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Possibly Unsupportive Parent

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For a lot of the time I feel indifferent about everything.  It feels like I’m just floating along through life, not really caring much.  For example, I didn’t really care where I ended up going to college, and I should.  I should care that my best friend is going to be moving several hours away that ‘m going to be graduating in less than a month, and that soon I get to live with my sister, but instead I don’t really feel anything, not sadness or happiness just nothing.  But at the same time, I act the same.  I still crack jokes and laugh.  Life just doesn’t feel like it’s quite real.  Sometimes, I’ll be walking and I’ll feel like I’m shoved back into reality.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  It’s like I’m suddenly reminded that I am not a floating voice, I have feet and a body.  I don’t know how long I’ve felt like this, but it’s probably been at least 2 or 3 years, maybe more.

Also, very recently, when swim season ended and I was no longer swimming everyday, I started to suddenly feel really anxious and guilty about events that happened days, weeks, even years ago, especially when I’m trying to sleep.  It’s usually never about anything that mattered or anything that anybody else even remembers.  I’ll think about how ridiculous I sounded when saying something, or how I could have possibly offended someone (even though I know I probably didn’t), and I can’t get the thoughts to stop.  Sometimes I’ll end up digging my nails into my arm or bite my fingers so hard it will leave marks in the morning.  I started swimming again, and that helped.  And I should probably mention that every once in while this year, and a couple of time before in years past there would be times that I would loathe myself and not find much reason to live.

I know you can’t give me a diagnosis from only two paragraphs, but do you have any ideas?  Also, I don’t really know what to do about this either.  Even if I tell my parents, I don’t know if my father would be supportive, and I can’t afford help on my own.  Worse comes to worse, the college I’m going to has a counseling center, but that will be at least a 4 month wait. (From the US)

Possibly Unsupportive Parent

Answered by on -


 Your description sounds like it is an unwelcome set of conditions, but there also may be some clues to what may be underneath it. It is clear you are at a transitional time in your life an you have mentioned at least 6 major changes:

  1. You are graduating and leaving what you know
  2. Your best friend is moving away.
  3. You are about to begin college.
  4. You ended competitive swimming.
  5. You are going to live with your sister.
  6. You are harming yourself with your nails.

Transitions can be very rough on us and any one or two of these would be a lot. You have at least 6. I would let your parents know that you want to go to a physician. He or she will be able to look for physical causes. As an example, the exercise with swimming produces an array of biochemical changes that have been helpful for you. Tell this to the physician and he or she can determine what nurtients, vitamins, medicine, etc., might be helpful in making you feel better.

The point is — don’t wait. I would certainly sign up for counseling when you get to college, but at least get the medical consultation out of the way.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Possibly Unsupportive Parent

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

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: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Possibly Unsupportive Parent. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 23 May 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.