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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 554
Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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Im 25 yr old woman I work as a medical assistant full time and I am a single mother

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I'm 25 yr old woman I work as a medical assistant full time and I am a single mother to a six yr old I have been increasingly forgetful and this is worrying me I feel so much adrenaline within myself I cannot contain it I feel like my life is so fast paced and it won't slow down I feel so incompetent so I isolate myself from my coworkers and family I am so worried about my health..I'm not sure what to do or what's going on. I am impulsive i feel irritable for no reason I just feel like I am rushing and I'm not catching a break.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Alicia. I'm a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist - I believe I can help you with your question today.

The symptoms you're describing and the way you're feeling is not so unusual based on the overall pace of your life. You're extremely busy, and it doesn't sound like you have much, if any social support, so you're handling and juggling many things around on your own. I imagine that your job is incredibly busy and stressful and being a single mom to a six year old is stressful at times (of course, it's rewarding too, but it's hard to be a mom and work full time and deal with the general stresses of everyday life on your own!).

You say you feel a lot of adrenaline circulating with in yourself - and you feel impulsive and irritable. You've basically explained the reasons for the way you feel in your question - you're too stressed, too busy, life is too hectic, and you have no support system aside from your family. You feel incompetent because you're juggling too much at once - but you're probably actually more competent and good at your job than you think. You need to schedule some time for yourself. It's not just a luxury at this point, it's a must. You're going too fast without a break, and you're right that this may take a toll on your health - in the long run, and possibly in the short-term as well. Everyone needs to practice stress management techniques to keep their stress levels under control - yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, exercise (you know, because of your profession, that exercise is one of the most beneficial ways of alleviating stress and reducing anxiety, because it promotes the production of endorphins and other neurotransmitters that can help you feel better - and it can help you get rid of some of that excess adrenaline.) I don't know the specifics of your life, but perhaps it would be possible, just as an example, to set aside an hour or two on the weekend (ask your family to watch your child, perhaps) so you can do something that is just for you. You might even choose to do nothing - or just go for a walk in nature, listen to some music, read a book - you need to do something to get your mind off the everyday "franticness" of your life. You may want to talk to someone, if it's possible - such as a counselor, psychotherapist, etc - just so you have some extra social support. Everyone needs a little bit of extra help from time to time - so even if it's on a short-term basis, you can benefit from just venting your feelings and frustrations to someone who is completely on the outside of your life. From what you've said, it doesn't seem like you're suffering from a mental health disorder, it simply sounds like you have too much on your plate, and your body and mind are signaling to you (through the feelings of irritation and impulsivity, for example) that you have to slow down, or else they are going to make you slow down (this is why a lot of people who are over-stressed become ill. I am not saying this is going to happen to you, of course, but it is important that you take measures now to get your stress levels under control.)

I realize time is not abundant in your case, but you might also want to join a single mom's support group. It can help with the stress, but it can also just be a place to talk to other women in the same situation, get ideas, have fun and just get support, which you really, really need.

You might also want to think about using a stress-relieving dietary supplement or herbs, like chamomile or valerian - and especially if you're having difficulty sleeping. Of course, you should discuss the use of any supplements with a doctor, but many people find these herbs helpful when dealing with the short-term effects of stress.

I hope this has answered your question, and I wish you luck. However, if you have any more questions I can help with, please let me know.
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
I see you've left negative feedback for my answer. Can you tell me what more you were hoping to learn? I'm more than happy to help you with this problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is much more to my story I was diagnosed with depression at 16 bc I was forced to have an abortion by ,my parents my therapist at the time wanted to Medicate me but I refused the sessions I had along with my parents really gave me no kind of relief I felt like I was reliving something so horrible so traumatic I chose to not continue on with the therapy sessions anymore after that I was drinking and smoking marijuanna I became bulimic for two years I weighed 190 n dropped down to 130 I got pregnant again at 18 my bf at the time left me I ran away from home and lived in a shelter for the rest of my pregnancy I was juggling high school and a part time job after school I saved money after and I rented an apartment gave birth went to medical assistant school with no support from family until my daughter was 1 I was living off state I was stressed and I felt suicidal but I had no one to talk to so I would write in my journal I feel like everything I suppressed in the back of my mind always creeps up on me and I have to push it awayu bc then I will feed into my emotions and remember everything that made me so sad I don't really like to talk to people face to face bc I am very nervous around people I'm scared of being judged and I was raised to not talk about what happens at home but I just feel hopeless and I'm self conscious at work bc I cannot concentrate on tasks that are given to me bc my mind is just racing with thoughts I don't like to be around people bc I like to be alone I get disstracted when I'm around people anyways I'm jittery all the time I feel nervous I just feel like I've let too many yrs pass by without some kind of therapy I'm sorry if I'm just throwing things left and right I just never talked to anyone about this and my mind is just racing I don't know how to approach people about these things so I hope u r not feeling overwhelmed with everything I am saying and I hope I'm not confusing you I just have a lot on my mind and I don't know how to organize what I say well
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,

Thanks for the chance to try again to help you in this situation. You've had such a traumatic history, and I'm glad you've provided this additional information, because it does shed some more light as to what's going on with you now. Don't worry - you're not overwhelming me with anything, but I can imagine how overwhelmed you are feeling by all of this. I am going to try to help you to the best of my ability on a site like this, but please keep in mind that it's not a replacement for in-person treatment/counseling, and that may be what's required.

That being said, I'm not sure if you are at work right now, but it sounds like you're feeling very stressed and frantic just from having to recall all of this painful information and write it down here, so I would suggest trying to slow down a bit and taking a few deep breaths. It sounds basic, but breathing slowly is important because when we feel stressed, we take shallow breaths and it can increase feelings of anxiety. I want to reassure you that I do understand and empathize with what you are sharing here and I can follow you perfectly. I do understand that you don't like to talk to people face to face due to the fear of being judged and that it makes you feel more nervous and anxious - and especially if you come from a family background where it was not acceptable to share your emotions openly. It is often easier to talk about things, especially very painful experiences, with a total stranger on a website like this than it is to talk to the people we're closest to. I want to let you know that what suggested earlier - that you try to take some time for yourself - is very important. But even more important is taking good care of yourself, and I feel that this is something you've been doing so well on your own, from such an early age, but it's catching up with you. There is only so much one person can handle on their own, and you've had much more than most people have had to deal with. You've been very strong throughout all of this. But there is no shame in asking for help. The first step, you've already done, you've reached out to Just Answer and have asked for help today, so you're on the right path.

Writing in your journal is something you might want to continue to do - I do not know if you are currently writing or if this is something you've done in the past, but you need to have an outlet for your emotions and your past experiences. I realize how painful it can be and how difficult it can be for you to talk to others about this, and believe me, I do appreciate this.

Part of what is going on is that you are like a pressure cooker. You have kept so many things suppressed for so long without really dealing with them - because you couldn't, and because you had to survive. You couldn't allow yourself to fall apart and feel the pain of all of the experiences you've undergone - because you had to live your life and make sure you could support yourself, because there wasn't anyone else there to help you. I give you a lot of credit for coming this far. But as I'm sure you know, suppressed emotions can only stay under the surface for so long. They are eventually going to find their way out - one way or the other. If you don't deal with them in a healthy way, they can manifest in other ways (some people develop unhealthy habits or addictions in an attempt to avoid what's happening, some people throw themselves into work or exercise, etc.) And I think this is all coming up now for you for a reason. Your feelings need to be dealt with. As much as you've tried (successfully, for the most part, I might add) to handle this on your own, I really do have to say that in light of all of the symptoms and emotions and experiences you've shared, the best option would be to seek counseling in person. Before you think that I might be trying to blow you off by just saying, go see a counselor, I want you to understand that I am saying this because I believe it is in your best interest. I am more than happy to talk to you about this here, but I don't believe it would provide the same healing experience that in-person therapy can provide. It's important that you make this time for yourself. You deserve to heal from all of the pain and trauma from your past, so you can move on and live a happier life - and be the best parent you can be. You're feeling hopeless and helpless and scattered because your brain can't process all of this (stress, anxiety, etc) plus the fact that you might be still suffering from depression. I can't say for sure if it's because of the abortion, the poor experience you had with your therapist from when you were younger, or other factors, (and I can't give you a diagnosis on a website without seeing you in person), but you may even be dealing with PTSD due to all of the trauma you mentioned. (You're probably already familiar with the symptoms, but just in case, you might want to review this information: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/what-are-the-symptoms-of-ptsd.shtml)

That being said, I would urge you to consider seeing a therapist in person. Even if you feel nervous, realize that a good therapist is not going to judge you. A good therapist is going to be compassionate and understanding and nonjudgmental. They can help you - at your own pace - process all of the painful events that have occurred. But it's also not something that you need to relive over and over again, either. You don't have to live in the past or let the past affect you in this way. A good therapist can help you process your feelings and experiences so they no longer have such a hold on you, as well as help you develop better coping mechanisms to help you with your day-to-day life right now.I would suggest that you think about seeing a therapist who practices psychodynamic psychotherapy. You can find a therapist in your area on this website (search for psychodynamic therapy where it says type of therapy):
http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

I do believe this will be the most beneficial form of treatment to you in the short term and the long term. It is so important to have social support, not only to help you recover from the past, but to feel connected to others so you can also feel connected to the world around you and live a happier, less-stressed life.

I do hope this helps you, but please let me know if you want to talk about it some more here. Best wishes to you.


Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 554
Experience: Specializing in mental health counseling
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