From a teen in the U.S.: It feels like my brain is torturing me. I feel like I’m tied to a chair and my brain is forcing me to look at vivid, disturbing and extreme thoughts that I don’t want to see/do and I’m afraid will happen. It can be very crippling sometimes. I want to know what this is. I know I should see a therapist or something, but I just wanted someone else’s opinion.

Please trust yourself. You don’t need my opinion (or anyone else’s). Your symptoms are “crippling”. That’s absolutely a legitimate reason to see a therapist. There is no reason for you to live like this. Make an appointment with a mental health professional to help you discover what is going on. An assessment will then lead to recommendations about what to do about it.

COVID-19 is limiting the availability of therapists for face-to-face appointments. Do look into whether a local therapist is able to do online assessments. Your doctor may be able to give you a referral.

There are also local and national mental health hotlines that can be very helpful for both providing some immediate reassurance and relief and for locating help. Simply do an internet search to find them.

I repeat: Trust yourself. Go with your good instincts.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie