Reply To: “Don’t deal with the symptoms, deal with the cause.”

  • Caroline

    17 February 2022 at 00:03 am

    My issues began at University. You could say it began when I started talking, or not talking I should say. I’ve always been extremely shy. As a child, I’m certain that I had selective mutism. This is where you speak fine around familiar people or certain people in general, but around others, you are completely silent, or ‘mute’. This was me. I’d be this way around relatives. My parents would be so embarrassed and ashamed of me and would berate me in the car home all the time.

    “Why can’t I speak?” I’d think to myself, always perceiving myself as useless and good-for-nothing. In college, things weren’t too bad actually. I had one close friend and another girl (her friend that I called my friend) who I would hang with. Actually, there was another guy who I was relatively close to also. But in University, this all went away. Five hours away from home (Manchester as opposed to London). I had no one. I made no real friends (I had one friend, but she wasn’t my typical friend, she was very prude which is fine if you have several friends to balance that out if you know what I mean. I don’t want to downplay our friendship, but she just wasn’t my typical friend).

    I would miss lectures (I probably went to 20% of lectures or less), I would just spend the day sleeping or trying to amuse myself by watching Youtube videos. I was severely depressed and I didn’t even know it. Now, I studied Pharmacy, so I knew the symptoms, so imagine not knowing. Maybe because I couldn’t cry. I would read the symptoms and be like, ‘yep’, ‘yep’, ‘yep, so I knew, but it’s like I also didn’t know. Was it denial?

    I’m going to write a story about this because this is going to be too long to post here. Long story short, by year three, I developed psychosis. I wasn’t going out, I wasn’t communicating with people so I just lost touch with reality and who I was.

    So my symptoms are really from me feeling a sense of emptiness and worthlessness. It’s from me being unable to express myself and be myself around others. I know I have a lot to offer, but just don’t show it, because I literally can’t due to my shyness and introverted nature. It’s not a case of ‘let’s get rid of the ”symptoms’, it’s a case of, let’s build your ability to express yourself and feel free around others. It’s about allowing me to feel ok with not having many friends, this isn’t my life path to have lots of friends. It’s about me excepting myself for who I am. Let me tell you I am so much closer to that than ever before, still far off, but a lot closer.