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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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About a year ago I went to a psychiatrist to try and find

Customer Question

About a year ago I went to a psychiatrist to try and find out why I was "feeling the way I did and having different thinking/thoughts"(about 7yrs now). He said I had depression/mild depression. So I did a lot of reading about how to deal with it/treat it. I will not take anti-depressant meds or what I like to call them "suicide pills". I also read about other mental diseases such as bipolar, schizoid, and aspergers disease. What could be the chance that I have 1 or more of these along with depression? Here's somethings that I do or don't do. I really don't talk to anybody except at work and when I leave I go home and stay inside. I don't like to be around people but sometimes I really want to talk to someone. I don't like to mow my grass because I don't want my neighbors to see me but I will shovel snow everyday regardless if they see me or not. I like to help people, but sometimes I go to far and make them hate me for it or they don't want it or they won't ask. I don't "care" about people, like if someone dies,and what makes me feel bad is that I don't care when I know I should. My only paranoid thought is: if I think about something hard enough, somebody can read my mind. There are some other things, but I thought this might give a starting point. I don't want to go back to the pyschiatrist because I found this more frustrating and unhelpful then helpful. What would be the best way to tell some of these people that I turned against me about why I make them not like me. I did this today with a exco-worker I hadn't seen in 6yrs. Any good advice?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

Have people ever suggested to you some of your ideas, solutions to problems, or thinking is somewhat eccentric or odd----not 'crazy' or unbelievable, but simply very odd or quirky? Or do you sense that many people probably find your conversations with them fairly uneventful, even a bit bland or boring? How do you see yourself in these social conversations?

I sense your moods are quite stable and generally somewhat subdued or low? Is this accurate i.e., you don't really ever feel much in the way of great excitement or get the excited and tense feelings other people do, such as watching a suspenseful mystery move? And you tend to not cry easily?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
lt;p>About the ideas part-Not really. Most I would say fall into the normal(close to other peoples ideas) category with some going a little extreme. Like if I have biased opinion on a subject, then I do hit it harder so to say. I would say yes a little bit on the "nothing special or exciting conversation" but sometimes I come up with really good ones that turn heads and people are like"wow you know about that". I try and go with the flow. If I know about the topic I'll give my input and if I don't, then I'll try to ask some ?'s or just stay out of it. </p><p>I would say I'm subduded or pretty laid back. I don't get excited about much of anything. I think I'm empty or hollow when it comes to excitement. </p><p>Crying is something that comes real easy at times for odd reasons. Example-when my excoworker told me today that "I need to leave right now" and then txted me saying that"I don't like stalkers and if I ever call or txt her again she'll call the police and have a restraing order put on me". That hurt. It wasn't all out crying, it was a couple tears here and there. I guess what made it bad was I hadn't seen or talked to her in 6yrs. We'd been txting a little bit the last couple months. I went outta state to see some friends and told her I only had a week out there to try and meet up with her. I sent 3-4txts and called 1-2 times with no reply. I knew where she worked so I stoped by before I left to give her a card and an appology letter. I knew I shouldn't go but I did. Then I was told to leave. She sent me the txt about getting together to catch up on things. That really bother me and honestly I had the thought of pushing the bus window open and jumping out doing 65. I would never do anything like that, but the thoughts like that seem to bring down or relax me out of my bad state. I don't know if this will help, but I feel I have a lot of anger inside and I don't know from what. I either sit on it or focus it to accomplish some type of goal. I might say something I shouldn't, but I don't break things or direct it toward people. i would be afraid if I did.</p>
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
I want to continue with a few more questions, if I may. Do you find minor changes that occur in your life troublesome to deal with? For example, do you find that you are bothered more than other people at work when they change something or bring in a rule or procedure that disrupts the way you have done things in the past (i.e., do co workers have an easier time adjusting to these changes than you do?). Do you have a series of actions or rituals that you tend to follow everyday, so that if they are interrupted, you become distressed inside? Or if something breaks down such as an appliance in your home, does it cause you a great deal of worry and distress, even when you go off to work?

Do you have any hobbies that are extremely rare or atypical. One guy I knew for instance, traveled about England with the sole purpose of creating a collection of photographs of short wave radio antennas people had built on their property or roof tops. He found the variety of designs fascinating and this was his 'top' hobby. Now, I've never heard of anyone electing this as their main hobby before, so it is quite rare or atypical.

I will await your response................
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No. I deal with changes alright. I might question the reason for the change. Like when we do something (at work) for years one way then outta nowhere it changes. I'll do it from day 1, but sometimes I'll forget about the change and then go "crap I forgot to do that". I think my only daily ritual would be leaving for work at 5:00. If I leave at 5:01, I consider myself to be late even though I have 20-25 minutes before I can start work. Being on time is a big thing to me. I hate being late. I do get a little tense when there's the chance that I'll be late. Things that happen at home pretty much stay there. I might keep it in the back of my mind and think about it here and there when I have a chance, but I don't stress it unless it's something that costs more money then I have. But that doesn't even really worry me. i take it as it is. No on the odd hobbies.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.

You may have symptoms of what is called a personality disorder. You would appear be be above average in intelligence, but at 31 years of age, you haven't had much success forming or maintaining intimate relationships. This is one key point---though you would like to have such relationships, they don't seem to pan out or really last. For me, this is usually an important hint that the person may have a personality disorder or a mixed disorder. Therefore, I concur with the path you suggested in your first post e.g., you have read about these already to some degree. Therefore, I'm sure you've discovered on your own that there are about 10 formal ones and 4-5 others under research consideration). But what you may not know about personality disorders is that the formal designations of individual personality disorders is quite a 'mess' in psychiatry. This assertion is supported by lots of indirect evidence. For example, it is well known that few people with an apparent personality disorder actually meet all of the diagnostic criteria for any one disorder. They show a sort of 'mixed' disorder---1-2 features from several different' formal disorders. Alternatively, they show either very mild features of one or more disorders or don't fully meet the diagnostic criteria for any one disorder. So such personality problems are usually classified under something called Personality Disorder NOS or Not Otherwise Specified.

My hunch is that you may have one of these mixed types that could involve 1-2 mild features of several disorders---probably not enough for a formal disorder designation, but enough to cause you some difficulty in your social relationships; Consistent with what you have suspected, I would focus a formal evaluation with you on a number of personality disorders, with the hypothesis that you have a mixed type e.g., avoidant, schizoid, schizotypal personalty disorders. You mentioned Aspergers, and interestingly, this came to mind for me as well; but given your several posts to me, I doubt you fit criteria for Aspergers very well.

I think you are bright enough to benefit more than most people from psychotherapy, either individual or particularly group psychotherapy. I think you would find social feedback, and being able to provide input into other peoples' problems within a group psychotherapy setting to be quite interesting and helpful to you.

Let me pause here and solicit your feedback. I want to assess whether I am addressing your question adequately.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
you're following my question great. From what I read and like you said, I noticed I have a couple traits from many disorders. That made it hard for me to narrow down a solution to solve my problem. What would be a good way to explain this to people. Like why I push people till they want nothing to do with me. You're giving me some good answers about this and I hope to find away to "control" the way I do things.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.

You can't explain much of anything to people unless you have a very good understanding of your actions yourself. By this, I'm suggesting that you are plenty smart enough to be able to monitor your thinking and feeling states at those moments you want to push people away. I want you to pull back just a moment and monitor what you are feeling, and what you might be saying to yourself immediately before you push people away. Are you feeling threatened? Are you feeling anxiety? Are you worried they might reject you and so you push them away first, to control when and how you separate? Are you feeling frustrated and want to be alone---to just have peace and quiet in the moment?

So you are monitoring your feelings. Next, what is the OUTCOME you hope to achieve by your behavior---in this case, pushing people away.

Once you figure out what you are feeling and are pretty confident that your emotion reactions follow a pattern, and you know what the outcome is you expect when you react to your feelings (through a behavior, such as pushing people away), you are now in a position to explain it to others, if you wish. THEN, the next step is for you to learn more about how your behavior comes across to other people---how it impacts them. Because if you feel an emotion, react to it and expect an outcome, and then people who experience your actions interpret it very differently than you intended, you have a real problem on your hands. It is this discrepancy between your intended actions, and how people interpret them, that could be contributing to your isolation and lack of intimate relationships.

I hope this information is helpful to you. I believe a clinical or counseling psychologist could help you with some of the exercises I've mentioned above, as well as many others. You would want to talk to a psychologist who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy. A general mental health counselor or 'therapist' won't do here. Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Also, please hit the green Accept button at the bottom of this screen. Thanks.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I push people(both sexes) away by being to nice. I can't stop with just doing "this". I take more steps then I should. An example would be, I talk to some people on a daily basis but they almost always refuse my help when offered. I was looking for a more defined way of telling people I have a personality disorder, I guess a name. What would be some good reading info about people like me?

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.

I don't think you want to inform people you probably have a personality disorder. This would tend to put people off and make them feel cautious and uneasy around you. Rather, let's take a look at the behavior you just mentioned i.e. you push people away by being too nice. What is possibly happening here is that in your attempts to be nice, what others see is excessive helpfulness to the point that people feel intruded on. Your help may reach the point when you 'do too much', of making people feel you haven't just been helpful, but you've gone too far and are now imposing on them. An example might be helping someone move their stuff into a new apartment, but then wanting to help clean and hang around more, when they merely wanted help with moving stuff. They wanted to be alone and clean on their own and so the helpful person has now turned into an intruder.

I would Google Theordore Millon and get ahold of some of his books on personality disorders. His descriptions are among the best available and may give you some insight into your self, and especially, how other people experience being with you. But what I'd really recommend is for you to make an appointment with a counseling psychologist or clinical social worker who works a lot of with people with personality disorder traits. You really need and deserve a more complete evaluation of your personal situation. They may be able to steer you to a social relationship group for adults who have problems forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships or who feel misunderstood, socially.

I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please hit the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.

Dr. Michael and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the insight into my problems.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
You are most welcome.