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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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I feel as if I am moving further and further away from my family

Resolved Question:

I feel as if I am moving further and further away from my family and friends. I keep loosing friends, feeling as if they wronged me in some way and my family, I feel disparaged around them. I want to go away. I never felt this way before. What's wrong with me.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for the question. You are too old to be developing a thought disorder (they tend to come on during late teens and early twenties), so let me present the other issues which could result in the behaviors/thoughts you desccribe. Oh, and i will assume that there are NO drugs or alcohol involved, as the drug cycle could absolutely be clanging the bell of paranoia and social withdrawal.

But otherwise... Here are the usual suspects:

(1) depression. As a 39-year-old woman, there are a few factors which may be driving the depression... (a) if you are not satisfied with your station in life (regarding having/not having children, spouse, money, career) (b) If you have survived trauma in childhood, and somehting has recently been tickling upon those memories, allowing them to seep back into your awareness (c) hormonal issues (thyroid or estrogen/progesterone) or (d) any changes recently that may be accumulating. Anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand, and when changes occur in life, some folks handle them more robustly than others. If you do not handle change well, then the depression may be flaring up and driving some of these thought patterns.

(2) Another possibility is that there really is something to your suspicions. If you tend to choose friends who really do wrong you or have folks who really do disparage you, then your reaction would be easily explained. Too, if you grew up in a household where your caregiveres regularly disparage you, then your tendency would be to choose friends who would repeat this pattern. This would be particularly noticable in the romantic partners you choose - they would be most prone to recharacterizing the trauma of youth.

(3) Lastly, it remains a possibility that there are some disturbances in thought within you. Your brain chemistry plays a role in shaping the underlying feelings lurking beneath the surface, and these feelings can push your thought patterns in one direction or another. If you have a history (or a family history) of bi-polarity, addiction, or thought disorders, then I may be inclined to follow this path when conducting an evaluation.

The bottoom line: if these tendencies are causing you distress in your life, then please have them evaluated. Schedule some time with a therapist who can begin the process of understanding (and ultimately treating and changing) these habits. It is impossible to accurately diagnose over the internet (of course), but I have dropped a list of the three places I would look first.

If you are satisfied with your answer, please hit “ACCEPT” so that I may receive credit. Feedback is also appreciated.


Dr. Steve

Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 7 years ago.
Hello againCustomer

I hope you might press "Accept" if you were satisfied with my response. That is the only way I receive credit for my answer!

Thank you-
Dr. Steve
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