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Inability to Take Care of Self
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Inability to Take Care of Self

I'm seventeen, and I'm diagnosed with Anxiety with Obesessive Features and Major Depressive Disorder. I take lamitrogine (Lamictal) at 200 milligrams and fluoxetine (Prozac) at 55 milligrams. For several years now, I've been having trouble taking care of myself - things like brushing my teeth, eating, showering cleaning my room, doing chores without specific instructions to do so each time. I'm not anorexic, although my friends are beginning to think that I might have an eating disorder NOS. It's gotten so bad that I'm anemic, and I don't know what to do. I feel like I've tried everything to fix this, but I always feel like I'm wasting time that would be better spent working on school stuff or screwing around on the Internet, even though I know that I can't enjoy myself or work efficiently without doing those things. Anyone worked through similar problems or know where I might get help? I'm almost an adult, and I won't have the luxury of relying on others anymore.
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You need to see your doctor and let him know what is going on. Are you too tired to take care of yourself, or is it just that you dont want too? It could be depression if you are feeling like you dont want to. I was on my own at a very young age so had to learn quickly how to do everything for myself. You are right that you wont have people taking care of you all the time and will have to take responsibility. You need to get in and be checked out if you are not even eating properly. Tell them everything and hopefully they will find a way to help you
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I totally agree with Alison!
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I can relate to you. Have you brought these things up with your psychiatrist or doctor? This would be the first and most important step. A simple medication change may be the answer. Some of the things you are describing are similar to Major Depression and perhaps you need a higher dose of your medication. I'm interested in the eating disirder NOS. I'm a recovering anorexic, for one year now. Could malnourishment be an issue. Is your weight where it should be? At your age, as much as we tend to deny it at that age, nutrition and weight do make a big difference in mood and our ability to do things. What you are describing also gives me concern that perhaps there is another psychiatrixc issue going on. Have you ever been tested for anything else such as schizophrenia, Bipoler, etc? It does sound like either way, you are somewhat depressed and you do need to talk to your doctor. It does not sound like the medications you are on are effective at this time, at 17, you should be able to function better and have fun, like 17 year olds do! However, remember 17 can be a hard age as this is a transition age. What I also suggest is that you ask your school counselor or doctor about information for you to get mental health services when you are 18, so you can prepare yourself for that transition. There are plenty of free or low cost services out there. You could even start to apply for Social Sercurity Income and get on Medi-Cal insurance. Either way, your county should have programs for free mental health services for adults, and your school counselor or doctor sghould know about these. I suggest you start to get prepared now so you have a plan. I also suggest you see your doctor as soon as you can as you want to get stabilized before you turn 18 and are on your own, and the sooner you see your doctor, the sooner he/she can start trying to adjust your medications to hel[p you. What might also help is journaling a little every day describing what you did, and how you symptoms inpaired you from doing the things you wanted to do. This may aid your doctor in knowing whats going on. When you go to your doctor, tell him/her all that you posted here and any other symptoms you may be having. I trully hope you get help soon, and please, keep us updated! Good luck and best wishes :)

Sara RN
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I see my doctor/psychiatrist/therapist (all of whom are female, by the way), regularly, and bring all this up. I'm not too tired, and I do want to. Something I say all the time is that whatever is "too much like work."
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Bipolar is a diagnosis that we've flirted with, and my psychiatrist is thinking about it. I don't really get manic, though. I probably have some nutritional deficiencies other than the previously mentioned anemia, but my weight is within healthy range (I started on the very high end of healthy). I know that food makes a huge difference in mood, etc, but I still can't get things done. I'm having lots of other problems at home, and it's hugely important that I be ready to live on my own the minute I turn eighteen. Also, I was a straight A student until the second semester of my freshman year, when I got very sick. My self-esteem never recovered from not having straight A's, as I've always defined myself by my grades, and my physical health still isn't great, either. I assume Medi-Cal is some California thing? I don't live there. My family was homeless in middle school, so I'm very familiar with social services.
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I used to always define myself by my grades as well, but also by my looks and by my perfectionism. That set me up for eating disorders amd failure later on. When I went through my mental crisis at 15, I went from staright A's to almost failing my classes as well, so they put me pn home school. Mental health issues, especially depression/the lows of bipolar, can definitely affect they way we study and concentrate. I think Medi-cal is the same as Medicaid in other states. If you're familiar with social services, they can be a great resource in setting you up with services for when you turn 18, so you don't have to worry about paying to see a therapist, psychiatrist, or for your medications. Considering you;re already on meds now, can you talk to your doctor about your troubles and ask to try another medication or changing doses? Can you ask about how you could get involved with a free therapist? When reading the behaviors you describe, I think they could be a medication related issue. Do you remember when they started and if they started after a traumatic event or some kind of change in life? Have you tried any other medications that have worked for you? These are the kind of questions you should think about before your next appointment. Also, if you have a free medical doctor, it might not be a bad idea to schedule an appointment just to have regular bloodwork done to ensure there aren't any other health issues going on that could affect the way you are feeling. Talk to social services if you need help finding a free doctor. Let us know how you are doing and keep in touch. Again, I wish the good luck and send the best of wishes :)

Sara RN
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I already have a therapist, but thanks. I used to home school, but my parents' lifestyle no longer accommodates having children. Especially annoying cuz Dad's having another kid. Have considered online school (it's free here in WA) but didn't go with it. If I don't get full credit in 50% of my classes, I'll probably have to switch. I'm on my psychiatrist's to-call list, but she doesn't have any openings til March. As for the traumatic events, I don't really remember a time when I didn't do this - but it was cute ten years ago, not debilitating. Ex-housemate of my family's thinks that I do this because it was the only way to get attention from my parents. Also says that when I was living with my parents I "looked more haunted with each passing year."
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Similar circumstances, just in my 30's. I got sick. That and other things affected my self-esteem, and what I valued about myself - my intelligence. Ended up where you are, malnourished, unable to care for myself, unable to care about myself, the time just flying by surfing the web or watching crappy TV. Friends intervened and I chose to go to the psychiatric hospital for 9 days.  Best part was that there, I could really let go. People were paid to take care of me, I didn't have guilt or strings attached. My mind cleared.  Don't be afraid of this option.
DAILY: keep moving forward. Pick one thing you can commit to accomplish and do it, everyday, like making your bed.
FOOD: buy a case of Ensure. It's easy to drink without thinking about it, and as your physical health improves, so will your mental health.
Good luck and keep moving forward, every day.  
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Who's precribing your meds if not your psychiatrist, your regular doctor? Well, March isn't too far away. Have you ever talked to your therapist about how your environment affects how you feel about yourself? I know when I was younger and a teen I was completely depressed and dependent on my mom and it was a very toxic and unhelathy relationship. Now that I'm on my own I'm a responsible and productive member of this society. Just 1-2 years ago I was a suicidal anorexic mess. I was so scared of doing things by myself or often didn't know how because they were always done for me. Also I was often too depressed to do the things normal people would do or to OCD to figure out how to do them. On top of that I was living in a completely toxic environment. I had to not only get out of the house, but get out of town to get away from that place! Once I was literally dropped off in a new city, I was forced to do basic things for myself like finding an appartment for starters. And then the depression started to be lifted as I learned that I was capable of doing these basic things all along, it was really my environment holding me back. This may or may not be the case for you. i was just wondering if you had spent any length of time away from your parents and how that went. How are you doing now? Have you made any calls about looking into getting insurance when you're 18? Just know that I'm still sending good thoughts you're way and sending you my best wishes. Take car of yourself, :)

Sara RN
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