I can’t seem to understand what’s wrong with me and its getting worse. Well for years I’ve been feeling down and sad, but I dont know why. I come from a great home and family (besides my mom drinking and my dad being ill). I live in a neat clean house and I go to a catholic private school and we have no money problems. What would cause me to be upset? Usually for like a day or two I’d be really upset and cry occasionaly and just not go out, eat very little, and do nothing but lay in bed. But it hasnt gone away for the past 4 days and this time I like want to cry all day. I never had any self esteem, I always think I’m fat and ugly yet I go to the gym about 4 times a week, eat healthy, etc. I feel like the fattest person on earth. I tend to get the most upset when my friends cannot hang out for the rest of the day I feel so hopeless and a waste to the world. I have tried to kill myself once with overdosing. I cut alot. But I have never told any of my family because they would just laugh and tell me to sleep it off. But i’ve had this for about 4 years. Usually I can sleep it off, but not this time its not going away :( im becomnig very mean and cold to everyone lately too. i also get bad headaches often and have lots of pains and aches that i cannot explain. i also hear voices once in awhile, just yelling and screaming. recently i have no will to get up and do something. nothing seems ‘fun’ or appealing to me. i just feel like dying and having a funeral with two people there and that’s it. i just dont know what to do anymore. my friends are getting fed up with me ‘complaining’ i guess. i just want to sleep and never wake up. help me please.

A. You may have depression. People with depression describe feeling the same way you do—sad, hopeless, having low or no self esteem, and the like. You have also attempted to kill yourself. These are all signs of depression.

You mentioned that you have headaches and other unexplained aches and pains. These may be related to the depression but there may also be a physiological explanation. I would encourage you to see your primary care doctor or a neurologist for an examination. It is important to rule out a medical cause to these problems.

The reason an individual develops depression can be difficult to determine. The reasons vary. There is always a reason (sometimes there are multiple reasons), but even if you could answer the “why” question, it would likely bring you little comfort. Knowing “why” does little to cure the depression. It is more important to know how to correct it.

One can be raised in a “great” family and have all of their needs met and still be depressed. It actually happens quite frequently. Take, for instance, very wealthy people. They have everything they want and need yet they can still feel mentally or spiritually unfulfilled. Depression is the feeling that life has no meaning or purpose.

Have you ever considered therapy? Some people have the wrong idea about therapy and believe that only “mentally ill” or “weak” people need it. Some individuals are offended by the suggestion of therapy. They take it to mean that they have failed at managing their lives. This is not the case.

Therapy can be beneficial and can change one’s life for the better. I would recommend it for you. You have experienced these symptoms for at least four years. That is a long period of suffering. Give therapy a try. You have nothing to lose but the emotionally-draining and negative symptoms of depression.

To search for a therapist in your area, try this weblink. If you’re feeling suicidal please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and speak to a counselor.