I’m a 23 year old and I’m currently suffering from depression, social anxiety, low-self esteem, low confidence, and I’ve been smoking marijuana. To be stated, I’m currently away from home and attending university. In the past i have also been concerned with what other think about me, and strived to be adored by others. I have constantly tried to seek the attention of others through complaining about my life, (which in true reality there is nothing wrong). Anyways it was not till leaving my home to attend school far from my house that I have experienced huge depression issues, thoughts of suicide as well, truly seeking sympathy from other to console my own issues. I’m seeking advice as well as help or methods to which I can overcome these issues in my life, so I continue down my path and being able to handle life without being overwhelmed with these issues.

A: Unfortunately, it sounds like your past methods of seeking attention have caught up with you and now you are truly experiencing some of the things you pretended to have before, a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Leaving the home you know and the support system you have always had to move away and attend school is a major life change and can lead to feelings of sadness and insecurity. Many times these negative feelings are temporary and can be accounted for by the changes and transitions you are going through. However, if you don’t adjust soon you could develop clinical depression (if you haven’t already) and professional treatment is warranted.

What have you actively done to adjust to your new surroundings? Have you tried to create a new support system? Have you tried getting involved in clubs or activities at your college? Have you spoken with the campus counseling center? These are all things I would recommend for you. I would also recommend backing off the marijuana to see if this improves your mood and adjustment.  The only way to know how you really feel is to let yourself have the genuine feelings rather than trying to self-medicate them away.  You will then be better equipped to develop a plan of action.

Most universities have excellent counseling centers right on campus, and if not, they will be able to link you with resources in the community.  Please get help soon before your symptoms get worse.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts