Do I Have Depression?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Or maybe some other type of disorder? I am currently a freshman in high school. You could say i’m smarter than your average kid, i could explain Einstein’s theory of relativity to you, and i’ve been told i have a very powerful voice in my writing. I can grasp concepts easily which makes it quick for me to catch on to things. I don’t think i’d be socially considered a nerd. i wear all those name brands, and i have an outgoing personality. I live in a shell of someone i am not. I act like a happy, self confident, but inside, I’m just the opposite. I’ve been living in this shell forIi don’t know how long. After a while, I started to believe it myself. I thought that if i bottled everything up inside that eventually the depressed, lonely me would go away. I went through nothing but pain, in trying to hide myself for so long, that the pain became the only secure feeling I ever felt. it still is. When I got with my second girlfriend, I thought I loved her, and the happiness was so foreign that i’d do stupid things so she would get mad and i’d feel the pain again. Now i’m concerned that the lust for pain is taking over me. I have suicidal thoughts almost everyday. I wish that I could take my own life, but i know that i’d hurt my parents and my sister too much. I just want the pain and the happy to switch so I can be normal. I’m sorry if i’m wasting your time with bratty teenage over exageration, I don’t like complaining when my life could be so much worse, but i have no where else to turn. this is the first time i speak aloud to anyone what i’m really feeling inside. On top of this, i think i have add, or, if it actually exists, ADHDPI. I have a very difficult time focussing, all the time. whether it be in class, at home, anywhere. i often zone out, and just stare, almost like i’m asleep, but i’m awake. i don’t usually think about anything, so i’m not daydreaming, although i do do that from time to time, but i don’t fall asleep. i guess i relax, and my eyes don’t focus in on anything, and i don’t retain anything i’m hearing. i also have a very bad short term memory, for instance, my mother will tell me to collect all the dirty dishes from upstairs. i’ll go upstairs, but then forget what i was suppossed to do once i get in my room. i get sidetracked VERY easily. my household nickname is sidetracker, because i can get sidetracked by almost anything. i have little to no self-generated motivation to do anything. because of all this, my grades in school are suffering. i have a lot of missing assignments that i get done right before the end of the grading cycyle and barely pass, even though i’m capable of doing the work. i act almost like a therapist to the people i call my “friends”. i listen to their problems and give them advice that almost never fails. i’ve never broken my confidentiality rule and told someone else their problems, but every time i try to get help by telling them a little secret of mine, it’s the latest in lunch room gossip. i thought i was strong enough to bottle everything up inside but i guess not. again, i apologize if i’m wasting time, i know there are worse off people, especially on this site.

A. You may have an attention deficit disorder or possibly depression. You may also have difficulties with social interaction but to know for certain if any of these possibilities is correct you would have to be evaluated by a mental health professional. I would recommend speaking to your parents about this possibility. Also, there’s no need to apologize for your question. It is an important question and many people struggle with very similar issues.

It is not healthy to “bottle up” your feelings. You should not try to do this. Unfortunately, for males in the American culture, repressing one’s feelings tends to be the norm. It’s a problem because those feelings don’t simply go away. Feelings can be repressed for a time but eventually they can return. The sooner problematic feelings can be dealt with the better.

How should you handle this situation? Speak to your parents about this issue. Ask to be evaluated by a mental health professional or your primary care physician. Medication might improve your attention deficit problems. You should also inquire about seeing a therapist. The therapist can help you develop important skills to deal with difficult or challenging emotions. It will be important to learn these skills, not just to improve your life in the present but also in the future. Virtually everyone could benefit from learning these skills. Click on the find help tab at the top of this page to locate mental health professionals in your community. I wish you well. Please take care.

Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Dec 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Do I Have Depression?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/12/28/do-i-have-depression-2/