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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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I feel depressed because of chilhood bullying

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Hi, I'm not english, so excuse my language.


 


20 year old. Female. During my childhood, I was severely bullied. At school and by the kids at home. They always told me that I was ugly, and asked me why I was even there. I had no friends what so ever, and they froze me out. Sometimes they pushed and hit me. I didn't have any friends until I was about 15 years old. I cried myself to sleep a lot, and even though I am not religious, I tried to pray. In the end I just liked to stay inside, play video games and such.


 


I am now 20 years old, and I have a close group of friends. But still I feel like I am worthless and ugly. I use a great deal of humour daily, and I am a very happy person on the outside. But I think all the time, so much that I can't sleep. I feel very selfconcious about how I look, and my weight and such. Even though I am not obese.


 


I feel lost, and I feel that i cannot ever be happy. That i can never be myself. That nobody will ever love me. In situations when my friends talk about boyfriends and stuff like that, I just can't contribute. I feel like if I say that I like someone, they would just think that I am such a loser because that person is pretty, and I am ugly. I often feel like just being alone, and I often think about my past.


 


I just want to know if there is something wrong with me. This is affecting my social life, even though I have friends now. I don't think I will ever be happy with who I am. And I can't see how anybody else can either. I feel like a failure.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question, I'm happy to help.

I am very sorry to hear about your traumatic childhood experiences and I can understand the tremendous impact this has had on your life. I do not think it's weird that you feel the way you do now, based on what has happened in the past. It's not uncommon for people who are bullied to experience low self-confidence, feel depressed or feel self-conscious (especially about their looks and especially if appearance was the reason for being bullied). Adolescence is the time when you're first beginning to develop a true concept of who you are and if you're bullied to this extent, it can have a severe impact on the development of self-esteem and affect your thought patterns. In many cases, the problem that bullying creates - even after it ends - is that it affects your cognitive process. In other words, it affects the way you think about yourself on the inside. Even if you know, objectively speaking, that these thoughts are not accurate, you might still feel or even believe (mentally speaking) the things that the bullies said about you. And I believe that this is what's happened to you. Because of the constant torture and belittlement, you began to believe the things the bullies said and you've internalized this so that you feel such little self-worth and, as you said, like no one will ever love you or appreciate you.

You do not have to suffer like this. What happened to you was not your fault - and you can change the way you see things and the way you interact with others so that you have more fulfilling, happy relationships, But it takes work. It's not easy to undo the damage caused by bullying, but it is possible. My advice to you would be to seek a type of therapy known as cognitive-behavioral therapy. You can read more about it here:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/MY00194

Cognitive behavioral therapists help people who have all kinds of problems, but it's especially effective for people who have problems like the ones you've described - ones that can be remedied by changing your thought patterns and improving the way you view yourself and feel about yourself deep down. I see that you are in Norway, so I am not really sure how you could go about seeking a therapist who can help, but I did find this website, which might be a good starting point:
http://www.mct-institute.com/about-metacognitive-therapy.html
You could also talk to your doctor about it, too.

I wish you luck. Please let me know if you need additional assistance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for responding, and I am sorry for not giving you a reply/rating sooner.


 


I just have a few short questions, then it will be all.


 


1. What can I do alone? I am not really in a position to pay for such therapy by myself at the moment. Even though I strongly think I need it. I have tried to hold it in for so long.


 


I really loathe the people who did this to me, and the fact that they don't understand the impact they have had on my life. I cried, I thought about ending my life and I became antisocial.


 


This makes me not trust people, and appear cold and closed off at times. My friends always joke about not having any emotions, and that they could never see me in a relationship.


 


2. Will me having therapy sessions affect the fact that my dream job is to become something within law and policework? Will they maybe downgrade me bacause there are records of me having "mental problems"? Or is this completely confidential?


 


 


I'm sorry for blabbering, but I haven't ever talked to anyone about this. And this is much easier for me, because of the lack of a "face to face" conversation. No judgement.

Hi again,

Sorry for the delay.

1. I understand your concerns - therapy is not cheap, although in some places, community centers and certain therapists will work on a sliding scale with people on a limited income (so, depending on income - some people don't have to pay at all) But I can also understand that you want to take some self-help measures on your own, and that is certainly possible. There are two fantastic books that you can look into purchasing (unfortunately, I don't know if they are translated into Norwegian, but your English is very good, so I imagine you can benefit from reading the English version too, but perhaps you can see if any translated versions of these books by these authors are available where you live) one by Albert Ellis, who invented one of the most effective forms of cognitive therapy and the other by David Burns, who is also a cognitive therapist. They are intended for people who want to help themselves and who want to change dysfunctional or negative thought patterns, so I think it would be perfect for you. I'll give you the links from Amazon.com so you can read more about them:

http://www.amazon.com/Stubbornly-Refuse-Yourself-Miserable-Anything/dp/0806527382

http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-New-Mood-Therapy/dp/0380810336/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365836414&sr=1-9&keywords=aaron+beck+depression

These books can teach you new ways of thinking and help you learn to let go of what has happened in the past.

2. I can understand your concerns. But therapy is confidential - a therapist should never, ever disclose any information about you in any case without your prior consent. You need to sign a permission form if you want your therapist to speak to anyone - they would not speak to anyone without your knowledge (the only reason they could do this is if you told them you wanted to hurt yourself or someone else (i.e. suicide, homicide) - then they need to take appropriate action.) It's the same thing as doctor/patient privilege - your doctor is not allowed to talk about your treatment or even admit that you are a patient. I looked into this online and the same policy applies in Norway.

I hope you will find one or both of these methods helpful. And you weren't blabbering :) You had some very valid concerns, and I hope I've addressed them. Best wishes.
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