No Boyfriend, No Friends, No Hope
From Canada: I am 22 years old, I suffer from anxiety and depression, and I’m starting to be worried that I may have OCD (obsessive thoughts) and bipolar disorder. I am a virgin, I have no friends and I want to die on a regular basis. I don’t understand what makes me such a bad person that I am that unlikeable. I always try my best at everything, I try to make sure that I do whatever I can at work to make sure everything is done and I worry so much about doing the wrong thing that I avoid doing anything that could be considered bad. At work my managers and coworkers always praise me and say that I’m great, but I’m sitting here wishing I was dead and there is nobody that I could talk to.
My parents yell at me for worrying too much and crying for no reason is just out of the question. I don’t know how to meet people. I live in a smallish town, i don’t drink, so bars are out, and I’m so worried that people are going to not like me that I just avoid social situations all together. I have never had a real boyfriend, I’m overweight and not pretty, and I feel like I will never have anyone, but I see awful, mean people everyday that have relationships, friends to boot, and seem completely happy.
I have been diagnosed with irritable bowel, tmj and fibromyalgia. I know that none of these will ever get better, but I could deal with that. I can’t deal with being alone though. I know that I must have done something awful to deserve this but I don’t know what. I can’t handle this feeling anymore. I constantly find myself wishing that i had a terminal illness so that I could die without feeling guilty. The idea of a year being sick, then getting skinny, then all the pain is over sounds better than 50 more years of this? What’s wrong with me? What do i do?
A: You definitely don’t need to be yelled at. You do need treatment. I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter alone, of course. But what you are describing is consistent with the symptoms of social anxiety. You are definitely not alone in this. Millions of people suffer from it. People with social anxiety are terribly self-conscious and fear being judged by others. They worry about doing or saying something that will bring negative attention on them. Since they are so anxious around other people, they tend to withdraw and get depressed. It’s not at all unusual for people with this kind of anxiety to develop physical symptoms, like irritable bowel and TMJ.
The good news is that it is treatable. The most effective treatment is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Please do yourself the kindness of finding a therapist who is trained in CBT and make an appointment. You can get better. You can have a better life.
I wish you well.
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). No Boyfriend, No Friends, No Hope. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 2, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/04/01/no-boyfriend-no-friends-no-hope/