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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I dont know whats wrong with me, but i cant handle it

Customer Question

i dont know whats wrong with me, but i cant handle it anymore. im 42, my life is a mess and i dont care, i cant seem to care enough about anything important. My friends dont like me, i dont like me either but no matter how hard i try to be nice it doesnt make a difference. Ive thought about suicide so many times,,buti dont have the guts to do it so i just accept that im a joke.
I need to get my life together before it kills me.
There is no much to take into account that i simply cant type my life history here, now but any advise would be a good start.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

It sounds to me that you may be suffering from Major Depressive Dosorder. The standard coding for MDD follows the guidelines set forth in the American Psychiatric Association handbook, DSM-IV, which is also in use in the UK. The official criteria for MDD are, from this manual, from which I quote, are:

"A. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either
(1) depressed mood or
(2) loss of interest or pleasure.
Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.

(1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.
(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)
(3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
(4) Insomnia or Hypersomnia nearly every day
(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
(6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)
(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)
(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

B. The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode [depression WITH mania]

C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

D. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).

E. The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation."

So you see that you are probably diagnosable with MDD. This disorder can run in families, either genetically or as learned behaviour.

You can and SHOULD seek treatment for this. Treatment will consist of psychotherapy (talk therapy) and appropriate medication, if your condition is impairing your day to day functioning mpairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

I urge you to act soon so that your depression doesn't worsen. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can get back on track and make the best of your time on this planet.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Elliot,

Thanks for your reply.

I think i can almost certainly agree with most of the stated criteria, apart from a direct, or recent bereavemant, however i must mention, as im sure you would not be surprised that i have had a dependency on drugs ( cannabis ) , im not a big drinker, but 20 years of high use probably doesnt help the matter any.

This is something i am genuinely addressing presently, but i dont expect it to make much difference, as its more a habit than a crutch, as I dont drink/smoke to forget but i know its an issue that needs sorting.

I realise its not easy for you to diagnose me with such minimal details and no history, but its hard to explain everything in this manner.

Question? should i be seeking help from a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Dear friend,

I don't think that use of cannabis is part of your problem. It is a psychological addiction - a habit - rather than a physiological addiction.

Research has shown that cannabis users, particualrly heavy users, are diagnosed with depression more often than are nonsmokers. However, it is also thought that the factors that cause cannabis use (genetic, environmental) may also trigger depression, and the cannabis is used to cope with the symptoms.symptoms.

If you see a psychiatrist, he/she may only give you medication and do nothing for the psychosocial causes of your depression, although some psychiatrists still use a psychotherapuetic approach. A psychologist or clinical counsellor may be able to use talk therapy (psychotherapy) to help you and also recommend that a doctor (psychiatrist) gives you an antidepressant.

I would start with a psychologist, but a dual program of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy may be the ideal solution.

I wish you success.

Warm regards,

Eliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I appreciate your response, But i am not prepared to start taking pills to sort this out.

I am happy to talk through my issues with the correct people, only i want to keep doctors out of it.

I am english, and over here doctors dish out pills rather than tackle the issues.

My ex was on anti depression pills and they only makes things worse, in my opinion.

Thank you for your time

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Dear friend,

I agree that talking things out is the best way to go and if you can stay off of medication, you will be doing the best in the long run.

The best way to thank me for my time and effort and expertise is to ACCEPT my answer. I love doing this and helping others, but this is what I do for a living, the only work I have, so please accept so that JustAnswer can acknowledge me for what I do. Thank you so much.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC