Unable to Deal with Escalating Problem

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Over the last few years I’ve gotten cloudy. I can’t think or remember things very well. Simple situations like job interviews or going to meet with friends at a place I haven’t been to before make me very oddly nervous. My friends care about me, but are becoming more distant. I’m different around them than I used to be. My fiance loves me, but I always find myself unable to communicate most anything that I feel to her or anyone else. I can’t feel comfortable, like I’m always getting ready for something, testing myself and everyone around me. I feel silly doing this, but I’ve recently taken a skills and personality test for a job promotion, and was refused the promotion based solely upon my personality results. I think it may be time to admit that there may be something wrong, and it’s getting worse, in my head. I’d certainly welcome a recommendation. Thanks.

A: Those who read this column regularly will know that the first thing I suggest when someone presents like this is a thorough physical evaluation. You report that your cloudiness is relatively new and that it is getting worse. Before we decide it’s all in your head, I want to be sure there isn’t an undiagnosed medical condition at fault. Such feelings can, for example, be caused by a thyroid condition or anemia or a brain tumor or even a bowel problem. Please make an appointment with your doctor for a complete physical. Be sure to explain the changes in your feelings, memory, and motivation.

If your doctor takes this seriously and does a thorough exam but comes up with nothing – then it’s time to visit a mental health professional for a mental health evaluation. I don’t have enough information to venture a guess at a diagnosis. Do bring the “personality test” with you if you can as it may give the counselor an additional piece of information to go on.

I’m very glad you are taking your situation seriously. I think it’s very important for people to trust their instincts when they sense that something is wrong.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Unable to Deal with Escalating Problem. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/03/10/unable-to-deal-with-escalating-problem/