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Am I Depressed?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a 14 year old girl in the U.S.: I’ve been distancing myself from everyone lately, I do it as some sort of defense mechanism I suppose. As a child my father abused me emotionally, lied compulsively and forced me to have trust issues. I’ve always felt alone in life, I’m an older child so my parents aren’t that attentive to me. When they are, I don’t like it. I feel like I shouldn’t have the attention.

Depression runs in my family, my mother has it. I’m scared I might have it too. I’ve never been open to my family so asking for help is hard for me, I don’t want to look “weak” to them. I don’t find joy in many things anymore, I just want to sleep. I sleep for about 9-11 hours on the weekend.

I’ve been emotional a lot lately too. I always have some sort of attitude that makes me seem cold so people won’t bother me. I cry a lot too though, over the dumbest things. When I tell my friends what’s wrong I feel like a burden, l feel ike they don’t need to worry. I feel like I kill the mood when I talk about myself and my issues. Hopefully someone can help me with this.

Am I Depressed?

Answered by on -

A.

I’m sorry you are so unhappy. I hope it is some comfort to know you are not at all alone. The teen years are challenging for most kids.

If you were seeing me, my first concern would be how much you are sleeping during the week. The long hours in bed on the weekend may be an attempt to make up for not enough sleep during the week. You really, really do need 8 hours a night every night to be healthy and mentally balanced and alert. Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed time. Develop a good “getting ready for bed” routine. And do everything you can to get that amount of nightly sleep. Doing so will help you cope through your teen years. Really.

I can’t determine if you are depressed on the basis of a short letter. What I can suggest is that your emotional ups and downs may be a result of your body adjusting to the hormonal shifts that often occur at your age. Your doctor can do an assessment and can help you know what to expect and what to do about it.

I’m sorry you feel your parents would think you are “weak” if you asked for help. If your mom has suffered from depression, it’s possible that she would be more sympathetic than you think. It’s worth a try.

Do consider talking to your school counselor about how you are feeling. School counselors often maintain a list of resources for teens. It may be that there is a counselor in your community who specializes in teen issues.

Meanwhile: the best antidote for feeling alone and lonely is to get active in something to take your mind off yourself. I hope you are involved in a club or team or volunteer job where the focus is on getting something done, not on your internal state. Doing good things will help you feel good about yourself. When a group of people focus on a shared goal, they often form good friendships.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Am I Depressed?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Am I Depressed?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 11, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/06/05/am-i-depressed-9/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Jun 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 4 Jun 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.