Dear Dr. Archer,
I've been in an emotional turmoil since I was a preteen. I've contemplated suicide as a teenager, slept with a knife under my pillow and at random moments would take it out and hold it against my wrist, thinking it would all be over if I sliced one good time. I could never bring myself to do it.
A couple of years later I took a handful of pills and cried myself to sleep. I woke up the next day perfectly fine, much to my dismay. I didn't attempt to take my life again but I did participate in harming myself for a short time.
That began after I woke up one night to find my cousin's hand down my pants. That was the second time a cousin had touched me inappropriately; unfortunately circumstances such as these are not uncommon in my family.
I've become a bit of a recluse. I don't leave my house unless it's absolutely necessary. When I do, I get nervous, and sometimes even paranoid. I'm a loner and have cut all friends from my life.
I just started talking to my cousin again after ignoring her for a year. My brother calls me cold hearted and unfeeling, but if anything, I feel too much.
I'm always irritated and I cry for no reason at random moments, and don't show emotions to others. I don't know how to open up and communicate, and none of my relationships last.
It's easier for me to have a purely sexual relationship than an emotional one, but as of late I haven't had any type of relationship. I've pretty much cut contact with the outside world. I don't like living this way though; I'm afraid, nervous, depressed and irritated, whereas I should be a happy carefree college student.
What's psychologically wrong with me?
My biggest concern is that you’ve had thoughts of suicide, thus my advice is that you need to find a psychiatrist for an evaluation asap. You describe anxiety, social anxiety and depression in your letter but, being homebound can also be caused by panic attacks. So you need a full assessment and make sure to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel, Hazel, and it starts with getting professional help. If you’re afraid to to start with a psychiatrist then see a therapist first and follow their recommendations, but see a professional soon. All the best to you.