Do I Need Help?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Many things, not sure the issue. I have been suffering from an EDNOS for almost 3 years. I have a compulsion to pick at my face many times a day when often their is nothing their. I don’t know why I do. I often cut myself but not on my arms, on my legs. I think that way no one will see what I’ve done to myself. My shorts have rode up countless times however where their are freshly healed scars and my mother never asks me about them or hardly notices. I am extremely introverted and I dont like going into public often because I tend to be very awkward. My mother leaves as soon as she comes home from work for about 3-4 hours to play Yahtzee and never spends quality time with me and she very rarely says ‘I love you’ or gives me a hug. This was one of the factors that caused me to start cutting myself. I hear her talking to my grandmother about me and about how I ‘only care about myself’ and that I’m worthless. That makes me feel even worse because I have straight A’s, have college plans, and go to church ALL the time even though she doesn’t. I feel like I’m living a lie sometimes. I often read literature and stories online. Topics include vampires, supernatural things, and stories with strong sexual nature. I try to stop but I continually do it and I don’t know why. I have crazy fears about things like deep water, so I don’t eat any seafood and things similar. I lose my temper easily but I rarely show it and I often keep it bottled up. I feel abandoned and worthless just like people make me feel. I love to try to get attention but when I do, I hate it. I put a mask on in front of people because I don’t want them to think that I don’t have it all together. I don’t know if I need help, or what.

A. I believe you need help. Your situation is not improving. You are feeling increasingly worse. Your strategy for dealing with emotional pain is to harm and isolate yourself. It is not unusual for adolescents to believe that everything is their fault. That type of thinking may lead an individual to harm themselves. They may punish themselves for the harm they feel they have caused. It is possible that you are engaging in that type of self-blame pattern. If you are, please know it is not healthy.

You and your mother are clearly not on the same page. You want to increase your interaction with her but she believes you don’t. She may believe that you like being alone. She may also think that you are purposefully isolating yourself from her and the family. None of that is true.

It may be difficult to speak to your mother about how you’re feeling. I understand that but I would advise you to do so. She needs to know that you want to interact with her more. As you overheard her say, she believes otherwise. That may explain why she avoids you; she may be trying to respect your privacy because she thinks that is what you want. A conversation with her might clarify this misunderstanding.

If you are not comfortable speaking to her directly, then write a letter or send her an e-mail. If you and she are open to it, I would also recommend counseling. You could try individual counseling or family therapy. Both types of counseling could be effective. You and she could learn more effective methods of communication.

The bottom line is that you need to be vocal about your feelings. To do so is not a form of “getting attention.” It is simply communicating your wants and needs. It is basic human interaction. Reveal the truth about how you’re feeling and you may find that it is a positive turning point in your life. I wish you well. Thank you for your question.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jan 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Do I Need Help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/01/14/do-i-need-help-2/

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