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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Is this Clinical Depression

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I think I suffer from depression. I've been suffering from it for years, because I can't even recall when or how I started feeling like this. I always feel alone and as if I were dead in life. I am really forgetful of things, and my room is always a mess. I have all these pains all over my body that I've gone to the doctor to see what they're from, and they can't answer my questions. I always get chest pain, and it feels as if I'm going to have a heart attack. I've had many tests run on me for this, and nothing comes up. I get a lot of stomach pains as well. Once, the pain was so much, I felt dizzy and threw up. My boyfriend thought I was pregnant, but I'm not. Also, I've asked to get examined, because my knees, my right knee in particular, always hurts. Sometimes, it hurts so much that I can't bend it. I also get pains on my shoulder and as of late, I get really strong headaches. I've been told that this may be associated with Clinical Depression, but I'd like to get a professional opinion on it. All my friends can sense my depression, and I feel they try to stay away from me as much as they can. When I was much younger, I did really well in school, and in high school, my grades took a dip. I've been struggling ever since. Also, it's really hard for me to land a job. I have one now, but I get obsessive thoughts about how I am not performing well and it prevents me from participating in company events. I get all kinds of obsessive thoughts, and I can not stop them. Some of them are violent, some are just memories of bad things that happened to me, and some are sexual, and they just play over and over. At times, I'm able to sleep like a baby, but most of the time, it's hard for me to sleep. I wake up often at night, and sometimes, like today, I'll sleep beyond the time I should. When I wake up at night sometimes, I start shaking and sweating. My head starts feeling very light, and my heart pounds really fast. The last time this happened to me was almost two months ago. Also, since I was in Kindergarten, I've been peeling the skin off the side of thumbs, close to the nail, and also, ever since I can remember, I've been biting the insides of my cheeks until it hurts. I've noticed as of late that I do these things as a form of relieving my stress. Something else that I do that doctors have not been able to explain: I have moments when I wet my bed. They don't occur often, in fact, they seem to occur months apart until it stops. I've done everything in the past, as indicated by my physician, but nothing has worked. It's ruining my life. I have plans of going to a psychiatrist for this, but I want to know if this is something they can help me with. I've already been to a psychologist, actually two, and they have unsuccessfully been able to target the real problems. They have targeted other issues in my life, and while they did make me feel better, in the long run, it wasn't enough. Please let me know if this is depression and what your recommendation is? Thank you.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


From reading your list of symptoms, it sounds as if you have an anxiety disorder. This an easily treatable disorder, especially with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). You mentioned that you have been seen in therapy before. If you presented with these same symptoms, you should have been diagnosed with anxiety, or a similar diagnosis. There may very well be some depression mixed in there as a secondary diagnosis but if I were to see you with those presenting symptoms, I would rule out anxiety first.


It also sounds as if you have been traumatized. As a therapist, I would also consider Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as a possible diagnosis. This disorder would cause many of the symptoms you are experiencing.


Because the nature of your symptoms is mostly physical, you should get a thorough physical workup from your doctor. You need to rule out any physical problems before you proceed to treat the symptoms as an emotional issue.


I recommend you seek out therapy again. If your first two experiences did not help, try again. Finding a good therapy experience is much like finding a good doctor, you search until you find a fit. You can ask your regular physician for a referral, or if you attend church your pastor can help. Also, your local community mental health center is a good place to find a therapist.


As for wetting the bed, one of the common causes of enuresis (wetting the bed) for adults is intolerance of high protein intake. In other words, cut down on the amount of protein you are consuming. This often helps control enuresis.


Some books that may help you are The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do to Change It by Margaret Wehrenberg and The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by William J. Knaus. Also, Conquering Bladder and Prostate Problems: The Authoritative Guide for Men and Women by Jerry Blaivas and M.D., Jerry G. Blaivas.


I hope this has helped you,




Edited by Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC on 1/17/2011 at 12:50 AM EST
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have gone to my doctor to get thorough check ups, but they can't find anything. I have already had several tests run, including blood and urinal samples and an EKG. But they found nothing. My doctors say that I'm healthy. But I still have all the pains I previously mentioned.

Then I would definitely go with the mental health treatment. It is amazing how much our minds can affect our bodies. Given the trauma you have gone through and the stress you are experiencing, your body is going to react and it will show it in the form of pain and stress symptoms.


It is a very common symptom of anxiety to have chest pains. Sometimes anxiety is diagnosed because the person presents so many times to the doctor's or the ER with chest pains. If you take a look at the list of anxiety symptoms, you will see many physical complaints as something anxiety patients mention over and over. Dizziness, pain over various parts of the body, headaches, etc are all part of the diagnosis. Treatment can include ways to help you relax and alleviate some, if not all, of these symptoms.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Do you recommend a psychiatrist or psychologist for this?

I would seek out a therapist first. It can be a master's level therapist or a psychologist (doctorate level). Both are qualified to evaluate your symptoms and provide treatment. If they feel that you need medication at this point, they can either refer you back to your doctor or to a psychiatrist for medication.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you! I will seek out a therapist then. I appreciate you taking your time to help me.

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