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Almost Always Want To Be Alone, Don't Care About Anyone

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I stopped talking to people (well I spoke but rarely opened myself up to anyone) about seven years ago, when I was ten, and I've now gone six years without having any friends. For the first couple of years I tended to get extremely depressed over this but recently I've finally made some friends. However, although I talk to and hang out with them, I feel absolutely nothing towards them. In fact, I've recently realized I feel nothing towards anyone, including family. I almost always want to be alone and rarely have any desire to spend time with anyone. I honestly don't care about anyone anymore, so I was just wondering if there is anything I can do to change this?
Signed: Almost Always Want To Be Alone, Don't Care About Anyone

Dear Almost Always Want To Be Alone, Don't Care About Anyone,


If this is something that you want to change, TeenHealthFX recommends that you speak with a mental health professional about the issue. FX is wondering if there was something about some of your early relationships – particularly those with your caregivers – that has left you wanting to distance yourself from others. Sometimes when people have not felt safe and nurtured in their family relationships, or have felt emotionally neglected in some way, they become somewhat used to functioning alone and somewhat reluctant to want to be in close, intimate relationships with other people as they get older.

This is an issue that can be addressed, but is often best worked out with the help of a mental health professional. A therapist can help you to understand what has contributed to your feeling this way and can help you to look at how you feel about people in general (and why you may tend to distance yourself from others or feel like you don’t particularly care about people). Some of the work happens by looking at the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors within you, and some of the work occurs through your working relationship with the therapist you are meeting with.

If this is something you would like to address, speak to your parents about setting up a consultation with a mental health professional. One of the most important things in this process is finding an experienced and reputable person to work with. You can check with family friends, a school nurse or counselor, or even your primary care physician for a referral of someone in your area who works well with adolescents.

 If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX