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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5313
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I need some serious help. My problem has gotten completely

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I need some serious help. My problem has gotten completely out of control and i'm not sure i can cope anymore. I have this problem where I can't control my attention. I'm unable to focus on anything I need to. I'm simply unable to shift my attention away from unimportant things to fully focus on anything else. I think its a form of OCD but so much worse. I can't read, i can't engage in conversation, I simply never leave my house out of the fear it causes me. It affects every single aspect of my life. I have had this problem ever since i can remember and it has just continued getting worse. I need answers but more importantly a solution. A plan of action, medicine, anything that will free my mind of this garbage that consumes it. The last person i talked to on here gave me some book suggestions on ocd. Please don't offer me this. Its not going to help when i can't even concentrate enough to read a one line sentence without going into my head. I call it going into my head because thats exactly what happens. Its like I'm not even there sometimes. Here is one bit of info that i've noticed. Due to my condition I sometimes smoke marijuana and this seems to help my problem for some reason. I can actually focus on whats important and not the BS in my head which leaves me acting like a zombie 99% of the day. I simply DON'T CARE about anything thats not important when i'm high and I so wish this could be how I always am. I'm finally clear headed for some reason. I cannot smoke marijuana legally so this is not a solution unfortunately since its the one thing that truly gives me peace. Here is how I've described my problem to others so you can get a better understanding of what I go through everyday all day. Its like when you can't think of something and it bothers you until you either think of it, or forget about it. Well i don't ever think of it or forget about it. It stays in my head sometimes for weeks at a time. This is bad enough but it affects everything cause I can't get it out of my head. It can be anything. Something completely stupid that makes no sense will bug me forever. As I sit here and look around the room and can find 5 things right away that will bother me nonstop till other obsessions just override these 5. Its neverending and its killing me. I don't know what to do. Please help me! I need some answers. I cannot continue living like this as its just not worth it.

Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating, overwhelming, and even scary this situation must be for you. You have been very thorough with the information you've given me about what's going on and that's very good. Thank you for that.

Clearly, the situation has indeed gotten beyond self-help books and solutions. That is clear from the symptoms your report. You are getting relief from self-medicating with marijuana. That indicates that there is a strong anxiety component to the problem. It doesn't, however, tell us what the root disorder or disorders are. OCD is an anxiety disorder and I've seen people get relief from marijuana in the past with OCD as it releases the "lock" the brain gets into with the obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors.

From what you write, however, there is also a possible ADHD component to this. And you need to know that OCD and ADHD are often present together. In other words, there is a possibility that you are suffering from both of these disorders. And this would certainly account for the longevity of the symptoms. You've been compensating for this for a long time and you're thus very capable and intelligent to be able to have gone this long without getting treatment.

Even though you are so capable it really requires assessment, evaluation and treatment to get real, long term relief. The marijuana, even were it legal, only gives you the anxiety relief but not the actual treatment of the disorder(s). That's my concern for you.

At your age, I would very much like to see you have a diagnostic evaluation from someone who's very expert in these disorders, both OCD and ADHD in adults. This would be both a psychiatric and a psychological assessment/evaluation. If there is a university hospital in your area, the psychiatric department there may have the best doctors, so that's one place to look.

Another way to approach this, though, is to have a conference with your doctor specifically about these symptoms and the possible disorders we've identified. The discussion should focus on who in your area is the top psychologist in evaluation and treatment of these anxiety disorders in adults. That part is very important. There are a number of teams that work with children in metro areas. But you need someone who is expert with adults. Your doctor, then, might need to do some calling around to find out who is/are the top people in your area. That's what I would like to see most because, again, the symptoms are severe and they've been going on for a long time, which means that treatment needs to reflect this.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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