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I Don’t Feel like I’m an Actual Person

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From the U.S.: I’ve been feeling a lot but not enough at the same time. I go through a lot of emotions but I can’t recognize them, and a lot of what I do feels disconnected and bland. I don’t enjoy what I used to, and even when I think I’m enjoying something, I don’t feel strongly enough about it.

I understand that this is supposed to be one of my biggest periods of change, but I just feel stuck. I’d help myself get out but I don’t know where I am. It’s not depression, I don’t think so, I can still smile and I frequently do, but I often feel overwhelmed by a bunch of feelings, and they all stem from different places but nothing feels like a big enough problem, nothing makes me feel validated or like a real person, and none of my emotions have been powerful enough to make me want to actively pursue change. All I know is that I’m always anxious, I never know how I’m feeling or how to provide myself with an outlet (huge fan of art and writing but every time I’ve tried I’ve ended up comparing myself to others and tearing everything up),

my mother irritates me and stresses me out even more, I’m starting to see my resemblance to her and it disgusts me, and I’ve had anger issues for a while. I can’t find professional help anywhere, and my mother stopped looking a while back because she was convinced it was just my hormones messing with me, and she decided herself that my issues weren’t all that severe if I didn’t feel the urge to self-harm or commit suicide – and I still don’t, I’m too anxious for that.

My counselor probably isn’t qualified at all, he just doesn’t look like someone I’d want to talk to, and my grades (particularly in algebra) are horrid. I don’t want to pull a classic teen cliche, but in all honesty, nobody understands me, and I can’t blame them. How can I expect someone to like me when I don’t even know or like myself? How do I get over these feelings of anxiety and not having a genuine sense of personality? How do I stop feeling drained and like I wasn’t meant to be born because all I am is an anxious crying mess who can’t handle the slightest bit of pressure?

I Don’t Feel like I’m an Actual Person

Answered by on -

A.

Your mother may be right that the problem is hormonal but, unless she is an endocrinologist, her opinion is only that — an opinion. When I get a letter like this from a young woman who is 14, I always suggest that the first stop is a visit to the doctor. Your body is going through significant changes. It’s a good idea to make sure that your hormones are at normal levels. So please, do get an appointment with your doctor. Take a copy of your letter with you to jump start the conversation.

If it turns out that you are physically okay, then it’s time to look at whether you in fact have an anxiety disorder. That might be the case. But it’s also possible you just need a little help learning some new coping skills to help you manage the stress of being a teen. For that you need a mental health professional. You can ask your doctor for a referral to someone who specializes in teen issues and who takes your insurance.

Meanwhile, if the feelings get overwhelming, I suggest you call the Boys and Girls Town Hotline. There are counselors there 24/7 to talk with teens like you. You don’t need to be in severe crisis to call. They are there to listen and to make suggestions. The phone number is 1-800-448-3000. Here’s the website: http://www.boystown.org/hotline.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Don’t Feel like I’m an Actual Person

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Don’t Feel like I’m an Actual Person. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/03/12/i-dont-feel-like-im-an-actual-person/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.