I guess most of this started when one of my best friends sexually harassed me. I don’t really want to go into detail, but that’s what happened. The friendship broke off, but she still goes to my school and I see her most days in the hall, and some of my friends still talk to her even though they know what she did. So I started feeling really anxious because I didn’t know when I’d see her, and school wasn’t a good place any more. I’m eating less and less and I don’t even know why, and my mother constantly gets me in trouble for it. My father wouldn’t believe me about the sexual harassment. My aunt says I’m obsessed with mental illness. I cry for no reason very frequently, although I guess it must be because of all the reasons above. I seem happy most of the time so people don’t think anything’s wrong with me. I’m anxious and sad and lonely most of the time. Help me please.

A: I’m sorry you are going through all this. It sounds like what happened to you was really stressful and you are having trouble getting over it. It’s already making you sad and scared and affecting your appetite. If this pattern continues it could lead to more serious symptoms of depression and anxiety.

First, I’m wondering who all you have told about what the friend did to you. You mention your friends and family but did you tell anyone at the school, like a trusted teacher or the school counselor? Harassment and bullying are not okay and the schools usually have programs to address it. I really hope you will reach out for help at school, if you haven’t already.

Second, I think this might be bigger than you can deal with on your own and think it might be time to see a professional counselor or therapist. Even if your family doesn’t seem to understand why this has affected you so much, just keep asking for help until you get it. Working through it now and learning some coping skills will help so much. Not only in getting past what happened, but a therapist can help you learn how to handle stressful situations that might happen in the future. The middle school and high school years can be brutal and it never hurts to have all the support you can get.

Just remember that what happened to you wasn’t your fault. Unfortunately, we can’t change the things that happen to us, but we always have control of how we react to them. Put your energy into the friends you do trust more than the ones who have hurt you and focus on the things that make you feel good about yourself, not the things that bring you down. Hope you feel better soon.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 May 2014

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2014). I Feel Bad All the Time and I Can’t Function Properly. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/08/i-feel-bad-all-the-time-and-i-cant-function-properly/