All I can think about lately is how I don't think I'll make it past 20?? Is this normal? Is it just a slump?

I'm not really sure how to describe the feeling, but I've been socially anxious for as long as I can remember (probably started developing in primary school) but I was formally diagnosed last May after my brother died. I started CBT in the June and for a while, I thought I was getting better? Like I could do things on my own again and I'd made a couple of friends in my lessons and I was really happy. But now I don't know, for the past fortnight I've been feeling like I can't do anything, like I'm constantly tired but I'm too restless to sit still, or one week I kept having disturbed sleep and now this week all I do is sleep. I have no motivation for my project which I was doing so well in and honestly, I can't see my life after this last year at college. At all. No future, I have no clue of what I want to do, no clue of where I'm going after this and it scares me because I really think that I could kill myself before I hit 20. I've already had two weird dreams that end with me dying, which is weird because I usually don't have bad dreams? I've had two anxiety attacks in the past week. The other week I actually contemplated hurting myself. That's unreal, right, because no matter how low I've felt, I've never really wanted to do anything, you know?? Like is this just a slump? Do I give it some time, or...? I feel like I need to see my counsellor again, but he's been seriously ill, apparently and I don't know if I could feel comfortable with another counsellor. I feel like I'd just be wasting their time because there are teenagers out there who are worse off than me?

3 Replies

  • Hi. I am sorry to read that you are not feeling so well. Its no coincidence that during and after the holiday period there is a higher than normal demand for medical services. The stresses involved with this particular period are well known - and it might be that you are feeling some of that.

    Until my recent own various illnesses I was a therapist myself, so my next observation is based on personal experience. In all those years I spent with clients I would say that about probably 99% of them had a 'stumble' at some point in the therapy - a set -back. So your recent difficulties dont surprise me, and would not worry me if I were your therapist. There are many external pressures for you to deal with as well as having to go through the actual therapy, which can be traumatic for some people.

    It is not even a year since you started therapy and not even a year since the loss of your brother. It might be that you need to slow down with the expectations of how long your recovery will take.

    Anxiety is a very clever illness. It can give the appearance of having gone. In reality is just plays dead as it were and waits for the right opportunity to strike back. You say that you have had many years of social anxiety - give the therapy time to help you recover. Your comment about finding another therapist is quite a common one. Of course you build up a relationship with your therapist - but it is a relationship of just that - therapist and client. You can build that same relationship with another therapist over time. It is clear that you need to do that - particularly as you mention possible self-harming.

    Overall, dont be too downhearted if you have a small setback now and then. It is a very common thing to happen when you are in therapy. Try to keep your expectations reasonable in terms of being 'cured', it might take longer than you want it to. Therapy works - dont be discouraged by your recent experiences.


  • I am sorry too to hear how you are feeling. You are a young person who should be enjoying things. I'm not sure what advice to give you but good people on this site to help you x

  • Believe me, you won't be wasting your counselor's time. There may be others who are worse off than you, but you are just as important as anyone else. You have been through a life changing experience within this last year. Having had dreams of dying shows that your brother's death is weighing heavy on your mind. I personally think that is why you have no direction in your future. You need help from a professional

    to guide you and support you through your grieving process. My best to you.

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