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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » Always angry

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Author Topic: Always angry
MissTK
Neophyte
Member # 108531

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Hello there

I'm a 20 year old girl currently at university and I guess my problem is more negativity than anger. I've been told more than once by more than one of my friends that I always see the negative side of things and that I'm never positive. For some reason, I just have this whole dam of anger and frustration against the world inside of me. I really don't know why it is, I just know that it's been this way for such a long time that I don't even know when it began. I mean, I was diagnosed with dysthymia (a type of depression) two years ago and even though I'm not as miserable as I was before I went on medication, it's basically impossible for me to not give in to all my negative thoughts.

It's so bad that I even find myself feeling vindicated when other people are sad or have bad things happen to them because I feel like at least they're experiencing a fraction of the pain I am. I somehow feel like it's the world's fault that I'm like this and that bad things happen to me, even though I'm probably just bringing it on myself with this behaviour.

Ever since I came to university, I haven't had any solid, consistent, close friends to rely on and that was a big part of my life back home. Sometimes I just feel like I want somebody to take care of me but one of the girls I was friends with for a while accused me of being "clingy". I always end up needing more from my friends. And then that just makes me feel like I need a boyfriend to just love me. Not have sex with with me or any of that, just love me and listen to me. Maybe the occasional cuddle too. Then again, she was probably the wrong person to rely on since she never really takes other people into consideration, her words not mine by the way.

I don't know why it's become so easy for me to hold on to all these negative thoughts because even when something good happens, I'm always afraid it might go bad.

Like, whenever I dare to be happy or positive, I feel so exposed and vulnerable. I do know that some of my lack of feeling could be a side-effect of my medication so will it just be that way forever? Honestly, I just wish I could have amnesia and start over. It weighs me down so much emotionally.

Posts: 24 | From: South Africa | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sam W
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Hi there,
First, I wanted to ask if there are counseling services available to you at your university, because some of the difficulties you are having (and your questions about whether or not these feelings are the result of your medication) are something that a counselor can help you with.

Beyond that, I don't think it's unreasonable to want to have friends who are consistent and supportive. It looks like the last time you and Heather chatted, she was encouraging you to focus on bolstering your self-esteem and focus on forming friendships (which it sounds like you are doing). Since you strike me as a very insightful and frank person, I'm going to ask you what you feel might be making it difficult to form the type of friendships you're looking for.

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Molias
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I'm sorry to hear that you've been feeling so angry and negative about things; that sounds like it would be exhausting.

Are you currently receiving any treatment for depression other than being on medication? A lot of the feelings you're describing here do sound like aspects of depression. If you're not having any ongoing counseling care, that may be something to look into, if you have access to it (it may be available through your university).

Negative thought patterns can often be worked on and changed, but it does take a lot of effort and I think having a dedicated counselor or therapist on your side could really be helpful here. It may also be that there's a medication that could work better for you than what you have now; there are many many drugs that can treat depression and the same ones don't work equally well for everyone.

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MissTK
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Thank you so much for your responses, I can't describe how helpful all your advice has been to me since I started posting on here. Thankfully our university has free counselling services available to students and I was using therapy in conjunction with my medication. The therapist I see is an amazing lady and she's very good.

Unfortunately this year I've been very busy and I haven't been able to go as regularly as I wanted to. I'm a medical student and it's difficult slotting in appointments in between classes and having to work hours in hospital. Another thing is whenever I did have an appointment booked, for some reason it would always correlate with a point in my life where I was feeling good an emotionally stable so going to therapy didn't really feel helpful. Many of my emotional dips are in the days between my appointments. I will definitely ask my doctor if there is any other drug I could take that has fewer side-effects or at least less of the ones I'm currently experiencing.

And yes, working on changing negative thoughts has been very difficult for me over the past few years. Most of the time it feels like I'm taking one step forward and two steps back. The truly happy moments in my life just seem fewer and fewer. I also especially don't want my parents knowing the extent of my depression. Today my mom called while I was having one of my crying spells and I lied and told her that I have the flu. I don't like doing it but I'm at university on the other side of the country and I don't want to stress them about something that's my problem.

In terms of my friendships, I think maybe I'm unconsciously comparing people I meet to friends I had back home. Before I came to uni, all my friends were people I'd known my whole life, so they knew everything about me. I never felt judged or out of place or like I had to explain myself or my actions. I take a little bit to warm up to people but I'm the kind of person who gives EVERYTHING I possibly can in a friendship because friends are family to me and I do anything in my power to support them. I get frustrated because none of the people I've met have been able to reciprocate that whole-hearted commitment.

Actually, with most of my relationships with people that's how it feels. It feels like I give and give and give and never get anything back when I'm in need. So many times, I just give more and doing more in the hopes that if I do, that person might eventually appreciate me/love me more. The weird thing is, I have no qualms about being a crutch for people. I know what it's like to be alone and have no support and if I can change that for somebody, then I'm happy. I haven't been able to completely shake the feeling of isolation that I felt when I started uni in 2011.

Posts: 24 | From: South Africa | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Molias
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Oh yeah, medical school is really intense - I'm not surprised that you haven't has as much time as you might want to see a therapist!

Here's a thought I have for whenever you are able to go in next: maybe in these times when you are feeling really upset, you can make some notes about how you're feeling, the specific thoughts that are in your mind or the negative things you're telling yourself, so that when you're able to see your therapist you can pull out a notecard or whatever and say "these are the sorts of things that happen when I'm having my worst moments" and you can work on those, even if at the moment you're feeling ok.

Also, if your therapist has any experience with Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), I have personally found that style to be extremely helpful as it tends to focus on specific ways to change thought patterns and behaviors. It may not work as well for you, but it could be something to ask about.

In terms of making friends and not finding the connections you're looking for... that really is tough. I have found that it takes me longer to make friends as an adult than it did when I was in high school or even college, and sometimes I do think I have a closer connection to someone than I end up having. =/ The best way I've found to connect with people is through shared-interest activities; when I moved to a new city I made some great friends through a crafting group I joined, and I have a friend in another town I bond with over our shared love of roller derby. I realize that med school doesn't leave a lot of time for extra activities, but you may find that it's a little easier to connect with folks when you're coming from some sort of shared passion or interest.

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MissTK
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Thanks again for replying:)

I'm going to read up on CBT; it sounds like something that might work for me too. I love to sing and ever since I came to uni, I've made an effort to sing in a group every year. I also had the same reasoning that maybe I'd meet people I had more in common with that way. To a certain extent, I did but i think my expectations may have been too high because I was kinda disappointed. I mean, most of the people I've met are amazing, but I can't form lasting bonds with them because we only see one another for a few weeks at a time then we never cross paths again. I try to keep these friendships going; like I'll send greetings here and there or just ask how it's going but nobody EVER initiates with me. I always have to go first. And a friend of mine told me that means people aren't interested so I just stop.

This year I joined the choir which is more "permanent" than glee clubs I sang in because it goes on longer, same members every year, etc and even then, making connections with people was still very difficult. The one guy I thought I had something with...well it didn't work. I thought he fancied me, but apparently he doesn't (wouldn't date me because I'm black. Also, he was "unaware that he was leading me on") and even though he let me down gently and at the time I really didn't feel bad, a few days after I felt well and truly crap. Initially I was coping great; I felt empowered even because it was the first time 1)a guy had let me down in such a civil manner and 2)that I'd handled a rejection so "well". Then that feeling just evaporated. I have yet to NOT be rejected by a guy that I showed interest in.

If I'm honest, I think I've also become comfortable with being sad I guess? Is that normal? It's just been this way for so long that my mind feels like it's the only way it can exist. I really do want to change though. It's affecting my life and it's a change I'm desperate to make.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I also want to add, here, that anger isn't necessarily a bad thing, and sometimes we feel angry because we have real things to be angry about. When that's the case, it's healthy to feel angry, we just don't want to hold unto it too tight, or use it -- or misuse it -- in ways that are destructive to us or other people.

For example, I think massive social isolation when you are trying very hard to connect with people, and giving your all to be there for them? That's a pretty good reason to feel angry and upset. Racism? Also certainly something sound to be angry and upset about.

[ 10-23-2013, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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