Dear Ask The Doctor: Hi,i am a 19 year old female.i've struggled alot through my life from various things happening such as parents divorce, bullying, etc aswell as a range of health problems such as depresion, ADD, chronic fatigue resulting from severe glandular fever, hypothyroidism and a few other things. so its tough enough dealing with that,but ive had most of it treated and i know that something else is wrong in my head. ive done a fair bit of research over the last couple of years and it always kind of leads to schizoprenia. these are reasons why: - when asked or questioned by any mental health doctors i've seen i lie about whats going on in my head and act like im normal in fear of being institutionalised. - i have always been shy and felt disconnected in social situations as if i am sitting in my head watching and listening - i have alot of trouble maintaining friendships. i dont have trouble making friends because i look appealing and im friendly, but i always end up losing friends becasue i stop acting normal after a while because its hard - i have been depressed for years, had many violent thoughts and thoughts of suicide. - i've self harmed alot cutting, burning my skin, punching things, hitting my head on things and taking lots of pills. - i have an alcohol problem and drink alot - i sometimes react wrongly in situations ie, laughing at something which is sad - im sometimes manipulative with others to get what i want - i have spent alot of time alone over the past 10 years instead of being with friends because i prefered it - i've always felt disconnected from the world as if its all a dream and im sitting in my head watching - i have trouble with speech and sometimes muddle up words, talk with gaps between words, have really undetailed empty answers as i cant think of what to say on the spot. - i usually have alot of false positive beliefs about myself - i sometimes act as if im a toddler and say made up words - i have poor heigine habbits - i have terrible eating habbits - i feel very unstable and vulnerable when im away from home for more than a few days - ive always been unable to express affection to my family who i love more than anyone - i spend alot of time when im by myself pacing around a room imagining possible real life scenareos in my head.in the situations i imagine myself in i partially say the words and do the physical gestures i would do if it were happening. ill imagine that people are there and im interacting with them. when i do this im able to feel emotions and such as if it were actually happening. i do this almost every day. i dropped out of school mid year 11 because i couldnt cope with anything, and sat in my room alone for 6 months, then went back to school the next year repeated year 11 and tried to restart my life. it went quite well for a while. but year 12 i lost a fair amount of friends, missed alot of school, only just passed a few subjects. its been 5 months since school ended and i havent got a job or done anything ive just been at home, doing social things very rarely and i spend days on end in bed because i dont feel like doing anything. what is wrong with me? i dont feel normal at all. life is such as effort
Dear Laura: In my opinion, your symptoms may be associated with major depression or schizophrenia, that would best be diagnosed by a psychiatrist, following a proper psychological examination. However, a healthy diet including vegetables, fresh fruits, fish, eggs, meat and dairy products, along with proper hygiene and daily exercise would be beneficial for a healthy life and also provide energy and enthusiasm in life. Meditation, yoga and aerobics may help reduce stress and make you feel better.