Unsure How to Ask for Help

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I think there’s something wrong with me. I’ve been interested in psychology for a while now and I’ve seen a lot of symptoms of depression and schizoid personality disorder that apply to me. It’s summer right now and I’ve noticed that it’s gotten worse. I’ve been thinking less about killing myself and have stopped cutting for a while, but I’ve been more detached. Like really detached. I don’t even want to leave my room anymore. I feel overwhelmed when I have to interact with people. I feel like when anyone enters my room, that they’re invading my personal space and I really just want them to go away. I want to be alone all the time and I’m really worried that it might affect my school life, since my course in college requires me to be really social. I also think that I was molested when I was a kid. I’ve had “flashbacks” or whatever, but I’ve never told anyone about it. I also have a fascination with sex. Is there really something wrong with me? If I told other people about this, they wouldn’t believe me or they’d make fun of me. I just need to know if I’m just delusional or if I actually need help.

A: I can’t tell if you’re delusional on the basis of a letter. I can tell you what you are already telling yourself: Something is wrong. You know it. You’ve known it for awhile. If you could take care of it on your own, you would have done so already. You do need help.

It’s possible that you’re right. If you tell friends or family, they may not know how to help you. When people feel helpless or afraid, they sometimes minimize problems or are dismissive of them. Better to start with a professional. Therapists are not judgmental and are trained to help you make sense out of even contradictory information. I assure you, a therapist or counselor will not make fun of your pain.

It sounds to me like you are in a good state of mind to begin to work on yourself. You’ve stopped cutting and you are less depressed. You had the strength to make an impostant first step by writing to us. Now, please take the next step. Most schools have a counselor or mental health service for their students. I suggest that you make an appointment for an evaluation and take your letter and this response with you when you go. The letter will help you and the therapist get started.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Unsure How to Ask for Help. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/06/05/unsure-how-to-ask-for-help/