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August 19, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Mental Health

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I'm afraid to feel good

Question:

I am a 23 year-old woman. My first signs of depression started when we moved to a new state when I was 12. I was extremely shy, I didn't know anyone, and I started school midyear. Being the new kid made it a lot harder on me to adjust. I had pretty bad acne all over my face, I had braces and frizzy hair. Nobody liked me. Two days after I started in the new school, kids were picking on me and calling me names.

The year I was 13 became a huge turning point for me. I started on The Pill on advice from my doctor for my menstrual cramps, and as a side effect, became depressed. I started to think about suicide. My life was unbearable. When I got to high school, I got mixed up with the wrong crowd. My parents never paid all that much attention to what I did, so I began drinking heavily and staying out way past my curfew. I became so depressed and hated myself so much that I would lock myself in my room and cut myself with anything sharp I could get my hands on. I was trying so hard to get the demons out from under my skin. I wanted to tear the hair from my scalp, I wanted to get out of my skin so bad that I would fall asleep crying. I began to have nightmares that someone was trying to kill me. I was afraid to go out of my room at night to even go to the bathroom. I was afraid that someone was in the house, trying to hurt me.

Finally, when I was 16, after begging my mom for a year to take me to a counselor, she took me. I didn't last long. Although I desperately wanted help, I resisted the therapist to the point that she sent me to a psychiatrist to see if medication would help. The psychiatrist put me on Wellbutrin, but I didn't like the way it made me feel, so I stopped the medication and I stopped seeing anyone.

When I was 19, I moved out with a group of friends out of state. There I met my husband, who I knew through other friends. He actually has been the best thing for my mental health. Now, after feeling pretty good about myself for a couple of years, I feel the depression creeping back in. It scares me to death.

Sometimes I feel like I'm going out of my mind. I start crying uncontrollably, I can't sleep at night and I've distanced myself from all of my friends. I don't want to do anything anymore. I've started to have nightmares at least once a week. I've started to feel extremely guilty for stupid things I did when I was a kid, and I feel angry when I think about how I could have acted in a situation when I was younger but I didn't stand up for myself. I don't drink or do drugs anymore.

I have always had some depression in the corner of my brain. I'm so used to feeling this way that part of me is a afraid to be helped. I'm afraid to feel really good. I've been depressed for so long, it's very comfortable. But, I'm afraid if I continue, I'll go mad. Is there anything I can do to try to get past this new wave of depression and to get over my excessive guilt and anger at myself?

Cindy (23 year-old woman)

Answer:

Dear Cindy,

You say, "I'm Afraid to Feel Good." I wish I could make you laugh. You must suspect somewhere how good it will feel to feel good again. I'm sorry you are unhappy. I'm sorry if your sense of humor is sleeping.

You said,

Cindy

My first signs of depression started when we moved to a new state when I was 12. I was extremely shy, I didn't know anyone, and I started school midyear. Being the new kid made it a lot harder on me to adjust. I had pretty bad acne all over my face, I had braces and frizzy hair. Nobody liked me. Two days after I started in the new school, kids were picking on me and calling me names.

Leya

I know this doesn't really help, but the same thing happened to me, only I moved so often midyear that I almost got used to it.

Cindy

The year I was 13 became a huge turning point for me. I started on The Pill on advice from my doctor for my menstrual cramps, and as a side effect, became depressed. I started to think about suicide. My life was unbearable.

Leya

This is sounding serious, Cindy. You have a whole history of wanting to die.

Cindy

When I got to high school, I got mixed up with the wrong crowd. My parents never paid all that much attention to what I did, so I began drinking heavily and staying out way past my curfew. I became so depressed and hated myself so much that I would lock myself in my room and cut myself with anything sharp I could get my hands on. I was trying so hard to get the demons out from under my skin. I wanted to tear the hair from my scalp, I wanted to get out of my skin so bad that I would fall asleep crying. I began to have nightmares that someone was trying to kill me. I was afraid to go out of my room at night to even go to the bathroom. I was afraid that someone was in the house, trying to hurt me.

Leya

Cindy, this is sounding more serious because your history is long and violent.

Cindy

Finally, when I was 16, after begging my mom for a year to take me to a counselor, she took me. I didn't last long. Although I desperately wanted help, I resisted the therapist to the point that she sent me to a psychiatrist to see if medication would help.

Leya

Wow. You're blaming yourself for the therapist wanting to see if medication would help.

Cindy

The psychiatrist put me on Wellbutrin, but I didn't like the way it made me feel, so I stopped the medication and I stopped seeing anyone.

Leya

Stopped seeing anyone? You stopped doing anything?

Cindy

When I was 19, I moved out with a group of friends out of state. There I met my husband, who I knew through other friends. He actually has been the best thing for my mental health. Now, after feeling pretty good about myself for a couple of years, I feel the depression creeping back in. It scares me to death. Sometimes I feel like I'm going out of my mind. I start crying uncontrollably, I can't sleep at night, I've distanced myself from all of my friends. I don't want to do anything anymore.

Leya

You know these feelings from the past. It will be good for you to get support and help early on with these feelings now.

Cindy

I've started to have nightmares at least once a week. I've started to feel extremely guilty for stupid things I did when I was a kid, and I feel angry when I think about how I could have acted in a situation when I was younger but I didn't stand up for myself.

Leya

Doesn't it sound like a part of the problem of your pain is that you are kicking yourself?

Cindy

I don't drink or do drugs anymore.

Leya

That will be helpful to your healing.

Cindy

I have always had some depression in the corner of my brain.

Leya

Yes, that's what I hear.

Cindy

I'm so used to feeling this way that part of me is a afraid to be helped.

Leya

I hear you. We get used to what we're used to. I moved a lot as a kid. My parents were difficult. I've been unhappy and happy and happy is better.

Cindy

I'm afraid to feel really good. I've been depressed for so long, it's very comfortable. But, I'm afraid if I continue, I'll go mad.

Leya

There's the problem. Stress and depression aren't free. They take their toll.

Cindy

Is there anything I can do to try to get past this new wave of depression and to get over my excessive guilt and anger at myself?

Leya

I suggest you see a therapist. This is my strong suggestion. Also, consider whether it will help you to take medications currently. I hope you stick around to get to the good part some more and again.

On your own you can start an exercise regime. This helps work against depression. There are herbs that help ease depression. You can meditate and write. You can start a gratitude journal and write down five things you are thankful for every day.

All the best, Cindy,

Leya Aum, MA, MFCC

This question was answered by Leya Aum. She is California licensed marriage, family, child counselor certified in clinical hypnosis. She teaches Feldenkrais Method® of Neuromuscular Relearning, is practitioner of the Bowen Technique and Jin Shin Jyutsu®. She is also human resources consultant, writer and editor.

For more information visit contact information page on QueenDom.

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