Suffering From Depression?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I feel like i have always suffered from depression but i’m not 100% sure. To start off with the issue/issues:

1)I have always been bullied for most of my life from elementary school onward not so much anymore. I was either mainly bullied by my siblings(brother and sister)when i was the middle child growing up. They picked on me for whatever reason they could think of. One main reason they picked on me was my weight. I was also bullied by peers in my grade, and or friends.

2)I have always been extremely shy, and i struggle with low self-esteem. As i got older, the low self-esteem was still there, but i have now noticed that i am extremely self-conscious of the way i look, i have always struggled with my weight, and i usually hate looking in any mirror because i can see all of my flaws with how gross and ugly i look from being overweight. I do believe this is a form of body dysmorphic disorder? i’m convinced i have it.

3)I was diagnosed with a learning disability so whenever it came to school, i struggled with that and grades sometimes. It was especially hard during the spring semester of the new college i was going to because of the harder classes. Even though i did well for the fall semester. I didn’t realize that i get anxiety a lot, with school but i do.

4)continued from number 3: I was seeing a counselor at the school that i was going to for the fall semester of 2012, because i was super stressed and anxiety driven. I continued seeing a counselor at school for the spring semester 2013, both of them said i had depression. The last one i was seeing said that counseling would not help, but medication with the counseling helped. I learned the hard way when i was at college during the spring semester that college can be extremely lonely at times. I was even hospitalized for suicidal ideation. At that time i was put on 3 medications, i guess all for depression. I have yet to see my doctor about it though even though its been 6 months from that specific incident.

However now that i’m home i’m still convinced that i have depression like the counselor and hospital said. Could the issues that i have struggled with all lead to major depression. any advice would be greatly appreciated.

A. Yes, the issues that you are struggling with can lead to depression. It’s good that you are seeking professional help but it seems that you require more help than you are currently receiving. As you mentioned, it’s been six months since you have seen your doctor. That’s too long to go without professional help, especially after being hospitalized for suicidal ideation.

The counseling that you have been receiving at school is a great first step but it’s not enough. Typically, college counseling centers are geared toward assessment, emergencies and short-term problems. Given the chronic nature of your depression, you would benefit from professional help that is more intensive and long-term.

I would recommend seeking mental health treatment, outside of the college counseling setting, that involves both counseling and medication. You can ask the school counselors for a referral to a therapist in your community. You can also check with your primary care physician for referrals. They can assist you in receiving the proper help.

The issues that you have been struggling with are correctable. Your depression has been chronic perhaps in part because you have only just begun to receive mental health treatment. Once you’re established with a long-term therapist, and have found a medication that provides symptom relief, your quality of life should improve greatly. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Sep 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Suffering From Depression?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/09/04/suffering-from-depression/