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Dr. Harriet
Dr. Harriet, Doctor
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Satisfied Customers: 117
Experience:  25 years experience as a Board Certified family practitioner.
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I dont know how or if I should ask for someone to listen to

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I dont know how or if I should ask for someone to listen to me, I feel I have had a mental block for about a year now, maybe longer?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you,

Shantal
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I apologize as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do
you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you
like for us to close your question at this time?

Thank you for your patience,

Shantal
Expert:  Dr. Harriet replied 3 years ago.
If would be happy to assist you but I would need much more detail to do so. Please describe what you mean by "mental block" and how this affects your daily activities. Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Firstly, I don't know if I am depressed or if I just want to be depressed as an excuse for my actions so I think I just need to talk to someone.

Talking to people is really hard for me, and I hate speaking face to face with people. The only way I could get my points across regarding problems at college was over email.

I am currently at college in the UK studying 4 AS levels; English, Media, Art and French. French is a subject I now seem to hate, and even after meetings with school and my parents and teachers, I still don't want to even try to attend the subject, which is probably getting me into more trouble but at this moment, I feel I really don't care about my future and I'm just trying to get myself through a day without speaking to anyone or crying about anything.

I got over ten A* to B grade GCSE's in high school but it seems now my attitude to learning has changed quite a bit.

The problems with French seem to have made me feel worse but I don't believe that's how these feelings started. I have felt like this for over a year on and off, and I don't even know why. I don't really believe in mental illnesses due to my parents beliefs so therefore I can't tell really how I'm feeling. I have taken quite a few depression tests - all telling me I have some kind of depression but then I can't help thinking that I've probably over analysed the questions.

I often feel like I don't control my own body and I do a lot of actions on impulse like when walking to a French lesson the other day all of a sudden I took a different corridor and brought myself to the library instead, therefore skipping lessons, which I had never done before.

I don't want to see a doctor, or be made a fuss of because I believe it's some kind of call for attention, which I really don't want. But somehow I need to know what's going on. I don't really want to get rid of the sadness I have though because I'm not really making an effort to get out of this state of mind.

My parents split when I was young and I have only experienced one death which was last year, of my great- grandma but we weren't very close. My dad and ex-step mum are now divorced and my dad has a new girlfriend. Although I like them all, I never really want to go to my dads other than when my sister is there, who's nine. My home life is fine, but I'm feeling a lot of pressure to get a job and to not drop out of my French class. Which makes me feel like they don't understand how sad this lesson makes me feel (I don't know why) and just think I'm being lazy.

I love to write which is probably why I send emails rather than interacting with people. I love movies, reading, traveling, skating, going to the cinema, being with my scout group outdoors but skating, and being with the other explorer scouts is something I'm not always happy about. I'd like to be able to go out whenever I want and I long for freedom both from the rules of society - like the need to work to live, which I don't understand - and from school and my parents. I don't tend to move or want to move much when I'm unhappy and instead like to watch movies. Being fairly new to my scout group, I don't always think I'm welcome but try to make myself believe that these people actually like me.

I don't know why I want you reply, or why I wrote this but maybe it's just to get someone to try and understand me and so I can't see I'm being judged (despite my on-going 'mission' to be different and careless). Please reply with something, I don't know what I want you to say?


 


 


I wrote this email (above) a few weeks ago to a depresson help website. The reply I got was to go and see a doctor and talk with my parents so I just ignored it and tried to get back to normal. That just made me more unhappy. I have since dropped French and feel both slightly less stressed jet more pressure to do well. Im just asking for an indication whether depression is a real thing, or am I just looking for something to blame my attitude on? I don't know if this covered your mental block question but I don't really know how to explain that in short.


 


Thanks for the reply.

Expert:  Dr. Harriet replied 3 years ago.
Hello, thank you for writing back to me. Yes, depression is very real. It is not a matter of belief or of character or of will. It is clear that the chemistry of the brains of people with depression are very different than of people who do not have depression. Everything that happens in the brain, every thought, every feeling, every sensation, is triggered by a chemical reaction in the nerve cells. When you have depression, some of the chemicals necessary to make those reactions happen are not available. That is why depressed people tend to have only sad thoughts; the chemicals needed to have happy thoughts are not present.

When someone only has mild depression, there are things you can do, such as exercise, which helps normalize the brain chemistry. It is also clear that therapy, talking regularly with a trained therapist, can also help restore the brain's chemistry. However, if the depression is severe, especially to the point where the person is thinking of hurting or killing themselves, medication must be added to the therapy to achieve a quicker response. That is the problem with the therapy, it is slower to take action than medications are. The problem with medications is that they, alone, don't make the changes in your life and in your thinking that are necessary to resolve the depression. Together, the effectiveness rate is huge.

While I understand that right now you don't want to get better - we often rather enjoy wallowing in our sorrows - your situation is worrisome in that I'm not at all sure that you have a choice; you probably are not able to feel better, and rationalizing that you don't want to feels less scary than admitting you are unable to. Your actions right now, cutting off yourself from others, distancing yourself from your family, short circuiting any education that you would need for a job in the future - is setting you up for future unhappiness. Having choices is necessary to be happy in life. Choices in who you have as friends, what you choose to do for work, where you choose to live. right now, you are closing all the doors for those things and the depression is going to make you unable to find any other options. For right now, it is important to appreciate your family, your school, and your life. If you are unable to, then it is clear that you must get help right away. Help is harder to access when you have nothing.

And no, having nothing is not a good thing, it is hurtful to you, even though right now your sadness makes you think it is ok. Don't let the sadness make your decisions.

Even if you don't like to talk to people right now, that is not a reason to avoid therapy. Face to face interaction with others can put you in an uncomfortable place, and that is GOOD; that discomfort is what will help you work to get better. If the only place you feel comfortable is sitting alone in a corner thinking about giving up, then you need to stop and think about how wrong that is, how you deserve more than that. Then get yourself to a therapy appointment.

If you feel you cannot make the appointment for yourself, it is essential you speak to someone who can help you. Consider talking with your adviser at school or the school health clinic or counseling center. They will understand how your depression is affecting your ability to do school work.

At therapy they will start out getting a lot of background information on you and your family. That will take up the whole first visit. then you need to keep coming back to explore not just how you feel now, but the beliefs you have that get in the way of you feeling happy. They will assess as well whether or not medications may be necessary... And it isn't about the therapist telling you what to think and believe; it is about you figuring out your own thoughts and beliefs and recognizing what it is that you want to work on and which ones are making you miserable.

I hope this has made some sense.

In my opinion, we all would be better off if we all saw therapists. We all have a terrible time of understanding ourselves and the ways we make our lives more difficult. For you, this has been going on for months and months and your story makes me very frightened for you. Please make an appointment soon.
All the Best, HS
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Dr. Harriet, I know I should be doing something, I just didn't have any motivation, or the guts.


 


If not, ill try to speak at school or look around for myself, but do you know of any places I could go to to talk to someone? I live in Wakefield. And would I have to take a parent, because I dont really want to talk about it with them yet as they dont really believe in depression, they just see my lack lf motivation as teenage laziness.


 


As one more question, do dizziness and tiredness relate to what we've been talking about, or is that something I should perharps ask my regular doctor about? Its just something thats been increasing over the past few weeks.


 


Thanks again, you've been a great help :)

Expert:  Dr. Harriet replied 3 years ago.
Yes, fatigue is definitely a part of depression. It is quite common for your sleep to be disrupted when you are depressed, in addition to feeling tired anyway. Often appetite is decreased as well; if you are not eating enough that can make you feel dizzy. Or if you are very anxious, which can also go with depression, that can cause dizzy spells, as many people who are anxious will hyperventilate, even without realizing it. If increasing your fluids and food and trying to calm your anxiety don't help with the dizziness, then it wouldn't hurt to have a medical doctor check you out. Sometimes a medical doctor can help you find a therapist faster as well.
Sorry, I'm in the US so can't help you with referrals, but it does sound like you have some good ideas. If you are over age 18 you shouldn't need to involve your family if you don't want to.
Best wishes to you. HS
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Category: Medical
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Experience: 25 years experience as a Board Certified family practitioner.
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