From a teenaged young woman in the U.S.: There are times where I feel completely fine emotionally, but I’ll find myself thinking “I hate my life” or “I’m a worthless pice of crap” or something else along those lines. It doesn’t make any sense. As soon as I think something like that my immediate reaction is to think/say to myself “what are you talking about, no you don’t/aren’t.”

Then there are other times where it’s as if all my emotions (as if they’re sentient beings) decide to compress themselves into a ball of lead, and begin to spin themselves on an axis, that slowly grinds away at my soul. When they [my emotions] decide they’re done they leave me alone and numb, with this crater they’ve created that I feel in the center of my chest. It’s weird and confusing, but that’s the best way I can think of to describe it.

I don’t know if this has anything to do with it, but I have also had issues where I never feel like eating. I eat cause I need too but it’s probably not enough. I also can’t sleep well. I either
A)can’t fall asleep for hours
B)keep waking up, or
C)wake up 2-3 hours before my alarm (set at 05:30)
or if it’s really bad I’ll have all three in one night. The most common ones are the first two though. Like I said, I don’t know if that’s related.

Nothing is going on in life that would affect me negatively besides what I’ve mentioned here. The only thing is, I can’t tell my parents because they aren’t exactly emotionally supportive. The last time I tried to talk to them about my emotions I was told that I have a ton of things that I should be grateful for and I need to get over myself.

So I don’t know what is going on or how to go about it. I thought about telling my teacher, but he is what he calls a “mandatory reporter” and would tell the school counselor(s) about it, who would then tell my parents. All that would do is probably make it worse.

What’s going on and how do I fix it?

A: I’m very glad you wrote. Yes, I do think that everything is related. What you may be describing is evidence of a sleep disorder. The emotional upheaval may be a consequence of it. Do a little research on sleep disorders and see if it fits.

There are a number of possible causes of sleep disturbances. The first step should be a visit to your primary care physician to make sure there isn’t a physical cause like a thyroid condition. If you are medically okay, then it would be helpful for you to talk to a therapist to learn some ways to get your sleep cycle back in order.

Your parents may be more receptive if you tell them that there is a high probability that your problem is medical, not psychological.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie