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What if Nothing Works and No One Knows What Is Wrong?

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I have been seeing a psychiatrist for what seem to be mood issues, like depression, but keep reacting poorly to meds (antidepressants and a mood stabilizer) and my doctor said I seemed to have a reaction like I was bipolar (mixed episode), but don’t meet the criteria for bipolar in general. Like I got way more suicidal on both, not just the antidepressant. I feel like I am often mentally healthy, then have these bad depressive episodes, or just these mental breakdowns and get self-destructive and feel like I fall down a rabbit hole. It seems stranger than just depression, but it’s not really my baseline and it is like a weird spiraling effect. It lasts longer than just a reaction to a specific event, so seems to be mood related. My doctor keeps saying my reactions are unusual, and is trying his best to help, but it’s like none of us know what is going on. Therapy seems like a good option, and I tried CBT, but when I feel this bad I cannot even concentrate on what is going on. I am sure I can eventually pull myself out of it this time, but it seems like it will keep happening and it’s weird to be so lost in my mind and no one understands or can help me. I know you cannot diagnose me, but I guess my question is, do people sometimes not fit any category and are just really not typical and nothing really can help? I don’t mean I cannot do anything for my mental health, but that I will have to do it alone, without professional help?

What if Nothing Works and No One Knows What Is Wrong?

Answered by on -


I know that it is frustrating to feel like nothing works but I urge you not to give up. Finding the right treatment is not an exact science. It often takes time and patience but it is worth it. Once you find what works, it can make all the difference in the world.

The same is true with therapy. Certain types of therapy and therapists will work better for some people and not for others. When things aren’t going well, it’s easy to think they never will but that simply isn’t true. Make the decision to keep trying and never stop until you find a treatment that works.

Each person’s case is different. Rarely are they “textbook” cases. Your set of circumstances may seem atypical and perhaps they are but that doesn’t mean your symptoms are untreatable. There is a treatment and someone who can help you. It’s simply a matter of continuing to participate in treatment and not stopping until you find success. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when. Don’t give up.

If your doctor can’t help you, perhaps you need a second opinion. Your doctor will not be offended if you seek a second opinion. Second opinions are very common in the practice of medicine. A new doctor and a new type of treatment might be what is necessary. Consider choosing a doctor who specializes in mood disorders.

In the grand scheme of things, as long as you’re willing to continue to participate in treatment and to keep trying, success should be expected. Don’t give up.

I would encourage you to get all of the help you can. You don’t have to do this alone. If you keep trying, your chances of recovery increase exponentially. Thanks for your question and please take care.

What if Nothing Works and No One Knows What Is Wrong?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). What if Nothing Works and No One Knows What Is Wrong?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 (Originally: 23 Aug 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 21 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.