My Anger Is Ruining My Once Happy Life
(Chicago, IL )
My name is Kate, and I'm 24 years old. I used to have a pretty normal life. I come from a very loving and caring family with parents who have always supported and been there for me.
At the age of 20 I got really bad anxiety and panic attacks and got pregnant. My life then completely changed. I was on medication for anxiety and couldn't drive or do anything fun because of it.
After I got pregnant I was off any medication and then my daughter was born and I went back on anxiety medication. My daughter is now three years old.
I was on medication for about a year and now that I got off of it I feel like I'm going crazy. I can't control my emotions especially my anger. I feel like getting off the medicine has made me worse than I was before I started. Even though I'm not anxious anymore my anger is horrible.
I live with my parents, go to school and work part time to support myself and my daughter so my parents don't have to do everything. My boyfriend of 6 years hasn't had a job for like 3 years now. He occasionally works construction, but not much. I love him very much and I wish things were different. We fight all the time about it because I want things to finally change.
At home I fight with my parents and my older sister all the time. Little things make me so angry. I scream and slam doors and I say things that I later regret. My parents, whom I love so much have turned their backs on me and my sister, who was once my best friend doesn't even know who I am anymore.
I don't know who I am anymore. I wake up in the morning and I'm already in a bad mood talking back to my mom and just have problems with everything. When I know it shouldn't matter. Sometimes I think it might be because of all the problems I have with my boyfriend I feel like I obsess over him sometimes. Like why he doesn't care about me and my daughter, why he won't find a real job or what he's doing. It makes me so angry when he's not around I feel like I take it out on my family, because I really never say anything mean to him like I do to my family.
I feel bad because I know this affects my daughter a lot. She sees this and I know it hurts her, and I want to change for her. I think I might go back on medication because I tried counting to 10 and I tried telling my self I'm bigger than this, but nothing works. Maybe im just supposed to be on medicine to balance my emotions out.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Kate, and thanks for telling your story here. It is clear that you are a good person who wants to control your anger and be a better mother to your daughter. That is very, very good. I will try to help you.
First of all, I want you to consider these things:
1) Until you get more emotionally healthy, you need to put your relationship with your boyfriend on hold. I get the clear feeling that it's not a good relationship for you at this time. Your focus needs to be on your emotional health and your child.
2) As quickly as possible, it would be good if you could get out of your parents' home and live on your own. I know that may not be affordable for you now, but it will really help you. You are a woman, not a child, and living with your parents is making you feel like a child--and a rebellious teenager--but you're not that, you're an adult with a child. You need to be responsible for yourself and your child.
3) I strongly encourage you to do the exercises described on this FAQ page and on this page. Do everything recommended, and you will start to feel much better. These are tools, and they only work if you use them.
Regarding the medication, it may help you for a little while, but the effects will wear off. Medication treats symptoms of emotional problems, not the cause. If you follow the recommendations I've made, you will be getting to the cause of your anger and anxiety problems.
Believe in yourself, Kate. You can do this. You've got what it takes.
My very best to you,
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