Depressed Teen

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 13. I’ve been diagnosed with Depression. Something I’ve been told I’ve had since I was seven. I’m thirteen now, and am currently on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. I feel as though they are not helping me. If anything they are making me feel worse. My life seems to be on the up now, compared to how it was but my moods and feelings and actions are worse than before. I’m continuously angry and looking in the mirror telling myself I’m fat and ugly and after most meals I feel sick, and then make myself sick. Not after every meal, only some. I am also suicidal.. My sisters are not very supportive. One of them don’t believe me when I talk to her, the others don’t care and call me names. I self harm. I want to make the physical pain match the emotional pain. What can I do to stop these thoughts, being sick, and self harm? Help please.

A: Thank you so much for writing. I’m glad you are thinking about whether your medications are helpful. Sometimes medications help. Sometimes they don’t. The first thing you need to do is have an honest talk with whomever is prescribing the medications. He or she needs to know how you are reacting to them. Fortunately, there are a number of medications that do much the same thing. Sometimes a person responds better to one than another. Do talk it over.

Then, and most important, you need to be talking with a mental health counselor, not just taking medication. The treatment of choice for depression is a combination of talk and medicine, then weaning away from the medication if you can. There are techniques you can learn to stop the negative thoughts and to help yourself with the impulse to self-harm with what is an emerging eating disorder. At only 13, you need to put the brakes on both immediately.

While you look for a counselor, there are online sources of help you can access. In the States, the Boys and Girls Club hotline (800-448-3000) and chatline is there 24/7 to help kids like you. In the UK, the crisis line is 08457-90-90-90.

You took an important first step in taking care of yourself by writing to us here at PsychCentral. Now please do take the next step and get the support and help you need.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Depressed Teen. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/22/depressed-teen/