I’ve had a habit of desperately trying to find diagnoses or special labels to classify what’s going on in my head. It’s like an obsession, and I think that’s it’s because I’ve always had a hard time classifying my emotions, so I try to classify my thoughts instead. This has proven to be just as hard, but I have come up with a few things.
I somewhat fit the criteria for Dysthymia/Cyclothymia, I definitely experience Maladaptive Daydreaming, and all-in-all I have very low self-esteem and am prone to feel extremely lonely, despite having quite a few friends. I just feel like they’re tired me, hate me, and I question whether or not I REALLY love them or if I’m just selfishly satisfying my own messy brain. Things like that.
Alongside this, I have extremely disturbing thoughts that include me wanting to be abused, raped – and I’ve daydreamed about being a child that’s being molested quite often. I also wish to participate in an abusive relationship (as the “victim”, even though I plan to use their abusive nature to control them and make them unable to live without me). These thoughts concern me the most, and are the cause of most of my self-hatred at the moment. I know that desiring to be in a vulnerable position like this or desiring power is linked to poor self-image and self-esteem, but I’m not sure what to do about it. Getting professional help is not an option in my situation (I live with my unattuned mother who refuses to supply professional help and I have attempted online/emailing counseling more times than I care to count – it just doesn’t help). How can I manage these things on my own, if I even can in the first place? (From Australia)
I admire your persistence in looking for some understanding of your situation. You seem to have a very clear and nuanced understanding of what’s wrong and bothersome. You have done your homework when it comes to looking at how these things have influenced you and chipped away at your self-esteem. For a 15 year-old, I find your capacity for self-reflection and description remarkable. This is where I’d like to begin my response.
For someone to be able to reveal their grit and determination in exploring their life, and to do so in such a sophisticated narrative means that amidst all that is not okay there are many strong character traits and valuable skills. My recommendation is three-fold. First, let your counselors at you high school know that you would like their help. You mother’s ignorance about your needs shouldn’t be the thing that stops you from getting them met. Secondly, I would encourage you to join out online support forums. They are not counseling per-se, but they will give you a vehicle for support.
Finally, I would encourage you to take the young adult version of the VIA character strength survey. This is a free resource that will allow you to understand what your strength and abilities are and to start using them — not just focus on the difficulties and limitations. Together with the help of your counselors, the online forum and the use of your strengths I believe you will begin to transform.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Strange Thoughts, No Diagnosis to Fit?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/10/02/strange-thoughts-no-diagnosis-to-fit/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 2 Oct 2016) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.