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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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I am an 18 year old Man from Canada Ontario. I have severe

Customer Question

I am an 18 year old Man from Canada Ontario. I have severe insecurity problems, worse then I have ever seen anyone suffering with. It stops me from being able to relax and just enjoy life in every single aspect, and it completely stops me from accomplishing anything extraordinary. I am unable to feel completely relaxed talking to anyone, even my brothers, and especially people outside my family. If acted the way I felt all the time, it would completely shut all the people in my life, out of my life.

Any work I do, I am extremely held back by my insecurity for two main reasons.
1) All I can think about is the things in my life that are at stake, such as friends because I know the only way I am not crippled by fear when talking with other people is by putting on a show. Relationships should be strong because of who you are, not what you can do, and because I feel the need to put on a show I feel like I can let the relationship slip away if I don't "perform" well enough.

2) Not only I feel inferior socially but like I mentioned earlier, I have no confidence in my abilities, even though I KNOW for a fact I am gifted in certain area's. Nevertheless, my brain refuses to let me relax and unleash my creativity in any work environment, even if it is COMPLETELY free of peer pressure. My feeling of inferiority is so strong I cannot even play a video game with confidence. I cannot be anywhere were people are without feeling like I am being judged under harsh scrutiny.

It makes me feel unmotivated to do ANYTHING except walk around alone and continually think about the positive influences and impressions I have made on people.

I DESPERATELY need a solution because life is extremely miserable with this curse. I have tried everything to boost my confidence and all has failed. Alcohol helps but it numbs too many other senses and is no where near appropriate to use in every aspect of my life. Having a good physical appearance doesn't change anything either because I know subconsciously it's about who you are and not how you appear.

I am willing to take any measure to rid myself of this problem, or at least dramatically reduce it. There must be SOMETHING that can help me..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for writing in JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
Let me ask you a few questions first.
When did this start?
Have you tried psychotherapy before?
If not, are you open to it?
Please let me know by clicking on “Reply” and I will then craft my response.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm Regards,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This first started in about grade 6, and no I have no tried psychotherapy and I may or may not try it, depending on what it is.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for your reply.

It sounds like your son may have symptoms of depression and anxiety as you feel anxious about yourself and life all the time.

However, I must point out that it's common for people of your age (age 18-25) to go through emotional distress after finishing a high school when they may start taking new adult responsibilities.

When people have depression and anxiety, they tend to interpret everything (self, others, life, and the future etc..) negatively.
It sounds like you have this tendency. Also, you feel unmotivated to do any.

I would advise you to work with a psychotherapist or psychologist in your area for psychological counseling (psychotherapy) to improve your self confidence and feel better.

First of all, you may need to see his primary care physician for a physical check-up to detect and rule out any medical condition that may cause your feelings of anxiety.

Then, if he is physically fine, you may need to see a counselor/psychotherapist WEEKLY for 3-6 months or longer.

You may have only mild symptoms of anxiety and depression. Still, you may benefit from seeing a psychotherapist even for a few months to boost your self confidence and self esteem.

You may benefit from having a Cognitive-Behavior therapy (CBT). CBT is a most effective therapy for most type of anxiety.

There are several ways to find a psychologist or psychotherapist who takes your insurance.
You can call your insurance company and get a list of providers in your area.
Or, you can search a licensed psychotherapist or a counselor on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to (http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ppc/prof_search.php?iorb=4764) and enter your city in Canada and optional category of specialty such as anxiety or life transitions. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that you want to work with – Male or female? Old or young? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So you can see it as an informational meeting. You can ask any question. You can also negotiate psychotherapy fee and number of sessions.

If you need a low fee counseling or have no health insurance, you may look for a community mental health clinic run by your city.

Additionally, you may benefit from attending a support group for teenagers or young men of your age. To find a group therapy or a support group, contact a local hospital or a clinic by asking if they offer a group for people of your age.

Also, you may try some or all of the following to feel better - 1. Exercise moderately, but regularly, 2. Eat healthy but delicious meals, 3. Regularize your sleep cycle, 4. Don't drink to excess or abuse drugs, 5. Spend some time every day in play, 6. Develop recreational outlets that encourage creativity, 7. Distance yourself from destructive situations or people, 8. Practice mindfulness meditation, or walk, or an intimate talk, every day, 9. Allow yourself to feel pride in your accomplishments, 10, Listen to compliments and expression of affection, 11. Build and use a support system, 12. Pay more attention to small pleasures and sensations.

I hope you get well with all available help.
Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You believe that I have depression and anxiety. I would agree with that. But for many reasons, I believe that neither the anxiety or depression I experience isn't anything like the typical anxiety or depression most patients have experienced.

For one: In the rare occasions when I do feel confident about myself, my depressed feelings disappear. Which makes me root the problem back to what I believe the main or only issue is, which is insecurity.

and two: I don't experience any of the unpleasant physical symptoms of depression.

As for my anxious feelings; I believe they are also rooted in my insecurity because my anxiety is always connected with a fear of beings socially rejected or unable to perform a task to my satisfaction or someone else's satisfaction, and other things closely related to those things. Absolutely, nothing else.

I could wake up lost in the middle of a forest one day and I probably wouldn't be as anxious about that as most people would be.

Another reason I believe it's just regular and a reasonable level of anxiety is because it doesn't hit me in anxiety attacks, it's something that is consistent and it is always a concern in the back of my mind, and it is always connected to the same things which i mentioned in the last paragraph.

You said that people who have depression and or anxiety tend to interpret the future negatively. To specify again the exact problem I believe I am dealing with, it seems as though I just feel negatively about myself and nothing more, I have big hopes for the future and believe it could hold promise because somehow I may change mentally with age.

I understand that it is common for adults in the age bracket (18-25) that it isn't uncommon to go through emotional distress because of the new responsibilities they must take on, but that has never made me feel overwhelmed or emotionally distressful.

I don't see how seeing a psychotherapist could improve my confidence, I don't think it's a matter of realizing that I am a person of value or that I can accomplish something, it's believing it to the very core. There are certain situation where I have even demonstrated to myself and others that I am capable of doing something, but EVEN that is not enough, I still feel to low of myself confidently do it again. of course it also depends on what it is as well. I can confidently cut the grass every week and have never had an issue feeling capable of doing such a thing. But it's always been regarding something extraordinary, even though iv proven to myself that I am capable of doing such a thing, my brain will go into continual denial telling me that I am not good enough to do something THAT great.

One thing I forgot to mention is that my mother has insecurity problems similar to mine but not as severe, my brother also has these issues but has never looked into it.

I am certainty no expert, but I believe my insecurity problems are connected to my underachieving early on in my childhood from probably grade 1 to grade 5.

And I also believe it is connected to bullying I experienced in my early childhood as well.

Perhaps I may try psychotherapy just because I am becoming desperate, but I would want to know if there is a medical treatment that could be effective with dealing with this problem because I have tried every possible way to motivate myself to feeling confident and tried many mental games, but in the end. My feelings of insecurity overwhelm me and kill my motivation, and enjoyment.

Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for waiting.
I understand what you meant. You don't have clinical anxiety and depression that may need treatment as you don't have anxiety and depressed feelings all the time. You don't have physical symptoms and anxiety attacks. You are not "anxious" person generally.

You describe your issue as "insecurity." You also talked about some social anxiety because of feelings of insecurity.
Yes, many people of your age may have a sense of insecurity.
However, if such feelings keep you from focusing meaningful activities for yourself (e.g., making new friends, going out with people, and trying out new things or focusing your interests etc..), this problem may have to be worked on with or without an expert - such as a licensed counselor/therapist, a life coach etc...
Psychotherapy may not solve your problem. But, you can TRY it.
Also, you may simply need to start something new in your life.

Yes, your past experiences like watching your mom's insecurity, grade school experience, and being bullied by a peer may have negative impact on your feelings about self...
Psychotherapy and counseling may help you to process your feelings associated with your past experiences, let go of your old feelings and change your beliefs/thought patters about yourself etc...

I also would recommend the book AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN by Robbins to you to boost your self-confidence.

Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Feel free to continue with discussion.




Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience: PsyD Psychologist
Dr. Olsen and 6 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand that not all psychological problems can be fixed and I strongly believe this is one of them. But it sounds like you have recommended the best option you could think of.

Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome.
Feel free to ask me a question if you have.
All the best,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Doing alright, I didn't benefit much from the therapist i talked to but I
eventually stumbled on the program "Mind Master" which is miraculously
inserting positive affirmations into my subconscious. I noticed a huge
difference just in the first half an hour of using it. It can only get
better from here on, hopefully.

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