Hi, Im a 15 year old and I have been depressed since I was nine or so. I know its stupid, but I hadnt thought it was a problem until a few months ago. Now that I do know, I have started feeling severely guilty aboutbeing happy, on the rare occasion that such a miracle did occur. I want to tell my parents, but they tend to discriminate against people like…me.I have no friends thanks to my odd mood swings…(bipolar disorder??). I don’t know if I can survive like this any longer…I need to talk to someone who will listen.

A. I’m sorry that you feel alone. You also seem to believe that you can’t be helped. That is not true. Depression can make you feel that way.

Depression can be successfully treated with medication and psychotherapy. The problem for many people is that they keep their problems a secret and stubbornly refuse to seek help. Studies show that nearly two-thirds of people never seek help for depression. They might do this because of shame, fear of being judged or the erroneous notion that they “should” be able to solve their own life problems. Remaining secretive about your symptoms virtually ensures your continued suffering with what is actually a highly treatable illness.

You don’t feel as though your parents would be receptive to your needs but have you tried speaking with them? If not, then you are making assumptions about how you believe they will react and you could be wrong. Give them the opportunity to help you by telling them about how you feel.

Please realize that help is available, but it’s imperative that you first articulate your need for it. Having the courage to speak up will greatly assist you in this circumstance, and probably in many other aspects of your life. There are people out there who would be glad to help you, but they need to know that you need and want help. You need to tell them. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle