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Classify My Mental Disorder

Question:

I’m a sixteen year old girl that lives in the southeast Iowa area. I’m a Junior in high school as well. For almost three years now I’ve been struggling with the overwhelming urge to just stay in bed during the day. I have no drive to get up in the morning and go and do things. I don’t have a drive to want to do well in school, or do things that I used to enjoy doing. If it were up to me, I’d stay home all the time.

But on the weekends, my friends are always out and doing things. I would much rather stay home to allow myself time to relax and destress in some way. When I think about them having fun without me and being upset with me for not going out with them, I always force myself.

I can’t talk to anyone about this– I want to, but whenever I go to try and open up to someone, I feel as though they’re going to think I’m whining and striving for attention. I don’t like to show emotion to my friends at all. it’s almost as though I can’t because I’m afraid my friends are going to be annoyed with me. I just want to be able to talk to people about what I’m feeling without thinking they’re going to hate me and be irritated with me for actually talking.

Can you tell me what I have?

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

Of course, a diagnosis can never be done on the Internet. It is distant and uncertain. However, it is possible to discuss possibilities. For example, not wanting to get out of bed and wanting to stay home and in bed all the time sounds very much like depression. Please know that there are additional possibilities, one of them being that you have a lot of anxiety and want to avoid people because you are uncomfortable with them.

Whatever the diagnosis, you need professional help with these problems. Teenage depression is very common. You are not alone in having problems. It’s just that talking to friends won’t help much because they can’t understand or help even if the mean well.

Having said that, I think it’s important that you talk to your parents about getting help with these things. Seeing a psychologist or clinical social worker and dealing with these issues would help you feel better, get you out of the  house and even improve your grades because you would feel better. It seems to me that speaking to your parents is the first step because they would have to pay for your therapy.

What some students who feel bad do is to speak to their guidance counselor at school. They are trained to deal with this and could even help you with speaking to your parents. Perhaps the school has a psychologist who can provide help or point you in the right direction.

You are a young person and deserve a life free of depression and misery. Don’t wait.

By the way, you are not trying to get attention. Your problems are real. Also, no one will hate you for having problems. Lots of kids and adults do.

Best of Luck

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