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Feel like an attention-seeking loser who will never be independent :-(

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Poppyflower

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I've been under mental health services for five or six years now and I have become very dependent on other people to support me, to the point where it makes me excessively anxious if I think that support is being withdrawn. For example, my therapy is ending soon and I am so worried I won't cope without it. It hasn't been especially useful to me but still I don't want it to end. And today I saw my psychiatrist but he hasn't booked me in for another appointment, and that is making me so anxious too because I am worried he thinks I no longer need his support. And when I see my GP, if he doesn't say come back in 3 weeks, or a month etc, I get so worried that he is withdrawing his support, even though I know he would be fine with me going in any time if I need help. Most of the time he says to come back, so it feels like abandonment when he doesn't.

I just can't seem to do anything in my life without help anymore. I am studying at the moment and I have a study mentor to support me. I recently started a job but feel like I am going to lose it unless I get some help to retain it. My advisor at the work programme is not helping me and so I have contacted Richmond Fellowship and they are going to support me through their “retain” service.

Why can’t I live independently anymore? I know one thing that has made me so anxious about losing support is that last January I was suddenly and unexpectedly discharged from the mental health team. There was no warning. I just showed up to an appointment with my care coordinator after she had been away for three weeks and she said, “I'm leaving and I'm closing your case because the team doesn't think it can help you”. Not long after that I tried to kill myself. So I suppose it's no big shock that I get frightened at the thought of being abandoned when I am still so ill and in need of support.

But I hate that whenever anything goes wrong or I feel like I'm struggling with something my first thought is, “who can help me?” I used to be independent but now I rely on others all the time.

And I think I might also be an attention seeker and that I am anxious about losing the support because I am anxious about losing other people's attention. Sometimes it is nice to have someone completely focused on me and listening to what I have to say. Is it bad that I don't want to lose that? Am I a bad person? I just feel like I am an attention-seeking loser who will never be capable of living life independently. I don’t want to be like this and I don’t want my life to be like this but I can’t change. I don’t know whether to just kill myself.
 
SarahD

SarahD

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Hi Poppyflower. I know what you mean about mental health services. At the beginning they seem to want you to be dependent on them, and that can be hard when you want to get away. But gradually you come to rely on them and on the support. Then whoosh it is gone. Ideally they should help you put things in place to help you before they dump you. Doesn't seem to happen.

There is so much demand for their services that they have to let people go, often when they still need support.

So you have to do that for yourself as much as you can. It isn't easy. So well done for approaching the Richmond Fellowship, at least that is one thing. And you have some help with your studies.

You can look to see if there are any local groups perhaps,through mental health charities or befriending schemes - I don't think there are as many as there used to be, there are none in my area, but it is worth a look.

Are you meeting people with your studying? Making new friends can help. Following up,any interest especially which mean meeting people. Building up your own network of friends, a kind of support group. I know none of this is easy. Just racking my brain for ideas that might help.

You are not an attention seeker, we all need support. If mental health are withdrawing you need to find other sources. Keep a list of helplines in case you feel really down. You shouldn't feel bad about yourself. You have been in need of support, and it is hard to take the step of going forward without that.
 
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Poppyflower

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Thanks, SarahD, I appreciate your comment. I have been back with the mental health team since my suicide attempt but I get quite fearful that they will discharge me in such a brutal manner again. I can't believe they just dump people like that with no preparation.

Unfortunately my course is distance learning so I can't meet people through that! And I don't make friends easily at all. I wish I had friends to lean on so I don't have to rely on professionals so much!

I just really hate that being ill has taken away my independence. I used to take such pride in being independent. I wish I had never sought help from mental health services. :low:

Thank you so much again for your supportive comment.
 
AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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There's so much I can identify with in your post poppyflower :hug: I have been in the same position with GP, therapist, psychistrist, other sources of support, where I've felt I won't cope if they withdraw their support. I've reacted similarly to you when I've been told they are no longer going to see me, or even when they talk about it being time for me to move on at some point in the not too distant future. I also find it hard to ask for help, if they aren't the one to say 'Make another appointment for three weeks time', it's hard to state my wishes that I would like one. For me, there's an issue with abandonment, and believing people really want to help, or that they are interested/care. It's very bad that services abruptly end people's support, it seems quite common, but it is a damaging way to treat people. I'm sorry that happened to you.

I know what you mean about feeling you will never be able to manage independently, but try not to focus on the long-term, try to focus on what you are achieving now. You are managing to study, you have independently sought out help from the Richmond Fellowship, these are achievements. There is no shame, or shouldn't be, in benefiting from help with things. It is a big loss though to lose independence that you previously had. I have felt very dependent, but things can change, strength can build up, one small step at a time.

And I think I might also be an attention seeker and that I am anxious about losing the support because I am anxious about losing other people's attention. Sometimes it is nice to have someone completely focused on me and listening to what I have to say. Is it bad that I don't want to lose that? Am I a bad person? I just feel like I am an attention-seeking loser who will never be capable of living life independently. I don’t want to be like this and I don’t want my life to be like this but I can’t change. I don’t know whether to just kill myself.
You're not a bad person, and there's nothing wrong with liking having someone focused completely on you, and really listening to you, you're right, it's nice. There was a thread on here recently about attention-seeking (I've searched but can't find it), and the gist of it was, what's so very wrong with wanting and seeking attention? If someone feels they need/want attention, isn't that likely because there has been a lack of sufficient attention previously for them? A need that hasn't been met? I would say that is the case with me. And as long as attention-seeking isn't destructive or detrimental to others, what is really wrong with it (and even then, there is scope for it to be understood and forgiven and addressed)? We all need attention, to be heard, to be seen, to be acknowledged, to be validated, to be accepted, and believed. It's human, we would be superhuman not to need it. And yet we often feel so guilty for that need/want, and unworthy of attention when we do get it. I think these things go very deep into our make-up, and into developmental reasons for why we are the way we are, at least in my case I feel they do. It's not easy to dispense with feeling guilty over it, but I think mostly there isn't any reason to feel guilty to needing attention, care and support.

I'm glad you wrote this poppyflower, I don't think you're alone in feeling these things :hug:
 
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yoyogirl

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Can you ring them back and say you need help
 
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Christobel

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I agree with all that everyone has said. We are all vulnerable when we are ill, and depend on our psychiatrist, GP and other support services. When even one of these supports is taken away it is easy to feel like giving up. I found the best way to deal with my psychiatrist was to write her a letter saying what was troubling me. She would always ring me back and discuss it with me. You are a very clear writer and this approach might help you. For example I would write and tell her you are having suicidal feelings.
 
ScaredCat

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Poppyflower, you are so not alone in how you feel. This thread so resonates with me. I am panicing atm due to having my last cbt session this week and that a course i was doing finished just before Christmas. Just feel like support is reducing. Am with cmht still. And do worry about being discharged from them too. Although dont think that will happen in short term at least.

You obviously are in need of support and are definitely not an attention seeking loser. Like others have said needing attention is not a bad thing. Everyone needs attention. Feeling abandoned is very scary. You are doing a lot to help yourself. Are there any other voluntary organisations in your area that can help/offer support?
 
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Poppyflower

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Thank you so much for the responses. It makes me feel a lot better to know people can relate to what I said. I should clarify that I am back under the care of the mental health team, though I currently do not have a care coordinator because mine just left.

Today I had my last therapy session. My therapist offers follow-ups but I won't be seeing her again until the end of March now because she is going away. I'm seeing my GP next week but then he is going away too.

I hate that I'm scared about therapy ending and my GP going away. I want to be able to live my life without depending on others.

I have follow-up therapy appointments, regular appointments with my GP, a study mentor, I have just started attending a 10 week support group for people with Asperger Syndrome and Richmond Fellowship will be contacting me shortly to support me to keep my job.

I am so, so grateful for all the help and support from these people and services, but absolutely mortified that I need so much of it just to function. Will I ever be independent again?
 
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AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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Even though you have new things starting, therapy ending and the follow-up being some time off, plus your GP being away, these are still significant things to cope with. I don't think things will always stay the same in the level of support you need, even though it might be hard at the moment to imagine that :hug:
 
echo66

echo66

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Hi PoppyFlower, can totally relate to your post. I've been seeing a Counsellor for 10 months now and it is coming to an end soon - and I am dreading it. She thinks I am ready. I don't. But I know she's doing it because she doesn't feel there's anything more she can do therapeutically and she's worried about dependency...

You say you've been under MH services for about 5 or 6 years now, well it's no wonder you feel dependent on them, totally understandable and nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. But you won't be dependent forever, it might just take a bit of time to regain your confidence that's all. You will get there, small steps at a time.
((hugs))
 
BillFish

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I've been under mental health services for five or six years now and I have become very dependent on other people to support me, to the point where it makes me excessively anxious if I think that support is being withdrawn. For example, my therapy is ending soon and I am so worried I won't cope without it. It hasn't been especially useful to me but still I don't want it to end. And today I saw my psychiatrist but he hasn't booked me in for another appointment, and that is making me so anxious too because I am worried he thinks I no longer need his support. And when I see my GP, if he doesn't say come back in 3 weeks, or a month etc, I get so worried that he is withdrawing his support, even though I know he would be fine with me going in any time if I need help. Most of the time he says to come back, so it feels like abandonment when he doesn't.

I just can't seem to do anything in my life without help anymore. I am studying at the moment and I have a study mentor to support me. I recently started a job but feel like I am going to lose it unless I get some help to retain it. My advisor at the work programme is not helping me and so I have contacted Richmond Fellowship and they are going to support me through their “retain” service.

Why can’t I live independently anymore? I know one thing that has made me so anxious about losing support is that last January I was suddenly and unexpectedly discharged from the mental health team. There was no warning. I just showed up to an appointment with my care coordinator after she had been away for three weeks and she said, “I'm leaving and I'm closing your case because the team doesn't think it can help you”. Not long after that I tried to kill myself. So I suppose it's no big shock that I get frightened at the thought of being abandoned when I am still so ill and in need of support.

But I hate that whenever anything goes wrong or I feel like I'm struggling with something my first thought is, “who can help me?” I used to be independent but now I rely on others all the time.

And I think I might also be an attention seeker and that I am anxious about losing the support because I am anxious about losing other people's attention. Sometimes it is nice to have someone completely focused on me and listening to what I have to say. Is it bad that I don't want to lose that? Am I a bad person? I just feel like I am an attention-seeking loser who will never be capable of living life independently. I don’t want to be like this and I don’t want my life to be like this but I can’t change. I don’t know whether to just kill myself.
You need to change your mindset love, to that of self preservation, and not feel at all guilty about it.That's what the rest of society is doing, they really are, and they have no scrupouls about it what so ever. You have a job, fantastic! You need and require support, well so what love, you have a serious mental illness and need it! Fuck em love! Enjoy your job and study and spend your earnings enjoying yourself!:p
 
aleshadxcherylc

aleshadxcherylc

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Hi poppy flower
So sorry I can't advise I've been through similar situations and feel exactly the same as you, you couldn't have explained it better sounds exactly like me.
I'm very dependent on people and services and don't want them to go or end I can't imagine my life and carrying on without them so you are not alone with these feelings :hug1:
X
 
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Poppyflower

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Today my GP told me I need to get out of the "patient role, the sick role", which has just made me feel more than ever that I am attention-seeking and too dependent on others. I hate that I probably come across this way to him and other professionals too. :cry:

My GP is usually amazing but I am angry at that comment. I am in the "patient role" because I am a patient! And I am in the "sick role" because I am unwell with mental health problems. Would he have said, "you need to get out of the patient role, the sick role" to someone with a physical illness? I am disappointed that he said that and made me feel like this. He is usually so supportive and understanding but I think he is getting frustrated at my lack of progress.

I'm so tired of all of this.
 
coldwater00

coldwater00

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I've been under mental health services for five or six years now and I have become very dependent on other people to support me, to the point where it makes me excessively anxious if I think that support is being withdrawn. For example, my therapy is ending soon and I am so worried I won't cope without it. It hasn't been especially useful to me but still I don't want it to end. And today I saw my psychiatrist but he hasn't booked me in for another appointment, and that is making me so anxious too because I am worried he thinks I no longer need his support. And when I see my GP, if he doesn't say come back in 3 weeks, or a month etc, I get so worried that he is withdrawing his support, even though I know he would be fine with me going in any time if I need help. Most of the time he says to come back, so it feels like abandonment when he doesn't.

I just can't seem to do anything in my life without help anymore. I am studying at the moment and I have a study mentor to support me. I recently started a job but feel like I am going to lose it unless I get some help to retain it. My advisor at the work programme is not helping me and so I have contacted Richmond Fellowship and they are going to support me through their “retain” service.

Why can’t I live independently anymore? I know one thing that has made me so anxious about losing support is that last January I was suddenly and unexpectedly discharged from the mental health team. There was no warning. I just showed up to an appointment with my care coordinator after she had been away for three weeks and she said, “I'm leaving and I'm closing your case because the team doesn't think it can help you”. Not long after that I tried to kill myself. So I suppose it's no big shock that I get frightened at the thought of being abandoned when I am still so ill and in need of support.

But I hate that whenever anything goes wrong or I feel like I'm struggling with something my first thought is, “who can help me?” I used to be independent but now I rely on others all the time.

And I think I might also be an attention seeker and that I am anxious about losing the support because I am anxious about losing other people's attention. Sometimes it is nice to have someone completely focused on me and listening to what I have to say. Is it bad that I don't want to lose that? Am I a bad person? I just feel like I am an attention-seeking loser who will never be capable of living life independently. I don’t want to be like this and I don’t want my life to be like this but I can’t change. I don’t know whether to just kill myself.
I am so sorry about all this, you are a real fighter.

I think it is ok to want other people's attention because we generally want attention for a good reason - because we want support and help. You are not asking for attention just for the hell of it, and you don't need it for no reason.. so anyone who says otherwise is just stupid.

Sorry this wasn't very helpful.
 
coldwater00

coldwater00

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Today my GP told me I need to get out of the "patient role, the sick role", which has just made me feel more than ever that I am attention-seeking and too dependent on others. I hate that I probably come across this way to him and other professionals too. :cry:

My GP is usually amazing but I am angry at that comment. I am in the "patient role" because I am a patient! And I am in the "sick role" because I am unwell with mental health problems. Would he have said, "you need to get out of the patient role, the sick role" to someone with a physical illness? I am disappointed that he said that and made me feel like this. He is usually so supportive and understanding but I think he is getting frustrated at my lack of progress.

I'm so tired of all of this.
Sometimes people think they are being encouraging saying things like that, it probably does stem from a sense of frustration though and I can't see it as anything other than insensitive. Sometimes people say things like that because they feel insecure about what you are asking of them and don't feel like they are able to provide you with what you need. It can affect a doctors sense of "helping people" if they don't feel they are seeing quick enough progress. You are right he probably wouldn't say that to someone with physical problems though, it is quite rude. Doctors are a bit weird though, I think they get a bit overstressed sometimes.

I hope that you are ok x
 
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