What is wrong with me?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Its been years since i really enjoyed..well anything. I can sit down and like doing something, tv, books, chores, walking the dog, or just going for a run. I am capable of getting up and doing it all. I do what needs to be done. I have never really had a favorite color, or favorite TV show or even a favorite thing to do. I like everything yet I like nothing. I feel indifferent about everything i do. To include work and everyday chores. I do it because i know i have to and because i have kids that are depending on me or it is my responsibility. I find myself crying over everything. I cried when i read some of the other posts because they explain some of the feelings i have that i can’t seem to explain. I cried over my kids eating breakfast and i am starting to cry over this because i feel stupid for not knowing why i constantly feel ‘not normal”. Lately i feel like i am making it all up in my head. Its like i so desperately want some one to give me an answer for everything that I am making it all up. That there is really nothing wrong with me and everyone feels like this.

Now to come full circle. With all of this inadequacy that i feel at work i wonder if its the job. I have looked at other work. But because nothing really makes me happy would leaving really benefit me. I have never known what i wanted to do and i know i could make plenty of money staying where i am being miserable or i quit and face the same problems in another career field. I am so afraid of disappointing the people at work by quitting that i would rather have been in a total wreck to where i couldn’t go any more. My memory has been failing me lately, to a point my husband wants me to be check out; I would rather have a brain tumor than face my boss and have him hold a grudge for me not being able to handle all of this (more tears).

I feel almost like the things that happened with my ex caused me to start this downward spiral. I want an answer to what is wrong but fear the answer. HELP!

A: I didn’t include all of your long letter because the most important part of it involves your feelings. It sounds to me like you may have been suffering from dysthymia for some time. Dysthymia is a mood disorder where the individual is chronically depressed but at a lower intensity than in a full blown depression. As you report, it can go on for years and it can make life feel endlessly gray. I don’t know if your negative experiences with the former boyfriend are at the root of it. It may be that you would feel this way even if you’d never met him. He gave you reason to be angry and sad but it’s possible he only worsened an ongoing condition. As far as the job: It’s just true that wherever you go, there you will be. Changing the job won’t change your mood. Changing location won’t either. If the man you are with is a good guy, leaving the relationship also isn’t likely to help.

Instead, you need to see a mental health counselor. Bring your letter with you. You wrote an eloquent description of what you’ve experienced and felt. Your counselor will be able to hear more details and will be able to make a more sophisticated assessment. The two of you will then discuss treatment options. Some medication may be helpful to lift your mood a little so you will have the energy and interest to take better care of yourself and to take better care of your family. Some therapy will give you both some much-needed support and some practical ways to manage your gray moods.

You made an important first step in writing. Please follow through and get the help you need.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). What is wrong with me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/18/what-is-wrong-with-me-3/