Do I Need Help?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am in pain and i don’t know why I do things I do. I have arthritis in my jaw and am on .5 mg of Klonopin a day and 600 mg of Ibeuprofen twice a day for it. The Klonopin is to help me sleep because for the past month I haven’t been able to sleep through the night. Me and my boyfriend of 7 months broke up about a month ago and since then me and my schizophrenic friend had been semi-dating. He’s left me hangin’ out to dry twice before, so I wasn’t very surprised when he recently did that again. Yesterday me and the boy who I had been dating for 7 months had sex for no real reason and I was very unhappy with it afterwards. Lately I’ve been self-destructive. I broke my own finger 2 weeks ago. I wasn’t on any drugs, I just did it. I don’t even know why i did it. I just felt like I needed to feel something. I’ve been abusing drugs too (Concerta, Ritalin, Acid, Cocaine). I have been drinking less, which is good, but I’m up to smoking at least 5 cigarettes a day. I picked this habit back up about a month ago. I attend a boarding school and also, recently, I’ve been leaving it a lot. Like, at 1 am I will feel like I have to leave. I can’t take being here. I just get in my car and drive to Mobile or Orange Beach or Atlanta. Anywhere to where I can just get away. I go to escape my cinderblock of a dorm room, but then I have to come right back here in the morning to live here. I can’t take it. I don’t know what to do because I know things won’t get any better when the summer comes. My schizophrenic friend lives back in my hometown and I don’t know how to deal with him because I have had a crush on him since I was a little girl and I know that it’ll resurface. I talk to my friends about my problems and everything, but there’s nothing they can really do about it. Nor can I. I’ve been too spontaneous for my own good. I shoved a needle through my navel about 3 weeks ago. Belly button piercing. Why did I do it? I don’t know. I needed to feel something. I can’t feel anything anymore. I’ve stopped doing something I used to love doing as well: crocheting. Instead I’ve been drawing. I’m very good at drawing, they say. But I don’t know how to deal with everything I have got going on. I know I can’t go home and I can’t really tell my mother what I am dealing with. She would pull me out of school. She’s a lawyer and already thinks I’m a little crazy. I’ve had anger issues in the past because of tension headaches that I always got because my jaw pain was so bad. It is really bad even now. Before these meds, I was on Relafen and it didn’t help at all. It gets so bad that sometimes I can’t even open my mouth to eat. That’s another thing, I’ve been averaging about 1 meal a day for the past month. I’m 5’5 and weigh 102 lbs. Should I get therapy? I’ve been very depressed and exhausted lately. I can’t focus (thus, why I’ve been taking the Concerta) and I can’t seem to see anything that’s good. I just need to know if I need to get help. that’s all. Thank you. Sorry for the hella long note. oh! that’s another issue of mine. Everything that ever happens to me, I always take it out on myself. Like, even when I don’t do anything and it’s just the other person having their own issues, I believe it is my fault. I screw up everything for everyone and they would be a lot better if I wasn’t here. Thank you.

A. Yes you should definitely seek help. You’re on the verge of losing total control. You’re barely functioning on a daily basis. You’re unable to sleep, you are in physical pain, you’re using hardcore drugs (cocaine and acid) and you’re abusing prescription medicine. It’s always going to be difficult to function “normally” if you’re using drugs. Even people who take prescription medicine complain because they find it difficult to have a clear mind. Taking drugs of any sort changes an individual’s personality. If you videotaped yourself on and off drugs (of any kind, legal or illegal) you’d likely notice a change in your personality. Furthermore, not only are you ingesting at least six different drugs, you’re drinking alcohol, though not as much as you apparently used to. No wonder you’re confused, numb, depressed and exhausted. Anyone who ingested multiple mind-altering substances would feel that way.

The use of multiple legal and illegal drugs may explain much of how you’ve been feeling. You are not sleeping well and then in addition to lacking sleep you’re taking mind-altering substances. There is probably a correlation between your drug use, behavior and your emotional and psychological instability.

Are the drugs the source of your emotional problems or have they made them more severe? I also wonder whether you began abusing drugs because you felt emotionally unstable. Many people use drugs to escape some aspect of their lives that they find unpleasant.

The bottom line is that you need help. I’d encourage you to tell your mother even though you don’t want to. As you wrote in your letter, she already knows you’re having problems. You do not have to tell her everything but you should let her know that you’d like to see a counselor. If you don’t feel comfortable with that is there anyone at the boarding school you could talk to? Do they have counselors on staff?

I hope that you strongly consider seeking professional help. Take this seriously. If you continue to engage in drug use then it could lead you to make very poor life decisions that you may later regret.

Drugs not only lead people to make poor judgments and decisions but they could also negatively and permanently damage your brain. This is especially true for teenagers whose brains are still growing and developing. The teenage brain is particularly susceptible to drug use. Studies show that teens who use drugs risk damaging the brains’ proper neurological development. Drug use, especially acid, has also been linked to serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. For these reasons and many others, it’s important that you be proactive and seek help immediately. Counseling has the potential to alter your life for the better.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Apr 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Do I Need Help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/04/13/do-i-need-help/