Part of the problem involves the fact that you have had anxiety, phobias and an obsessive-compulsive disorder since you were young. This means that they have gone untreated for many years. That is a shame because they are highly treatable conditions. Had you received help, early on, you may not be experiencing these problems today.
You mentioned that your cousin died. This likely exacerbated your symptoms. It’s not uncommon for a loss to exacerbate already existing symptoms. It may have made you feel further out of control. That could explain why you have become obsessed with your health. This is sometimes referred to as health anxiety. Health anxiety could be a symptom of a somatic disorder or it could simply be a symptom of anxiety disorder. No matter the cause, it requires treatment.
You also mentioned the possibility of depersonalization/derealization disorder. This is a dissociative disorder that can cause a person to experience the feeling of being outside of their body (depersonalization) or the feeling that the external world seems unreal (derealization). The feeling of being disconnected from reality can be unsettling and disorienting.
The best course of action is to consult a mental health professional. That should’ve happened years ago but it’s never too late. It may be best to see both a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist. Some of the best types of therapies for the symptoms you have described include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). You might also consider choosing a therapist who is trained in trauma. Sometimes, they are referred to as “trauma-informed” therapists.
Anti-anxiety drugs, and potentially antidepressants, may be helpful in reducing your anxiety symptoms. You might also benefit from a sleeping medication, at least during this very difficult time. What medication may be best for you is something you should discuss with your doctor.
What’s most concerning is your asking the question “what’s the point of living anymore?” It’s easy to feel that way when you’re experiencing so much distress but realize that your symptoms are highly treatable. Consulting a therapist and a psychiatrist is the ideal solution to this problem. They have dealt with people experiencing very similar problems and are trained to know how to help.
Sometimes people don’t seek help because they don’t have money or insurance coverage. In that case, it’s best to start with a Google search to determine if there is a community mental health center available to you. Community mental health centers often provide free or low-cost services. If you are a college student, you might try the student counseling center. They offer free services to students or they can refer you to a provider in the community.
Another consideration is to check with your local university to see if there are any ongoing mental health-oriented studies searching for participants. Participating in studies gives you free access to cutting-edge treatments, and you are usually paid for your time.
I hope that you are able to find the help that you’re looking for. If you cannot keep yourself safe, go immediately to the emergency room or call the crisis team. They will protect you and get you the help that you need. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle