From a teen in Russia: Hi. I’m an 18 year old professional/competitive athlete[Runner/figure skater.] Past few months I’ve been feeling worse than ever. Well, bad might not be the word rather empty. I’m good at communicating so I don’t have anxiety or anything of the sort and I LOVE the way I feel after training, it’s when I don’t feel empty but rather alive. The only other thing making me “snap out” are dogs, which I cannot own due to the way things are in Europe. Ik this is American forum but I have nowhere else to ask.
I likely have of smiling depression and I’ve been combating that for ages. I always force myself to go cause I know I’ll like it but it takes so much will power of persuarsion and my family would rather have me focus on other , safer, things but I don’t like anything else. I’ve been going through injuries and as well as sleep and eating problems and now it’s causing a red flag for my career slowly.
I feel like no matter what I do can’t save me anymore and I don’t even wish to combat my head. The only things that help are training, dogs and ice baths all which my family ruins by suggesting each is bad and casual “Oh don’t go” or “don’t do”. I don’t know. Would medication help? Is this depression? Is it normal to feel that empty? I don’t know much about it but the symptoms seem to fit and I’m quite desparate. Please help, I feel like I’ll lose my whole life, sport, at the point I’m sinking to. Should I just try and combat it again, would medication be a bad idea? I’m very tired of battling it and it seems tempting to have it controlled, but I fear the bad side effects and I just no longer feel like continuing the battle. Because I’m always happy to everyone nobody even understands. I am just used to acting this way. I don’t know what to do anymore. Should I live with it always? Give everything up? Medicate it?Should I Take Medication?
Should I Take Medication?
No, it is not normal to feel this empty. No. You shouldn’t live with it. I’m very, very glad you wrote to us.
I can’t give you a diagnosis on the basis of a letter but I can tell you that what you report is consistent with a diagnosis of depression. It makes sense to me that you feel better when you push yourself physically or take ice baths. Both produce endorphins, a natural “anti-depressant” of sorts. The dogs give you unconditional love and don’t expect anything of you other than your affection. It makes sense to me that being with them also makes you feel better.
All that being said, as you are finding out, it is not enough. What you need now is a professional evaluation by a mental health provider. That person can help you decide if medication might be helpful. You are not obligated to follow the recommendations. However, the conversation will help you understand what is going on and will offer you alternatives to help you feel better.
Usually the treatment of choice for someone who feels as you do is a combination of medication for a while and talk therapy. The medication may give you some relief once it reaches a therapeutic level, but you also need to learn other ways to feel good about yourself and just to feel good besides pushing your body to physical extremes.
Please follow up and get yourself an evaluation. Learning how to take better care of yourself emotionally as well as physically will set you on a path for a much happier and healthier future.
I wish you well.