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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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cadi Offline
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Suffering or just self-centred? - March 17th 2013, 01:51 PM

Hi, i'm 19 and have just begun CBT therapy. My therapist has hinted that he thinks i'm suffering from depression and dissociation but I'm really not sure.

Something is going on and I would really appreciate any advice...

I'm in my second year of University and things have taken a bad turn. When I am in one of my 'moods' I abhor socialising. I actually get afraid of it. I lie in bed for hours (6 or 7) crying, sleeping, just lying there, fantasising about life as another person (usually a pathetic figure that needs saving). But then if one of my friends insists on popping into town and I go with her, after an hour or so, I feel my 'usual' self - happy, making jokes...Other times I love being the centre of attention and making everyone laugh but that only lasts for a couple of hours at most....

But there are times when I feel I bring it on or it's not real, like its an excuse to get out of work. I feel like I adopt the characteristics of someone suffering from depression or another personality disorder in order to get out of work that I am too lazy to do. I obsess over the thought of having a personality disorder. I google it everyday without fail. I enjoy being in one of my moods, even through the crying and thoughts of hating myself, I enjoy it. I have no idea why...

I'm the past I have self-harmed, but very rarely. I don't drink alcohol, I occasionally smoke marijuana (sometimes to relax in social settings) and I don't suffer from either eating disorders.

I am also very fearful of intimacy. Even hugging someone can feel really weird. My housemates find it funny and sometimes jokingly hold me down and kiss me on the cheek. Some even think I'm gay because they have never seen me with a man. The thought of intimacy and sex almost repells me, and yet I feel I am missing out on so much that the thought of being alone is the main trigger for my 'moods'.

Sorry if i've rambled on a bit, but I was just wondering if anyone has any advice or insight into what's going on? I'm not comfortable enough to talk about sex/intimacy with my therapist but I think it's really important to what's going on and without talking about it, i'm afraid he'll misdiagnose me....

oh, and i forgot to mention that I get angry really easily and enjoy verbal confrontation. Not sure if that's of any importance....

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by cadi; March 17th 2013 at 06:42 PM.
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Re: Suffering or just self-centred? - March 17th 2013, 09:23 PM

Hello, and welcome to TeenHelp! =)

First, I'll address the question of whether these feelings/behaviors are due to mental illness(es), or if it's all just a way to avoid responsibilities. Here's how I like to approach the idea of malingering (or faking illness in order to gain something, such as time off from work) - a "normal" person wouldn't feel the need to avoid responsibilities. They may feel stressed or overwhelmed at times, but they probably wouldn't go to the extremes you have (ex. lying in bed and crying for several hours). It's more effort than it's worth, if that makes sense.

So rather than spending too much time focusing on whether you have a mental illness (and what that illness would be), I'd focus on the symptoms. You're clearly distressed and having a hard time coping with the feelings. You're also behaving in a way that isn't helpful in the grand scheme of things (ex. you may be able to procrastinate on an assignment, but eventually, it could lead to your failing a class).

The nice thing about CBT is that it tackles those feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It's particularly effective for mood and anxiety disorders. The diagnosis isn't the most important thing with CBT - changing the maladaptive thoughts and behaviors is. A "normal" person could apply CBT techniques to their own lives and benefit greatly, so regardless of whether or not you think you're "faking" all this, I'd give it a shot!

It's good that you're not using substances, as those can greatly alter your mood. Something else I would suggest is to focus on the basics: diet, exercise, sleep, and sunlight. Eating better, getting some amount of exercise, sleeping for 8+ hours each day, and exposure to sunlight can do wonders for anyone's depression.

Finally, I'd like to direct you to two articles I wrote a while back:
Do I Need a Diagnosis?
The Dangers of Self-Diagnosis
It makes sense that you would want to conduct some research on mental illnesses, as there are some clear benefits to having a diagnosis. Unfortunately, it also has its downsides, and it can even hinder the healing process if you misdiagnose yourself. You're already concerned about your therapist misdiagnosing you, so for now, I encourage you to break the habit of looking up personality disorders. Maybe you have one, maybe you don't... time will make that clear as therapy progresses.

Good luck with everything! Feel free to keep us updated on your situation! =)

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Re: Suffering or just self-centred? - March 17th 2013, 10:32 PM

Thank you for the reply!

I realise I shouldn't obsess over labelling whatever is going on; i think it must be down to a few control issues i have. Despite having a therapist, I am very aware that there are lots of things I keep from him, so I don't allow him a total insight which leads me to worry that he will misinterpret everything - again, control issues.

And I will definitely stop looking up a diagnosis. Lying in my room all day with nothing but a laptop and my 'moods' for company... I just get so bored that its all I can think of to do with my time (and it's still better than leaving the house or getting work done.)

The articles were great by the way! And thank you for taking time out to reply to me
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