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Feel ignored in a group and desperate for attention

Asked by Female, 22, Single
I am from a small background. Before college, I have lived in my hometown only, which is very small and underdeveloped. I was always good at academics and got into an engineering college. I had to struggle to adjust myself in that new environment a lot and that was the first time I had to face depression. I was topper in my hometown and I was a fun person always. But in college, I fall into inferiority complex, because everything which was common to everyone around me, was new and strange for me. But somehow in the period of four years I matured a lot and made good friends and life was okay. I got a job. I was very confident that things will be okay in this new place. But whenever I am in a group I still feel ignored. I am a nice person, people don't hate me but I am nobody's first choice. It's all over first of college again. I am very ambitious and work hard for everything but when I am sad i can't do anything but overthink everything which is happening around me. I can't explain each and everything here what I exactly feel and face each and everyday. But I have felt that a lot times I get desperate for attention. I try to be nice to everybody. And for last couple of months, I find myself thinking of something very bad happening to me and then people empathising to me and giving me attention. I am just worried that everything what's happening around doens't allow me to concentrate on my work and if I am not able to deliver what is expected out of me then it upsets me more. It's this vicious circle. I just want to know how I stop giving a fuck about these things and do what I want to do and like to do happily. And atleast channel myself into a person who doesn't get her office work affected by these types of feelings. I tried going to a therapist but that didn't work out well. I just went to him once but I didn't feel comfortable being open to him . So i dropped that idea. Just to give some background. I am not totally alone. I have good friends in college and also. I go out with people and have fun. I am not alone but right now there is no one close to me, and I don't think people around me care about me much. I don't share or tell anyone what's going on with me. I just act okay in front of everyone.
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Nisha Bothra
Counselling Psychologist

Hi there! Thank you for writing such a detailed question. It takes a lot of courage to write about personal specifics, but it helped me a lot in understanding your situation better. Firstly, you may have symptoms of ADD but you do not have the disorder itself. The lack of attention/concentration and forgetfulness you have described can be present in a number of life situations or disorders.
Secondly, I am glad that you realize how far you have come in life with sheer determination and hard work. The success you have achieved does not come easily and the path is usually full of difficulties. While we work on overcoming these challenges in life, we often have to step out of our comfort zone. Each time we do that it is normal to feel shaken up, just as you did in your college life. However, when we work so hard in life to fulfill our dreams, we may not realize when these little insecurities become bigger and bigger till they start occupying most of our head space. I feel the same thing has happened to you. The inferiority complex you talked about has slowly taken root in you. It now affects the way you perceive yourself and the world around you.
Lack of confidence not only makes us doubt ourselves and our abilities, it also makes us more silent and less dynamic. We do not participate as much in discussions at work. We fear what others will think about us and thus stop speaking our mind aloud even with friends. Naturally, we get less attention from others and feel ignored, which further reinforces our reduced sense of self-worth. It is indeed a vicious cycle and the more time we spend thinking like this, the more strong our negative belief system becomes. As our self-esteem dips lower and lower, we find ourselves to be more and more unacceptable in our own eyes. Naturally, we try to cope with this, and often we try to please others around us. Unfortunately, praises and accolades from others do no good without the presence of self-love. We also start trying to be perfect in everything, as it gives us a sense of being worthy. Clearly, such unreasonable demands from ourselves (and others) is bound to fail, and in turn, makes us feel even more depressed and frustrated. Does this sound like you? If your answer is yes, then by now you must have realized that a crushed self-esteem is at the root of your problem. Depression and anxiety often lead to lack of attention/concentration and forgetfulness in day-to-day life and foggy memory in the long term.

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