Possible To Have Too Many Issues?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I feel like I have too many issues, I dont know what to do anymore. I think to try to type out my problems in a box might be a little difficult. I will be very thorough as that is what needs to be done to understand me. I live with a single mother, and my younger sister. My father abandoned us when I was 3 years old which I never got over. My mother tried to replace him with drug addicts, alcoholics and pedophiles. I being so young and helpless was caught in the way. I was sexually abuse from the age of 8-12 until my step father tried to rape my older sister and my mother finally kicked him out. He was sexually and physically abusive towards me, as well as my mother. I saw things that a young girl should never see. I tried to run away when I was 10, but being so young obviously I had no luck going very far. i was always bright, but shy. People didnt like me much in school because i was so quiet. i wasnt the pretty or skinny girl, so in high school after my best friend died i developed an eating disorder which still rears its ugly head. i also started cutting myself at 15, but i dont do it much, the scars became too embarrassing. i was a drug addict as well, meth and cocaine, heroin sometimes. now i drink too much and have been struggling with that for a while, even though its not as bad as it was. i also have a terrible habit of taking pain killers, or anything to numb whatever im feeling or to just put me to sleep. at the age of 17 while i was on drugs my mother put me in therapy but i was too strung out to let it help me so i stopped going. i was in two abusive relationships for 5 years..which were awfully traumatizing. i am now in an AMAZING relationship, which is the only great thing in my life, and he keeps me going, but now i feel like i put too much pressure on him making me happy. before he came along i was going to kill myself, but kept fighting it. i also cannot sleep. i am scared of the dark, of night, of being alone. i hear noises, i see ghosts, and i dont know if i imagine them or if im going crazy. i think im crazy. i feel like everyone hates me and is trying to be mean to me, if someone is being nice i feel like theyre playing a joke on me. i also have insane ocd when it comes to my personal hygiene. sometimes i drive myself insane because i think i smell bad and have to leave social situations. i have to drink or take pills or i wont sleep at all. i hate myself, i truly and honestly hate myself, the way i look, the way i dress, the things i do or say, i always second guess myself and i dont want to be me anymore. its frustrating. i feel ugly and fat and i just want plastic surgery to fix all of me. i live with my mother but now she has a boyfriend so she pays no attention to me, its as if i dont exist, i know im 22 but i feel like ive been fighting for her attention my whole life. i also just recently have been extremely heart broken over my father, i dont know why it barely hit me, its been 18 years since he left but i miss him so much. i dont think my mother loves me at all. she wants me out of the house but because of my social anxiety and depression i have found it hard to get a job or to succeed in anything. i give up on everything because i become ashamed and i feel worthless. i have so many talents and i feel like i have such a good heart, but the cards life dealt me have completely screwed me over. i dont know what to do anymore, i have no job, no money, im stuck living with my heartless mother, how do i get better, how do i become happy? i feel like im depressed, bipolar, schizo and i have terrible views about myself, please help me. I feel like I have too many issues, I dont know what to do anymore.

A. I understand that your life has not been good. It is not fair. Now you’re faced with the difficult challenge to deal with the fallout and it is not easy. It may feel like an impossible challenge. I know it is difficult but I would strongly encourage you not to give up. Help is available. Your life can improve.

I’d like to point out several positive aspects of your life. One is that you are in an “amazing” relationship. This can be the new start that you need to help you on the road to recovery. You have support. You have someone who cares about you. Don’t underestimate this very positive development in your life.

Another hopeful aspect of your life is that, as you noted, you possess skills and talents. At this time, it may be difficult to fully actualize those skills because of the issues affecting your life. Once those issues have been dealt with, your skills can be developed. This leads to another reason why there is a great deal of hope for you. Based on your letter, you have not yet had the opportunity to deal with your issues. Now you do. You were in therapy for a short time but it was ineffective. Maybe in the past you were not ready but you are now.

How can one be happier? It’s a process. It takes time but it is possible. To begin the process, it is important to realize that you are worthwhile and you deserve happiness. It also requires patience and a commitment to treatment. One cannot solve problems overnight. It takes time to heal, especially after years of suffering and trauma.

I would advise you to search for a therapist. Try looking through this directory to find one in your community. Call at least 10 therapists. Speak to them about the issues you want help with. Ask them about how they would approach your problems. Get a sense of what they’re like over the phone and make an appointment with the therapist who you feel the most comfortable speaking to.

It would also be helpful if you had more supportive individuals in your life. You have a partner and that is good. I would recommend a support group. It could be a support group for individuals who have drug and alcohol problems. You may also want to search for a support group for individuals who have experienced traumatic childhoods or domestic violence. Studies show that individuals who have more support tend to fare better than individuals who have limited or no support. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) may be a source of support. Many believe AA has made a significant and positive impact in their lives and I would agree with them. You could attend support group sessions in addition to individual therapy. The more positive support you have in your life, the better.

I hope this answer alters your view of your situation in a positive way. You haven’t had the opportunity to begin working on your issues. Give yourself a chance. Many individuals deal with very similar issues and have made full recoveries. You can too. It will not be easy but it is doable and it is worthwhile.

Please consider writing back and updating me about your situation. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your question and I wish you luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 May 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Possible To Have Too Many Issues?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/05/28/possible-to-have-too-many-issues/