Hating Myself to the Point of Closing Myself Off

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

About 2 months ago, my grandpa passed away. I was really close to him and it was the first death I ever had to deal with. (I’m 15). At first my mother understood my depression, she allowed me to be late for school, and always tried her best to help me. But now that I should “Be over it” I’m not. I feel like I’m still in shock that he’s gone. I don’t know if it has anything to do with this… but I thought I’d mention it.

Lately, I’ve been getting really depressed stages at least once a day. It lasts about 1-2 hours depending on what triggered it. The triggers are stupid, and I KNOW they shouldn’t mean anything. But for some reason, It always hits me. For example, today my brother was joking around and said “Nobody likes you” And although I knew he was kidding, it made me look back on all the guys that made fun of me or that didn’t like me. I then start wondering why they didn’t like me… and I begin picking myself apart. My looks, personality; everything. Because of this I have very low self-esteem. I hate getting my picture taken. And when my friends are kidding around taking pictures, they always want me to join. I always cover my face, which leads to them saying “How are you going to be an actress if you don’t like getting your picture taken?” And then, another depressed stage will happen. I guess overall I feel pretty down about myself. Like I won’t amount to anything. I feel like my friends are better then me, and that my family would be better off without me ruining their moods. I’ve thought about suicide, but I would never really do it. Ever.

I just want to erase my existence from this life. I don’t want to exist; I don’t want to try. I don’t want to care, and I don’t want to feel this way anymore… Any advice or anything…?

A. You may be underestimating the grief and sadness associated with the death of your grandfather. It was a very recent passing. That event likely accounts for a major part of your depression. Losing a loved one is exceedingly difficult, especially when it is your first major loss. Many people would have a similar reaction to losing someone they love.

You feel that you “should be over it.” I would disagree. There is no identified period of time in which an individual “should” complete grieving the loss of a loved one. Generally, at a minimum, it can take six months to one year to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. Please don’t mistake the phrase “come to terms” with “getting over it.” No one “gets over” the loss of a loved one. It is a process of adjusting to the loss.

Grieving is a process. It takes time. Profound feelings of loss do not simply vanish. They usually diminish over time. In addition, healthy grieving often requires the assistance and support of others. Sometimes professional help is required and I believe that this may be one of those occasions. A therapist or a grief support group could be of tremendous benefit to you. I would recommend discussing those options with your parents. Symptoms of depression, regardless of their source, necessitate treatment.

Finally, when you feel ready, I would recommend finding ways to commemorate your grandfather. Celebrating his life could facilitate the healing process. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Hating Myself to the Point of Closing Myself Off. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/01/22/hating-myself-to-the-point-of-closing-myself-off/