I've had some long standing problems with my mental health. Because of this, I suspect that I have some sort of mood disorder or psychological problem that needs to be resolved.
I've gone through long sporadic bouts of depression since I've been about 10 years old.
I at the very least have some serious social anxiety, which to be honest is very reminiscent of Selective Mutism. I am not by any means comfortable around any of my peers, and though I can speak, I feel incredibly isolated and alone, as even something as simple as trying to do work in groups with minimal talking is like pulling teeth.
I filled out this "My Mood Monitor" online screening test, which seems to be somewhat reputable...
(Validated from a research team at the University of North Carolina, and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) according to a quick look on wikipedia)
According to it I have a 90% chance of having depression and/or a 90% chance of having an anxiety disorder.
Now, I hate to base this off an online test, but I have serious trust issues and the only way I can get myself to go to for help is an anonymous source.
I'm on edge and irritable all the time, and when I'm not I'm a space cadet lost in the dark reaches of the void.
I'm tired of feeling like I'm a prisoner in my own mind.
The idea of getting help in person is absolutely mortifying to me, but obviously something needs to be done. This isn't healthy.
What course of action should I take about trying to get a proper diagnosis, and maybe a little relief?
I think it is a good idea to get an assessment. It sounds as though mood and anxiety symptoms have had quite an impact on your life already.
If you have a primary care doctor, one good starting place would be talking to him or her and getting a referral.
You want to go see a good psychologist or psychiatrist. You want to find someone who will do a complete assessment and take the time to review gather all the information that they need to in order for you to feel comfortable with a diagnosis. Ideally this process should be collaborative - I often find it helpful to have the patient do some reading between visits about various disorders so that both of us feel that the diagnosis is right.
It may be a good idea to try and talk to your parents about what is going on. You would be the best judge as to whether or not that could work for you. If you are in a family with severe dysfunction - it may not be the best choice, but if your parents are relatively normal for parents chances are they already know there is a problem but just don't know how to help.
The scariest thing about your first visit will probably be the anxiety beforehand, once you are in there it will be easier. I cried through my first appointment, blubbered, and they took it in stride and still managed to get out of me what was wrong. After that it was easier. I was in my 30's when I finally got help. I wish I would have gotten help earlier. It made have prevented some pretty big problems.
If you can't get help in terms of professional help there is a book called "Feeling Good" by Dr. David Burn. I'd get the old version - it is yellow. I find it an easier read than the newer one and it is about $10 cheaper. The new version is good too. I just go back to my first edition as I find it easier to follow. It is really good and has helped me a lot with my anxiety and depression.
Good luck. I hope you take the risk to get the help you need.
I have the EXACT same issues, seriously. I have eratic sudden mood swings, severe depression. I dont trust anyone, I never feel like I'm good enough, I have really bad anxiety, crippling fear, phobias, I also isolate myself from everyone. I just feel like no-one understands the misery that's in my head constantly, ALL my family members have abandoned me my mother left me for dead when I was 15 im now 22 and havn't spooken to her since. My father was a severe and violent alcoholic he had chemical imbalances,depression,bi-polar disorder. I just really need some help also, I feel your pain honestly.
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