"I haven't figured out what to do. I haven't figured out what I am suppose to offer this world yet," the former "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Charmed" star says."I think my fear is that I won't. I have that nagging in the back of my head that I should be doing more, and I am not."
She's going back into series television with "Scare Tactics," a new pranks show, which is already stirring controversy.
In it, marks are victimized by elaborate science fiction and horror-related pranks. One segment has a man convinced he's entered a contaminated room.
Doherty says another segment has a man convinced he hit someone in a cab, and the plot turns into a version of "I Know What You Did Last Summer."
The 32-year-old hosts the action and participates in pulling off some of the tricks.
The actress says she isn't concerned that the timing of this show may seem ill suited for these perilous real-life days of terrorists threats and anthrax warnings.
"The great thing about this show and what we are all going through now," she says, "is that it is light hearted. It's definitely just having fun and something you don't have to take it too seriously."
Well, everyone but at least one of the marks.
In one segment, a raver thinks aliens are trying to abduct her. After she ran screaming from the car, she filed a lawsuit against the production company.
"Scare" premiered Friday (April 4) on the Sci-Fi Channel.
Doherty says she's making plans away from show business. She wants to enroll in college to study politics.
Might she run for an office? She says she would "if I wasn't condemned for my past."
But the media would have a field day with her background, she says.
"It would be brutal."
What critics say bothers her.
"But I can't be so worried that I clam up," she says. " ... One of the unfortunate things about me is that I am incredibly transparent.
"I don't think I hide anything well in my life. I think that I am happy. I am happy because of some of the things I have gone through in my personal life. I have survived.
"It has made me stronger. Anytime you survived traumatic experiences and come out the other side then you can say, 'I can get through this. This person hasn't devastated me and I still do have my integrity and pride ...it puts you in a totally different place.
"I'm in a different head now. I take things a little bit lighter now ... but I have a different standard for my life and the people who enter my life because of the effect they have on me."
Regrets? She has a few, but "everything I have been through has put me where I am today," she says.
Doherty says she won't abandon acting. However, she frets the scandal headlines are getting more attention than her acting skills.
"Half the time" her talents are "overshadowed" by her "personal antics," she says.
"My fear," she says, "is that I will not have accomplished what I am suppose to on this Earth. I definitely think we are all here for a reason.
"I don't think I know what mine is yet. It's like, 'Oh God, show me the way.' I want to do it now."