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Hello. This is my first post at these forums. I have some problems, and I will be attempting to describe them as fully as possible. This may very well be a long post, so I apologize in advance.

I am 27 years old. There are so very many things wrong with my life that it is difficult to pick a starting point. This particular forum seems to be dedicated to mental health issues, and I am nearly certain that much of my difficulties are due to some sort of chemical imbalance or because I'm simply "off" a little (or a lot?). But, I am also very physically ill as well, so I'll be putting all of that here too. Often it is hard for me to keep a straight line of thought, and it will help to keep everything right -here-. I apologize for posting off-topic of this particular forum when applicable.

1. Depression & Anxiety

I have had severe feelings of depression and general hopelessness for a long time. I couldn't pinpoint the year now, but I believe it started sometime around the age of 15, give or take a year. With the depression came strong anxiety, mainly in dealing with social situations. Don't get me wrong; I was somewhat socially active, but mainly with trusted friends that I had previously, before these feelings came about. Beyond that, any "new" social interaction was difficult. I would feel light-headed, start sweating, and in some cases would see "stars" (More like colorful blobs in my field of vision, but whatever.) and have chest pain, along with feeling faint. Mostly, this would happen when I was in the company of more than three or four people. Groups and crowds made me feel sick. Normal, everyday things that teenagers my age would do, like go to the mall, go to school, became more and more difficult. I would often find myself waiting in a car, while my friends would go into a store, just to avoid crowds of people, or even just being forced into meeting someone new.

Eventually, this all lead to being distant in school, mentally. At some point when I was 16, I started skipping school. I did anything to get out of going; faked illness was high on the list. Of course that couldn't last forever. A bout of mono doesn't keep you out of class for five months. My family and the school tried everything to keep me learning. Previously I had been an honor student in advanced classes. And now that I think back on it, the school did it's best to help me. I was given the chance to home-school, but I found ways around that; I didn't want anything to do with it. I recall locking myself in a bathroom once until the tutor left. At this point, the school felt that it had explored all of the possible options, and charged me with truancy. After everything was said and done, they were very lenient; the sentence was to formally drop out, on the grounds that I get my GED. It took some time to get me to that point, but the threat of worse punishments, such as jailing, eventually forced me into going and taking the test.

At the time, I wasn't entirely untreated. At some point during my attempts to stay away from school, I had threatened suicide, which landed me with a counselor (One that had previously treated my brother, more on this later.) I had a lot of contempt for this counselor, the first visit didn't sit right with me. I refused to speak to the man, and he decided to threaten with hospitalization. This of course mortified me; I was already beyond my comfort zone, and I'm sure that this was just a way to get me to speak up. I did speak up eventually, some colorful explatives, before walking out. The next time I visited this counselor, it was under court order, something added on the side with my GED sentence. But by that point, I was able to talk around him, while not giving any useful information. I regret this now, as he may have been able to help me in the long run. In time, I stopped going to see him, as I had my GED and no longer had any court restrictions.

This pattern continued on throughout my life thereafter. I needed a job, I would get a job, and then promptly stop going completely because of the overwhelming feelings I would have while just "talking" with a new co-worker. On two occasions, I skipped out and never went back for my check; it was that difficult. The longest employment I have had was three weeks. I would end up unable to pay bills, and then be asked to leave wherever I was currently living. Lucky for me, I had (and have) a mother who won't give up, and I have always had a place to return to.

2. Family Life

It is difficult for me to say I have had a "bad" family life. Some of my family have always loved and cared for me. My parents were not physically abusive. Divorced while I was only a year old, I never really had to deal with the problems involved in divorces, because my parents were "always" divorced, hence normal to me.

From about the age of 3 to around 12, I spent every other weekend with my father and his current wife. He was an alcoholic, and a womanizer (The last I knew, he had gone through 6 wives.) But being too young to know much about those kinds of things, it never really was very hard for me. The only time I ever really noticed the alcoholism was during the ride home during christmas season one year, when my father had to pull over (with the help of his current wife) because he was blacking out. I was scared for him, but I don't recall being distressed for long. By the age of 12, there were less visits. After a year or so, there were no visits, and we all lost contact with him. I cared for him, but he was distant to me already, and really, the only thing I missed much was the cash he would hand out on birthdays and holidays. I still have had no contact with him.

The rest of the time was spent with my mother and brother. My mother was always caring, and did the best she could. She struggled with problems of her own, mental imbalances and financial problems compounded by having two children to raise on her own. My brother has had many problems, as I have, but his are more apparent and seemingly severe. Sometime during his teenage years (he is three years older than I) he was hospitalized. It was kept secret from me what exactly it was for, but he had already been diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder. There was something else wrong, but I still do not know what. Later, he had drug and alcohol problems, which to my knowledge have never been resolved. From a young age he began to steal from my mother, in any way he could. I won't go into detail about how much, but compounded it has been crippling to her, as she continued to allow him to steal from her.

And here in lies the abuse. The earliest interactions that my family had recalled to me between myself and my brother, put him pushing my carrier seat off of a table while yelling and screaming at me. I don't remember this, but when put in comparison with how he has treated me during the rest of my living years, it sounds about right. My first memories of him are of being attacked, hiding, finding obstacles to put between us to get away from him, and so on. As I was approaching ten years old, the beatings became more and more a constant; every day he had a chance, he would physically attack me. Rarely would our mother intervene with more than a shouted word. There were never any repercussions for him. No punishments, not even a time-out. So the beatings continued. As I entered my teenage years, he was bolder, and started using foul language even in the presence of our mother. Now with the beatings came verbal attacks and emotional abuse. The verbal attacks would even carry over to our mother, but still she did nothing to help stop him. Only when he finally got physical with her and not just me did she tell our father, who promptly set my brother straight. Suffice to say, he never physically attacked my mother again, at least that I am aware of. But I was not under the same protection; though the beatings started to come less often, it was solely because he was away from home more. When he was around, things were still bad. By the time I was 17, I was fairly fed-up with it, and I began using the law to protect me. On several occasions I called the police, and at one point he was jailed for a domestic violence charge. After that, he stopped attacking me physically.

Unable to keep a job, my brother also leaned heavily on our mother. But he would lean on her, and then steal from her. The worst effect he ever recieved because of the stealing was being kicked out for three days, after which he would return, with some tears, and be welcomed back home. Since that time, like clockwork, he has stolen a large amount of money from our mother every six months or so, either through credit card and mail fraud or through the cable or internet.

Over the years I have tried very hard to help my mother remove him from her home, but she is unwilling to budge. It's quite difficult for me to justify it, since my contributions to the home are few, neither of us are employed for long if ever. But I don't steal from her, and I treat her respectfully. Either way, I don't believe it's healthy for her to allow him to stay, but then again, maybe it isn't healthy for her to let me stay.

I now keep my social interactions with my brother to a minimum. No more than a sentance is spoken between us each week, although we live ten feet away from each other.

3. Health Issues

I have a long list of real health issues. Though I faked many illnesses in my teens, I am not crying wolf.

I am very overweight. The last time I was on a scale it read something over 320. I think the scale would have read "morbidly obese!" if it had a sense of humor.

I have an untreated thyroid disorder. Diagnosed in my mid-teens, I can barely remember what it was called now. Hypo-thyroid or Hyper-thyroid; something like that. In essence, what I do remember is that my thyroid gland isn't as productive as it should be. I am aware that this can lead to many other symptoms, including depression and even deadly physical issues. I had medication for it when I was younger, but I stopped taking it during my exodus from school, and never started again.

I have severe eczema/psoriasis. This means basically that my skin is generally dry and flakey, and in some areas is even thick and scaled.

I have never had perfect vision, but recently I noticed a sharp reduction in clarity and focus. I am currently assuming that this is due to another medical issue that is undiagnosed. Diabetes is a possibility. Along the same lines, I have eye pain that I have not experienced before in one eye. This began during the same sharp decrease in sight.

My teeth are going downhill, and fast. I have a lot of pain and sensitivity, as well as open cavities.

Acid Reflux has become a very uncomfortable bedfellow. I have started awake unable to breathe, from aspirating the bile that has cycled up.

I have crippling back pain. Most noticable when I wake in the mornings, but also when I try to bend or lift things. Taking a deep breath also triggers pain; I can hear my back crackle and pop every time I do so.

Weakness on the left side. I experience mild numbness in my left arm and left leg (and hand and foot), and I am unable to lift/push as much with that side.

Chest pain. I experience chest pain, and increased heartrate at least every few days. This has recently become more disturbing, because it can last some time and makes me wonder if I am having a heart attack, which seems a likely possibility. But luckily, so far, the pain and heart rate have subsided.

Difficulties with urination, and irregularity. This may not seem very severe, but when it is every day, it can really compound into a big problem.

Body pain is almost as much a problem as back pain. I often have pain in my joints and muscles, but generally it is overridden with my back pain.

I have severe fatigue. Just walking to the bathroom can tire me out. Simple everyday things exhaust me.

Health-Related Information:

Heavy smoker for at least 10 years.

Bad eating habits, ranging from not eating during a 24 hour period to eating 6 times during the same period. Over-eating, under-eating.

Diagnosed with asthma and severe allergies. I have not had a problem with asthma in many years, though allergies still worm their way into my every-day life very often.

4. How to get help

This is the root of my point in posting here. I am as low as I can percievably go right now. There doesn't seem to be a way out of the hole that I have dug for myself.

Financially, I may as well be homeless. My mother works two jobs (something that adds to my self-loathing; She is 57 years old and working 60 hours a week to support two loser sons. Something she should not have to do, especially when one is habitually stealing from her.) and is barely able to keep ahead of the bills. I have no insurance of any kind. I have no drivers liscence, and have never ventured so far as to actually learn to drive a car, let alone own one. I have no credit, nor have I ever had a credit card or loan of any kind. My name has never been on any lease. I have never filed any sort of taxes, or made enough money to justify ever doing so.

My medical issues are nearly impossible to deal with. I can barely get myself to a grocery store without panicing. The mere idea of entering a doctors office scares me deeply. Without insurance, I also have no way to pay for any sort of treatment. Very recently I have asked for help from close friends and family, as I don't know how or where to start to get assistance from the government or any other organization that can help. The few leads that I was given, I couldn't follow through with. I was too tired, or too anxious, or simply scared. My mind shuts off when put to a decision. But with how bad I feel mentally and physically, I -know- that I need help, and badly. I just don't know where to start. It's as if everything is already out of my hands now. I have allowed myself to slowly become crippled over time, and if I don't find a way out of this hole soon, there will only be one other option left, unless my body gives out the rest of the way and takes that option away from me.

I am sure that much has been left out, but the substance of my problems have at least been outlined.

In closing, things are so bad now, and most of my options for seeking help in my personal living space, friends, family, and so forth, have been pushed away and become unreachable. Mentally and physically I am exhausted; so I ask you here, what can I do?

Thank you for listening (reading).
I have found my way into counseling and to see a few doctors. I was diagnosed with PTSD. I'm still very scared, particularly of the treatments offered. But it is a step in the right direction, I think.

I know the problems I listed were overwhelming, and I understand the lack of responses. I personally know how difficult it is to answer the issues I listed.

Thank you for your time.

Hello Other

wow, ur post is super long, I am new on this site as well, I find this sooo interesting. I will answer your post. It may take me some time but I will answer everything. I too am going through alot and I can see by your long post that you have a lot on your mind. First I will start with your introduction by introducing myself.
Hi I am 39 years old - female - Living in Brooklyn NY. I too have some problems but I think talking about them is the best way to begin to deal with them. Unlike your opinion on believing some of these problems are due to chemical imbalances. I think my personal problems are just due to apeasing others, short-term memory, guilt and fear.
I know in the future (very near future) we both will be able to turn our negatives into positives.
You should not leave your thyroid condition untreated. Since you are over weight it's probably HYPOthyroidism like I have. If left untreated you could slip into a coma, or worse. The medication to treat this disorder is cheap even if you do not have insurance ($11)
An under active thyroid can also cause mental problems like depression and anxiety.
I really hate to hear of anyone with an untreated thyroid problem because it's so easily controlled.

Please see your doctor, OK?
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