For the past 6 months I’ve started to have, what I describe as episodes? I have a week, or two weeks, or three days, or whatever during each month where I feel empty and careless, as if nothing matters. I’d cry, I’d feel worthless, and my self-esteem would plummet. I’m a shy, closed off person in general but it gets worse and sometimes affects my school work. What I don’t understand is that there isn’t anything wrong. Sure, the future stresses me out, but I like to think I have a good life, in fact, I have everything I need but I still get these empty, lazy moods here and there. I talked to my parents, and some friends and they say it’s completely normal and that I shouldn’t be so sad when I’m in a good place in life. My dad says it’s the hormones at my age, is it? (And it doesn’t occur during my period), so… I don’t know, thoughts?

A: Thank you for getting in touch with us at PsychCentral. It sounds as though you may be experiencing depressive symptoms. Considering that these episodes are occasionally interfering with your school work, I would recommend that you seek consultation with a professional therapist. If your parents are not supportive of this, perhaps you could find a school counselor.  Seeking the consultation of a professional will help determine whether it is normal age-related stressors and reactions to them or clinical depression. I wish you the best of luck.

– Dr. Mimi