Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hello, I'm Alicia. I'm happy to chat with you for a bit if you have some time now.
Yes, I do.
Okay, great. It sounds like you have a lot on your mind.
I was doing okay on Friday.
What's going on?
then I read some article about a medication I'm taking.
Do you mind if I ask what it is?
I tried adjusting it over the weekend and I should have just left it alone.
Hmm... did you talk to your doctor before you adjusted it?
I think I'll keep that myself, but it's one of 2 I take to help me sleep.
I work in engineering.
Not a problem. I am assuming you have chronic sleep problems?
Your job is stressful?
My whole life is stressful. I have lost my life savings and I have a temp job. I hope it lasts like it was supposed to till october 2013, but you never know.
Oh, that is definitely something that would keep me awake at night. And you're a single parent, too?
my stepdaughter is living at my house in Arizona. Her mom left the state last year and it threw my daughter -- I think -- for a loop.
my daughter dropped out of school and hasn't really made any aggressive movement toward any goals she's set since then.
How old is she?
She's in college or university, then?
She's not feeling motivated?
She went for one year away from home, then went back in the Fall, stopped attending classes and dropped out.
I guess the issue that happened with your stepdaughter has had an impact on her.
Or should I say, your step-daugher's mom?
Yes, but I can't do anything. I also am back in a relationship with my "FOO" and they are helpful at times, but they are just guilt-tripping and nasty at others.
And what happens with your mom, if you don't mind me asking? Sounds like a bit of a troubled relationship from what you said in your initial question.
They pushed my sister so much that she has chronic health problems and I am not sure if they really understand that they caused it.
It sounds to me like there are a lot of things going on in your life that you feel you don't have much control over - things you can't influence. So it makes sense that you're having to deal with some chronic worries/anxiety.
On some level, anyway. But if you're not getting enough sleep every night, this can make those worries/anxiety worse.
I sit there and take it and just say goodbye, love you and go on. They've been a God-send at times, but they just don't know jack about the economy or corporate america. My dad's a minister.
So they have a different mentality than you do.
I get enough most nights .. I just played with my medication and that caused problems over the weekend.
Okay - do you get enough exercise? I'm just suggesting this because it might help you deal with the anxiety and the sleep problems.
I guess part of the issue is that you also don't feel like anyone really is listening to you.
Well YOU are listening. ;-) I do try exercise every morning.
That's good - I was just curious because sometimes little changes you make in your lifestyle can make a big difference - but it sounds like you already know that!
And so you mentioned that you have flex time - so you don't have to get up so early to get into work?
I can sleep an extra 30 minutes or so. Nobody will care. We have Wednesday off, so they probably really really don't care.
Ha ha. It seems that your employer is flexible :)
But an extra 30 minutes isn't much. How do you function during the day on such little sleep?
I go to bed early, so I have some tossing and turning time.
Mm. Still, doesn't make for very restful sleep, I imagine. How long have you had sleep problems?
Since the mid-90's. Doing software engineering, you work some crazy hours.
So on some level, you're used to it :)
My family and a few friends are aware of it, but I try not to advertise it to an employer.
Yes, I guess that would not be the smartest move.
Do you like what you do?
I did when I was younger, but I am not so trusting now .. but still more trusting than the average person.
Trusting of the employer, you mean?
Employer, people in general. but I'm also paranoid. I've met a lot of vicious, even criminal type people the last few years and it's hard for me to be happy.
I am working out of state and I have enough $$$ to get home.
That's about it.
Ah yes, okay. I can understand where you're coming from then. But you feel like your paranoia is justified based on your experiences.
To some extents. I assume you are familiar with the term "sociopath"?
I have met "cliques" of sociopaths, I believe.
Do you attribute that to your line of work, or what?
These people, not just the nice people, are networking.
So, do you feel like it's a matter of "you vs. them"?
I attribute it to a certain business model from GE, started by a guy named Jack Welch. His model encourages these types of people to gain influence and power.
You feel like you always have to be on guard?
It's an unfortunate consequence of corporate life.
Not always. But once my body chemistry gets off like over the weekend, it's going to take a few days for it to straighten out.
That is the frustrating part. You have to give things some time to get back into balance when you do something like that, I suppose.
I am actually working for pretty good people, but that is not always the case.
Are you tired of talking yet? Is my time up?
Have you had to switch jobs a lot?
Oh, yes. I have had so many different experiences.
Oh - it's fine with me - you decide when you want to stop :) I know you want to get some rest, so just let me know when.
I have been at peace so deeply, that I slept so hard I urinated on myself.
You must have been exhausted then.
And then something in the Economy changes.
I think it was just peace of mind and the meds.
So no worries.
That must be a nice feeling.
Not THEN. And it was WONDERFUL!!!!
It would be nice to feel like that all the time :)
Unfortunately there's so many external factors that have an influence (not just on our own external factors but the internal ones, too. And that's usually what causes the problems.)
And it's especially those external factors that you can't control that play a big role.
And result in anxiety and sleep problems and so forth. It's a cycle.
Thank you. that helps. See that's the problem with some of the people in my life -- sometime I can fight them off -- but there are a handful of them that want ME to take the blame for the external stuff.
I can't control the external stuff.
Yes, if you take the blame, and accept the way THEY are feeling, then they don't have to feel bad. But then YOU do!
In other words, they kind of project their feelings on to you and make you feel bad so they don't have to.
I worry I have done that to my daughter, but I have always tried to urge her to go back to college and that things will turn out okay. But that's a sidetrack. You are helping. Feel free to continue.
Well, I don't know. If you HAD done that to your daughter, I'm not sure if you would be aware of it. It's kind of the same thing as saying people who are "crazy" don't walk around thinking they're crazy, if you know what I mean.
In other words, it sounds like you have a lot of insight, and usually, people who have insight aren't the ones causing the problems.
THANK YOU! :-) My daughter is a great person. I'm just having a tough time ... I don't like having spent my life savings and then I'm never sure if I can trust people when they say I have a job till 2013. BUT I think you're answer about people doing stuff to me is where I need to stay focused.
I just let them slip the knife in too easily.
Yes, you're welcome. It seems that you're just sensitive to other people - and others aren't always as sensitive to you.
You have to kind of try to build a a bit of a mental "shield" so they don't affect you so much. Or take advantage of your good nature.
Yep, I agree. I am more vulnerable at times than others .. like when I'm worried about my daughter. I just want my life and my kids' lives to go well. And I would like other people ... like you ... who try to be there for me to have a long happy life as well.
That is very sweet of you to say.
It's unfortunate that some people do try to take advantage of those of us with "good hearts". But I guess all we can do is keep on keepin' on, right?
I'm not perfect, but I believe if you don't put some "goodness" into the world, it will never be a good place to live.
Everyone should have that kind of attitude.
I have met many people who do and many people who don't, but I don't want to be depressing, so i'll let that train of thought drop, so I would like to discuss and "action plan" with you just for today.
It's good with me. I do have to run in about 5 minutes, though :(
But please feel free to share.
And for the record, we can always chat again if you're having trouble sleeping or just want to talk.
So I go back to bed, planning to sleep in. If that doesn't work, I call in and tell my manager I'm not sleeping well and would like to work tomorrow and take TODAY off.
Sorry. let me re-word.
I'm not "feeling" well.
Yes. I think that is an excellent idea. Especially if you have some time saved up or can be flexible. You have to take care of yourself first. And that means getting some sleep.
Yes - I was going to say you might want to tell them you're feeling ill, instead of trouble sleeping - that might fly a bit better with them.
Thank you! I'll come back to this website again for help. I'll let you go now. Have a great day!
Okay - you too and get some sleep!