Warning: somewhat long story ahead. I figure the back story is relevant to what’s going on now. I apologize in advance though if I made this too long, too detailed. For those who don’t want to read the whole thing- I’ve had a history of relatively minor depression & anxiety and am concerned that it’s entering the territory of being actually delusional.
I’m not asking for medical advice and I’ve been doing research on low cost/sliding scale mental health clinics in my area (I don’t have insurance). I went to a regular free clinic to see if perhaps I had a physical problem that was causing me to feel sluggish, un-motivated, etc. They did blood tests and an an overall exam and the results of those said I’m in perfect health. I felt uncomfortable telling them the extent of my feelings though because of some of their commentary regarding my answers when they were filling out a questionnaire about my general well being. For example when they asked me if I was feeling “persistently sad and hopeless” and I said no the nurse told me that I’d given the “correct” answer. When asked if I’d ever had sex without a condom the nurse replied “interesting” when I said no. There’s no use in complaining to anyone about their un-professionalism. The whole place seems like a mess, but that’s beside the point of my OP.
Anyway, in middle school and the beginning of high school I had a problem with depression which was probably more related to my friend group/being an angsty teen than a serious mental health issue, however my parents (mostly my mom) insisted on putting me on Zoloft when I was around 13 or 14. I met with several therapists- one diagnosed me with adjustment disorder, the other two thought I was just being a teenager. My mom stopped sending me when the last therapist told her that she thought my mom was the problem, not me. When I was 16 I refused to take the Zoloft anymore and by this point my parents were beginning the process of divorcing so they didn’t offer much resistance.
Fast forward to my last year of college when I was around 20. I started feeling depressed and anxious about various things such as feeling that my friends didn’t actually like me and worrying that I was about to be fired from my job. I went to the campus mental health center where I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and handed a prescription for Prozac. I took the Prozac for a few months until for some reason I totally flipped out on a friend I used to work with after we got into an argument about something stupid. I was very upset about the possibility of losing his friendship, apologized profusely and sent him a gift card to his favorite store however he said he was no longer interested in further contact. For the first time I fell into a deep, nearly suicidal depression (I was also having issues finding an internship for school that was necessary to graduate- I did end up finding one at the last minute though). I was able to hide it however because I knew rationally that despite feeling like I never wanted to leave the house again, not going to work, school and losing friendships by cutting off contact would make things much worse. I flushed the Prozac down the toilet, acted my best as if everything was normal and after a few months I felt better.
I am now 23 and have been out of college for two years. I work a full time job and effectively have the same group of friends from college. I have a lot of anxiety about the future, where I’ll be when I’m 30, how will I make my mark on the world, etc. I also worry a lot about money and have extreme anxiety about being fired. This is where I’m afraid that my current worries are leaving the territory of “normal” anxiety into “possibly delusional.”
My boss asked me if I’d made a bank deposit for x amount on a certain day. I said I’d made a deposit of a similar amount on a different day and told him the correct amount for the deposit on the particular day he’d asked about. He then asked me for the bank receipt which I sent him as well as the bank receipt for the deposit of a similar amount. On this same day, a co-worker who didn’t know how to read my paperwork correctly told my boss that I’d left the register short money, when I’d actually taken money out to pay a delivery person and had documented it. I explained that to my boss which got no response, me sending in my deposit receipts also got no response. I’m very concerned about them concocting a story about me stealing as a means to get rid of me even though I am not (so they can deny unemployment insurance) or possibly using me as a scape goat in the event someone else is stealing since I’m the one who handles all the banking. I was very upset all day because I did find a missing receipt, but it was from an old deposit that no one has asked me about so far and I have a copy of the deposit slip. I told my co-workers my concerns and they told me I’m being silly and that I’m way too valuable to the company for them to abruptly get rid of me without negative consequences and if they really did think I was stealing they would talk to me about it. A friend I confided in was of the same opinion. I’ve started keeping my bank receipts in a locked drawer that I only have the key to though and will make a point to scan them and always include them with my paperwork in the future (I hadn’t done this previously because the office manager of the company is notified by email whenever someone makes a deposit and she normally asks when one doesn’t show up).
A few weeks prior to this someone who is in between my boss and I was hired (I guess that makes him my boss as well) and apropos of nothing he lavishes praise upon my performance, tells me that everyone he’s met in the company says I’m wonderful, and compliments me on random things like my socks. It comes across to me as really bizarre and I’ve wondered if there is some sort of hidden motive behind him doing that. Again, I confided in my co-workers and the same friend from above and both had the conclusion that he’s a) telling the truth b) maybe he’s being overly excessive to gain my trust since he’s new to the company and c) perhaps he’s also a bit socially awkward and that’s why it comes across as weird. This guy has been on vacation since the bank incident so he hasn’t been involved in that.
This is minor, but I sometimes feel that my co-workers past and present don’t like me and are talking about me behind my back. They are all polite and friendly to my face though and usually invite me to social events, but I worry that they don’t actually want me there. And no, I don’t talk all the time about my worries- it’s only come up once or twice.
As for non work related anxiety- I still have feelings that my friends don’t actually like me (clearly this thought is part of a pattern) even though rationally that makes no sense considering that I’ve been friends with them for years now. The fact that we don’t see each other as often can easily be explained by the fact that we’re older, have full time jobs now, etc.
This worry that I have really disturbs me though: My dad got me concert tickets for an artist I really like but have never seen and I have a persistent worry that the tickets are fake even though that would be pretty ridiculous for my dad to defraud me. I started getting worried when he didn’t send me an email confirmation for one of the shows I’m going to. He finally did send it and I have the tickets now, but I keep worrying about minor inconsistencies such as the receipt for the purchase saying that one of the tickets is for a Friday show when it’s actually for a Saturday one. It’s probably just an error on Ticketmaster’s part but I have this huge fear of getting to the venue and being denied entry. I haven’t told him anything about my concerns, I just told him I was concerned about not receiving the information from him because I wanted to send him a check to reimburse him in a timely manner/double check to make sure the ticket was for the right date.
I’ve lost my appetite and have been having trouble sleeping, but that could be attributed to the heat wave. I’ve also lost interest in things- I’m bored with my music collection and have neglected things like my blog and writing fiction which is one of my hobbies, and I haven’t been able to finish the books I’ve started reading. I can’t even get through a magazine. I keep up my appearance though and am able to force myself to do basic housework. I use a pick up/drop off laundry service so that’s one less chore to worry about.
I’ve done some online research and I don’t have classic symptoms of a delusional disorder such as thinking people are following me or that I am someone incredibly important, friends with famous people, and so on. I am also aware that my feelings are most likely irrational, although apparently some people in the beginnings of their illness do retain insight about their beliefs. It does sound like depression, but it’s different from the depression I’ve experienced in the past.
I know the answer is to see a shrink, but it’s hard to find one when one does not have insurance. I could get a referral from the free clinic, but as I explained above, I feel uncomfortable discussing it with anyone there. I don’t want them to jump to the conclusion that I am seriously delusional and have me locked up. I am also worried that I’m just being a hypochondriac and am getting worked up over feelings that are odd, but not necessarily batshit insane.
Thanks to those who read all the way through this.