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I Feel Like A Question Mark

Question:

I am a 22 year old female. I just want to send you a blank question because I am not sure what I am feeling anymore. I cannot sleep (chronic insomnia 2 years). During my day I go through periods of feeling really excited and now I feel extremely restless and annoyed. The time span between my ups and downs is becoming even smaller. My fingers are always tingling. I just want to cry but I have no reason to cry. But then I get excited and instantly this feeling goes away. Are these normal feelings? I am told by friends that I have “issues.” When I confront my parents to see a specialist I am told I am imagining things. I don’t know why I am like this. Can you please help me.

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Answer:

I must tell you that the title you chose for you E. Mail question caught my attention. “I am a question mark,” is a very poignant way for some who is 22 years old to express their dilemma. Yes, my guess is that you are a question mark because you are very young and are facing a difficult and confusing world. Like most young people, you are looking out into your future and are wondering what you will do, where you will go and what you want. All of that questioning is quite normal, although not easy.

At the very same time you are describing some very real symptoms that are very troubling. You report insomnia for two years, irritability, restlessness, tingling in your fingers and ups and downs. What is very unclear is what these are symptoms of?

This is why I am suggesting that you see an MD and have a full physical examination done on yourself. It is important to rule out anything physiological that could be going on. For example, the tingling in your fingers may mean nothing or it could signify something neurological or vascular. If this is so, it may explain the ups and downs. All I am suggesting is that it is always best to rule out anything physical.

Given that you are 22 years old and your medical examination reveals a young person who is the specimen of good physical health, we are then looking at something psychological.

The next step would be to see a clinical psychologist for an evaluation and therapy. You could be experiencing depression of one type or another, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, etc. If medication is called for, the psychologist will refer you to a psychiatrist for medication while you work with the psychologist in psychotherapy.

Yes, parents sometimes dismiss these things as “being in your imagination.” However, you know how you feel and it is real. Therefore, start getting help for youself. In fact, you could have a physical examination at the same time that you start seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist.

By the way, once you get a clear and clean bill of health from your MD, it would be healthy for you to exercise, especially aerobic exercise, to help you feel better. It could also help you with sleep. Meditation should be added as it is really helpful in reducing stress.

Good luck

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