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Depression & Social Anxiety

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I’ve had depression and social anxiety for all my life. As a child a already had problems in social situations and never really liked to interact with other children my age. My parents had a divorce when I was about 4 or 5 years old. My father never spent time with us or just gave us to another person in the family when he should have spent time with me and my brother. This went on until I was 6 years old. During that time I already felt down all the time and had a lot of issues with myself and how I looked. After my father went to England when I was 7 I started to spent more time in my head creating fantasy worlds where things would be better. I still struggled with social interactions because I felt or still feel like everyone is just mean or bad. From there on it’s just a down spiral until I told my mother that I didn’t really want to live anymore when I was 10 years.Then we went to a therapist the first time but just for one session.
After that start at a new school and start for the years of bullying.
With 14 or 15 I made several attempts to kill myself. Around that time my mother asked us to see a therapist. The therapist recommended us to go to a psychiatric facility for the treatment of social anxiety and depression.
Five years later now and I did everything, finding love, doing sports,etc. I even worked in retail for more than one year, until the bullying there was too much for me,but my fear is not getting less. I always circle right back to this shitty place.
Medications I have tried only worked for about 1 or to 2 months or did nothing at all. I live my life like everyone else or at least a try to. But nothing really matters and nothing is enough. Meeting new people or just sustaining friendships is pointless and only puts pressure on me.
I’m seeing a therapist at the moment.
But I dont think that he understands my problem. No one ever did.
They all told me that they dont really get it.
So whats wrong with me? Is this something that can be fixes?
Or is it this live? Am I just not cut out for it.

Depression & Social Anxiety

Answered by on -

A.

It could be that you haven’t found the right help yet. Therapists are not all the same. Sometimes, you have to try a number of them before you find the one you like.

I always recommend the interviewing of at least four or five before making a choice. You can do this by calling them on the phone and asking them questions such as: How would you help me with this problem? Have you helped other people with similar problems and what were the outcomes? What type of therapy do you provide? How long do you think it would be before I started to feel better? Those types of questions can help you get a sense of what the therapist is like.

Next, choose the one who you felt the most comfortable with over the phone and then meet with them in person. This will likely be your best choice.

Finding the right help can take some time and it can involve a lot of trial and error but it is well worth your time. It could make all the difference.

The same is sometimes true for medication, too. Medication affects everyone differently. What works for one person may not work for another. What works for you initially, may not work for you after some time. Adjustments are often needed which is why it’s important to have a good working relationship with a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists understand the nature of medication and that adjustments are common. Finding a good psychiatrist is important for medication management.

To answer your question directly, yes, I believe this is something that can be fixed. It is not just “life” that you are not “cut out” for. Those types of negative thoughts are skewing your thinking. They are likely the result of your difficult early life experiences.

You had a difficult childhood. Your parents were not there for you when you needed them. You only went to see a therapist once and you needed more than one session. Your father abandoned you and moved away. Your mother was seemingly struggling with her own problems and attempted to end her life. Those experiences can take a toll on one’s life, even into adulthood. You didn’t have the support and love that you needed to develop a healthy sense of self. Thankfully, it’s correctable with good counseling.

In the scientific literature, the types of early experiences you have described are considered traumatic. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), as they are commonly referred to, include sexual and emotional abuse, divorce, loss of a parent either via abandonment or death, dysfunction in the family, bullying, neglect, alcoholism, parental incarceration or criminal behavior, and so forth. All of these take a toll not only on one’s mental health but also on one’s physical health. Left unaddressed, these adverse events can lead to mental health problems in adult life.

The good news is that they are correctable with counseling. Finding the right help could make all the difference.

Understandably, you may be feeling defeated and that nothing can change, but this is not true. Those types of negative thoughts are the result of your not having received the proper help. You might feel quite differently after finding a good therapist. Try new therapists and see what happens. Don’t give up. Continue until you find someone who you like and trust and who makes you feel at least a little better after every session. Good luck with your efforts.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Depression & Social Anxiety

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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. (2020). Depression & Social Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/03/16/depression-social-anxiety/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Mar 2020 (Originally: 16 Mar 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 13 Mar 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.