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I Feel Worthless and Then I Repress It

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I don’t know what to do anymore, I avoid my thoughts and feelings by focusing on anything to keep my focus off of how I really feel. I know my actions are unhealthy, I know it is affecting my life negatively, but I am afraid. I can’t get anything done, I can’t focus on important things, because that makes me think about myself, which leads to me feeling worthless and hateful of myself. I have problems remembering things, and I think it is linked to my repression. I need help, but I don’t want my family knowing just how broken I really am, I don’t open up easily, I am not even sure if anyone notices how much pain I am in everyday. I want to scream it at them, but I fear how they would judge me. I also tend to put others before myself, and that is part of the problem here, they have their own issues, the last thing I want is them to focus resources on me, when I feel they would be better spent on almost anything else.

I want to give up, I feel like I already have, I live in a tiny town and am not sure I could get the help I needed even if I tried. I have no real desires, every day is the same routine of just ignoring it, then getting pulled back to focusing on reality, then feeling worthless. I want to get my life together, but I feel too broken. I feel like I can’t be fixed, even with help. I feel empty. I build mental walls to keep me from the pain, and also to keep the pain from showing through to others. I can feel happiness and anger, although even that often just feels like part of the metaphorical wall I keep, but when it comes to sadness, I feel it for a couple of seconds but before I can dwell on it, it just gets repressed and I am left feeling empty and defective. I need help, but I won’t get it on my own. I want someone to notice my pain and force me into getting help. Even just writing this has me terrified and wanting to back out but I know nothing will change if I do. I don’t feel capable of speaking out about how I feel. (age 20, from Canada)

I Feel Worthless and Then I Repress It

Answered by on -


Writing in with your question took courage, and I’m glad that you followed through. It sounds like you are in a lot of emotional pain and are perhaps suffering from clinical depression. It is a real illness and nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t have to keep it a secret, but you do need to take further steps to get treatment.

On one hand, you don’t want to bother your family, but on the other, you are hoping that they notice how miserable you are. It is too dangerous to play this game and you are the only one suffering. You need to take matters into your own hands and see your doctor and/or look into what mental health services are in your area. If you can’t bring yourself to do this on your own, at least confide in one friend or family member and allow them to help you seek out appropriate services. I’m sure your family loves you and wouldn’t want you to be suffering like this if they knew how you really feel. Depression is treatable and you don’t have to continue feeling the way you do. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and once you start addressing the clinical symptoms, you will start feeling better about yourself.

In the meantime, exercise has been shown to be an effective (and natural) treatment, and there are many good self-help books stemming from the cognitive behavioral therapy world that you could be utilizing on your own. Pushing things down and avoiding them isn’t working. It is time to try a different strategy.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

I Feel Worthless and Then I Repress It

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). I Feel Worthless and Then I Repress It. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 25 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.