Unsure What Is Wrong

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hello, I am unsure if I may have something wrong with me. All my life I have had difficulty dealing with people. I am going to be turning 29 next month, and I have never had a girlfriend.

When I was in school it was torture, most of the years I was in school I had no friends. I would basically just set off by myself and watch the other kids. Around the 10th grade I did get a few friends, but after I got out of school, I got to where I couldn’t even stand being around them, and I would park my car behind the back of the house hoping they wouldn’t see that I was home to avoid them. In fact I ended up quitting school, and just going to get my GED because I hated school so much.

When I was younger, around 14-15 I had uncontrollable thoughts. Thoughts I would call “bets” I would make stupid bets in my head, like “If I cant do A before B happens, then C will happen” I was able to gain some control over these thoughts, but even to this day, I find myself wanting to start doing stuff like that again.

I find myself getting overly angry at things. Things I know I shouldn’t get mad about. I get depressed a lot. I worry that I may have some form of Schizophrenia, because my uncle is schizophrenic. I don’t believe I have ever seen anything that wasn’t really there, but I just worry that I may have some form of it that may be a lower level of it.

Maybe it is just stupid of me to worry about it. I just wish I was able to deal with people better. I feel embarrassed to go talk to a doctor about my problems, but sometimes I think maybe I should.

A. I believe it would be advantageous to have a psychiatric evaluation. This would be the most efficient way to determine if a psychiatric diagnosis is possible. In addition, it seems as though you are struggling with a variety of on-going symptoms. These should be treated.

One symptom that seems to be consistent throughout your life is your difficulty interacting with others. It frightens you, so you avoid it. This is a typical though unhealthy reaction. It might be indicative of a social anxiety disorder.

Another possibility exists as well. Your long-running lack of social interaction could be a sign of schizotypal personality disorder. Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by a lack of social interaction and extreme anxiety in social situations. Individuals with this disorder tend to keep to themselves. They don’t have many or any close friends. They are very shy and have difficulty interacting with other people. They sometimes think that they have special or magical powers. The “bets” that you made with yourself may be an example of magical thinking.

An alternative explanation for the “bets” is that they are a symptom associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Individuals with OCD engage in rituals. Rituals are thoughts and behaviors designed for the purpose of attempting to gain control. The feeling that one has control can provide a temporary decrease in anxiety.

Schizotypal personality disorder is closely linked to schizophrenia. It is considered to be a milder form of schizophrenia. I mention it as a possibility because of your family history of schizophrenia and due to your concern that you might have a “lower level of it.”

Please bear in mind that I could never know, based on a short letter, if you have schizotypal personality disorder or any other psychiatric disorder. That is why I suggested that you undergo a psychiatric evaluation because it will be the most accurate way to determine if you have a disorder.

The depression and anger you have described may be related to the fact that you have difficulty interacting with others. You also wrote that you feel as though you should be at a different place in your life (i.e. 29 without a girlfriend). In the context of these frustrations, your depression and anger is understandable.

It is never “stupid” to be concerned about your mental health. In fact, it’s very wise. If you continue to be concerned about your mental health, then I would strongly recommend a psychiatric evaluation. If you are frightened to speak with a mental health professional, try not to be. It is their job to help. They are very compassionate and are trained to deal with all variations of mental health problems. Untreated symptoms will likely continue to degrade the quality of your life. In addition, fear is very limiting and it will hold you back from achieving your full potential. The find help tab at the top of this page can help you locate a mental health professional in your community. I wish you best of luck. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jun 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Unsure What Is Wrong. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/06/13/unsure-what-is-wrong/