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

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