Please Help. I Am Lost

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I think that I may have depression and/or skitzophrenia. I am lonely all the time and I feel like no one really cares about me. I get upset really easily and tend to overreact. I am friends with a lot of people but am not really close to any one person. I hardly ever get invited to any social events like sweet 16s because even though I am friends with a lot of people, no one really likes to include me like that. My friends often talk about their plans infront of me without including me. This really puts a damper on my self-esteem. I don’t understand why they never want to include me. Maybe it is because of my mood swings. I’m known for getting real angry, real fast. I think about killing myself sometimes, but I think about how it would hurt my dad. He would be all alone (my mom cheated on him with a close family friend a year and a half ago) and my brother is in college…I got skin cancer on my foot in the same year that my mom cheated on my dad. It was a bad year for me. Sometimes I think my friends forget how hard my life is. They all talk about their petty problems and it gets on my nerves. I often change myself for the group of people I am around. I curse more and talk louder with one group, act more mellow with another, and just plain crazy with the other. I don’t like dissapointing people. I actually FEAR disapointing my familly. I have lost interest in one of my previously favorite sports, softball and have noticed a steep decline in my school work. I lie to my teachers like a professional, making up excuses for missed work. I feel that (compared to my friends) I am the fattest and uggliest of the bunch. I also feel that even though I do favors for everybody else, no one seems to want to reciprocate. I’m always tired and watch TV like my life depends on it. I sometimes think about running away and just doing all the things that I want to do, not what society wants to do. But I would never be able to support myself, so I just go with the flow. Basically, I feel like I’m a lost puppy who just doesn’t belong anywhere and that no one cares about me. Because I change so much for other poeple, I don’t know who I am anymore.

A. I cannot know with certainty but I do not believe you have schizophrenia. Perhaps you have an adjustment disorder. An adjustment disorder is a strong reaction to life stressors. Your current life stressors include problems with school, peers, and family issues. You may also be experiencing depression. As you have noted, some of the activities that you were once interested in no longer bring you pleasure.

It is important to keep in mind that I cannot officially diagnose you over the Internet. These are my impressions based on a short letter and they should not take the place of an in-person mental health evaluation.

You need guidance. It does not seem that you have anyone you could go to for advice. What about your parents? Can you speak to them about how you are feeling? Would they be able to advise you regarding your relationship problems with peers? If not your parents, then what about a school counselor? The school counselor may be able to teach you a better way of interacting with your peers.

When you report that you “go along with the flow” and “change for other people” it tells me that you may be experiencing problems with self-esteem. Individuals will engage in that type of behavior usually because they desperately want to be liked. They think that if they do what their friends want them to do, they will like them. As you are learning, that strategy doesn’t work. What usually happens is that your peers will take advantage of you. By learning better social interaction skills and ways to improve your self-esteem you can change the response you get from your peers. Those skills can be learned in therapy. That is why you should consider seeing a school counselor. If a school counselor is not available to you then you may want to ask your parents about seeing a mental health professional.

The good news is that the problems you are experiencing are relatively common and can be dealt with in a counseling setting. Please consider the school counselor and talking to your parents. They may have good advice for you about how to better handle peer situations and your parents may also be willing to send you to a therapist. I hope I have answered your questions and given you hope and assurance. Thank you for your question. I wish you well.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Feb 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Please Help. I Am Lost. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/02/08/please-help-i-am-lost/