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I Feel Unable to Go back to Therapy

From a teen in the U.S.: I have been dealing with a lot of different internal issues lately. I can’t go back to my therapist because I am bad at explaining how I feel, and I don’t have the energy to do so. I went to 3 different therapists and left them all because I felt too anxious talking to them. I don’t know what kind of help I need, and I don’t really know what is wrong with me because it feels like many different problems.

I have been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, a form of depression and a form of anxiety. I feel that these are close but not really exactly what I am dealing with. I have been avoiding everything, even the things that I love, and I have been mentally exhausted. All I want to do is lay down and listen to the most calming music possible. I don’t think I am impulsive but I do isolate myself out of panic and stress of going outside anywhere by myself. It is a nightmare to me, in fact I’ve had actual nightmares of being outside by myself. And when I am with people I experience a different kind of panic, one of more talking anxiety.

I also think I am struggling with my body, I am not really comfortable and I feel like I may have gender dysphoria. But I doubt myself, all the time. I feel disconnected to myself often even though sometimes it seems like I know myself. I always start to be confused again after a while. I also get irritated easily and uncomfortable all the time. But I am often too tired to deal with it, and so I lay down. I don’t do too much, especially when im not at school or working.

I feel a disconnect to my friends who I care about deeply, I just feel like they don’t understand me. I feel like no one understands how I feel or what I mean or the things I think of. I have aspirations that just get clouded by all of this. I often have headaches from doing simple things, and I get anxious even listening to music without headphones. I feel like I constantly have to be listening to some thing tranquil to block out the outside sounds that make me uncomfortable. I am also extremely sensitive to the words of others. Please help?

I can’t make a diagnosis or confirm the diagnoses you have. But I do have two important suggestions.

First, see your medical doctor. You may be correct that the problems come from anxiety. But it’s also possible that the anxiety is caused by an undiagnosed medical problem. I’m especially concerned about your headaches.

Secondly, send a copy of your letter to me and this response to your therapist. Your letter is an eloquent description of how you are feeling. It will help your therapist understand what you are dealing with. Then make an appointment. The first thing to address is your anxiety about addressing anything. You can’t do useful therapeutic work if you are so anxious you can’t begin to talk about your distress.

I’m very glad you have a therapist to return to. Even if you only had one session, some things were said that can be built on. Please, please don’t quit if you get upset. The upset is exactly what you need most to be talking about. Working on it will help you get comfortable so that you can then work on the other issues.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

from Ask the Therapist

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