Mental Health Disorder?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I moved to NC about 2 years ago and ever sense I moved I’ve been extremely shy. I panic every day before school. I avoid people as much as possible and when I talk I literally have to force it out of me. I come close to tears whenever someone looks or talks to me. Im drifting away from my family and Im always lying to them. I only have one friend outside of my family and we live 5 hours apart. I feel like if I fail at something, everyone will hate me. I play softball and basketball but I cant consintrate on them anymore. I get good grades at school but I cant stop pushing myself to do better even though everyone says Im a good student, I feel like every little mistake will distroy my grade. Although I fit into a size 1 pants I still hate my body. I know I don’t have an eating disorder because I eat every meal. I exersize a lot and my mom told me I do it way too much. But my dad thinks Im lazy. I always daydream during school, but not because Im bored. I daydream about getting a disease or something happening to myself. Sometimes these daydreams scare me and sometimes I like them. They sometimes are good. I daydream about having friends and being perfect too. Or I will daydream about having another family or being a whole different person. I feel like I can’t wake up from these dreams and I sometimes think they are real. I have never had a death in my family and I dont think Ive ever been abused or anything. But I cant remember anything from before 2nd grade. I hae a hard time staying still. I can’t watch TV or play on the computer unless the intire apartment is clean, I don’t know why. I don’t think this is important but it’s kind of weird; I have to make my bed before doing anything else in the morning. I tried resist the need and burst into tears. I don’t understand why making the bed is so important but somewhere in the back of my mind it is.

A. I cannot say for certain whether you have a mental health disorder but your symptoms are concerning. Some of what you may be experiencing could be depression or a difficult adjustment related to moving. As you noted, your symptoms emerged after you arrived in North Carolina. That’s likely not a coincidence. You’ve been drifting away from family, finding it difficult to make friends and are less able to concentrate on school and extracurricular activities. Other concerning behaviors include over-exercising. By itself, that symptom is not enough to constitute an eating disorder diagnosis but coupled with your ever-increasing dissatisfaction with your body, it could be an early warning sign of an eating disorder. The strong anxiety that you feel when you worry about making your bed is not enough to warrant an OCD diagnosis but could indicate early stages of the disorder.

Sometimes individuals feel compelled to engage in OCD-like behavior when they feel as though their life is out of control. Engaging in particular behaviors may give them a sense of power and control that they can’t feel in other ways. This might apply to your situation.

The move likely triggered your symptoms. If I were working with you in person, I would want to explore the details associated with the move and how it has affected you. Did you want to move? What were the circumstances of moving? Did you leave behind friends that you miss? It is difficult to transition into a new neighborhood and a new school. For some people, it’s a complete uprooting of their lives. Some individuals adjust better than others but without support, reassurance or guidance, moving can be a very difficult challenge for everyone.

It would be a very wise idea for you to speak with your parents about your symptoms. All of the symptoms you have described are treatable. You could benefit from talk therapy, support and guidance about how to deal with your feelings associated with the move. If you had someone to talk with who could help you adapt to your new life situation, your symptoms would likely decrease and perhaps be eliminated. If you feel uncomfortable speaking to your parents then I would encourage you to speak to a family friend or the school counselor about helping you access treatment. Your parents may be able to speak to your primary care physician or pediatrician about a referral to a therapist.

You could also look at the Psychology Today website and search for a therapist in your area. If you found one who you think you might like to meet, based on their website description, then you could ask your parents to call the therapist on your behalf. I wish you the best of luck. Thank you for writing.

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Mental Health Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/04/29/mental-health-disorder/