You mentioned having dysthymia, a chronic form of depression. It is true that some of your symptoms are not entirely consistent with dysthymia and may suggest that another disorder is present. However, I know from your letter that you’re not taking medication and thus it’s also possible that you’re not currently undergoing any form of treatment. Untreated dysthymia could be contributing to your symptoms.
Other factors that could be affecting your overall mental health include stress, possibly an undiagnosed medical problem and insomnia, a common symptom of dysthymia. A lack of sleep impairs concentration and many other cognitive functions. In fact, an international team of researchers discovered that 24 hours of sleep deprivation can cause psychotic-like symptoms among otherwise healthy (non-psychotic) individuals.
It’s important that you are evaluated by a mental health professional. An evaluation is necessary to determine if a psychotic disorder present. Medication could help with many of the symptoms you have described. Counseling would be especially helpful for your ongoing depression symptoms.
Ask your parents to assist you in finding a local mental health professional who specializes in depression among youth. Your symptoms are highly treatable and are unlikely to go away by themselves. They should not be ignored. A mental health evaluation would answer your questions and would be the first step in a cure. Thanks for your question. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle