Hello, I came here to shed a little light on what I’m going through. I’m a senior in high school. My first problem I notice about myself is being social. I often avoid many social situations because of my fear of being rejected. I think this all comes from being adopted. I think about my birth mom daily. I hardly talk to my adopted parents at all and I feel I can’t tell them anything. I often panic when I’m sad because my birth mom is not with me. Secondly, my moods seem out of control. I can go from being extremely happy to extremely depressed in one day or even minutes and hours apart. When my sadness comes on, it lasts for days until another happy mood comes. Sometimes after being sad I feel numb, as if I cried so much I can’t feel any emotion days afterwards. I’ve never tried to commit suicide but I’ve had thoughts where I just didn’t want to live anymore. Like I said, I have told none of this to my adopted parents. I’m at the point where I have no clue of what I should do.
A: First of all, adoption is a wonderful thing, but it’s also complicated and brings all sorts of feelings — some good and some difficult. I’m wondering if you or your family have ever participated in any kind of counseling.
It is normal to think about your birth mom, especially around the age you are now. It’s also not unusual to have issues connecting with your adoptive family, but many times these can be worked through in counseling. There are many therapists who specialize in adoptive issues and there are lots of related support groups. If you are not involved in these services, I suggest that you and your parents look into them.
Therapy can also help you investigate the other issues you mentioned, such as social avoidance and mood swings. It is difficult to tell through this forum whether or not these problems are caused by a mental health condition (such as depression or bipolar disorder), are just part of your development as an adolescent or, as you stated, are related to your adoption. A licensed counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist would be best suited to assess this for you and make the appropriate treatment recommendations.
I hope things get better for you soon.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Apr 2014
Counts, H. (2014). What’s Wrong with Me? Depression or Bipolar?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 26, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/04/09/whats-wrong-with-me-depression-or-bipolar/