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Is There Something Wrong?

Question:

I am currently a high school student. Sometimes when I am walking through busy hallways I will get a strange feeling like everything around me is moving in slow motion. In classes I often get very, very bored. I feel like the saying, “bored to death,” could actually come true. I will start daydreaming and creating whole worlds in my head, but sometimes my imaginary worlds seem more real than the real world.

I get very good marks in school even though I don’t pay any attention in class. When I am talking with or around other people I feel like I am constantly putting on an act. I feel that the person who other people think I am is not who I am in my head. The only time I don’t feel this way is when I am alone or at home around my family.

I often think about philosophical theories about death and other topics, but I will just get frustrated because I can’t find any logical answers.

Another strange fact about me is that I don’t like to have skin to skin contact with anyone who is not directly related to me and I don’t know why, (I have never been abused). It just does not feel right.

On average I am, or at least I think I am, a happy and active person. Is there something wrong with me?

Thanks for your time.

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Answer:

One of the difficulties with answering these questions on the Internet is that we don’t know the people who are asking. Therefore, the best we can do is offer some thoughts, ideas and general information but without certainty related to any individual. Here are some of my thoughts about your question:

Adolescence is a stage in life when many of the things that we took for granted during early childhood are now being questioned. For example, teenager’s parents gradually stop being the idealized and heroic figures they were when we were very young. Among the other things that many teenagers speculate about, especially the intelligent ones, are questions about life and death, the role of religion, what they should choose as a career, what the meaning of life is and, etc. In other words, philosophical thoughts are not unusual and are a symptom of being intelligent with an active mind. So, it occurs to me is that if there is anything wrong with you it is that you are an intelligent teenager who does well in school and who is thinking deeply about life.

Adolescents, like you, often engage in daydreaming. Experiencing school as boring is quite usual. Creating whole new worlds in your head is a way of escaping the boredom of the classroom. The fact that teachers tend to do nothing more than lecture only enhances the feeling of boredom.

Feeling like the person who other people see is not who you believe you are in your head is part of being someone who thinks deeply and struggles with philosophical issues. That is part of a tendency to be introspective, or, lost in your own thoughts.

Having said all of this, it is possible that you experience a mild form of dissociating. In its mild form, its a safety mechanism for people to escape the effects of stress. For example, your daydreaming in class and the feeling that you are not presenting the real you, might be defined as dissociating.

Keep in mind that you describe yourself as an active and happy person. On that basis, I doubt you have nothing to worry about. Knowing that what you are experiencing is part of a stage of maturing can really help relieve tension.

If, at any time, this turns into depression, report to your parents and get some help. Right now, my guess is that you are coping with the stress of being a bright teenager with a creative and restless mind.

Best of Luck

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