Home Videos Depress Me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

For a long several years now, I’ve been unable to watch family home videos, without feeling really bad. It hasn’t been officially diagnosed by a doctor that I have depression, but I know I have it. I’ve known that I’ve had it for about 4 years now. My question though, is why I’m unable to watch videos of myself when I was really little. The last time I watched a home video of myself, I had to leave the room, and I felt like I wanted to cry. I’m not really sure why I feel this way. I guess there’s some self loathing going on, but is it common for people to passionately hate themselves when they were little? If so, why?

A: I wish I had a little more information but I’ll give this a try. I’m not sure you hate your younger self. You may have a deep wish that you could regain the innocence and joyfulness of a little kid. Pictures of birthday parties and family vacations are a sharp contast to the way you are feeling now. I don’t think the videos are depressing you. I think it is being reminded that you weren’t always depressed.

If you are sure you are depressed, I hope you are doing something about it. Four years (your entire college career?) is a long time to suffer. If you haven’t yet graduated, there is probably a mental health service available through your school. If you are out of school, your focus needs to be on finding a job so that you can pay for therapy. At 22, you are entitled to stay on your parents’ insurance plan as well.

Instead of overthinking about the meaning of your tears, I hope you will just pay attention to them. They are giving you a strong message that you have work to do. Please take yourself seriously and get the help you need.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Jul 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Home Videos Depress Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/07/15/home-videos-depress-me/

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