t wait until you have burned all your bridges and are desperate before you take care of yourself. The time to get some help is now while you have some supports and while you are motivated.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Oct 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). i feel crazy. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/10/19/i-feel-crazy/