About a year and a half ago, I experienced (what I think was, but was never actually diagnosed) a period of depression lasting almost six months. Almost every day, I would drag myself out of bed, go to school, and then come home and go back to sleep. While at school, I found little to no enjoyment in the company of my friends and I could barely stand to sit through class and take part in the tedious and pointless activities. I often thought about suicide, but eventually decided that I would be too scared of failing and ending up worse off to try it. However, I distinctly remember feeling as if I wouldn’t mind if a car were to hit me while crossing the street. I pretty much never ate during the day; I would fast from the time I woke up to about 10:00 pm when I was so hungry that I would often binge on anything I could find. It was also during this time that I began to habitually self-harm.
Of course, my family became concerned when they saw how little I was eating and how often I was sleeping and moping around. Anyway, as the stress of the school year winded down, and my family became more aware of what was going on I started to feel a little better. However, I feel as if I never went back to normal. I no longer self harm, nor do I often wish for death, but I can’t enjoy myself for too long before I feel worn down again. I usually avoid making plans with friends, but when I do I will start to feel tired after a couple of hours (sometimes less) and I’ll just want to back home again. After I begin to feel worn down, everything seems so tiring; I no longer want to speak, and even smiling becomes a chore. Also, I’ve noticed that I get sudden and uncalled for feelings of annoyance and anger towards people. Even stranger to me is that I’ll instantly (but temporarily) forgive even my worst enemy if they do or say something nice to me.
Is it possible that I have other problems besides depression, and if so, which? Also, how can I seek help at my age? (age 18, from US)Negative Feelings Towards Myself/Others and How to Seek Help
Negative Feelings Towards Myself/Others and How to Seek Help
Thank you for writing in with your question. I’m glad that you are feeling better than you did last year, but sorry that you don’t feel “back to normal.” I’m also glad that you no longer self harm or wish that you would die. It sounds like you have friends and family who care about you and that can go a long way in helping us get through dark times.
From what you are saying here, I do think that you might be experiencing depression and think it’s a great idea to finally get some professional help. You stated that you are in college now so getting help should be quite easy. Most colleges and universities have a student counseling center staffed with fully qualifies therapists, and if they don’t, the health center should at least have a list of referrals that they can give you. Otherwise, you can contact your health insurance and ask for a list of approved therapists, or you can ask your family doctor for a referral.
Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult and now is a great time to get some extra help.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts