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An Empty Shell


I feel like in the past months I’ve read so much about mental illnesses trying to figure out what is going on with me. I feel like I’m on a roller coaster going 100mph, I’m not happy anymore (I have moments) I can’t think straight, remember things, even follow a full conversation without feeling over whelmed daily, somtimes I just don’t feel I have enought strenth to hold myself back. I just want to let it all loose be wild and crazy and just be free but I follow everyday with a continuous schedule wondering to myself how long can I keep myself in track? My thoughts jump from bad to good, positive to negative, all the time, I don’t want to go to sleep because I don’t really want to do it all again tomorow I’m so tired all ready…I’m scard when I’m upset because I turn the negative on myself, I (sometimes) drink cause I feel like there is nothing for me I have tried to stop a hurtful cutting thing that ended up scary and haven’t since 2 months but now I’ll skip meals, and eat only what I have to I do feel weak, and tired and scard I know I’m not following thing 100% but its easyer to give up at this and I’m getting discouraged I’m afraid to talk to my social worker about my thoughts and how I feel about myself but how do I change it if I can’t talk about it??? How long can I keep at this before I do break??? What the heck is going on with me??? How do you get better if you can’t freeze all the stressers and just focus on being better when life around me still expects things from me. I feel like an empty shell wondering through the motions of life each day. All of it is stressful, and I’m tired I just want a break for myself. What can I do??? I just went off the medication effexor and I’m 26 with a 3 year old son. Mental illness runs in my family can this be somthing like bi-poler or borderline PD.and if so what can help me. Is this going to just keep getting worse, I have some paranode thing like the dark, like if someone is standing there I have heard a something when falling asleep?? and have bad nightmares??? any Ideas??? Please…

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  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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You’re describing a litany of symptoms which could point to one or more illnesses, but it isn’t possible to say given only an email. One thing is sure enough: that you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.


p> The right thing for you to do is to seek out an appointment with a psychiatrist or psychologist for diagnosis (figuring out what is happening to you) and a treatment plan (what to do about it). Clearly you’ve been to the doctor about this stuff before (or you wouldn’t have been prescribed Effexor, an anti-depression drug. It is by no means clear, however, that you’ve been to see a mental health specialist such as the psychiatrist or psychologist I’ve recommended above. General practice doctors will sometimes hand out anti-depressants, but they don’t always know what they are doing as well as a specialist will. A specialist is more likely than a general practitioner to be able to tell you what your proper diagnosis is, and to offer you a treatment plan that actually works.


p> You are a mother of a young child. You owe it to that child and to yourself to do everything in your power to remain healthy and mentally sound, so that he can grow up trusting in his mother and become health and mentally sound himself. This means that you should seek out that specialist mental health doctor appointment, you should go to it when your appointment time comes around, you should be completely honest about what you are experiencing, such as the paranoia, and the drinking and about your family background of mental illness so that the doctor can have a full understanding of what is happening to you, and you should comply with the treatment program he or she recommends. If you are unimpressed with Effexor, then tell the doctor that, so alternative medicines can be tried. You would also do well to stop all drinking of alcohol and any other recreational drugs you might be indulging in.


p> It’s a lot to do, I know, but it doesn’t seem that things are going to get better on their own. It looks like you will need to gather the strength to take action if you want things to get better for you. And things can get better with the right sort of treatments (medications, therapy, support, etc.). Not that your life will become perfect, by any means, but things can get a lot better than they are now. Good luck.

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  • Anonymous-1

    As I was reading this, I was relating to it so closely. I'm a 17 f at college. I've have had some personal problems.. I haven't been to a doctor, but I thought i was depressed. Nothing made sense. I was empty. I was just sad and couldn't see a way out. I just accepted it as a way of living, that was me. I used to be in a phase, for months, where I would think abou death and not seeing anyworth in me or my life and would want to kill myself. i wrote some poems about my feelings and even thought of everoone id want 2 write a suicide note - to show them i did care but i just couldnt see point in life. I also had (and still have) eating problems and self harm. Recently I've been all over the place. I'm trying to find a "me" that I can be! I've managed to put on 10lbs in the past 4months but I stil hate food, skip meals, make myself sick n stuff, but my friend has found out and she's trying to force me to talk to someone ho knows what they're talking about. I tried that before. At school with mentors, the nurse (which did no good at all) and at college i got as far as asking for a councellors leaflet. Recently i've been feeling sad again, and haven't been able to sleep properly. I also get what this person has with the paranoia of noises and people in the dark, sometimes i get scared and panicky and get hysterical. Everything just reall strange. did i really have depression? i don't know what to do.. or what I want..

  • Anonymous-2

    You are so lucky to have a friend that is encouraging you to seek help. I never had anyone that close that I felt I could share all of those empty feelings with (I felt enough like a freak myself, I couldn't have the people around me thinking that too!) There is too much help out there for you to suffer needlessly. There is NO shame in seeking help. If you don't, you could possibly follow my course - trying to hide it for years, thinking all the while that you are hideing it from your children and everyone else that matters to you. Guess what? They know! The problem with that is that your children will think it's their fault and the cycle will continue.....If you hurt now, let me tell you that it will hurt you more to see your children grow up and battle the same demons and more than you did. I feel better now than I have in my entire life...partly because I am older and have learned certain coping strategies but more importantly I finally sought help with medication. I truly believe that this is what has helped me the most. Now....I stay busy most days trying to help my 24 year old daughter deal with her own demons. I have to do this because she has two babies of her own that will suffer needlessly if she does not get the proper help she needs. Did I mention that my 22 year old daughter has the same problems? It saddens my heart that my girls whom I love so much are suffering and have since they were teenagers and I was so consumed with my own inner turmoil that I could not help. NOT ANYMORE! My girls are going to be alright because I will insist that they get help. Please do the same for yourself. Talk openly to your friend, share your feelings with the people who love you the most, go for medical help. There is no shame in seeking help. sheryl


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