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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2180
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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am a 33 year old female who suffers from chronic insomnia and

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am a 33 year old female who suffers from chronic insomnia and depression around the same time every year usually the winter. Lately I noticed that my concentration is extremely poor, I lose things all the time or put them places I never find, I have a hard time concentrating on what I am learning in school or reading text at times, I have a poor self image. I often talk to people in a low voice and mispronounce my words or slur my speech. I would sometimes be in the same pissed off mood for weeks sometimes I would feel that I have little control over it or aware of why I would do it. I like to be low key and private at all times not a easy thing to do. At times lately I would act childish in public this prompted a couple people to look at my ID (which was very embarrassing for me). Frequently worried about the safety of my driving because of the sleep, sometimes I am paranoid of people what I watch on tv and generally distrustful.

My memory is pretty poor I would read something three times and not grasp what is being said. When i talk to people it gives me a great anxiety, the blood would rush to my face and my heart would race. I avoid social situations and prefer to hang out with my immediate family. I am currently in school struggling to keep up I recently had a major depression bout were I would not get out of bed, missed classes, didn't sleep for sometimes weeks. I have financial concerns. The past week I have been trying to do catch up and I feel overwhelmed because of my concentration.

Lately, to fight this I have been taking long walks and doing some moderate exercise , I have been trying to get my sleep back to a normal schedule. I take Trazadone, it has been helping me sleep lately I am happy with it. I also take Colazepam to help with the anxiety it has been helping to relax me. However I still feel that my concentration level is extremely poor and often feel empty in social situations. This is a concern for me is there any suggestions that you recommend as far as a medication or program? I want my life back but I realize that it is going to take time.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA.
Can you give a little background about your functioning in elementary, middle and high school years....concerning social and concentration especially.
Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
I will give you my thoughts and if you respond I will say more.

You need to be evaluated through a complete psychological evaluation to get a proper diagnosis which will inform regarding proper medication. Then a psychiatrist should be consulted for this medication. The diagnosis that came to mind when I read your post were Bipolar Disorder, Asperger Syndrome (AS), Major Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The reason I asked about childhood is because symptoms of AS and ADHD must be present in childhood to be diagnosed. The reason why correct diagnosis is important is because the treatment (medication and programs) would be different depending on diagnosis. So with a little more information, I might be able to give you some suggestions (not a diagnosis) but some general information about medication.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry I just wrote my answer twice and was cut off twice so I am going to try again.

I am the youngest of four children, my parents are both from Ireland. My father was a carpenter he is now retired my mother took care of four children. I am pretty close to my family we talk all the time. I currently live 40 miles away from them in a different state I am pursuing my Graduate Degree in Teaching. Regardless I still visit them on the weekends.

In Elementary school I was average but not particularly motivated, I would be Bs and some C. I was better in English than Math. I was somewhat of a day dreamer in classes but I still managed to do my work. I would have maybe one or two close female friends and then I would do play time around my neighborhood. I would read books often.

Middle School was pretty much the same as elementary as far a motivation I had a couple of friends. I was a little sensitive to being teased although not too often but I would tend to take things that people said personally.

Highschool I was an advarage student I would do well in subjects such as English and Social Studies particularly if I found the material interesting. I read a lot of books particularly classical literature and enjoyed philosophy and psychology. I also enjoy writing. I think that I didn't particularly enjoy school because it was not interesting to me but I really regret not doing well all around. I was often late to my high-school, I think one year it was like 65 times. I also went to a Catholic school my whole life even a catholic college for my BA I think that that was my mothers choice.

Right now I am in a graduate program for teaching I am doing my Clinical I which requires me to observe a teacher and attend three complimentary classes. Even though I have a good GPA I feel lost this semester and a little overwhelmed mostly because I was not mentally prepared for this semester. I realize that there is a hell of a lot of things I still need to learn because I forgot or blanked out. I am having doubts.

Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Oh no the same thing just happened to me...how frustrating.

Here goes again.

There are some subtle things in your childhood history which still makes me wonder about Asperger Syndrome. I would suggest that you read this book and see what you think: http://www.amazon.com/Pretending-Be-Normal-Aspergers-Syndrome/dp/1853027499

It is also possible that ADHD is the problem: Here is an adult ADHD questionnaire:
http://webdoc.nyumc.org/nyumc/files/psych/attachments/psych_adhd_checklist.pdf

Although, they are present in childhood, the ADHD symptoms often become more apparent when adults return to school. The treatment is a psychostimulant such as Ritalin or Adderall.

Having the above struggles can also lead to depressed mood or even major depressive disorder. If this is the case, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication is recommended.

SO my recommendation above still stands, that is, a complete psychological evaluation to help sort out your complicated situation. In this format, it is not possible to diagnose. Therefore my comments are for informational purposes only and to give you a direction. I hope I have done that....Good luck

Please feel free to ask for clarification.
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2180
Experience: 35 years experience counseling children and families
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