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Have Problems Socially & Personally

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I am a 19-year-old college student, and for all of my life I have had problems interacting socially, but it has gotten much worse as I have gotten older. To the point where for the past few years I have only a couple friends who I don’t even really like very much. I have made two friends in college but I find myself choosing to spend time by myself most of the time. Even when I am by myself, for example going for a walk, I end up feeling angry if there are too many people outside because I feel like they are invading my space even though I know they have every right to be there.

I also have trouble in school because I can’t work with people, which makes me get bad grades on group projects because I get low participation scores. No matter how hard I try I can’t bring up my scores. Now that I’m in college, I know that this is a more serious problem, especially when I will have a job, so I went to a therapist but found it to be very unhelpful and I wasn’t able to successfully communicate my issues.

Another thing that concerns me is that I started getting hypnagogic hallucinations a few years ago. They used to be mostly auditory, but now they have become mostly visual. I have always disliked this because it makes me scared to go to sleep because I’m afraid I will see the scary faces and hear creepy voices. The voices usually shout at me and startle me awake, which is scary and makes it hard to fall asleep.

I don’t know if saying any of this is helpful but I just feel like there is something wrong with me because I just seem so different from everyone else, and can’t seem to fit into any situation that involves other people. I am very isolated, but I also don’t feel lonely. If anything I wish I could be more alone. I know therapy would probably help me, but I also hate the idea of going to another therapist because when I went to one before it was not helpful, and also getting there would be hard because I don’t have a car.

Have Problems Socially & Personally

Answered by on -

A.

It’s okay to want to be alone, especially if that’s your preference, however it’s not good for your mental health. Human beings are social creatures. We generally like to be around other people. Of course, there are some people who prefer more independence than others and that is perfectly fine, but, generally, most people want to be around others. Even if it’s not their preference, they can at least tolerate being around others.

Studies show that there are many benefits to having social relationships. When comparing people who have more active social lives to people with less active social lives, researchers consistently find that the former experience many positive benefits. These include living longer, having better physical health and mental health outcomes, increased resiliency, and a decreased risk of developing dementia.

What matters most is having relationships that are meaningful. Being friends with everyone isn’t necessarily good for your mental health. Most psychologically healthy people have only a few good friends. That’s because these relationships take a great deal of time to cultivate and maintain.

It would be good to understand why you are increasingly self-isolating. The main problem you seem to have is your inability to tolerate being around other people. This inability has led to negative outcomes in your life. It’s causing you to have poor grades and could potentially be a major problem for you once you graduate and try to enter the workforce.

Unless you work from home, you’re going to have to interact with people. Even if you did work from home, you would likely have your own business or work for a business, and in that circumstance, you’re probably still going to have to interact with people. If you cannot interact with people in a manner that is acceptable to them, then your business would suffer. The bottom line is that it’s important to explore why you have developed this intolerance to people and most importantly, how to fix it so that you can function in the world. Otherwise, it is you who will suffer the consequences. If you can’t work then you can’t pay your bills. It is important not ignore this problem and face it head on.

The solution to this problem is counseling. Counseling, in your view, is not desirable or convenient but you have admitted to their being a problem in your life. Whenever you have a problem, the most responsible course of action is to seek help for it. I know that you tried counseling once and it wasn’t helpful but you shouldn’t stop trying.

Not all therapists are the same. It takes time to find the right therapist. You shouldn’t give up after only one try. I usually suggest that consulting at least four or five therapists before choosing the one you like. You may even have to consult more than that. Finding good help could make all the difference in your life. It could mean the difference between unhappiness and happiness, success and failure. Some people are not willing to put forth the time it takes to find a good therapist but it is well worth the effort.

Hopefully, I have convinced you to try therapy again. Good luck and please take care.

Have Problems Socially & Personally

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. (2019). Have Problems Socially & Personally. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/11/18/have-problems-socially-personally/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 Nov 2019 (Originally: 18 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 Nov 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.