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Sometimes when I go about reading forums like this one and other articles on the topic of mental health I feel like a hypochondriac because it feels as though I experienced a good portion of what everyone has mentioned, symptoms and all. And then I snap out of it and think to myself that there is NO way I could have like 10 disorders at the same time.

I decided to come here because I don't really have another appropriate outlet that I am willing to use at this time to deal with what's going on with me. I'm a college student who lives at home. I have great parents who love me and listen to me for the most part, but they're just not equipped to handle mental health conversations with me, as I've observed in the past. They believe it is all part of the anxiety of a college student, especially one about to graduate. Maybe that's part of it, but seeing as I've been having problems for years, I doubt it's just graduation that's causing me grief.

I've gone to see the school counselor once. It was a strange and interesting experience, but one that has warded me off from going again. Maybe because seeking therapy is really admitting you think something's wrong, maybe because my counselor was just wrong for me. I don't know. I'm afraid the therapist will think I have too much to say in 1 hour or that I should be on medication (which I refuse to take, I hate pills and I think that there is rampant over prescription in America) or that I'm severely messed up (which probably scares me the most).

I suspect that I've had depression or something similar in various degrees since about the 7th grade. That year in particular was very difficult and dark for me and both my family and I remember it with a shudder. I didn't do anything typically destructive, just locked myself in my room every day, sat in the dark, cried and wondered if I should off myself. But my sense of self-preservation always won out and I couldn't bear to do that to my parents since they don't have anyone else (quite literally) except themselves. I did get over it for a few years by promising myself I'd never go through that crap again and it worked, at least to a degree.

However, it got progressively worse through high school. My grades, motivation and the rest began to slide down hill. My family was disappointed and didn't really understand why I started doing worse and worse. I think in a way they chalked it up to me just "being a bad kid."

It's only gotten worse in college. The fact that I had to transfer to a new state/school did not help matters. Ever since I moved to where I am now I've not been doing too well.

I have virtually no motivation to do anything even though I have many many plans about how great life could be if only I could lift a finger. That's probably the worst part. That and the horrible procrastination that follows. The pressure of the deadline is the only thing that motivates me to get any work done anymore, I never do anything in advance and am locked in a cycle of "You can't do this, what's the point, you'll fail anyway" - especially when it comes to my more difficult classes (I have more than 1 major in college). Its severely discouraging. I can't seem to set or reach goals. I tend to just come home and waste my hours away on the web. I can see myself doing all this from the outside and it makes me sick because I'm just tossing my time on Earth to the wind. There's also pressure from my family. They're constantly on me about doing more with my life, this, that. This has created a lot of tension. Though we're still closer than probably most people I know, it's strained our relationship because they can't understand why I'm so "lazy" and I've been lying to them about my grades and experiencing severe guilt as a result.

I have no friends, really and certainly no partner. I never go out, though I used to a few years back. The lack of social connections is really tough for me too because I'm an only child and I can get only so much socialization out of my family. I'm, again, alone in my room most of the time. I stay in contact with one person in particular, but it's a long distance communication, and while I love them, it's not enough. I dislike most of my college peers and live too far from campus to socialize with the ones I do like anyhow.

I'm always irritated and angry at everything (as are my family members, actually). Ever since we moved to this damn place its been like this. Constant traffic, constant commuting, driving, buses, just back and forth, endlessly. There is much more violence and crime here and many more traffic accidents, I'm afraid my parents will be hurt on the way to work or by some crazy person pretty much on a daily basis, which doesn't help the stress. Our new lifestyle has definitely contributed to my anger and irritability. I chew on my cuticles now, something I NEVER did before. It's a nervous habit, as far as I can tell.

My parents fight quite often too, which doesn't help the atmosphere at home. They love each other, as far as I can tell, but still fight alot and it's just too much for me most of the time, they can get really loud.

I have trouble going to sleep at a normal time (hence, I'm up at 1:30 AM instead of sleeping right now), which results in constant sleep deprivation and haziness throughout the day. As well as that awful, dull low-grade headache you get when you don't sleep.

I similarly don't have the will to exercise or eat well either (which is particularly hard with my family because they have bad eating habits, so being healthy myself would mean forcing the rest of them to change how they eat too and as you may know, that's nearly impossible), which probably isn't helping things. I keep making plans to, I buy the shoes, I make the playlists, I find the recipes and then something de-rails me and everything goes to hell instantly.

So basically, I'm sad, lonely, irritated, very de-motivated all the time. It feels as though life is just passing me, like it's one giant rehearsal and that I'll never have what everyone else seems to. I'm not sure what it means to be "positive" or "happy," to be honest. It's just an alien concept to me. I'm always anxious about an upcoming deadline or task I have to force myself to do. It's very difficult to relax and enjoy the moment as a result. Sometimes it doesn't feel as though I'm a real person, but rather I'm some sort of shadow or something that just moves through space on its own terms. I'm sure they've got a disorder on the books for that too. :rolleyes:

As I mentioned, my family, as great as they are, add to the stress with their expectations for my future and mounting pressure the closer I get to graduation. I've fantasized about moving out, especially when our fights escalated, but that's not financially possible right now. So, I remain feeling chained to them forever, as if I'll never live on my own, never marry, never have my own family. In the state I'm in right now that's probably for the best anyhow.

I'm still quite young, I can't believe that I'm having all these awful feelings. It's like a tarpit or quicksand, it keeps sucking you under as you desperately try to claw your way out.

The one thing that keeps my head above water is that I managed to pull myself out of the darkness once with no one's help. No medication, no diagnosis, none of that medical crap. So, I refuse to take pills or accept any "diagnoses," at least not until I've tried everything else. I'm considering seeing my counselor in school again, before I graduate and lose the benefits, just to spill my guts and get this poison out of my system.

Just wanted to write this down because I know I won't fall asleep until I get it out of my system and journals somehow don't do it anymore. Let me know if anyone has had a similar experience at my age.

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