I need some advice

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Lately I haven’t been feeling like myself… I’m more depressed than normal. I’ve always had depression, since I was in 7th grade. I used to cut myself, and have been wanting to do it again for no reason. I’ve caused numerous scratches, not actual cuts. I’ve been battling with myself. I don’t sleep much, and when I do sleep it’s for at least 10 hours. I’ve also had a few suicide attempts in the past… And lately I keep remembering them. I don’t want to be around anyone, but then I do, but then I don’t again. When I’m around my friends I feel as though I’m not there. I’m just watching me from the inside, like I’m a soul in a machine. I keep on having nightmares, and dreams about places I’ve never been to… But then a few days later I’ll be at the place I dreamed about. I don’t what’s wrong with me… I was wondering if you could give me a suggestion on what I should do, or what is possibly wrong with me. I feel sick.

A: I’m very, very glad you wrote. I can’t offer a diagnosis on the basis of only a letter, of course. But I can venture that with a history of depression and the symptoms you’re reporting it’s very likely that the depression has returned.

What you should do is see a mental health counselor, preferably someone who is familiar with your case, for a thorough evaluation. It would also be a good idea to see your primary care physician for a complete physical exam if you haven’t had one for awhile. There are a number of medical problems that can look like depression.

What’s most important is that you stop thinking about getting help and start doing it. There’s no shame in reaching for help when you’re feeling sick. You are not overreacting or being too needy or whatever negative things you tell yourself. You’re simply not feeling like your normal self. Please follow through and make those appointments. In a few short weeks you could be feeling much, much better.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Oct 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I need some advice. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/10/01/i-need-some-advice/