If I were interviewing you in person, my first question would be what happened in 2018? You have identified that as a time in which your symptoms had worsened. I’m wondering what caused you to have a change in symptoms. Knowing that information might have helped me to better understand what the problem may be.
A number of things you mentioned are likely contributing to your mental health symptoms including the fight that occurred at home, being financially unstable, and witnessing domestic violence. These are indicators of the instability of your home life. In fact, it’s possible that the problems in your home are the main source of your symptoms.
In addition to the chaos in your home, you’re experiencing physical health problems including a sometimes out-of-control skin condition. The skin condition seems to be exacerbated by the problems of your life. The exacerbation makes you physically sick and further intensifies your symptoms, seemingly to the point of attempting suicide. Thankfully, your attempt was unsuccessful.
Currently, you seem to have recovered to a degree but are now experiencing emotional numbness. This emotional numbness may be a defense mechanism against the extremely negative feelings you had experienced previously. One might even consider the emotional numbness as a temporary Band-Aid or a buffer or sorts. It works for now but it’s important to address the underlying problem.
The best solution is to consult a mental health professional, in person, but understandably that may not be an option at this time. The coronavirus is making it difficult for people to engage in normal daily activities. You might not get an in-person consultation but you may be able to access a professional via the internet or over the phone. Consultations via the Internet are not the norm but that may change given the current pandemic. In that case, I would recommend contacting your local mental health facility to determine if they are providing treatment via phone or the Internet. Many facilities are adapting to the current changes.
In the meantime, there are a number of things you can do. I would recommend journaling. Studies show that it can be quite cathartic and clarifying to write during times of distress. Having this documentation could also assist in your treatment.
You should also keep in contact with friends or other support systems in your life. Even though we all have to engage in social distancing, we can still interact via the Internet. It would help for you not to be alone at this time. The more support you have, the better you may feel.
It’s important to keep in mind that you seem to be living in a chaotic family situation. You mentioned that you sometimes engage in self-loathing. Self-loathing is an extreme dislike for oneself. This would suggest that you are blaming yourself for whatever’s going on in your life. It’s important not to blame yourself for things that are not your fault. Things are happening to you which are outside of your control. You are reacting to the situation and you need more assistance than you are getting.
People who are inclined toward self-loathing are often depressed and thus it’s important that you attempt to reach out to your local mental health facility about what services are available. That would be your wisest course of action. This is especially important because of your attempted suicide.
Try consulting with your local mental health facility and hopefully they will have the services you need. If you ever feel that you are a danger to yourself, contact emergency services. They will provide immediate assistance, even during a pandemic. Good luck, stay safe and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle