Mental Health

Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Mental Health
This answer was rated:

My family thinks I'm crazy. I've been suicidal. I'm

My family thinks I'm crazy...
My family thinks I'm crazy. I've been suicidal. I'm depressed and pessimisstic all the time. However I'm highly functioning and a perfectionist by all appearances. I can't seem to relate to any disorder I've found online, but feel I need treatment for something. I'm anxious a lot. I clinch my teeth uncontrollably. I'm completely independent. I have no help and am the mother of two teenagers and work 2 jobs. But I need to be busy - I can't stand boredom or stupid people, that REALLY irritates me.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
4/16/2013
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,334
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Verified
Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.
Your question is very evocative that there is so much behind the simple few words you write. You certainly are functioning at a very high level but you also describe a very high level of anxiety. Have you had any neurological testing to make sure there are no problems in physiological brain function?
Have you always felt this way with so much anxiety and teeth clenching?
Was there trauma or abuse in your childhood? What about alcohol or dysfunction in your family when you were growing up?
Are you interested in medications to help? Or self help techniques? Or psychotherapy?
Are you getting any treatment right now? If so, what type? How is it going?
If not, when was the last treatment? What type of treatment was it? Was it helpful?
Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.
Please go ahead and post your response. I'm going to be going into therapy sessions in my office soon, so if I can't answer before that, would later this evening be okay for me to respond?
Dr. Mark
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hello, No I have never had any neurological testing. I do not have insurance. Yes I've always been anxious and clenched, just sometimes it's worse than others. I've even had TMJ surgery because I've worn down all the cartilege in my jaw joints. That was in 2000. In 2005 my aunt committed suicide. She was like a mother to me, she had no children of her own. I was not physically abused, aside from regular spankings by my mother and stepfather, but the verbal abuse was off the charts. I was never good enough, even though I was perfect. I was accused and blamed for everything, even when it wasn't close to true. My stepfather was an alcoholic and beat my mom to a pulp a couple of times, but now in their retirement they don't drink, they go to church regularly, and pass judgement on me and everyone around them that isn't as great as they think they are. My PCP prescribed anti-depressants to me in 1998. I have not gone off, he says I nevern can, my problem is genetic. Currently I take 30 mg of Cymbalta daily. I haven't seen a mental health Expert in a few years. Lately I have been very suicidal. The only reason I don't check out is that I have two teenage boys. The idea of checking out seems so peaceful. I've never been happy in my life. The only episodes of happiness I have are when I drink alcohol. I drink nightly, but it has never gotten out of hand so much to get me in trouble. The therapists I've seen all seemed like idiots. I was married for 15 years. My husband understood me and is still a great friend. But he irritates me, I think hes a loser and he smokes pot all the time and I never wanted that around my kids. I always said if he didn't quit by the time the kids were teenagers, I was leaving. And I did. No one else in my family understands me. I am the black sheep. I'm too liberal for their taste and small-mindedness, therefore I must need psychological help.

Thank you for the replies to the questions and the added information. It helps a lot. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.
First, let me say I can imagine how confusing and distressing this situation must be for you. On the one hand your competence is off the chart. But on the other hand life has not given you much recognition of your strengths, loyalty, loving, caring, stick-to-itness, intelligence, abilities, warmth, and all the other attributes you have. And really, this is a lifelong pattern we're confronting. What do I mean?'
I am referring to the fact that your whole childhood was patterned on you trying and trying and being beaten down and so you clench your teeth and try again. I am truly and sincerely ***** ***** amazed at your ability from your childhood and over the decades to keep being positive, even if you do take it out on your jaw! It truly is remarkable.
And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. You are clearly a loving and caring person who has had your sense of "normal" love and life taken away and damaged by your parents. You are an Adult Child of Alcoholics (ACoA), an Adult Victim of Child Abuse (AVOCA), and a survivor of Toxic Parents (name of a book). One thing that ACoA and AVOCA adults have in common:
They fluctuate between feelings that are difficult for them at best. Why?
Because deep within they have been made to feel totally unworthy, tremendous shame, undeserving. They just feel rage alternating with shame much of the time. So what to do?
When I work with ACoAs or AVOCAs, the main first goal is coming to the slow (here's where you have to work because it needs to be patient) realization that you do NOT have to be this way. So, I'm going to give you some resources to use. You are such a good person, I urge you to find a psychologist or psychotherapist who is experienced working with ACoA and AVOCA.
So here are the resources. For AVOCA, start with this site and you can do lots more searches to find other sites. For AVOCA, start with these sites and you can do lots more searches to find other sites. But remember, some are going to be commercial.
http://www.havoca.org/HAVOCA_home.htm
http://www.wearesurvivors.org/
http://www.ascasupport.org/
Next, a book: Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Forward and Buck. It's a classic and easily available online or in libraries. There are other books you can find online once he's done with this one. And you can get two copies if you like and both read it and discuss the pages you've read at the same time. Treat it as a date night when you discuss the chapter you've each read.
Now for ACoA. Here's the website of the national organization. Lots of resources:
http://www.adultchildren.org/
Here's the website for Janet Woititz. Since the 1980s she's been the leader in ACoA therapy. She's still speaking nationally, I believe. I use her books with my patients and think she's great. Here's her site:
http://www.drjan.com/
Let me paste in for you her 13 characteristics of ACoAs. Take it to the discussion and see how many you and he recognize:
1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal behavior is.
2. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
3. Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
4. Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy.
5. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun.
6. Adult children of alcoholics take themselves very seriously.
7. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships.
8. Adult children of alcoholics overreact to changes over which they have no control.
9. Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation.
10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people.
11. Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible.
12. Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
13. Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.
You don't have to fit every single item. You have to only begin sensing that you have a chance to be "normal", that others have gone through this and learned what "normal" is and how to attain it.
When you get to the HAVOCA web site home page (go there first) you'll see a chart called "From Victim to Survivor to Thriver". I know that the last thing you want to think of yourself as is "victim". And you are an unusual person. But see what you think of the descriptions there anyways.
So, if this seems like you connect with it and the resources, bring it up in therapy. Make it part of your therapy to really get closer to that "self" that had to hide deep within in childhood. Your doctor is so physiologically oriented that he can only think in terms of medications. But that can only numb the pain, the emotional pain. I am suggesting here that you explore the origins of your situation and emotions. You deserve that more than just what he said.
Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (you can see a photo of the person!) look at the listing and see if they list trauma as something they work with and a combination of CBT and psychodynamic therapy in their orientations. There's also a place there where it says if they will work on a sliding scale. So look for that as well. Then interview them and see if they are familiar with ACOA and AVOCA or are willing to become familiar.
http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:
http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html
Okay, I wish you the very best!
My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, ***** *****
________________________________________
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,334
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Verified
Dr. Mark and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,334
5,334 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice

Dr. Mark is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much

Corrie MollPretoria, South Africa

I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, OR

Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
I feel better already! Thank you.

ElanorTracy, CA

Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem.

JulieLockesburg, AR

You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions.

John and StefanieTucson, AZ

I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!!

Janet VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMarryAnn

TherapistMarryAnn

Therapist

4,021 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,246 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
I suffer from anxiety, and have been taking Ativan 0.5mg,
I suffer from anxiety, and have been taking Ativan 0.5mg, one a day for 23 years. Recently my doctor told me, (because of some anxiety issues) I could take up to three of my 0.5mg Ativan. Is there a p… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
764 satisfied customers
I'm a Bipolar 36 year-old male with severe anxiety and
I'm a Bipolar 36 year-old male with severe anxiety and depression. What is the best anxiety medicine I should be taken? I've taken Clonazepam for 8 years and it no longer helps. Would another drug lik… read more
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Doctoral Degree
2,675 satisfied customers
I am currently weaning from one anxiety medications to
I am currently weaning from one anxiety medications to another for hypochondriasis. I am under the guidance of my psychiatrist. I am finding my health worries are very high whilst I am switching meds.… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
764 satisfied customers
I was diagnosed with social anxiety by my psychiatrist at 16
Hi Dr. Wilson, I was diagnosed with social anxiety by my psychiatrist at 16 years old. Fast forward 6 years, and I feel like I am still struggling. I am always nervous when it comes to social engageme… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
I have anxiety and recently think it is playing tricks with
Second opinion] Hi. I have anxiety and recently think it is playing tricks with my eyes. Is this possible? Sometimes feel things are moving when there not etc. Thank you… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
204 satisfied customers
My adult daughter is struggling tremendously with anxiety
My adult daughter is struggling tremendously with anxiety and depression. She is on prozac but it's not helping that much. What is the best way to treat depression and anxiety in your opinion. She doe… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
764 satisfied customers
I have anxiety and recently think it is playing tricks with
Hi. I have anxiety and recently think it is playing tricks with my eyes. Is this possible? Sometimes feel things are moving when there not etc. Thank you… read more
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Doctoral Degree
2,675 satisfied customers
I've been taking Prozac and Buspar for some anxiety and
I've been taking Prozac and Buspar for some anxiety and depression. My therapist just added Abilify to help with some lingering depression. At first she was going to add Wellbutrin but decided on Abil… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
764 satisfied customers
I have issues with anxiety. I meet with a behavioral
I have issues with anxiety. I meet with a behavioral therapist and have practices to help with my anxiety, but I'm feeling super anxious with some current ongoing stress that may continue for the next… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
764 satisfied customers
Im struggling with anxiety and depression and i have taken
im struggling with anxiety and depression and i have taken several medications cymbalta cipralax and now i am on a new one i forget what it is called … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
764 satisfied customers
Various diagnosis since 2010; generalized anxiety was the
Various diagnosis since 2010; generalized anxiety was the most popular. PTSD diagnosis in 2016 because of a loss of a child in 2009 as well as the end of my 10 year relationship in 2013. Possible re t… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
764 satisfied customers
Is this a paid service? History of depression and anxiety.
Past 8 months. Relationship problems make it worse.… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
OKMH124211 What is the vest way to prevent anxiety, gain
OKMH124211 What is the vest way to prevent anxiety, gain more self confidence and get rid of tmj syndrome-sometimes teeth grinding affects night into daytime as a bad habit?… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
793 satisfied customers
I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks that
I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks that I treat and keep managed with BCT, exercise, eating a well balanced diet, and breathing exercises. For the most part this works well. This p… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks at
I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks at times. For the most part I have improved a great deal through BCT and other lifestyle changes. I had it terrible after I quit smoking for abou… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
793 satisfied customers
I would like to know if it is possible for anxiety to cause
Hello,I would like to know if it is possible for anxiety to cause bladderproblems like urinary retention and bladder overactivity. Like if you fear it and you are constantly conscious regarding it, it… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
I've had anxiety due to trauma... I've had anxiety due to
Hello, I've had anxiety due to trauma... Hello, I've had anxiety due to trauma in the city I lived in, I moved out to a different city, I accidentally spoke to somebody associated with the trauma , in… read more
Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren
Consultant Physician
Post graduation (Liverpool, U.K.)
3,982 satisfied customers
I I have extreme anxiety especially social anxiety I over
I I have extreme anxiety especially social anxiety I over worry about everything and I have PTSD from being stabbed and assaulted I've been prescribed Xanax for years and I got up to 2 mg which was wo… read more
Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren
Consultant Physician
Post graduation (Liverpool, U.K.)
3,982 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x