Hello, this is my first post and I'm not entirely sure how this is going to go about - I will most likely ramble so I will try to summarise everything I say. I would like to say in advance I appreciate and thank anyone who takes the time to read this.
I am an 18 year old female. I am not formally diagnosed with any mental illnesses by a GP or specialist. I have been aware of issues with my mental well being since I was about 15 and have recognised patterns in these issues as far back as when I was 8 or 9. I want to seek help for these issues but I am afraid to do so mainly because:
I am worried my issues are not serious enough for treatment and that my GP will dismiss me
I am worried that my parents will find out as they are dismissive about mental health treatment
I am worried to talk about my issues with another person because I am shameful of the details
There are people that almost certainly have it much, much worse than me, and I don't know if I deserve help when comparing myself to them
I used to post on a forum site discussing OCD because I fell into this obsessive/compulsive loop and found out that it could be OCD (I was around 15-16 when it all started). The particular obsessions and compulsions in question disgust and terrify me and I do not want to reveal the details. When I posted on there those who replied recommended I see a GP as it sounded like OCD. I wanted to see my GP so badly but I never did because of how shameful it made me feel. I didn't want to speak of it, but I did at the same time? I don't know how to explain it, it just felt like something that shouldn't be spoken about. And because I never got help, I suffered with it on my own for a year and a half as though it were this dirty secret.
One time my parents came home early and I was crying on my couch because I was in this sort of thinking loop and I couldn't stop, and my mum walked in and started screaming at me when I actually explained (I said that I thought about bad things and they made me uncomfortable) and told me everyone experiences this. I don't know why I forgave her for treating me this way. And when I say screamed, she really went up to my face while I was crying and screamed at me. I've never felt more upset and isolated in my life.
It has gotten much better now, which indicates to me that it is not that serious of an issue. But what contests this is that it has never fully gone away. It comes up occasionally and causes me immense stress. I have recognised that this obsessive/compulsive behaviour has occurred before in my life, I'd have compulsions when I was younger (age 8-9) doing silly things like having to repeat a certain phrase out loud (or whisper if people were near) if I thought about something in particular that made me uncomfortable. I >had< to do this otherwise I'd become upset.
There were times I'd go into my room just so I could say the phrase out loud. I don't know if this is OCD or if it was just a quirk I had because I was a child and growing up. It eventually stopped and I don't know why or what it truly was. It was like if I didn't do it, I didn't feel "justified"? If that's the correct term. And if I didn't say the phrase with enough conviction, it wasn't "good enough" and I'd have to repeat it again?
Recently I've suffered from what I think is depression (I'm really afraid of naming actual illnesses that can be diagnosed here, as I haven't been formally diagnosed, so whenever I say these illnesses please note I am not diagnosing myself, just saying what I >believe< it >may< be but that I am not sure entirely.) I generally have low mood and it takes immense effort for me to genuinely be happy. I struggle to smile to people and in turn people think I am angry or annoyed directly at them but I am just generally sad. But every so often (every few weeks maybe) it becomes so bad that I passively wish to die. Please note I am not at risk of suicide, I just wish that I wasn't alive in these times. I will just care much less about myself and partake in destructive behaviour, but nothing as serious as physical self harm like with a sharp object or anything. Just not watching what I'm doing.
Small triggers, such as a stressful event, me disliking my appearance and realising (oh, I remember, this is what I look like,) I eat something bad like junk food, disliking my job, realising that I don't talk to my friends that often. I will become very sad and wish I wasn't alive or that I could be home in my bed sleeping doing nothing or sitting outside somewhere vegetating. And all of these things perpetuate the triggers? Like I end up trying to put off the event, or dread it even more, or don't go, or have a terrible time there. Or I keep looking at my appearance and hating myself even more. Or I eat more junk food and then restrict what I eat the next day. Or I do a bad job at my work. Or I isolate myself from the relationships I have even more and end up not talking to them for weeks on end.
My friends are so kind and appreciative of me and I rarely talk to them. I don't know why. I can't bring myself to say anything in our group chats. And then the more time I haven't spoken, the more I feel like I can't say anything because I have ignored them for so long. And I hate going out and socialising but I enjoy talking to people at the same time? I'm awkward and shy but once I'm into it it's fine. But I can't bring myself to do these things. This is really bad but on friday nights after work I come home and drink alcohol, I know the amount that is enough to get me feeling happy but not stumbling over words. And I just sit in my room listening to music in my bed. I really like it because I feel detached from things in that moment and I'm also much happier and nicer. I want to go out and be more social but I am so afraid it will backfire so I just isolate myself which leads to more isolation. I don't know how I still have friends.
There are times it's so bad I just go into the toilet at work just to sit by myself and I have to force myself not to cry. And when I get home from work I am always so exhausted I just go into my bed and do nothing productive. When I'm at work and have free time I even make to do lists for when I get home and I just... never do them. Sometimes fall asleep immediately until my alarm for my shower goes off and then I go and I get right back into my bed again.
And I'll get into bouts where I'm really focused and inspired and have many ideas about things and commitments to fulfil and I'm nicer to people and am feeling okay. But after a while it goes away and these things feel unfinished and that makes me even sadder, if that makes sense. Like I'll commit to doing all of these things like getting back into writing and having ideas for it, and studying mathematics because I'm doing that at uni this september and I want to get my head back in the game, and reading, and making music on my phone, or trying a new exercise routine. And they always fall flat after a week and I'm back to being sad again and not doing much. This has been happening for about 6 months. I basically can't concentrate on anything and just feel awful and insignificant and useless. And I'll do something silly at work which requires the most basic level of common sense and I just sit there and wonder how I got to this point.
I want to ask for help from a professional as my parents have shown less than indifference towards these things. I have things to look forward to but in these moments I forget that and just wish I could fast forward to a potentially better period in my life like uni or something. And I have genuinely thought if it would be better if I was just not alive because nothing is really going well. I'll be taken out of this by just remembering I have uni and other aspects of life to look forward to but it's so far away. I'm never living fully in the moment always thinking about another time to see if it's better than this.
I am worried that if I talk to my GP I'll take way too long to explain things, and if I try to shorten the amount of time I won't go into details and they will not see the importance of treatment for me. I was thinking medication would be okay but I have heard they don't work and I am also afraid of my parents finding them. I just want to feel better and be nicer and kinder to people as they deserve it but I am so tired all the time. I just want to feel okay. Therapy sounds like a better option but it costs so much and yes I can afford it but I am also saving up for so many things like uni accommodation. I feel so stuck.
I'm really sorry this is so long. If you got to this point thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to listen. I feel like because of all of the stuff that is happening I have no peace and clarity of mind. If you can show me the way, or help, or just talk, please feel free to do so.
Thanks for reading.