Too Much Solitude?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am 18 years old and I always want to be alone. My mother gets angry at the fact that I hardly leave my room. I have a few friends but I try to avoid hanging out with them. I make up excuses at times. When I’m alone I feel okay and for some reason when I’m around other people I get sadder. Around friends I get anxiety even though I have known them along time. Once I starting shaking with anxiety, I felt like I wasn’t in my own body and I got frightened at the feeling I was experiencing, I didn’t know how to stop myself and got really scared till I focused and talked myself into calming down. I sleep a lot,to the point my mom was worried and said she was taking me to the doctors to make sure I’m not sick of anything causing me to sleep so much. Weeks can go by and I won’t leave my room and she doesn’t like that. I just don’t feel comfortable around people, at home I like being alone in my room in my own world more than being with my family. I do not know why!
I feel this way and I don’t know how to explain it to my family. Should I go to a doctors for depression ,anxiety? Or should I not take it to serious? I feel lost.

A: Of course you should go to see a mental health counselor! You don’t have to suffer like this. What you are describing is consistent with a panic disorder or depression. Both are highly treatable. You may get some immediate relief from some medication, but for long-term results you also need to learn some new ways to handle those overwhelming feelings. For that you need a therapist who is experienced with cognitive-behavioral therapy and who enjoys working with teens. Ask your doctor or the school nurse for a recommendation.

I understand completely why your mom is so worried about you. I am too. You are missing out on your teen years. Get yourself some help so you can enjoy your friends and do well in school. You deserve it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Feb 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Too Much Solitude?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/02/15/i-always-want-to-be-alone/