Feeling Worthless

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 15 and all my life I’ve struggled with self-esteem. When I was younger I thought I was just humble and shrugged it off. It got to the point where compliments were almost foreign and insulting. I’ve always felt like a waste of space and time. If I get injured or sick I try to deal with it myself so my mother and brother don’t have to deal with me. I even feel like I’m wasting your time while you’re reading this. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder, and borderline personality disorder. I feel like my doctor just diagnosed me to get me out of his office.

I’ve never had an easy time making friends and usually have none. I always feel like I deserve bad things to happen to me. I’ve always wanted to be abused, starved, beat, given up for adoption, and left alone. I have eye problems and one of my goals is to make it worse. I’ve always felt unwanted and invisible, but blamed it on my overactive mind. I’ve always considered suicide, but felt I’m too weak to actually pull through with it. I do have a plan though. Am I just needlessly over exaggerating?

A: No, you’re not needlessly exaggerating. You are hurting. Although it isn’t unusual for teens to go through periods of feeling low, you say this has been going on all your life. For that reason, I think you need to see a therapist for a while. I’m guessing the doctor who diagnosed you was a psychiatrist, not a counselor. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications but often don’t have the time to offer supportive therapy. When someone feels like you do, the treatment of choice is a combination of the two (medicine and counseling).

You haven’t totally given up on yourself. You managed to write to us here at Psych Central. Please build on that inner strength and make an appointment to see a therapist. Take your letter with you as a way to get the therapist up to speed. Due to your diagnoses, I do suggest you see if there is a DBT (dialectical behavior therapist) in your area.

While you wait to see a therapist, you can call the counselors at the Boys and Girls Town hotline, 800-448-3000, any time. They are available to talk to kids like you 24/7. It’s free and confidential.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Feeling Worthless. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/12/feeling-worthless/

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