Lately I’ve been all of a sudden depressed, hurt myself, Feeling worthless, Also feeling like a failure at life and feeling guilty, Lack of interest in things, I don’t eat as much and for an unknown reason my chests been hurting over a year now.

A: Thank you so much for writing. I’m very concerned. The first thing you need to do is see a doctor. The pain in your chest could be a sign that there is a medical issue. It’s true that lack of appetite and loss of interest in things are symptoms of depression. But they are also symptoms of medical problems. Believe it or not, there are many medical problems that make people look and feel like they are depressed. Before we send you off for a mental health evaluation, it’s critical that you get a good physical checkup. Please tell your primary care physician what you’ve told me. Be as specific as you can be to help the doctor figure out what may be wrong.

If it turns out that you are physically okay, then it’s time to think about seeing a mental health counselor. You are certainly not alone. High school is enough to make lots of kids anxious or depressed. If that’s the case with you, a counselor can help you learn how to cope with whatever is going on and can be a positive support for you. If some family therapy might help, the counselor can help you arrange that as well.

Please do see a medical doctor first.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie