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Possible OCD And Anxiety Issues

Question:

I am a 17 year old high school student who has enough motivation to get good grades and move on to college. However, I have frequent panic/anxiety attacks where I freak out and take it out on my family. I believe I have a horrible fear of uncertainty because I constantly think nothing will end up good for me and I’m always wondering when I’ll be truly happy.

I’m afraid to get too close to people and open up because I only see them leaving me. I am very afraid of the whole marriage and relationship thing for the future because I guess I come off as extremely sad because people leave frequently from my life and that years me apart.

Also, my parents got a divorce last year so that may have something to do with it. I also have trouble keeping friends. They leave too easily and I don’t know why because I try so hard to make them happy and talk to them about their problems.

I see such horrible things in people all the time but don’t get me wrong, I see good too. However, the bad can be overpowering. I just notice these things about people by how they converse and present themselves. I also have a tendency to read stuff over and over again and this can last for awhile until I force myself to move on to the next thing.

I just don’t feel very comfortable with life. It feels very twisted and broken. I want to be happy and have faith in people but I’m afraid and I also find talking to people casually is pointless because they will leave anyways. I don’t know why I think or do these things. Help

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Answer:

You are describing the symptoms of anxiety disorder which is often the cause of OCD probems. OCD is an unhelpful way to attempt to reduce anxiety.
The more anxiety the more OCD increases. In addition, anxiety disorders go hand in hand with depression. Depression includes feeling terrible, worthless, hopeless and apathetic along with other factors.

The fact that your parents divorced is most certainly a major stress that can either worsen or cause anxiety and depression. The probems that lead up to their divorce probably planted the seeds for your current problems.

In addition, 17 is a difficult age, as is all of adolescence. The issues that come with that time in life, including feeling self conscious, uncertain about the future and not knowing how to handle powerful sexual feelings, all complicate being a teen. Of course, the fact that we live in a complicated world that is both impersonal and ever-changing, sets the cultural back drop for problems in growing up.

It is my suggestion that you talk to your parents about seeing a psychotherapist. Your local clergyman, if he or she is trained as a therapist, which some of them are, might be a good way to start. Of course, there is also the possibility of speaking to the family physician who can make a referral or your parents can look up therapists on their insurance panels to find someone who is covered in terms of fees.

It’s important to do this because the powerful feelings you are dealing with can be helped so that you make a better adjustment to your life.

Best of Luck

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