From a 14 year old girl in the U.S.: For around two years now i have been feeling what i now know as depression. I realize that this hasn’t been the first time either, but it’s never been this bad. About a year ago it got really bad and i started to SI and have suicidal thoughts. That went on for months, and no one seemed to notice and/or care (maybe i was just good at hiding it…). Anyway, i hit someplace below rock bottom, and somehow came to the decision that i either had to tell someone (most likely my mom) or really try as i hard as can to get better by myself. I chose the latter.

For a while, i have been improving greatly, and it seemed as though the past few years had been simply a nightmare now gone. However, last month i started getting “sad” again, and then i got very tired, and then i started staying up late and crying for no reason and having mood swings and despising myself and my body. It seems as if i have lost control (once again), academically, socially, and otherwise. One of my friends knows (she found out while i was helping her work through increasingly high anxiety that she now sees someone for), and she truly thinks that telling my parents, and later a therapist, would help me a great deal. What i want to know is if i will ever be able to put this all behind me completely for the rest of my life without resorting to telling my parents and others.

A: You might be able to tough this out. You’ve already demonstrated that you have enormous inner strength. But why would you want to go it alone? This sounds like a terribly lonely and sad way to live. Your friend is probably right. You can get through this much more quickly, if you have the support of your parents and the practical help a therapist can give to you. Seeking help isn’t “resorting” to anything. It is often the mature way to handle an unfamiliar and serious problem. You tried to do it on your own. To your credit, you got better for awhile. But since you were only talking to yourself, you didn’t get the benefit of learning some new ways to cope and to manage your feelings when you feel you are spiraling out of control.

I do think your first stop should be with your pediatrician. You are at an age where your body is going through enormous changes. It’s possible that hormonal shifts are a contributing factor to what you are experiencing. You at least want to rule that out.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jul 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Will I Ever Get Better without Seeking Out a Professional?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/07/07/will-i-ever-get-better-without-seeking-out-a-professional/