Is this normal or signs of a mental health problem? (long to read)

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I am posting here to get some ideas about what could possibly be happening to me, I don't want to self diagnose myself for obvious reasons but I have some sort of fear of going to see a doctor. I tend to avoid alot of things and especially seeing a doctor even if I am in alot of pain. I often feel like I'm not taken seriously or feel patronised or uncomfortable, sometimes even tearful. This is all despite barely seeing the doctor and seeing multiple different doctors. If anyone has any helpful suggestions on how I can talk to my doctor then it may make me feel more comfortable as I do feel like it's important this time, as it causes significant distress, and lack of motivation and functioning in my life. Sorry if this post goes on a bit, I have a tendancy to do that but I like to give alot of detail so I'm sure nothing will be missed out. Even if you don't think that what I describe is that bad, then please refrain from telling me people have had it worse because I'm very aware of that already and I'm not asking for any reassurance that I'm fine, because mental health problem or not I know I'm not fine when it comes to stress. It frustates me to hear the same things all the time, usually because people don't know what I'm asking for. I know I can't be diagnosed on here but I'd like some idea of what I may be experiencing so I know if it's important to see my doctor or not. Preferably from people with experience as I find that most reliable.

I have noticed these problems for a long time now, I'm not actually sure when it first started (I've always felt different and like an outcast, I got bullied because I wouldn't talk to anyone in school.) the first time that I personally think it caused many problems in my life was when I was 17. I basically turned in to a bitch to put it easily, when I wasn't like that at all before. I felt like I was going through depression from the age of 14 but everyone put it down to hormones. (I was suicidal.) Despite that I was very quiet and barely spoke to anyone about it until I had this sort of break down when I was about to turn 18. It lasted for months, I can't recall exactly when it stopped but I think I was about to turn 19.

So basically within this time I managed to fail in different aspects of my life. I lost all my friends, my boyfriend, my best friend I had known all my life (wasn't much of a loss), failed in my A levels, and had a bad relationship with my family. Basically I lost everything. So during the progress of this I was at rock bottom. I had no motivation, became very irritable, a lack of empathy, slept most of the day on some days, had a reduced appetite, was very upset the majority of the time, self loathed alot and desperately wanted attention from anyone. I was in college so I still had a social life but I think for the most part this made things worse. People I thought were friends were very horrible to me and made me feel worthless and told me to kill myself and stop complaining. I was also very hypersexual and flirted with almost anyone, leading a few people on and genuinely believing I liked them all which caused a few problems. When I got with my boyfriend I thought things would get better but they got much worse. I became very dependant and jealous and insecure whilst I was with him, I was constantly paranoid and accused him of anything and everything. The problem was he drank alot and I must have an addictive personality because despite trying to get him to stop I ended up drinking alot too. This led to me being very hostile and using emotional blackmail and threatening behaviour (sometimes involving knives). I became manipulative and desperate and all the things you shouldn't be in a relationship. This even happened when I wasn't drunk and usually started because I hated it when he had to leave, I'd go to the extreme, screaming and having tantrums, banging my head against the walls and threatening to kill myself. The strange thing is despite being a very negative person and pushing people away there were times I was actually really happy. I would have times I thought everyone found me attractive and would sing and dance around alot, generally having a high self esteem and feeling on top of the world. I'd be very excited and hyper and not much brought me down. This is when I started to lose everyone, I even got one of my friends in trouble with the police by not knowing when to shut up, nothing came of it but the guy did take me home in his police car concerned for my safety. I still didn't seem to care about what I was doing. I then moved away from where I lived and it carried on but instead of taking things out on my boyfriend who was now an ex, I started to take it out on my mum and her boyfriend. Usually screaming and swearing at them and refusing to do anything and disliking them mostly. I was still drinking and due to feeling isolated I started to get naked online to random strangers. This is how I felt 'alive' at the time. I have on and off problems with my mum and her boyfriend even now, it was worse when I was younger because I would push them to their limit and sometimes my mum's boyfriend would hit me and be generally very aggressive towards me. I would become very scared but I saw it as him punishing me for being bad. We don't have anywhere near as bad problems now but I am starting to realise it could have been classed as abuse, I just don't like to think of it that way. I have been abusive in my past relationships even though it's not what I want to do in reality and it always seemed out of my control, I was so angry and for some reason didn't care if I hurt people or myself during that time. I have never cut myself but I used to toy with the idea, along with thoughts of burning myself. I did scratch, bite, pinch, hit myself and pull my hair, I also did this to my exes when I was upset. I was also emotionally abusive, using people's weaknesses against them. People were genuinely scared of me at times. I also have a compulsive need to pick my skin, it's not as bad as it was years ago but it's my way of getting rid of stress. My body is covered in scars but they're not as noticeable as they were. Anyway, that's the past and I thought that girl was gone as my personality has changed since then. I now have interests for things I used to hate (dying my hair bright colours, listening to rock music and getting tattoos) I feel more like myself now.

Now though I'm not as sure the problems really went away. I'm nearly 23 now, I'm not as bad as I once was and I've become very empathetic with people. People often come to me with their own problems because they know I won't judge them and I'm supposedly really helpful. Maybe because I relate? I'm experiencing problems again, I don't see them as severe as before but I'm worried I may get that way again or worse. This time I've noticed I'm anxious, all the time. Almost 24/7... because I don't sleep until 3am or sometimes even 8am if I'm distracted doing something. I don't have a job because I left it early last year, that was down to a lack of energy and motivation which is still ongoing now. I was also easily distracted (low attention span), working slowly and not finishing tasks. I had alot of complaints and got very stressed and irritable so left. I'm in a relationship now but he's mostly the only one I talk to, and a few people online. I isolate myself in the bedroom and am very socially withdrawn. I sometimes even feel like I'm too scared to socialise, to the point of panic and tears. I dislike people more than ever, I have very little friends. i barely get drunk anymore but when I do I have blackouts and am told I can become depressed then sexual and then aggressive. The only part I ever remember is when I'm in the tipsy stage where I become very excited and talkative. I know when I'm single I can feel influenced by people and end up kissing people when I get drunk, mainly women... but nothing sexual. Generally I don't do much and sometimes I don't even look after myself because of my lack of motivation and energy. This is why I think it's affecting my life so there must be something that's not right? I find that when I try and ask friends for advice they often brush me off or tell me I'm fine. They must think it's just easier or not understand because that doesn't reassure me at all. I know myself and I remember a time where I was not in fear or anxious all the time. I do mean all the time, I rarely think of anything else and it's been months. Sometimes I lose my sense of identity, as in sometimes I change my interests randomly or question my sexuality alot and I can feel unsure of my true self to some extent. Sometimes I convince myself Its the end of the world and no one can tell me otherwise, I cry if a loud plane flies over and jump at sudden noises. I don't necessarily feel upset, more uninterested in things and emotionally exhausted. Sometimes I feel empty and can't even work out how I feel. I do still have hyper moments, and can get very excitable and become restless. I've found people saying 'calm down', giving me weird looks and an increase in people telling me to get help, like they did before. Another thing I've noticed is that I've started to forget little things. For example using the wrong words in conversation and whilst reading. Going completely blank and as of recent a small amount of stuttering when reading when I could read fine before. I find this very frustrating at times. Another thing is that I talk and talk even when people aren't interested and have stopped listening, either in an excitable or argumentative way. I know all these things sound random but they all concern me equally.

The main causes for my behaviour, I think would be my dad moving to America when I was 10. He was my best friend growing up and I haven't seen him since I was 13. I'm pretty sure he has alcohol problems because he can be aggressive with people when he drinks, I saw him attack my step mum and say he was going to kill her for illogical reasons when I was 13. I don't think my past with my mum's boyfriend helped much either and my history of a bad choice of boyfriends. They usually didn't help, one wasn't there much, the other overly paranoid and another was an alcoholic and also emotionally abusive. My current boyfriend is much nicer and understanding.

I'm sorry this was so long, it's been in my head so long I just had to get it all out. Now I just have to hope someone will actually read it and be able to help me to some extent. If you think i'm just a bad person then you're entiled to your opinion but I do think it's more than that. I'm just asking for suggestions because it's so confusing and generalised.

Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Jodie, I can identify with some (though not all of your problems). Have you explored atutistic spectrum problems? I only discovered this was my problem at age 45 - too late to do much about it. I might well be completely wrong - up to you to investigate, there are plenty of sites out there.
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    • Posted

      I have a friend with aspergers and I wouldn't really compare myself to him. If anything he is better at maintaining friendships and work than me. I'm not saying he finds it easy but he does it and he can also join other activities in his spare time. I don't know if it's to do with his aspergers but he can be quite mean to people, I guess without realising?

      I'm not saying everyone with an autistic spectrum disorder is the same but don't they usually notice small details others don't? I don't think I do that depending on exactly what it means, apart with noises but I don't seem to like sudden noises much so I think it's that. I don't see myself as really good at one thing, I can do creative things better than usual but I'm not amazing, I don't think I'm amazing at anything. Definitely nothing to do with numbers. I remember some strings of numbers but not always perfectly and can't remember phone numbers well.

      The only ways I think I could say I relate to this is because when I was in primary school I preferred to play alone and imagined my own friends to play with and talked to myself alot, I carried around a small plank of wood that I had drawn a face on and carried it round every day for a whole school year. (year 3) I used to say it was my dad because I was disressed he kept going away and I couldn't see him on the weekends much. I talked to the plank of wood more than the other kids and the teacher was luckily really nice about it. Another unusual thing is that I chewed my uniform sleeves and hair, even bits of stationery. I think these were coping methods. When I looked back at my school reports the before they all seemed to say the same thing. That I made careless mistakes and didn't listen in class. Then wouldn't ask for help and went off in my own world and did things my way. I can relate to this even now. I could also had some inappropriate behaviour as a kid which usually kids wouldn't do/talk about. So I've always been different in some way or another. Despite that I don't think it's an ASD because I usually can read people very well and know their intentions. I find ways to relate to them and help them with their problems pretty well. I just don't like social situations much.

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    • Posted

      Jodie, it's Yvonne - I've just realized I said stepfather instead of father in my reply to you, but yes I do think witnessing or being on the receiving end of violence within your family is something that affects our future relationships with other people. It can make you devalue your own worth I believe which is something only you can change by not allowing people to take advantage of you in the future. I think as women we try much too hard to please other people instead of ourselves. Learn to be more assertive, go to classes if need be!
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    • Posted

      I am just looking back at the sentences about your dad, which I hadn't read properly before, as you say I feel the way you acted as you grew up was a coping strategy. I know I identify with some of it. You are obviously intelligent and analyse your own behaviour which I'm sure as you say it was mainly all the stress of having to cope with your dad's absences. I know I had a dad who was always working( a full-time engineering job, a job supervising a pub in the evenings and weekends) and he treated our home as though it was a hoteI. I loved him so much, we all did but he just couldn't see how we all needed to see more of him on a regular basis. I sometimes wondered if he was just running away from his responsibilities in the emotional sense. Perhaps he didn't want to be with us I felt because our mum was always stressed out. It was a vicious circle in a way as she needed some emotional support from him and she should have demanded it rather than be the little woman. He never had a role model himself though as his own dad was murdered by the germans in the war when he was 26 and as a result my dad was brought up never knowing what a father's presence means to a child, so I've always found that really heartbreaking. Not to worry I suppose we all have things inside us that still hurt alot and will never go away, but that is one of my main hurts, knowing my grandad lay dying from multiple gunshot wounds, he was shot to death because he was forced to abandon his family and join the army when my dad was only 2 months old. I can't bare thinking about the disgusting and abhorrent way in which he died and it physically pains me when I do.
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  • Posted

    I suggest you visit your dr and show him a copy of what you've just posted. You seem to have some serious problems and need some kind of help and proper advice and counselling. The longer you leave not doing anything the worse you will be and feel.

    hope you can find some sort of help or medication, hopefully both. Good luck

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  • Posted

    I have one suggestion. Write down what you want to tell the doctor, beforehand, and then you don't need to worry about not being able to explain. You can hand over the paper if necessary. That should reduce one worry.
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    • Posted

      Just what I suggested in previous post. Much easier written down, one less worry
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  • Posted

    I don't know where your fear of Doctors comes from but being dependent on alcohol for 15 years to cover up my anxiety and depression, and please belive me that your issues often go hand in hand. Your Doctor is there to help 

    you. Everyones problems are relative to themselves, so if your feeling this bad try and grab as much help and self help tools that you can (alot may not work for you, but you will be grateful for the ones that do.). If I were where you are now, my first point of call would be the Doctors and address your drinking, you are putting yourself at risk of all sorts of problems, mental and psyclogical. If you are not comfortable seeing the Doctor, I suggest keeping a diary of what your drinking and feeling at the time, this can also help you put your life and emotions is perspective. Try cutting down 10% a week when wyour ready. I recomend seeing a professional as you can have seziures by not detoxing properly. Call the mental health hotline, you can get the number by dialing (NHS) 111. You would be wise to try and set yourself a task for the day, try and build structure to your week. Your not well and you are some how trying to punish yourself and your body, there is absolutley no reason to be embarised or scared. You reconise that you don't feel right, take the first step and set the wheels in motion so you can understand yourself. Things get better, but only if your willing to put the work in and are ready for it. Right now you are young and probably very intelligent. You have to put you first, your an adult. You will have much healthier relationships with those around you once you have levelled your own playing field. 

     

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    • Posted

      I don't drink as much anymore. I stopped by myself when I got with someone new. It's just when I do drink on occasion I have blackouts but I think that can be quite common. It's the mood swings that are the problem when drunk because they could end up being very dangerous. If I didn't have friends with me at times when I went out I'd probably be dead by now but I can't be sure. I know the option is to just not get drunk but I don't mind drinking to the point of getting tipsy as it makes me more confident. I really hate being scared and quiet so as bad as it is the drinking helps me to socialise. Mostly I'll just have one or two drinks to feel better around people but there are times I drink in excess, say at a party. I try to stick to just getting tipsy but when everyone around me is drinking and smoking I can be easily influenced. It depends on my environment like for alot of people. I can drink quite a bit and be fine and in control and I can drink barely anything and get unstable. So it's hard to work out that balance. I know it's bad but I really don't want to stop drinking altogether because I think my social life would suffer even worse and I barely see people as it is. I don't need alcohol to socialise with close friends but usually in unfamiliar situations where I don't know some people. As I said I barely drink these days anyway, especially not on my own like I used to.
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  • Posted

    That's great that you have that under control, but make no mistake, alcohol is not your friend here. But saying that..............................IF it helps to calm you down and feel more comfortable.......have enough to feel good.........then muster up the courage to call someone. It could be something as simple as a chemical imbalance or your brain is not releasing seratonin (the happy hormone). What ever your situation, there is a way. Blackouts are not a good sign espesially if you find you start coughing before you pass out and your not drinking so much it could be cough syncope which is common or something else, but for me, blackouts are a big warning sign, adding to my anxiety, another thing to write on your Doctor list. Saddly in my life, I have seen many die young because of untouched issues that were clearly a problem, including a 24 year old friend who just dropped dead on the dance floor. I'm not trying to scare you, but if you try leave this alone then surley you know it will esculate? Stress, worry, anxiety, depression are all killers.At least please call NHS 111 and get the number for the local Mental Health team. I have had a stay in a psyc ward and its not much fun. Please post when you have called.
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    • Posted

      You're right. The problem is I hate phone calls too, the sound of the phone ringing makes me anxious and I don't like talking to someone I can't see. I can't win. Do you think how I act when I'm drunk could be anything to do with my health in general? Or just the alcohol? If I'm honest I just thought everyone got out of hand or had blackouts when they drank too much. What is for sure is people do things they wouldn't usually do sober. It's reasons like that why I make sure I'm always with someone I trust and definitely avoid places where there may be any drugs (I've never taken them but I don't trust myself). I don't really like going out and last year I think I drank a spiked drink that was given to me. I actually went to the doctor about this and she just laughed like as if it were something people just do these days, which is scary.
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    • Posted

      Ask to see a different GP, you previous experiance sounds awful. Getting nasty and blacking out are not good. You have a real chance if you want to take it. Maybe you could try Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)? But you need to ask. Not eating before you drink dosent help, I know your appitite is nill but try chocolate or a breakfast drink. Everything that your feeling right now sounds like chaos. You don`t want to rely on others to go out. Does every social event you got to always involve drinking? 
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    • Posted

      No, I can see people without drinking, sometimes they want to go out for one or two drinks though. Socialising with friends does tend to involve alcohol at some point for me. Obviously I want to be involved so I just go along with it. I don't really see friends that much and I'm usually isolated, I don't live near friends and they live hours away, so I can't afford to see them anyway.

      I feel like things are better than they used to be years ago but I worry that that it might not just stay in the past. Obviously I can't be sure it'll happen again but surely all that doesn't just go away without help? My appetite is much better now, and I do eat before I drink. If I don't eat I get irritable, I like eating. Kind of annoying though because when I do have money I pretty much spend it all on food. I don't think I'm binge eating but I'm definitely eating as a coping method or because of being bored.

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    • Posted

      I think you've asked yourself the right question there: "...surely all that doesn't just go away without help?" Please start getting that help. Start with your GP. Be honest. As has been suggested, show him/her some of the stuff you've written here, maybe make a précis of the essential points, both mental and physical. And don't disregard the physical aspects. If I'm reading this right, you seem to be saying at one point that you were regularly passing out after drinking quite small amounts of alcohol and considered that normal. Well it's not normal. Either you were seriously under-estimating the amount you were drinking at the time - a common problem in alcohol abuse - or there could be an underlying physical problem.

      Please take that first step to getting your life in order. You're still very young and clearly intelligent. You can turn this around and have a bright future. I know those TV commercials were corny and have been parodied a thousand times but... you are worth it!wink

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    • Posted

      I think I was probably underestimating yes. By blackouts I mean I was unable to remember the time I was drunk and could not recall even when told what happened to the point I couldn't believe it. The only time I could have classed as 'passing out' is when I think I got spiked. I woke up the next day with a black eye and no memory of most of the night. Apparently I kissed my friend and I have a boyfriend, then supposedly I fell on the floor and couldn't get up and was then dragged back to where we were staying. After laying on the road! And having no choice but to get a taxi to go a 5 minute walk away, apparently then I was sick and passed out. Without my friend there god knows what would have happened. Other times I've supposedly been falling over alot but that was definitely my worst experience. Even going to the doctor with my black eye she just made out it was nothing.

      Thank you I'm going to try and get myself to the doctor although I do find it hard.

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