From a teen in the UK: Recently I haven’t had the motivation to do anything. I have little interest and I’m tired all of the time. I’m in my final years of school and this is making things difficult to manage and I get overwhelmed easily but aside from that, I don’t know how I feel. I just feel here, like I’m living but not really giving it much thought. I think this started about a year ago and my mum has told me that this is just who I am but I don’t really know.
At times I do feel happy. I spent time with a friend every now and again and I enjoy it but as soon as they are gone I go back to how I was and some days I do feel very low but I’m not even sure how I feel the majority of the time. I spend most of my time doing pointless activities mindlessly and although I used to have a lot of friends, I don’t feel like seeing most of them now and when I make the effort, I just end up feeling awful.
I don’t know what I should do. I have been to see a doctor twice on separate occasions when things were worse but things didn’t really work out and now I don’t know what is best anymore, I’m not even sure I need to go back but I don’t want to keep going on like this.
This is a very good question. You have been to doctors but haven’t felt heard or helped. I’m sure you are not alone in this. I do have a few suggestions:
You didn’t mention what kind of doctor you saw. I always suggest that people start with their primary care physician. Sometimes symptoms like those you describe are due to an undiagnosed medical problem. If you haven’t had a complete physical check up in a while, it’s a good idea to do so. You might ask the doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist as well since thyroid issues are often a contributing factor to fatigue.
If you are medically fine, then you may benefit from seeing a mental health counselor for an evaluation. It may be that you are underestimating stressors of the final year of school. Perhaps you are dealing with a sub-clinical but still significant depression. Or it may be that that you are more anxious about life after school than you are acknowledging to yourself. Those are only a few guesses but are certainly things I would explore if you were my client.
If you have already seen a counselor but were not helped by the visit, consider getting a second (or even third) opinion. Success in therapy often has to do with the “fit” between therapist and client. You owe it to yourself to look for a therapist that you feel comfortable with and who you believe you can trust.
I wish you well. Dr. Marie
What Do You Do When Doctors Don’t Help?
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). What Do You Do When Doctors Don’t Help?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 12, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/11/23/what-do-you-do-when-doctors-dont-help/
Last updated: 21 Nov 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 21 Nov 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.