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Why Do I Overthink Everything?

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From a teen in Australia: I overthink everything…Let’s say, my parents, are supposed to pick me up from school. I patiently wait for them for a while but the more I start seeing everyone else going home the more stressed and panicked I get. I immediately think of the worst case scenario…It can get from “Oh they are just late”; to “What if they got in bad a car accident?” or “If I call them now they might get distracted while driving and it will be my fault, maybe they are in trouble.”

I always fear that the people I love will start to hate me or just leave. I feel like I always say the wrong things. And it’s my fault that everything is happening. I get irritated over the smallest stuff.  If people are laughing behind me I get self-conscious and get hypersensitive over it. I never tell anyone what I’m feeling.

I want to ask my parents to take me to the doctors but every time I try, something pops up and I don’t wanna be a troubled kid who made it worse for the parents. I am terrified of being alone because I remember when I had a fight with my only friend found new ones and I was left alone at lunch and recess brakes while she got new friends to hang out with. Now that I think back at it I suspect I might have developed an eating disorder.

I changed schools about 3 years ago, I had nobody in school to freely talk to about anything. About a year ago I started talking to myself way more than I used to, I started rehearsing answers to certain questions. I acted out scenarios that will probably never occur in real life.

I have an autistic little sister and maybe its just the stress from my parents about her struggles that are making me emotionally vulnerable over everything? (if that made any sense) I am not sure if it’s even anything serious but I just want to figure myself out. I hate being so alone it makes me feel void. I always need someone to be around or I get panic attacks. (Being home alone and walking home for a while is different though) My phone keeps me distracted from everything else that goes on.

I hope all that made sense.

Why Do I Overthink Everything?

Answered by on -

A.

Yes, it makes sense. It sounds to me like you are a very lonely girl. Starting at a new school is tough at any age but it’s especially difficult in the teen years. Often the kids at school have already pretty much established their friend group. It’s difficult to break in if you are just an ordinary kid. Kids who are star athletes or have amazingly outgoing personalities do have it a bit easier but even they tell me that they feel out of place for quite a while.

One of the best ways to become part of the social world of a new school is to join some club or sport. Working side by side towards a goal with people who have similar interests lets people get to know each other naturally. If you haven’t done that already, I hope you will take a new look at what your school has to offer for extra curricular activities. If nothing there suits you, take a new look around in your community for a project or cause where other teens volunteer.

Unfortunately, you moved before you had time to figure out how to repair the friendship in the other school. Learning how to manage it when friends don’t get along is part of the challenge of the teen years. I hope you can think about what happened and learn from it. It’s often useful to think about what might have been your part in the problem. That’s the part you can fix. We can’t make other people do something differently but we do have the power to change ourselves.

You also shared that you have a sister with autism. I really, really want you to know that you are not alone in your efforts not to give your folks someone else to worry about. Most kids who have a sibling who is in any way disabled or chonically ill do the same thing. You get kind of caught between two ideas: You wish your folks had more time for you. And you understand that they are doing the best they can. Often the parents are exhausted from taking care of the kid who has special needs.  Sensitive kids like you pick up on their limited energy.  Of course you feel vulnerable. Your whole family is feeling emotionally tired.

One way to handle that is to ask your parents if they can each give you a little time without your sister each week. It’s okay to need some undivided attention. If you make a regular “date” with each parent, it will make things a  bit easier. You will have some time you can count on. They will feel less torn between you and your sister all the time if they know they have a special time reserved just for you. It’s worth a try.

You and your parents might find it helpful to take a look at this article.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Why Do I Overthink Everything?

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. (2019). Why Do I Overthink Everything?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/06/26/why-do-i-overthink-everything/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 25 Jun 2019 (Originally: 26 Jun 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 25 Jun 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.