In order to best answer your question, I would need to know more about you and what has led you to begin isolating from friends. If I were your therapist, I would explore what might’ve happened right before this new symptom emerged. Was there an incident? Did something happen with one of your friends? Try to think back to what might have triggered your social withdrawal.
Social isolation is a symptom of several mental health disorders including anxiety and depression, among others. Anxiety can also make your body feel as though you are on high alert. The added hypersensitivity can increase irritability.
You also mentioned “S/H.” I am assuming S/H means self-harm. Self-harm is common among people with depression. People also sometimes engage in self-harm when they think they deserve to suffer. If they believe something is their fault, they might engage in self-harm to punish themselves for their perceived wrongdoing. Others engage in self-harm because it’s their way of dealing with strong emotions and difficult problems.
You said that you are ashamed and secretive about your engaging in self-harm. Your tendency to be secretive and isolative is worrisome. It has likely prevented you from seeking professional help and thus has prolonged your suffering. Most mental health problems are treatable but misplaced fear of one type or another often keeps people from seeking treatment.
The reality is that you have struggled with treatable problems since the age of 14. Isn’t that long enough?
Seeking mental health treatment is the most efficient way to address your issues. Mental health professionals receive specialized training to deal with the very problems you have described and they succeed at curing them.
Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a mental health professional. He or she will assist you in determining what’s wrong and design a specific treatment plan to eliminate this problem. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle