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?
It is hard to make sense of the many different feelings and moods we have, especially during the teen years. I am sorry that you have been feeling like you are not worth knowing or that you do not do anything right. Those are hard feelings to have! Added to the challenge is the current state of things related to COVID-19. Have you noticed an increase in these feelings during the stay at home mandates? If you felt this same way before all of the changes that have occurred over the past few months, how is it different (if at all) when you were able to go to classes and do things with friends? One way that helps me to understand what depression feels like is to imagine that you are wearing dark sunglasses all of the time; because they are always on they make everything that you look at appear darker. When sadness or a low mood is the norm and you cannot find things to get excited about or look forward to that is a good indication that it is time to seek professional help.
There are many things that you can do to help lift your mood (exercise, eat healthy foods and drink, get adequate sleep, share your feelings with someone you can trust, decrease social media exposure, etc.), it is important to explore all of the options that are available to you. Seeking out counseling or talking to a doctor that knows you and your medical history well is a first step towards changing the feelings you described. If it is determined that you are experiencing depression there are options that will help you feel better. I hope this helps to give you hope that what you are feeling can improve.
Once your mood lifts you will have the energy you need to combat the thoughts that say you are not worth knowing or that you cannot do anything right. There are great cognitive behavior therapy resources and counselors out there that can help you fight those thoughts and as you do you will learn the tools that will help you silence the thoughts that defeat you and tear you down.
- 42 views
Those are really heavy feelings to have, even if you don't meet the cookie-cutter criteria of depression.
It seems like you are still pretty young and maybe have recently graduated? It's normal in the late-teen development phase to have a lot of self-doubt about who you are and what you want in life. There's so much pressure on people your age to figure out what you are supposed to be doing and it can be easy to criticize and compare yourself. It's also common to feel like a sense of loss if your high school relationships have changed since going to college. Maybe these things aren't happening for you, but if they are that's OK. Many college students experience what you are going through and there are usually campus counseling services at reduced rates for students. Right now with COVID-19, those may be via telehealth.
What are your personal relationships in your life like? You mention living with your dad--is he a support? Is anyone else in your family supportive for you? It's not clear what role your family plays in your life or depression, but it seems like they are noticing some concerns about your behavior. If it seems like they are highlighting those out of concern, I wonder if they would also want to help you. That's not always everyone's situation, but there are a lot of online support groups, counselors, and resources if you are feeling alone.
Other ways to cope with depression (no matter how intense) is to exercise. It's not a cure, but it has awesome benefits for the brain and has shown in studies to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms drastically. Even something like walking can help.
If you feel it's unmanageable, you can talk to your primary doctor about medications that could be right for you. There are a lot out there developed for depressive symptoms that work pretty well for most people.
Lastly, find some ways to show yourself that you are worthy! Notice in your question that you said "sometimes"--what are those other times you feel worthy? Or times that you feel you are doing things "right"? Reframing that voice in your head can help as well--like maybe you are just doing the best you can with what you have. Could that be true? And that doesn't mean you don't make mistakes! Mistakes are part of being human, and you can definitely cope with them.
Hope this helps!
- 28 views
Wondering how to talk to a loved one about getting mental health treatment? Just about every family has that loved one who's always causing trouble, or maybe is just more of a free spirit. Sometimes however, that someone has a serious mental health issue. If you have a loved one who you believe may need mental health treatment, there are things you can do to try and convince them to seek help. Learn how to talk to a loved one about getting mental health treatment.
Family and Friends are First Responders
You should see yourself as a type of "first responder" for your loved one. Teachers, employers and even medical professionals that interact with your loved one aren't likely to do anything to intervene if it appears they need mental health treatment. As their friend or family member, you are their first line for help.
The Importance of Early Intervention
Early intervention is key to improving your loved one's quality of life. The longer a mental illness goes untreated, the shorter the intervals between the troubling episodes and behavior that's drawn your concern. As the intervals shorten, the relapses increase in severity; and as their mental illness becomes more severe, the more resistant it will be to treatment. Intervening as early as possible will change the course of your loved one's life, putting them on a positive trajectory.
Talking to Your Loved One
Prepare your loved one for this conversation by letting them know that you want to have a talk. Let them know it's because you love them, and that the topic is very important. Make sure they know it's nothing negative or scary. Set a date and time, and choose a neutral location where they will be most comfortable.
Keep the conversation in the context of your relationship with this person. Make sure they know you're not rejecting or judging them, but that you love them and are concerned. Don't attempt a diagnosis, such as "I think you're bipolar"; leave diagnoses to the professionals. Talk about your feelings and be specific when you're describing concerning behavior. Instead of vague statements like "you need help", or "you're acting strange" give specific examples. "It frightened me when you were yelling the other day," or "You missed work four times in the last two weeks."
The Goal of the Talk
Your goal in talking to your loved one should be for them to get a one-time evaluation. Offer to make the appointment, to pay for it, and/or to drive them.
Talking to someone you love about seeking mental health treatment is difficult and awkward, but it is important. Be prepared for them to have an angry response, and if they do, maintain your composure and stick to the theme of your love and concern. It may take multiple attempts to get your loved one to seek help. Don't be nagging or harassing, but do be persistent.
If you or a loved one are in need of mental health treatment, a licensed mental health professional can help. Reach out today for a free consultation.
- 48 views
I wouldn't necessarily say you are clinically depressed based on that first paragraph in your question. Because that could describe more introverted behavior (people who feel more energy from a more internal approach as opposed to those who feel more energy from being among others.) It is more in the second paragraph that I would be inclined to say that further exploration is definitely needed. The diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder is more than just those two symptoms, but there are more mild forms of depression that can be equally damaging to someone if left untreated.
However, one of the trickiest parts of this is that someone who feels they are not worth knowing may also believe they are not worth having a therapist know them, and even less worthy of being helped. Do you feel that might be you? If so, could we acknowledge that as a part of the big picture, and all wrapped up in these feelings about yourself, and realizing that thoughts and feelings aren't always rational (in that you are worth getting the help)?
My recommendation just from the information would be that you seek out a supportive, listening ear in the form of a therapist, who can allow you the space to express some of these difficult experiences, and help you name FOR YOURSELF, what your struggle is. To empower you to name it for yourself, as opposed to everyone labeling and/or judging you for it, might be an extremely worthwhile start for you.
- 57 views
Depression can look different for everybody. It sounds to me like what your family is trying to tell you that they are worried about you, and think this behavior might be a result of depression. If what you are experiencing seems fine and normal to you, it may be nothing to worry about.
It is very common to have thoughts of doubt about yourself and your abilities, and it may help to open up about those thoughts to people you trust. Developing relationships with friends and families can be a very rewarding experience, but it can take a brave person to reach out!
- 59 views
If we were in my office together, I would offer that most likely you are feeling somewhat depressed. It's most important for me to impress that you "don't have to live like this..." Other helpful information: Have you experienced similar symptoms before? Anyone in your family been depressed before? Based on other physiological signs, like quality of sleep, appetite, energy/motivation, I would present you with some treatment options, one of which would be to consult with a medication management provider to assess your symptoms and provide additional information for you to consider.
- 53 views
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.
- 74 views
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!
- 51 views
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.
- 49 views
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.
- 38 views
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.
- 96 views
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