From a teen in France: Hello, I am writing this because I know somethings’s not quite right with me (please excuse any english errors, I’m not a native speaker). I am a 16 years old girl.
My teachers always said I was smart, but over the last few years they also started saying I was different, like I had a different thinking and was not like others.
At first it pleased me, but now it’s becoming more of a burden because it’s true but I don’t want it to be. I struggle to make real friends (I’m not lonely at school but I talk to few people), get really average grades because I don’t work.
Six months ago, I was diagnosed with depression and prescribed pills that didn’t work, because I think I might be bipolar (I relate to almost all the symptoms). I attempted suicide three months or so ago, and I get these thoughts every time I’m in a depressive episode.
I tried therapy, but it didn’t work because I don’t want to tell anyone how I feel, so I twisted reality to make it seem like I was depressed all the time like a normal person, and I know if I go back I’ll do it again. I do that all the time (twist reality). So what I’m asking is, why can’t I be normal ? Even if I am bipolar, I should be normal ? Bipolar people are normal?
I can’t relate to anything people experience. I just can’t relate to anything. Everyone is different, but everyone has this thing that makes them all the same, so they’re able to communicate, share experiences and other things ; I can’t to any of that.
A teacher once asked for me to do a IQ test, so my mother took me to a psy, who said I was
“way above average smartness”. I usually try to not believe people who say that, but if they’re right maybe that has to do with something. Or maybe I’m just an outcast, or a really weird teenagers, but I remember I was already kind of like this when I was ten. I remember having suicidal thoughts when I was 11. I know this is all really confusing and I’m sorry for that, please help me figure out what’s wrong with me and if it’s possible for me to go anywhere in life. thank youI Can’t Figure out What’s Wrong with Me
I Can’t Figure out What’s Wrong with Me
Thank you for writing. Please consider this: Sometimes it is the really smart people who are most concerned with the big philosophical questions around life’s meaning. Thinking about such things can be both fascinating and overwhelming. Sometimes that makes it hard to relate to peers. You may also indeed have depression which compounds your inability to relate to others your age.
Of more concern to me than figuring out a diagnosis or cause of your distress is that you haven’t allowed your helpers to be helpful. You think medication didn’t work, but I have to wonder if you took it as prescribed. You admit that you didn’t make use of therapy. You say you want to “go somewhere in life”, but you don’t seem to be doing your share to get there.
Instead of focusing on figuring out what’s wrong, why not put effort into making things right? Yes, you can. A place to start is the Authentic Happiness Website (https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/home). Click on the Questionnaires tab and take the VIA Survey of Signature Strengths. This will help you identify your inner strengths so you can begin to use them to help yourself.
Then get into therapy and do it for real. Therapists can only help those who partner with them. You bring your life story to each session and the therapist brings skills to help you. The therapist can’t do much that is useful unless you are willing to be an honest participant. One way to begin would be to bring your letter and this response to the first session. That will help the therapist know where to start.
If your therapist thinks that medication is needed, give it a real chance. That means taking it every day as prescribed for at least a month. It takes that long to determine if a medication is effective.
Clearly you are book smart if you can get average grades without putting in any effort. But being smart about yourself and your life will take some effort. You need to make a commitment to developing self-awareness and to trying out different ways to live. A therapist will provide the support and encouragement you need while you make those changes. It’s likely that your parents and teachers will also help you — but only if you let them.
I wish you well.