From a teen in Serbia: My psychological state was never quite alright ever since I entered puberty it seems. It first all started with a case of mild depression as a result of having some existential dilemmas and coming face to face with the uglier face of this world for the first time. Slowly but surely this feeling of dread started creeping into me, and I completely shut myself of from the rest of the world somewhere at the age of 13, spending my days in the darkness of my room along with a book.
I don’t want to go too deeply into how that all progressed, so let’s just skip to my current state. My “depression” from these past few years at least rarely surpassed the borders of sanity. It still felt like I had my grip on reality and that my brain still functioned alright when it came to some basic human functions, it still felt like everything was somewhat compact and in it’s place although that immense feeling of dread was never ever leaving me. But today, I… I don’t even know.
It’s like everything has fallen apart at the very basis of my psyche. Nothing functions normally anymore I… I can’t memorize as I used to. My thoughts, it would be an understatement to say that they are only completely unorganized – they’re absolutely ludicrous. My identity has become some sort of a mystical term I do not believe in anymore. It’s become incredibly tough trying to organize this chaos constantly, with no end to it.
I’ve locked myself away in my room. Socializing has become harder for me than ever and I just can’t bring myself to go through such torture anymore. Being awake becomes more and more torturous by every passing day. And even in my dreams I can’t find comfort because I constantly have nightmares, nightmares like I’ve never had before. With gruesome pictures of hell. I’m scared. I’m scared. I’m tired.
I understand why you are frightened. I don’t understand how it is that you’ve been able to isolate yourself so severely since you were 13. You didn’t mention what your parents have done or not done about your behavior. I hope you are keeping them informed of your feelings and that they can be supportive and take the needed steps to get you the help you deserve.
Without more information, I have no way to determine if what you are experiencing is the result of a sleep disorder (which I suspect is at least part of the problem), social anxiety, depression or some other problem. I do know that you can’t handle the situation by yourself. You need help. You need a proper evaluation of your sleep habits, your diet, your general physical health and your mental state.
The place to start is with your regular primary doctor. I believe that Serbia has been working on reforming mental health services for almost 20 years. Your doctor will be able to refer you to the appropriate professionals.
Adolescence is tough for a lot of young people. You are certainly not alone in withdrawing into your room. But feelings such as you describe should not be ignored or untreated.
You’ve already lived with this distress for 3 years. There is no need to continue feeling so terrible and so afraid. Please come out of your room and out of your own head and reach out for the support that is available to you.
I wish you well. Dr. Marie
Am I Going Insane?
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). Am I Going Insane?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on July 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/08/17/am-i-going-insane-2/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.