I have always felt “weird”

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 21 years old and I have always felt “weird” but I always that there are tons of weird people in the world so it was no big deal. However, in the past few years I have been seriously considering if there is something really wrong with me. I know there isn’t much that can be done over the internet, but I just really want to express how I’m feeling to someone and maybe be able to get some answers.

- I’m uncomfortable around people
- I don’t have any friends
- I think people are judging everything that I do (I’m even afraid to write a grocery list in public because I’m convinced that everyone around me is reading the list and judging what is on it.)
- I had a problem with depression/cutting/ED in high school
- I have had the same repetitive thoughts since I was a little girl ( I repeat the names and ages of my family members in my head numerous times thoughout the day; I think about four letter words then repeat it fowards and backwards then think of other four letter words that can lay on top of it. For example I’ll repeat the word “Care” then spell it out “C-A-R-E” then spell it backwards “E-R-A-C” then think of the word “Same” laying directly on top it, etc.)
- I feel the need to explain every detail of everying (as I’m sure you can see from my previous remark)
- I am extremely clumsy (not a day goes by that I don’t spill or break things)
- I have trouble sleeping
- I think people can know what I’m thinking by just looking at me
- I feel rejected by people before I even speak to them
- I dwell on things for a long time and think about everything I did wrong in that situation
- I feel like I am one of the most insignificant, useless people in the world

I would write more, but I feel like whoever is reading this is tired of reading and is annoyed by what I have been saying.

A: First and most important, I didn’t get tired of reading your letter and I am not annoyed. What I am is really, really glad that you’ve decided to take care of yourself. At 21, you are old enough now to know that there are some things about you that aren’t usual and may need attention in order for you to have friends, a love, and a successful life. So – good for you for gathering up the courage to start to address the problems!

The very first thing to do is to make an appointment with your physician to get a complete medical workup. Before we even consider sending you off to mental health professionals, we want to be sure that you don’t have a physical problem that would explain some or all of your issues. Please be sure to tell your doctor about your worries that people can read your mind. Yes, there really are physical issues that can cause such things.

If you check out as fine and healthy physically, then you need to make an appointment with a mental health professional for a thorough evaluation. Among the possible diagnoses I would want to check out are Aspergers Syndrome, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social phobia. Please bear in mind that those are only very preliminary guesses based on your letter. It could be none of the above. And please don’t try to figure this out by yourself. There is more to diagnosing a problem than a list of symptoms you can find on the Internet. Once an evaluation is done, your provider will make recommendations for a treatment plan.

Then it’s back to you. You need to decide how you want to proceed. Most important, you need to choose a psychologist or psychiatrist you feel comfortable with. You’ll be working as a team for at least a few months. Trust your instincts. You need to feel you can trust this person and that you will be able to share much of what you are thinking and feeling.

Please don’t procrastinate. With every month that goes by, things aren’t improving for you and may be getting worse. You deserve to figure these things out and to get on with your life. Follow up and follow through. I’ll be rooting for you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 May 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I have always felt “weird”. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/05/13/i-have-always-felt-weird/