Dear Dr. Archer,
I'm 18 and confused with life. Since I was 5 I've never wanted to be around other children, and this carried on throughout school. I'd do anything to get away from the others, from purposely banging my head against the wall until I'd bleed to stealing other children's food and escaping from school.
Back then and even now I have sleeping problems, experience my room moving and see objects that morph into other things. When I was 6, I went through a traumatic event when my mother rejected me, and from then on it was my father and me. We moved three times and I attended six different schools until I quit at 13.
I was severely bullied and would often distance myself away from the others, despite wanting to fit in and make friends. One day I made some friends and we had a great time, but the next morning I woke up a different person. I couldn't go out and I felt confused. I don't know what happened!
It's been four years since I last went outside, and in those years I've stopped looking after myself. I can't cope with washing, eating, etc. I can't go near windows or talk if the windows are open, as I feel the neighbors are watching and listening to my conversations.
It has gotten to the point I refuse to eat or drink anything someone has made because I feel like they've put something in it.
In the past two years I've become angrier. I feel hatred towards the world and people; I feel disgusted with the thought of interacting with others. I want to, but I can't.
I get violent daydreams of hurting people I don't know. What advice would you give me as to getting help, even though I'm housebound?
I'm looking for any advice on why one day I was happy, and the next I changed. Thank you.
You definitely need to see a psychiatrist. If you're remaining inside all the time, that means someone is providing you with food, clothing and a roof over your head.
Get that person or a friend or family member to drive you to a doctor for an evaluation. You need to see a psychiatrist, Charlotte.
There's no other way around it, Charlotte. I cannot make a diagnosis on the few details you provided, but in order for you to have a happy life, you've got to do your part.
The good news is that you recognize you have a problem and you want to do something about it. That gives you an advantage. Do this and I'm certain you will receive the help you need so you can start enjoying your life again. All the best,