My family says I have depression

I'm in my late teens and live with my dad. The only time I go out is for my college classes. Sometimes when I see my friends I want to talk with them, but sometimes I won't want to talk to them for days or even weeks.

Sometimes I feel i'm not worth knowing or i'm never going to do anything right.

Are they right, am I depressed?

Vikas Keshri
Vikas Keshri
Recovery from mental illness is possible

I would not focus on what other people say. Do you feel what you have described impacts your day to day functioning? Try to evaluate how is your self esteem, motivation and self confidence. How about negative thoughts or hopelessness? Any concerns about your grades sliding down? If you answered yes to any questions, may be its time to see a counsellor.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Samantha  Osborne
Samantha Osborne
Encouraging and Compassionate

Although some people managing depression feel sad or "down",  it is a possible to have depression without an obvious sad mood.  Many people indicate that they feel numb or flat.  People managing depression often have low motivation. They may stay in bed for long periods of time and only get up for absolutely necessary activities.  People with depression may also feel inappropriate guilt or shame.   If you have been experiencing the symptoms you described for more than two weeks, I recommend that you see a counselor to get a more in-depth evaluation.   The symptoms you are experiencing are typical of depression, and with a bit of support, you could regain energy and improved self-esteem.  The stigma surrounding mental health can make a diagnosis or a label of depression seem scary.  The important thing to remember is that mental health disorders are as important as and as treatable physical health disorders.    Hang in there.  Healing is possible! 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Shawn Thomas Berthel, M.S., LMHC
Shawn Thomas Berthel, M.S., LMHC
Step into your new life path.

Hello. Being a teenager in our society today can cause depression quite easily. We look at the world in which we live, and the doubts we have about being able to make a contribution, or to have value and worth with the people around us, and we begin to internalize those messages of self-worth. If that alone were not enough, you are trying to figure out where you want to go in life, and who you are supposed to be in the world. Teens are faced with pressures of being judged by your peers for how you present yourself; following current fashions; possessing the trendy things; and hanging out with the "in crowd." Here's a "secret" that might help with most of those issues: Not much of those problems I've just described will really matter as they might seem to right now, in the real world. If you are feeling depression because you feel you lack some of those things that are seen as important by others (like your peers), I can assure you that being someone who is kind; compassionate; understanding of another person's suffering; and the effort you make to be the best person you can become in the world, will far outweigh anything you experienced in your teen years.

When we are young, we judge everything based on what our peers have, what they say, the way they dress, who's popular, who's not popular, and for the most of it, all of that is external. So the question becomes, are you trying to fix the feelings on the inside (the internal stuff), with the trappings of all the stuff on the outside (the internal)? That is to say, do you feel that if you had what your friends have, you would be happy and less depressed? Depression is usually a symptom of something much bigger, it is not typically a problem by itself (just as a person who experiences a high temperature may likely have a cold). So fixing the symptom requires looking at the possible causes. In your post, you mentioned that you live with your dad. Are your parents divorced or separated, or has your mom passed away? Either of these circumstances could certainly cause depression. Finding out when you started feeling depressed, might be able to pinpoint the trigger that caused it, which requires looking at when you last felt really happy. It is also important to keep in mind, that as a teenager, your emotions are often being experienced very randomly, and sometimes without cause. It is part of your emotional development, but as you grow older can learn how to manage those emotions better and practice doing things that help you feel better (without causing harm to yourself).

Have you tried talking to your dad about your feelings, or maybe another relative if you feel safer doing so? Do you have a friend who is your best friend...someone who is there for you no matter what? If not, there is a service you can use that is a national number for teens to talk with teen peer counselors. They are teens like yourself, but they have some insights that might be helpful. Its called Teen Line (https://teenlineonline.org/). It helped me when I was in my teens, and has helped lots of other teens as well. You might find a place to get some referrals to other local services in your area. If you want are in Washington state and would like to connect with me directly, you call link to me via my profile page. Or perhaps finding a counselor in your local area might be useful. Most towns and cities have some form of low cost counseling. You might also check with your school for assistance.

Don't be afraid of not always knowing how you are supposed to feel. Adults don't always have a handle on it either. Being a teenager carries a lot stress, fear, and uncertainty. But you are not alone, and there is help if you reach out for it. I wish for you the very best, and bright future. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

The answer to the question of whether or not you're depressed, is less meaningful than what you are doing to feel strong and secure in your life.

Otherwise, people shortcut themselves to go deeper in understanding who they are and what they'd like to do with their lives, and accept "depression" as though it is their new name.

What you write sounds like classic depression.

What to do about this feeling is to get closer to yourself in an accepting way.  

Assume that what you do in daily living is somehow necessary.  Unless you are doing immoral or illegal actions to other people, to accept your own wishes as truth will open you to appreciate why you do what you do.

Make believe you're interesting and find out more about who you are, if you have trouble to start with thinking of yourself as worth understanding.

The more you appreciate who you are and your unique strengths, vulnerabilities and fears, the more these will dissolve by what seems on their own.

In fact they will disappear bc you are believing in yourself and your ways.

Good luck!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Cimberly R. Nesker
Cimberly R. Nesker
Registered Psychotherapist (3579)

I'm alway wary of assigning a term to a feeling, as often that term becomes more important than the feeling itself. From the very little that you have written, it is clear that you are going through something that has made you extremely low, affected your self-esteem and motivation, limits your enjoyment of formerly pleasurable activities and affects your feelings of self-worth. All of these are aspects of being depressed, though you can be depressed and still not have "depression". 

Counseling is definitely a place where you can go and sort out why you have had such a sudden a drastic change to your mood. Sometimes our mood can be effected by changes in our routine, losses or significant disappointments. Talking with someone will not only help you to better understand why you are feeling this way, but they will also help you to ground yourself and learn strategies and tools to help you to manage your mood and strategize for the future. 

I do hope that you will reach out. Feeling alone can be harmful over long periods of time, as it can stop us from seeking out the support we need. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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