I Am Not Myself

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the U.S.: I don’t feel like myself. I especially don’t look like myself. I know what I am supposed to look like. I am supposed to have green hair because that’s what plutonians look like, but my hair is red. my mom says I am a human and it makes me really upset. I don’t feel like myself and it’s stopping me from doing many activities and I can’t be around certain people because I don’t look like myself and it makes me feel like I’m lying. I get a lot lot lot of anxiety from this. what is this feeling called??

A: Sometimes it is difficult for me to tell if a letter is legitimate or if a group of young people at a sleepover have decided it would be fun to see how I’ll answer. I’ll therefore go at this from both directions:

If this is a legit question: What you report is consistent with a delusional disorder. A delusion is a conviction that something false is for real. A delusion may be non-bizarre, meaning that though unlikely, it’s possible — like the belief that someone is following you when there is no evidence to support it. A bizarre delusion is one that is completely untrue and impossible – like the belief you’re from another planet. Sometimes the cause is a vitamin deficiency or some other medical condition. For that reason, it’s important that a person with delusions always be checked out medically before beginning therapy. Delusional disorder is very rare and usually occurs during middle age, not as a teen.

If you’re joking: Since delusional disorder is so rare in teens, I again have to wonder if you and a friend decided to joke with us. If so, I’d have to say that your mother is sadly misinformed about the landing of a ship from Pluto and the exchange of her daughter for a Plutonian. Not to worry. Someone is going to take her place, too. Soon Plutonians will conquer the world.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Jul 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). I Am Not Myself. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/07/25/i-am-not-myself/