Do I Have a Problem?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have two sides to my personality, and they argue often. I have two very opposite halves of a personality. And my basic manner feeds off of one of these at all times. But the two switch places everyone so often. I’ll be a depressed downer one day, then several years later (distant, I know) I’ll be a joyful, eccentric free spirit. In the 4th and 5th grade, I had virtually no friends. Now I’m friends with nearly everyone I meet. Whenever I’m faced with a problem, I have long lasting, and occasionally extremely intense debates with myself. One side of the battle being the pessimist in me, and the other the optimist. I feel like there are two people inside of my brain, but they just take turns being in control. Regardless of how general and distant I might have made my problem seem, I also have depression episodes, and serious OCD. Sometimes I’ll go for walks, and won’t be back for hours. When questioned on where I went, I don’t know the answer. I’ll just go into a mindless trance and walk. I do nothing, and feel virtually nothing, but at the same time, my walks are the most cherished times of my life. I know this explanation is wordy, and poorly written as far as formatting and order goes. There’s also nary a paragraph in the midst of these jumbles of letters. But I hope you can tell me what my problem is, if there is one.

A. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression then there is a problem. You also recognize that you may have OCD. What is also concerning is what you have described as a “mindless trance and walk.” You describe an interesting duality that takes place when you are on these walks. On one hand it is almost as though you do not remember taking these walks but on the other hand, you describe them as being “the most cherished times of your life.” I’m not certain I understand how you cannot remember an experience that you characterize as being so important to you.

I cannot give you a definitive answer about what your problem may be. I have limited information. I believe that you should be evaluated by a mental health professional. This is particularly important because you describe having depression episodes and serious OCD. These are not conditions that you have to live with or tolerate. Depression and OCD are very treatable.

What should you do? Speak to your parents. Tell them that you wrote a letter and that it was recommended that you be seen by a mental health professional. If you don’t want to do that then you could simply tell your parents about your experiences and that you want to be evaluated to see what treatments could help solve your problems. You could benefit from therapy. Some individuals with depression and OCD have found medication effective. It’s very wise to be evaluated and I hope that you will talk to your parents. They can get you the help you need. It was very brave of you to write a letter. Now it’s time for you to take further action. Your parents need to know about your symptoms. Thank you for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Do I Have a Problem?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/04/11/do-i-have-a-problem-2/