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Luann
Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
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I have low self esteem and I am very anxious. I tend to catastrophize.

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I have low self esteem and I am very anxious. I tend to catastrophize. I recently did so when I handed in an assignment (I'm in university studying a Master's) and thought I had unintentionally plagiarized. I started thinking that if they found out they would kick me out and that they would revoke my undergraduate degree and that I might end up in jail. I ended up talking to my professor and he had me resubmit the assignment with proper documentation, so I feel better about that now.

I'm having the same problem now but with something much more serious. Ever since I watched Dexter on TV (about a serial killer) I started worrying that I am capable of hurting people, and every so often when I'm reminded of it I start worrying about what I am capable of, and then I start thinking I might do it, and then I don't want to go near anyone because I think I'm going to hurt someone. I would rather kill myself than hurt someone but I don't want to kill myself because my family and friends would be devastated. I don't know what to do with myself. I feel like I need psychiatric help. I don't want to admit this to my family practitioner...which I think you have to do in order to get psychiatric help. Please help me!

Luann :

Hello

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

hi there

Luann :

I am sorry to hear you are feeling so anxious. I am very impressed that you recognize the irrational thoughts you are having and want to do something about it. My guess is that your self esteem or feelings about yourself are directly related to your anxiety.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

thank you for responding so quickly

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

i'm really upset with myself. what should i do?

Luann :

Treating your anxiety will help you feel alot better about yourself. You may want to see a psychiatrist to discuss medication options but I think seeing the psychologist you saw previously would be a good first step.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

oh ok

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

but can I tell her about the second part of my question - about worrying that I could hurt people?

Luann :

Also, don't be so hard on yourself. Use some of the cognitive techniques you learned before to stop being hard on yourself.

Luann :

Make an appointment with your psychologist. You may be able to treat your anxiety with counseling alone. If it looks like medication is indicated your psychologist can help you get hooked up with a psychiatrist.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX trying to rationalize with myself - that everyone is capable of physically hurting people and that doesn't mean that they will, and that i don't think I actually want to hurt people, i just get ideas in my head and then can't get them out

Luann :

Oh, and yes, tell your psychologist about your thoughts. This is all part of your anxious thinking. Be rational, have you ever hurt anyone?

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

I kicked a boy in the junk once when i was a kid

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

does that count

Luann :

OK, that was a while ago and you were a kid! Remind yourself that the thoughts about hurting someone are just part of your anxiety. The facts are that you have not acted on these thoughts and you have no desire to. It is just your anxious thinking. Have a list of other things you can think about to get unstuck. Carry the list with you so you have it at all times. Have a list of all of your strengths - you are in college, you are smart, you obviously care about your family and friends . . . carry this with you and read over often.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

ok I'll do that, thanks. And I'm going to set up an appointment asap

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

i live in canada, do you know what the process is for getting a psychiatrist here? is it through a psychologist or through a family practitioner?

Luann :

Great! You deserve to feel better. Anxiety is very treatable, you already have some skills to manage this. Use them!

Luann :

I am not sure what the process is in Canada. But I would start with your psychologist, who you can probably get in to see sooner anyway, and ask them. They will know the process.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

i'm afraid to tell my psychologist. she's going to think i'm a psycho

Luann :

You do not need to tell her first thing. Explain to her your other anxious symptoms and feelings of low self-esteem. Get to know her again and gain some trust. When you feel more comfortable and trusting, then tell her. I feel pretty confident she will not think you are psycho. I have worked with many people with anxiety who describe similar thoughts. Like you said, you get an idea in your head and you can't stop it or get it out. That is your anxiety. Your psychologist will understand.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

ok thank you so much

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

I will set up an appointment for next week if i can

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

would you say that you think I need medication?

Luann :

Maybe, maybe not. There are many factors. Work with your psychologist on that one. It is not a bad thing if you do need medication, all that means is there is a biochemical factor in your anxiety. Take things one step at a time.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

Ok, thank you.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

may i just say that I think it's great that this service is offered and you are doing a very good thing.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

I think I should be ok now.

Luann :

Good to hear! Good luck to you today and in the new year! Good bye.

JACUSTOMER-aezvhumx- :

bye!

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