I feel like I am losing my mind

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Ever since i can remember I have always been an angry person. I snap at my mom for stupid things(to the point where i’m screaming at her for nothing, and i know its wrong when im doing it but i do it anyways)and i over analyize EVERYTHING. If you were to meet me you would think that I didn’t have a care in the world. I work in retail and i have been called “fun, bubbily, always happy*, adorable” etc. I feel like i have this act at my job where i just don’t want them to see my angry side, so i don’t show it to them. The only people i actually release all of my anger towards is my mom, sister, and my boyfriend.

The one place i am never angry is my other job at a daycare. I work with kids and no matter how stressed out i am, or how many bad things i’m dealing with at the time, i never feel anger towards them. I have about 4 close friends, and I would consider myself to be a VERY loyal friend. However, i am very clingy and i do not like to be by myself. If i am alone i feel like a loser and unless i am watching tv or unless i am occupied by something else, i will just sit there and think of how insane i am. I am constantly giving my friends advice, and i would consider myself very insightful and i am VERY good at reading people; however, when it coems to my own life, i feel like i am not in control and that i am constantly making bad decesions.

When i am not in control of something, i feel extremely anxious and angry. I am very good at talking to people and I appear to be very confident. However, that is not the case at all. People who know me well would say that i have anger problems. I am insecure to the point where i am CONSTANTLY thinking bad things about myself (like how i’m insane, or evil). I have been dating the same guy on and off for 5 years. I am only 18 and i have never been without my boyfriend. He has cheated on me multiple times and i still go back to him. In a way, I almost feel worthless without him. I feel like if i’m not with him then he will move on and be happy and no one else will ever want to be with me because i’m a bad person.

I have been to multiple therapists and many of them blamed my obessive thinking on the fact that my parents divorced when i was only 3 years old. It enraged me to hear that (because i am perfectly happy with my living situation, with my mom) but as the years go by, i have started to think that because i don’t have a strong male role model in my life that that is the reason why i am so extremly dependant on my boyfriend. I am very jealous and i always think of things in a negative way. For example, i am going away with my friends for new years, and as soon as i found out my boyfriend was going and staying in a different hotel i automatically think that hes going to have sex with another girl, or that he’ll ruin my trip somehow. It’s like i get these messed up thoughts, and it’s like subconciously i want them to happen so i can be right; and when these terrible thoughts do happen,

i have many suicidal thoughts and I become extremely depressed. I think about killing myself at least once a day. I know that i will never follow through with it, but sometimes i am just so down on myself i feel like i don’t even want to be me anymore.

I have been a marijuana user for about 4 years now. Within the past 2 years, i have smoked weed every day. Within the last 6 months or so, i started “sketching” really badly. I am always very anxious when i smoke weed, especially when i am alone. I often think that there are ghosts in my room, or i think that there is someone in my house. Every single night i will smoke a bowl in my room, and just sit there and think about how messed up i am and how everyone would think i am crazy if they knew my thoughts. I cannot stop smoking weed. Even though it makes me think messed up thoughts sometimes, it occasionally makes me feel normal because my state of mind is altered and i am not myself for an hour or so.

Another thing that has been an issue for me for YEARS now would be my phobia of someone coming into my house. Every night before i go to bed i think that there is someone in my house and i think that they are going to kill me or kidnap me. It doesnt mater if i check my whole house, or lock my bedroom door, i still think that someone is going to kill me and TONIGHT is going to be the night that i die. I’m also very scared when it comes to driving. I do not drive, and when i am with my friends, i constnatly think about how they are going so fast and i always think we are going to get into an accident. I have a lot of trouble concentarting, and even when it comes to something simple (like readinga book for school), i will pick the book up and start to cry because i am so frusterated and don’t want to do it. I am not a stupid person, and when i was in highschool if i were to actually do an assignment, i would get around a 90%. But most of the time i woudlnt even bother handing it in because i am afaird of failure. I also think that i always have something wrong with me (like a sickness) and my mom often calls me a “hypochondriac.”

To conclude, i know that i have problems. Sometimes i feel like i overanalyze my thoughts so much and that is why i think i’m crazy. Often people tell me i just need to “chill” but i feel like i cant. I don’t know what to do :(

A: Oh my. That’s quite a long list. No wonder you’re constantly upset. Let’s see if maybe I can give you a little direction. I suspect the therapists you saw were trying to tell you something a bit more complicated than that it’s all the fault of your parents’ divorce. That’s rarely the case. What may be the case is that you are a person with an exceptionally sensitive temperament and people didn’t understand at the time of the divorce that you needed more help coping with the changes in your life. You may have mistakenly believed on some level that the divorce was partly your fault. You may have felt your dad’s departure more profoundly than most kids would. All of this mixed together could be the basis for the development of borderline personality disorder. Look up the traits of the disorder and see if it fits.

On the other hand, you’ve been smoking weed continuously for a number of years. The amount and frequency are well beyond occasional recreational use. You have a serious psychological addiction. It’s a truism in my field that people who use at the level you are often become developmentally “stuck” at the age they were when they started using heavily. So here you are at 18, uncertain of yourself, caught up in high drama, and having tantrums – just like a 14- or 15-year-old kid. It’s no wonder you feel out of step with your peers.

All of this is to say that you’re right. You do need help. And you need more help than a letter can give you. You absolutely have to stop smoking weed. You absolutely have to get involved in some kind of therapy to deal with the pain that is inevitably going to erupt once you take off the blanket of smoke. At 18, it’s definitely time for you to stop taking your troubles out on other people and start taking care of yourself.

The very good news in your letter is that you have a lot going for you – if you would only learn to use it. You’re a good, caring worker. You do have some friends. People like you. And you have a good intuitive sense of other people. That’s an amazing amount of pluses. So — put down the bowl and take up the project of becoming the adult you can be. Get the professional help you need and stick with it long enough so that it sticks. You’re worth it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Jan 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I feel like I am losing my mind. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/01/22/i-feel-like-i-am-losing-my-mind/