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Not feeling like myself anymore (changed personality?)....

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- 26 year old male, completing my PhD
- moved (alone) to small city in Canada from major US city
- at first was extroverted:
* got job at a bar/club
* was social with co-workers
* regularly spoke via telephone with friends back home
- as time wore on, social anxiety emerged
* difficulty finding 'right things to say'
* less social at work (could be do to increased work-load)
* less phone conversations with friends at home
* described myself as boring, lacking energy, always sleepy
- began believing I have nothing good to offer to friends (no + traits)
- very self-critical
* took things personally if someone doesn't like me
* example: new friends removed me from facebook - took it personally
that they think something is wrong with me or I am odd
* lacked humor in everyday situations, too serious
- Effexor XR started, not much help
- poor sleeping patterns, regularly taking sedatives to fall asleep (Benadryl)
- always worrying if my new friends actually like me or not
- worry that when I return home, previous friends won't accept me again, or like me

- prior to these events (appx. 4 months before moving to Canada) false belief I
was going crazy
- again, this was charecterized by negative, self-devaluing perceptions
- continual belief that something is wrong with me, socially especially
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replied July 9th, 2009
I'm not a professional - just someone older with more life experience than you have. The PhD candidate process is grueling - regardless of your focus - and could really have you (and should have you) challenging your beliefs. Don't underestimate the impact. Further, moving to a new environment in a new country with different norms: huge impact. Perhaps you are simply taking on too much. I moved around frequently when I was your age and yes, the folks back home do go on with their lives without you. And your new friends do not have the history with you. If you were someone who made friends easily when you were younger, I imagine that this "change" can be especially traumatic. 26 is a time when some people are leaving their younger days - life at parties or in bars - behind them and are getting married. Others are leaving the first or second jobs behind them for a career. This is a time when people look for "meaning" in their lives. Do you feel left out of this process? Perhaps you would be better served by a different line of work. After all the bar/restaurant scene (even in small towns) is superficial and transient and if you are basing your self-opinion on reactions in this environment, you will be disappointed. I am assuming that you've checked in with your doctor, has a thorough physical and all. Check back in. If Effexor doesn't work, something else might.
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