Depressed but Haven’t Sought Help

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Okay so for as long as I can remember I’ve had times we’re I would be really depressed sometimes. It started to become noticeable with my parents that I would ditch my friends and stay home and sleep. But I am not always that depressed, sometimes I like to go out and have fun with the few friends I do have, the thing is when I do go out we usually drink and it seems I can’t drink without getting so trashed I Black out every time. I even got dropped off passed out a few times and puked all over myself. Every time this happens I wake up feeling 10x more depressed than the last time, I feel worthless and sorry for myself and I really try not to. I had to take off of a semester of school and lost my job because I cursed out my manager when I was angry ( really stupid of me) and that was 3 months ago. Up until about 3 weeks ago I wouldn’t be caught going out, I would stay home and cry and even thought about suicide but I called a hotline after my mom threatened to take me to a hospital.

There are days I love to write and I am working on a story, some weeks I write chapters and I even stay up all night to finish them, and sometimes I don’t do any writing for weeks, it’s like my mind is on overload with doing everything a few weeks at a time to suddenly just laying in bed and generally being SAD and I just want to be happy. I’ve gained 20 pounds in 2 years and I am disgusted wit myself, I don’t even believe it when people tell me I’m beautiful.

Okay, all in all I just want to know if this is all normal, sorry for the long story this is pretty much the short version.

A. It’s unusual to have such great fluctuation in mood. It’s also outside the realm of normal to be considering suicide. Your mother was so concerned about your behavior that she threatened to take you to a hospital. Had she carried out her threat, it’s possible that you would’ve been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility.

Also concerning is the fact that you drink until you black out. The drinking leads to a significant increase in your depression. Alcohol is a nervous system depressant which may in part explain the elevated level of depression after drinking. The drinking and depression has negatively affected your social, educational and occupational functioning. You had to leave college because of the drinking and depression. You also had to quit your job because of your aggressive behavior at work.

To answer your question directly, none of what you described is “normal.” Severe depression, drinking until blacking out, suicidal ideation, having to leave college and having quit your job is all evidence that these problems are seriously and negatively interfering with your quality of life. You’re suffering as a result of these problems.

I would recommend seeking professional help. Meet with a mental health professional who can gather information about your psychosocial history and current symptoms and determine the best course of treatment. Psychotherapy and medication have helped many, many people experiencing a similar set of symptoms. Depression is a treatable condition but only you can decide to receive professional help.

You have endured the last few years of your life. You have suffered and while it shows strength and endurance on your part, it did not need to happen. Therapy would have, most likely, either eliminated or greatly, greatly reduced the pain that you have gone through. Few people would have suffered with a toothache for two years but those same people allow themselves to suffer with mental pain, which is at least as severe or perhaps worse, for two years or more.

I know it’s not that simple. Sometimes help is not available or we might not know how to get it, or our parents forbid it, etc. But once you are aware that help is available, you should make every effort to gain that help.

The problem is, for many people who fail to seek help, that they don’t know that they should. They think that a pain in a tooth deserves and is best served by seeking the help of a professional but not that their emotional pain is best treated by seeking the help of a professional. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Depressed but Haven’t Sought Help. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/11/30/depressed-but-havent-sought-help/