How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Heidi LPC Your Own Question

Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 234
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Heidi LPC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Worried about my mental health.

Resolved Question:

So I'm 19 and I've been having a pretty rough couple days. I see a pshychatrist regularly, and he has told me what I have been going through is just Anxiety/OCD and that I need to change my thinking patterns. I havn't been able to accept that, I am always searching my symptoms online and convincing myself that I either am Bi Polar, or have Schizophrenia. Even though I know I dont.. I do not hear or see things, and I've been worrying that I have been going to for months. And for Bi Polar, I know I am not because as soon as I stop thinking about these thoughts I feel much better and get spurts of happiness. The main symptoms I suffer from are Derealization & Depersonalization. These sensations feel so weird, and make everything around me look forign and unreal, and also make me feel like I'm loosing tocuh with reality. They scare me SO much. It's the weirdest sensation, I can't even explain it. They get better when my Anxiety goes down, but when I have major Anxiety I feel completely trapped in my own mind, In a brain fog, and I especially feel like when this happens that I am going to completely loose it and go crazy. The sensations frustrate & upset me.. But I have heard I just need to accept them for them to move on. As I write this, I feel so emotionless. Just blah. I feel down in the dumps and dont feel like doing anything at all. For the last 24 hours I have felt like I'm going crazy and about to loose it at any second. I know that this is a classic symptom of Anxiety, but it feels so real. These sensations bring me down completely, but I know if I could just change my thought pattern I would feel much better. I just can't accept that this is "just" Anxiety..

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Heidi LPC replied 1 year ago.

Heidi LPC :

Hi there! I can feel your frustration in your question, and I wonder a few things; maybe you can fill me in on the answers first and then I can offer my thoughts? First: what type of treatment were you getting with the psychiatrist? Have you tried CBT (cognitive-behavior therapy)? Or did he prescribe any medications? Also, have you had a full physical; for instance, is there anything about how you feel that would suggest something physical, like seizures or such? And last, have you suffered any trauma/abuse/etc. in your past? Once you share more information, I will check back and offer some ideas... :-) Looking forward to hearing back from you!!


 


 

Heidi LPC :

p.s... I will be on and offline throughout the evening; if I don't answer right away tonight, I will get back to you as soon as I can tomorrow!! Thank you for your question!

Customer:

I am going to try CBT very soon, but right now I am becoming very busy as school is starting & also very busy at work. I have had a full physical. Acctually, before all these worries about my mental health started, I was worrying about my heart & that I would have a heart attack. Thankfully, those fears passed but left me with other fears as I have stated before. I have not suffered from any abuse/trauma in my life. Although, my mother has OCD ( I am adopted, not related to her ) and it has been pretty hard living with her throughout my life because of the way she acts, it's upsetting sometimes.

The psychiatrist I am currently seeing, has known me pretty much my entire life. My mom used to work for him back in the day. My parents, friends, and also psychiatrist of course, are pretty certain that what I am going through is nothing more than my mind creating these thoughts and me reacting to them. I have been told that in order for these weird sensations to go away, I shouldn't react to them.. But it's kinda hard not too, haha.


 

Customer:

 


 

Customer:

I


 

Customer:

 


 

Customer:

I


 

Heidi LPC :

Ok... I see what you are saying. Are you taking any anti-anxiety meds at the moment?


 


 


 


 

Customer:

Nope, I am not. I don't really like taking meds. I would rather get through this myself rather than having to take medication preferably


 

Heidi LPC :

Yes, understandable. Well, let me offer my thoughts here: You were taught, and your mom modeled through her OCD type behavior, that the world is a scary place. You have absorbed her view and are now reacting with fear. Simple fear... probably wanting to be in control of most things and situations, creating thoughts in your mind of what might go wrong, etc... and reacting to it all mentally and emotionally in a negative fashion. Does this ring any bells for you?


 


 

Heidi LPC :

And, also, one more question, what types of things have you tried to gain control over your body's physical sensations/reactions to stress? Have you been working out or doing any other physical exercise?


 

Customer:

Rings a bell somewhat, she is pretty severe though. I don't find myself wanting to be in control of most things or situations, I love letting things play out because that's the way it is supposed to be. and I don't believe I am anything like my mother at all. Also, I don't find myself wondering about if things will go wrong. I just worry about my mental well-being. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a very happy person and have many things going very good for me right now. I have an great girlfriend of almost two years, chasing my dreams for the future, school, and also sports. I just don't really know how to deal with these sensations and fears.


 

Customer:

And yes I am very active in sports. I workout daily & am on crew in college


 

Customer:

I can just tell, If I changed my thinking, most of these fears/sensations would disappear


 

Heidi LPC :

This is good news! The sensations you are experiencing, if any physical issues have been ruled out, are probably simply the physical manifestations of stress, which with a few steps that you can take to learn stress management, can be dealt with quite easily. What is stopping you from changing your thinking?

Heidi LPC :

Here is some great info from Dr. Larry Camaratta:


For me, the key to self-mastery lies in practicing mindfulness on a daily basis.


Daily mindfulness practice reorients body and mind to anchor deeply to the present moment. Here are my suggestions for enjoying a daily mindfulness practice that will help move you in ten mindful steps to a place of self-mastery, and reduce your stress significantly:


Step 1: Realize that life is only found in the present moment, so when you find yourself stressing about the past or future, or something is distressing to you in your current life, allow yourself to say “STOP” to activities of the mind and body, and “return to the present moment, the only moment where life is found.”


Step 2: Observe the breath going in and out of your body, noticing other thoughts, feelings, sensations, distractions as just temporary mental formations, and return again to the breath.


Step 3: Observe the body and allow the breath to go to any tight or tense places to nurture and partner with that part of the body that may be in distress.


Step 4: Practice non-judgment and gentle compassion to yourself and the temporary images, feelings, thoughts, and sensations of mind and body. When you do this, you are de-centering, which means you are seeing yourself as bigger than temporary present moment difficulties or worries about the past, present, or future.


Step 5: Allow for both healing and distress to be together peacefully, just toggling back and forth and seeing that both can co-exist at the same time. Healing begins to take care of the distress in no time!


Step 6: Bring metaphor to your present moment experience. For example, you can imagine yourself as a loving parent or friend bringing kindness, love, and patience to what is a fragile and distressing part of your present moment experience.


Step 7: Observe, notice, observe, notice. When you practice observation or noticing instead of judgment, you can just watch, notice, and witness, and not become overwhelmed and victimized by any distress.


Step 8: Allow yourself to notice the healing aspects of your present moment experience little by little, as you gently allow yourself to notice what is pleasant in the here and now. Examples can include thinking about a loved one, enjoying aspects of nature, reciting a prayer or meditation, enjoying your breath, the gift of life, and creation.


Step 9: Move closer to self-mastery by going towards, and not away from what is distressing so you are noticing how you are able to better self-regulate and withstand distress; notice that you are more empowered than you think and can handle anything, just allowing distress to dissipate gradually over time.


Step 10: Notice the neutral things in your present moment experience and transform what is neutral or distressing into something very nurturing. Examples include experiencing gratitude as you are taking a shower, brushing your teeth, taking out the trash, sweeping the floor, eating a meal, or the non-toothache. Thich Nhat Hanh, a famous Buddhist monk who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in the 1960’s by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., shares that an awareness of what is not hurting you or causing you irritation in the present moment, can deepen your enjoyment of the present moment, and allow you to live life more fully and deeply in the present moment.


As you practice the ten mindful steps to self-mastery and lessen all forms of distress in your life with daily practice, you will begin to enjoy life at a deeper level, have more fulfilling relationships, develop better boundaries around what is distressing and feel empowered in your life.

Customer:

I wish I knew, I just find myself is a cycle. I worry about it, then the sensations appear. I have days that are great where I don't worry at all and I just feel so fresh and relieved. But then I'll just think out of nowhere.. "What if this is something more?" and it starts all over again


 

Customer:

Keeping busy really, really helps I can say that. And being outside around friends/people. When I'm alone my mind tends to wander & google symptoms and convince myself I have something more.


 

Customer:

Thankfully, I have alot of great friends and I'm outside alot and I'm in great shape/athletic. If I didn't, I don't know what I would do


 

Heidi LPC :

What if's are simply fear; ask yourself what the probability is that you are just stressed and need to learn to master your physical feelings of stress? "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Remind yourself that you are safe, healthy, and change the channel in your mind immediately from the fear channel to a channel that makes you feel happy and safe. The channel-changing activity has helped many, many people to gain mastery over their own created fears.


 


 

Heidi LPC :

Exercise stimulates the flow of "happy" chemicals: endorphins, serotonin, etc... that your body has a natural reserve of. Anti-anxiety, antdepressant meds, etc, are simply used to increase serotonin levels, but you can help your body create more naturally.

Customer:

Yeah I agree. I'm sure the probability is very high, SO many people have told me that what I am experiencing is just Anxiety/OCD. But, I always find myself not convinced. It sucks. From now on I'm going to try and not worry so much, also use the steps you gave me


 

Heidi LPC :

And here is a great article that offers many helpful ideas, as well... http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_self_help.htm

Customer:

Thank you so much for the steps/article. I am definitely going to use them. You gave me more confidence that what I am going through is acctually just Anxiety and that I'm not going crazy or loosing my mind. I have to stop looking up other Illnesses thats for sure


 

Heidi LPC :

It is a simple choice to begin changing that channel. Life is filled with uncertainty. But, we have the power within to stay in the moment, don't think ahead or behind, and allow yourself to feel stress (college is stressful!) but to know what to do to relieve the symptoms. You sound intelligent and well-balanced... don't focus on what might go wrong!! Focus on what might go RIGHT!! ;-)

Heidi LPC :

I have two college-aged daughters and went through those years, myself. Learn what you can about stress-management. Search the web, and take time to release the stress chemicals in physical activity rather than brooding. I wish you all the very best! You WILL get through this!

Customer:

Your completely right, and sooo many things are going right in my life right now. I just need to focus on them. I know deep down I will be alright, I guess I just need some reassurance at times. Thank you so much for all of this :-)


 

Heidi LPC :

I am happy to be of service; hang IN THERE!! ;-) And, have some FUN!! :-)

Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 234
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
Heidi LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions