Anxiety Issues

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Hi, I am 21 years old diagnosed with add, minor Tourette’s, and anxiety and depression, and possibly ocd they have said. I have been out of high school for a few years and I have jumped around job to job, I completed my first year in an apprenticeship for carpentry, and I have worked for 6 months and now I despise my job and I am quitting. I cannot hold a job. Lately I am worried I have something more wrong with me than the above listed problems. I take pristiq for my depression/anxiety, and it has helped my depression a fair bit and I am able to go out and socialize more. My mind is constantly racing, and I always obsess over day-to-day things. If I have a conversation with someone I think didn’t go well I could obsess over it for days or even months. I am especially afraid to go up and talk to girls; I almost think it may be a phobia. If that’s possible, if there is a girl I am interested in and I want to talk to and I even think of going up and talking to her my heart will begin pounding extremely. So I have basically avoided that situation my whole life, due to always obsessing over conversations, extreme fear of being rejected, and what people would think of me if I got rejected. I fear that there would be an awkward silence and I would look awkward. I have no self-confidence and I think I’m pretty useless/stupid. I am very physically fit and I exercise at least 4 times a week. I am extremely sensitive to what people say about me. I have looked up disorders, and I am not trying to self diagnose, but I just want some reassurance, I thought possibly have some sort of personality disorder, or phobia thing…I would like a professional opinion please. Thanks so much for your time.

A: Thank you for your thoughtful question. It sounds to me like the first thing is to have the medicine evaluated in light of the symptoms you’re reporting. A reevaluation would be important as you look for other measures to help.

Because social anxiety seems to be part of this, and there has been difficulty and sticking through the challenges and the job, I would highly recommend group therapy.

Group therapy can help you find coping techniques while you’re actually experiencing some of the discomfort. Group has been called “the safe emergency” because it gives you a safe place to bring the discomfort, while finding new tools to cope with it.

Here’s a list of highly qualified people who may be able to help. It is organized by region so you should be able to find somebody nearby.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Feb 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Anxiety Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/02/26/anxiety-issues/