Monthly Archives: September 2015

Dear Hope: I Think I’m Depressed

Dear Hope,Depression
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have a good life, only ever suffered mild bullying ages ago so it can’t be that, I have talent in writting and music, good friends decent grades and my family is well off but for some reason I think i’m depressed. I just have this sad feeling in me and it’s eating me up. I have been feeling this way for a while but recently it has gotten really bad. A few weeks ago I started cutting myself.
My cutting is quite mild, I don’t cut very deep (the idea of drawing too much blood scares me) but enough to leave marks that go after a few days. I like the way the stinging feels, it takes my mind off this sad feeling (i dont really know how to describe it). I can’t tell anyone, my friends would never understand, niether would my parents or anyone i know. I think my best friend thinks i might and has asked me a few times if i’m ok but even if she can tell she never persues it.
I feel like crying all the time and find relife in reading depressing books and listening to sad songs and cutting. A few days ago things got worse and even though i know i’m not over wait i ate a lot of sugar and became terriffied i would become over wieght so i tried to throw it up, but i couldn’t.
I don’t know whats wrong with me, but its starting to eat me up.
-sophie

Dear Sophie,
I’m sorry you are going through this. I know it can be confusing especially when you don’t understand why it is happening. Sometimes you can have these feelings without really knowing why. There isn’t always an obvious reason. Not only do teens have a lot going on, you also have crazy hormones. It can be difficult to make sense of what is happening. Many teens have moments when they feel sad or irritable. When it happens too often or is hard to shake off, it can be a sign of depression.

 

I want to encourage you to talk to your parents.
Although your parents may not understand at first, it’s important to tell them. If they are not aware, they may not even realize what you are going through. They can help you find resources and come up with a plan. Here is a site you can recommend to your parents: Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression. It will give them the information they need plus some resources to help. Give them a chance because you should not go through this alone. You need to talk about what you are going through and get support.

 

I also encourage you to tell your friend.  She might surprise you and understand what you are going through. She may even have similar feelings. These kinds of feelings are common in teens and you are not alone. It is import to let your friends in and not isolate yourself. You might want to be alone, but that can make things worse. Being around friends and being social with people who care about you can make you feel better.

 

I understand that cutting is your release. You do need a release, but cutting is not the right choice. Self-harm is never the answer. You need to find other things to do besides cutting. Check out this link for ideas and resources. There are many alternatives to cutting. Here is Veronica’s story. She is someone who can relate, but has also overcome it.
I know you said you find relief in reading depressing books and listening to sad music, but that’s not healthy for you. You might find relief because you can relate, but those are triggers. Instead, you need to lift yourself up. Listen to positive music to bring up your mood. Get up and dance. Movement is also a great way to boost your mood. Try doing activities that are positive and upbeat. This can help take your mind off triggers and negative feelings.
The goal is to do things that can help. Avoid triggers when possible.
I’m so glad you reached out. Asking for help is hard, but it’s the bravest thing you can do. It’s the first step to you feeling better. You have more power than you realize.

 

Check out this link for more resources.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Does Everything Suck?

The world is against me glasses

The World’s Against Me and Everything Sucks Glasses

Do you wear the world’s against me glasses?

Wearing these glasses will leave you with a negative perspective on your life. You think everyone hates you and wants to see you suffer. You’re jealous of everything and everyone. Your parents and teachers are probably against you. Whatever happens, you feel that it is usually your fault.

Do you wear these glasses? Here are a few ways you can tell:
• You feel like the world is against you.
• You are usually unhappy. It is difficult to change your mood.
• You are easily jealous.
• You feel like your life sucks. Everyone else definitely has it better.
• You hate when people tell you what to do.

Everyone wears these glasses occasionally. But does the negative lens consume your life?

Do more than one of these sound like you? If so, you wear “the world’s against me and everything sucks glasses”.

Life sucks sometimes.

I’ll be real with you. The emotions that come with these glasses also come with being human.
Sometimes you will be angry. Jealous. Unhappy. Sometimes life will just suck.

But there is a difference between feeling those things sometimes and being consumed by them.

Rip these glasses off! Let yourself be free!

Wearing these glasses can be exhausting. Constantly viewing the world with a negative perspective steals your own happiness.

These glasses may make you feel like the world is against you, but the reality is you are against yourself.

Think about it. Who do these glasses hurt? Do they hurt the people you are jealous of? Do they make the people around you unhappy?

Who does it hurt? It hurts YOU!

When you start thinking or feeling negative, change your thoughts. Have a few positive alternatives for those negative sneak attacks. Come up with a few things that make you happy or distract you. Focus on something positive instead.

If you feel like you need help taking these glasses off, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. Talk to your parents, siblings, friends or someone you trust.

When you start feeling the world is against you, remind yourself that you deserve more.

Do you wear these glasses?
Do you know someone who wears these glasses?
Have you taken them off?
Let me know in the comments!

– ttfn G –

Dear Hope: I Suffer from Panic Attacks

Dear Hope,Panic Attack
I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and having to deal with them at school is really, really difficult. I have them in class quite frequently and I hate all the attention and everyone seeing, but I can’t control them, though I’m learning to. How am I supposed to deal with self-confidence issues when people tell me I’m having panic attacks for the attention!! I wish I could say I was…because then I wouldn’t have to deal with the constant panic, tiredness and feeling sick. But how do I deal with school? I’m just tired with having to be like this…being different…not being able to live a normal life and I want so much for it to go.
– Em

Dear Em,
There really is no “normal” life. Everyone has something that they deal with. Somethings just show up in bigger ways.

I’m glad to hear that you are learning to control your panic attacks.

You did not mention if your parents, school nurse, or teachers are aware. If they do not know, it is important that you inform them. They will be able to help you. If your teachers are aware, they will understand when you need a minute or if you need to leave class.

No one knows how you feel or what you are thinking except you. When you are experiencing a panic attack, it is real. It does not matter what other people think. As hard as it can be, you have to ignore them. They don’t understand what it feels like to have a panic attack. You know the truth about what you are going through. You cannot change how they act, but you can change how you react. One of the most important steps to having confidence is believing. Believe you have confidence. You are not doing anything wrong. You are not doing this for attention. This is not something you can completely control yet. When you feel comfortable, explain how you feel and what you experience. Sometimes people make fun of what they don’t understand. Tell your friends so you will have their support.

Many teens deal with panic attacks. There are many causes. Social anxiety, school anxiety, test anxiety. It’s important to show the attack who’s the boss. When people have panic attacks, the first instinct is to run away. To leave the situation. It’s better to stay where you are if you can. Teach the panic attack (the fear) that this situation is ok. The plan is that eventually this environment will not trigger you.

Remember, (if you haven’t done this already) tell the people who can help you!

Parents- They can take you to the doctor. They can help you get the skills to cope with this. They can also help you talk to your teacher.

School Nurse/Counselor – The nurse may have resources for you. They probably have already dealt with panic attacks affecting other students. They may have some ideas to help you at school.

Teachers – Help the teachers know what you are going through. Let them know what you need from them during a panic attack. Talk to them if you are having trouble in class or with the assignments. (A panic attack tip is to draw when you feel like you are losing your focus.) If a teacher is aware of your situation they won’t be upset if they see you drawing for a minute. They will understand you are working on calming yourself down.

Having people on your side will let you know you are not alone.

Before you leave for school, pump yourself up and visualize the day you want to have. It takes time to build self-confidence. If you have a bad day don’t get down on yourself. Think about what may have triggered you and what you can do different next time.

This is a learning process. You are so strong and still figuring this out.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Lonely Sister

Dear Hope,brothers and sisters
I have a problem. It’s not an important problem so you may not answer, but here it goes anyway. My brother and I have always been super close. We always hang out, we watch movies and play games. He is about to turn 15 and I’m 12. He just started high school and he never has time for me anymore. He is always on his phone or in his room. It’s hurting my feelings but I don’t know how to handle it. I hope you answer my question but I understand if you don’t.
– Lonely Sister

Dear Lonely Sister,
Every Dear Hope question is important. We read and take every question seriously. The only reason some questions are not answered here is because of the amount that are sent in. Sharing your questions not only helps you, it can help someone going through the same thing. I’m so glad you were brave enough to share your question.

I know it can be hard to understand why you’re not spending as much time together. I’m sure he would like to spend time with you. He may not know how to balance everything he has going on right now. Starting high school is a big change. It takes some time getting used to. His schedule is busier and the classes are harder. He will be meeting new people and experiencing new things. It’s important for your brother to have this experience. It will be important for you to have your experience also when you get to high school.

Try to understand what he is going through. He just started school and it takes time. Be willing to give him some time to adjust. Tell him that you understand he’s busy, but you miss hanging out. Let him know you’re up for a movie or game when he has a chance.

For now, until he has time, find your own fun. Don’t wait around for him. He will always be your brother. He will always be there, but you need to find other things to do. Do things that will make you happy and that will help you feel less lonely.

As he gets used to his new routine things will start to settle down. He should be able to fit in a game or movie. If it’s been a while and nothing seems to change then you need to talk to him. Be honest and tell him that you really miss hanging out. Explain that you need some big brother time. Let him know it’s hurting your feelings. Don’t be afraid to express how you feel. Even though you might not spend as much time together as you grow older, you can always be there for each other.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

 

Dear Hope: Is He Embarrassed by Me?

Dear Hope,dating
I have always been the big girl. I don’t care and my friends love me. But I have never really had a boy like me until 7 months ago. I started talking to this super cute guy in my English class. We were paired up for an assignment and found out we had a lot in common. We started talking on the phone every night. That progressed to hanging out every weekend. He went on and on about how much he liked me. When I bring up my weight, he says how beautiful I am. It was perfect at first. Even though we hang out, we never actually go anywhere. We always stay home at either my house or his. I ask him why and he just changes the subject. My friend said she heard him tell someone at school he doesn’t have a girlfriend. So what’s his deal? Is he really embarrassed by me? What should I do?
– Pretend Girlfriend

Dear Pretend Girlfriend,
You are a beautiful, strong girl. You should be dating someone who is proud of you. You should be going out and having fun on the weekends.

If you want to know what he is thinking, you need to talk to him. Ask him straight out why he always wants to stay home. See what his answer is. If it seems legitimate then talk about it. Make a plan to start to going out. Give him a chance to see if anything changes.

If his answer seems fishy at all, move on. You deserve the best. You deserve someone who will respect you and love you for you. Turn to your friends for support. They love you and will help you through this.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Best Friends Forever

Friends

When you find best friends, you imagine the friendships lasting forever. You spend hours talking about the future. You’re positive you will both share a dorm room at college. And you will definitely be in each other’s weddings. The world could not have picked a better person for you.

Like any relationship, friendships require work. You have to make an effort to keep it healthy. But, best friends are totally worth it!

Friendships are like roller coasters

They have their ups and downs. You are laughing one minute and arguing the next. It’s completely normal for friends to have disagreements. You may even have a big blow out. Then you get over it and head to Starbucks. The key is to never let it go too far. You don’t want a small blow out, to become a friendship deal breaker. Take these steps to keep your friendship happy and healthy.

• Be Honest 

Let your friend get to know the real you and you should get to know the real them. As friends, you should be able to tell each other your secrets. You can be straightforward with them. They are also the person you can rely on to tell you when there’s something in your teeth.

• Be Their Cheerleader

Support each other. Have your friend’s back. Supporting is not just about sticking up for them. It’s also about the little things. Send a quick text to say good luck on your exam, or go to watch their big game.

“Oh, I think that I’ve found myself a cheerleader
She is always right there when I need her
Oh, I think that I’ve found myself a cheerleader
She is always right there when I need her”

• Forgive Each Other

When you have a disagreement don’t let it last too long. Don’t be afraid to be the first to reach out. Being the first person to say something can be difficult, but your friendship is worth it. Apologize if you do something wrong. Beg for forgiveness, and send lots of “please forgive me” emoji. Your friend will have to forgive you.

• Make Time

Even when you are too busy, make time. Make time to hang out, to talk on the phone or send a quick text. Show your friend that they are an important part of your life.

• Remember

Don’t forget why you became best friends. Do the things you love to do together. Laugh. Be ridiculous. Share your secrets. Keep making memories.

In your lifetime, you will have many friends. Some friends stay, some just come and go. Enjoy each friendship for what it brings. Let each friendship teach you and help you grow.

– NBL V –