Possibly Depressed and Unsure of Next Steps

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’m 16. For about a year or more now I haven’t been right. Not that I’ve ever really been happy, but this year I’ve discovered that I’m quite misanthropic and have lost interest in most things I usually enjoy. I can hardly sleep, eat more than usual (but hardly gain weight), and can’t help but feel that my life is going nowhere. I get slightly distracted from it when I’m with my friends but it’s always there. I have thought about suicide, the pros and cons and whatnot, but have never actually made a plan. Yet. I fear losing control of myself someday. My anxiety is terrible. I never let anything show to others but I really want help. I can’t say I want to talk about it but I don’t want to feel like this forever. Is this normal, am I depressed, or is this hormones?

A. Though I cannot know with certainty, it is possible that you have depression. Losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed, unable to sleep, changes in diet, hopelessness, thoughts of suicide, are all signs of depression. You also described having anxiety. I understand that you may be anxious at the thought of receiving help but this is exactly the time that you should be engaged in treatment. Mental health professionals are trained to deal with the very problems with which you are struggling. It is important not to ignore your symptoms and to seek help.

I would recommend discussing your symptoms with your parents. It may be difficult but they need to know how you are feeling. If they are unaware of your suffering, they can’t help. You must force yourself to talk about your problem even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. The longer you keep these symptoms a secret, the more you will suffer.

Effective treatments exist for both depression and anxiety. Many people who are engaged in treatment live symptom-free, happy lives. No one should suffer when good treatments are available. It is your job to tell your parents about your symptoms so that you can receive the treatment that you would benefit from. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Oct 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Possibly Depressed and Unsure of Next Steps. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 3, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/10/04/possibly-depressed-and-unsure-of-next-steps/