What’s Wrong?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I dont know what is wrong with me or why i do what i do. I am 16 years old and i dont know what is wrong with me. i havent had anything happen to me. i’ve had a normal life with a single mother working in the medical field.

My problem is i feel bad,sad, and guilty quite frequently. i seem to have no apparent reason for these feelings and bad harmful behaviors have developed because of it. i have cut myself, i lie frequently, i even have aquired physical syptoms like migraines i have now been put on preventive medications for them. i also feel tired all the time and my joints are constantly sore, my doctors believe i may be developing lupus due to medical history of having it in my family for three generations. i also have recently started to distance myself from my current boyfriend for two years. i just keep having these feelings that i dont deserve him, that im just going to hurt him in the end. i just feel life is no longer worth living. i’m the kind of girl that has always known what i want to do, where im going in life. i take all AP classes, do all sorts of extracuricular activities like sports and clubs, but now they just feel useless. i have lost my motivation. i have just lost my will to work, love, and live
anymore, and i dont know why. please help me i have already tried to kill myself and am constantly thinking about it i just want these feelings and thoughts to stop.

A. You may have depression. Some of your symptoms that may indicate depression include:

  • feelings of guilt
  • feeling tired and having low energy
  • physical pains (although these may be related to lupus since it is hereditary)
  • isolating yourself from your boyfriend
  • feeling that you do not deserve your boyfriend
  • feeling as though life is no longer worth living
  • loss of motivation to continue extracurricular activities, school work, and working
  • attempting to commit suicide

Other concerns include the fact that you purposefully cut yourself. All of these aforementioned symptoms and experiences indicate a possible diagnosis of depression.

You make the point in your letter that you have had a “normal” life. I am taking this to mean you have not experienced any specific traumas or negative events that could account for your current state of mind. It is true that individuals who have experienced a trauma may be more susceptible to depression but depression can happen to anyone. According to the World Health Organization, depression affects 121 million individuals and is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.

No one fully understands how and why depression develops. Sometimes there are clear explanations. Other times it’s not quite as obvious. Often, there is a reason for the depression even if it isn’t evident. It is common for individuals to come into therapy and have no real explanation for why they are feeling depressed. It seems like a mystery. They know they are suffering but don’t know why.

Depression can significantly erode one’s quality of life. It can cause an individual to feel as though they have nothing to live for or that their life is meaningless. The good news is that there are many effective treatments for depression.

I would strongly advise you not to ignore your symptoms. I would encourage you to consider seeking treatment as soon as possible. Perhaps a therapist could help you to uncover the reason for your possible depression. I am especially concerned because you have attempted suicide in the past. Past suicide attempts can increase the likelihood of future suicide attempts.

I would also strongly encourage you to talk to your mother about this issue. You mentioned that she is in the medical field. Because of her profession she may have a unique understanding of depression. Also, because you’re under the age of 18 you may need her assistance in setting up an appointment with a mental health professional. For further assistance, please click the find help tab on the top of this page. Thank you for your question. Please take care. I wish you well.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Jul 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). What’s Wrong?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/07/29/whats-wrong/