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Crippled by Life Avoidance

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From the UK: I have had Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) for 25 years and have experienced several traumas including domestic abuse that have affected me badly. I have retreated into a complete state of hiding from life and avoiding all activity including looking after myself. I havent had a bath for 2 months.

I know I am depressed, but even when I feel better, I cannot make myself engage in any of the things i need to do. I was looking at Avoidant Personality Disorder but I seem to go further than the social aspect by avoiding EVERYTHING. I spend every single waking moment on my iPad, locked inside myself and hiding from the real world.

I am in trouble for not attending to myself, my house, finances or obligations and could lose my house. I still cannot force myself to take any action, I lay on the sofa full of frustration that my mind and body just switch off if i think of doing anything. I struggle to do the most basic things, just rousing to go to the loo when absolutely have to, which means I don’t make meals, hot drinks, bathe, or answer the phone.

I have been awarded 6 hours of care which i badly need but have to arrange myself so i just sit and think about it. I cannot get Local Authority care as they refused to come back after seeing the state of my home. When I do manage to bring myself to emerge, i feel panicky and get it over as quickly as possible, but cannot go beyond an hour or so before have to retreat again.

Living life is like breathing underwater, encased in concrete and it feels alien and very uncomfortable. At the same time, I am desperately lonely, overwhelmed with the pointlessness of every boring day that is the same. I am totally incapacitated by this prison of inactivity but whatever i try, my mind and body keep me so locked in i cannot break free. What is wrong with me, how can i escape? There are so many things i want to do, so many opportunities missed and a good life i want to live.

Crippled by Life Avoidance

Answered by on -


You know what is wrong. You have had the same diagnosis for 25 years, and you have been granted weekly help to help you. Unfortunately, no one can get you the support you need unless you participate. You need support to even get your support.

For that reason, I suggest you contact the ME Association in the UK. It may be that some coaching and encouragement from people who fully understand your situation will help motivate you to do what is required to get back into life to the extent you are able. Take a look at their website: I encourage you to call the hotline that is available: 0844 576 5326.

It’s promising that you found the energy to write to us here at PsychCentral. I hope you will again dig deep into yourself to find the energy to give the hotline a call.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Crippled by Life Avoidance

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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). Crippled by Life Avoidance. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 7, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 11 Dec 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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