Hi there, so I'm new to this forum and this has actually been bothering me for a long time now. This might get really long though but I appreciate any help.
How would you distinguish having a mental disorder from just a cry for attention?
It's just that recently a rather heated debate I had with someone made me question once again whether or not I really had a mental disorder or if I was just being over dramatic with my situation. I've never been to a therapist but I've been thinking of going lately. I'd just like to get some thoughts before I might end up wasting I good chunk of money for something that I could have just endured.
Some background on me. I'm a 19 year old college student. My family background isn't as bad as others but with two working parents and 2 more siblings I can say I was a bit neglected. My mother focused on her work and I can't really say I felt much support from my father who was there but wasn't really THERE for me. I have an amazing older sister who I was greatly envious of when I was a child... actually even now. She was doted on by my father who leaned more towards scientific and academic achievements. I was the weird one who drew pretty pictures of no real significance, or at least that was what I felt from him. I admit I was also a bit jealous of my brother who was talented and charismatic. He, on the other hand, was doted on by my mother and so that left me as the kid who tried to gain their approval and ultimately failed and gave up. In our family, we also didn't talk about feelings or anything sappy of the sort. Whenever I cried my father used to give me a stern look and eventually, I learned to cry in hiding or not at all. I was often ridiculed when I was young, silly jokes from the family but they still hurt at the time.
My life outside the house wasn't any better. When I was in elementary I didn't really care (too much playing I guess) but once I hit high school I felt unbearably lonely. I remember telling my family one time that I didn't have any real friends and I was completely serious. They (my father, sister and brother) ended up making fun about it and ripping on me for a good hour or so; that incident ended in me laughing and going to my room to sleep it off. It was during first year that I ended up cutting. I know that it was stupid now but at the time it felt like an appropriate punishment to myself and others. I wanted to hurt myself out of disgust and low self-esteem. Which also involved a repulsive incident with my grandfather when I was younger. I wanted to hurt people by hurting myself. I wanted them to feel guilty and I guess I wanted their attention even if it was negative. I didn't show my family though. I was scared shitless of what they would do or how they would feel. But I did sometimes show it to some of my "friends". I thrived on their reactions but I could still feel that they didn't really give a fuck. It was by the half of second year that I met my bestfriend. She stuck by me and was the main cause why I stopped cutting.
Moving on, lately my moods have been up and down. Sometimes I feel like I can tackle the world and other times I feel like I'm nothing but shit. I still keep in contact with my bestfriend but I also don't want to rely on her. I don't want to hurt her or bother her when I talk about my suicidal urges. I also don't want to trouble my family with my problems because I can now appreciate and understand the things they've done.
I'm sorry for the wall of text but at any rate the reason why I'm worried whether or not I'm just being overdramatic is because nothing really traumatic has happened to me (excluding that bastard of a grandfather). The person who I was debating with had his parents beat each other and he was from a broken family. My bestfriend and my other great friends also come from broken families. None of them seem to be as moody or as bitchy as I am. Overall, my life hasn't been terrible. I know now that my parents were working hard for me and that my family was the way it was because that was how everyone coped. The weird thing is that, that doesn't make me feel any better. It doesn't give me an explanation or a justified reason as to why I feel like shit for a prolonged time or why I have to be afraid of falling into that depressive pit of self-deprecating shit even when I'm fully content. So I'm wondering if I should go to a therapist or if I should just suck it up. What do you guys think?
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