I have plenty of friends, but I feel very alone. I feel like a constant disappointment to my parents, and I don’t know how to feel comfortable with them. I’ve been eating really really badly and I’ve been having a stomach ache for a couple of days this week. I’ve been procrastinating to the point where i rarely do my homework. Also, I love doing theater, yet i haven’t been able to get into the mindset of memorizing lines. Is this just the season, a phase in my growing up, or is something legitimately wrong with me?

A. You stated that you are “really overwhelmed” but didn’t describe what is making you feel that way. Your feeling overwhelmed suggests that you might have too much going on in your life. Has something recently changed? Did you take on more work than you can handle? You might be doing too much.

You mentioned feeling like an “constant disappointment to your parents” but didn’t say why. Perhaps you think they are expecting something that you cannot deliver. It’s possible that you are correct, and they are expecting too much from you. It’s also possible that your perception of what they expect of you is wrong. You might try speaking with them to clarify whether your perception is accurate. I suspect that it is not and you are placing unnecessary pressure on yourself to succeed but I cannot know that with certainty.

If I were interviewing you in person, I would want to know how long you have been feeling this way. It would have helped me to better answer your question regarding whether or not this is a phase or a more serious problem. In general, if you’re not feeling well, then something must be wrong. If you’re unsure, it’s wise to consult a mental health professional, in-person. They would be able to gather information and determine what might be wrong. Most importantly, they can provide guidance about how to fix the problem. If you are amenable, counseling could quickly resolve this issue. I would highly recommend it. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle