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I Am Wondering What Could Be Wrong With Me?

Question:

Ever since I was about 11 or 12, I’ve been wondering if something is wrong with me. I grew up in a home where my parents fought all of the time. I remember being sick a lot. The way I was disciplined could be described as abusive. I was sexually molested, kids made fun of me, and I remember being very depressed from about the ages 10 and up. I have suffered from anxiety attacks in the past. I think I’ve been very paranoid for years. It has gotten better but I still have problems. I have had problems with being interested in any guy around. I have not been sleeping well. It’s hard for me to socialize. Lately I am forgetting what I said a second ago, and I feel suicidal. I am living with my parents again and I hate it. My boyfriend is the only person I trust but my problems affect his life and I fear he resents me.

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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:

The fact that the way you were disciplined may have been abusive and that you were sexually molested all point to a possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That could account for you feeling depressed and suicidal and not being able to sleep.

It is understandable that you sometimes feel paranoid. One of the outcomes of being abused and molested is that it’s very difficult to trust other people. It takes a long time to get over that distrust. This may explain why you are having difficulties in your relationship with your boyfriend.

One of the symptoms of abuse and molestation is that people feel something called “dissociation.” That means that there is a feeling of unreality about life and a sense of distance from one’s self. It even becomes difficult to feel much of anything except perhaps anxiety and depression.

Another symptom is that people tend to blame themselves for what happened instead of the abuser. That is where a lot of self hate comes from along with depressed and suicidal feelings and thoughts.

While there are medications that may help you with your anxiety and depression it is equally important that you find a good psychotherapist. The combination of medication and therapy are a good way for you to resolve the awful feelings you experience.

Best of Luck

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