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Questioning Existence Has Led to Depression

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From a teen in the U.S.: This issue started shortly after I graduated high school and it’;s been going on for 2 months. When it first started I was questioning time and how it works. I had a few panic attacks in relation to that. Then after that I started questioning what I’m seeing and if it’s actually real. That led to me questioning my existence and I feel totally disconnected from the person I used to be.

Before this started I was a very happy person, enjoying and soaking in life. I had fell in love for the first time a few months before the incident started, so I thought on positive for the future. Then I started thinking and thinking and now I feel as if I’m driving myself crazy. Sometimes I feel content but it’s always in the back of my mind regardless. My only sense of security is laying in bed/sleeping and that’s not me at all. I’;m not sure what to do about this as my mom has tried to avoid taking me to my doctor about it.

Questioning Existence Has Led to Depression

Answered by on -


Thank you for writing. I can’t make a diagnosis solely on the basis of a short letter, of course. But I can tell you that what you report is consistent with symptoms of depression.

It is not unusual for young people who are recently graduated from high school to have a period of questioning. All of a sudden, somehow magically on graduation day, you are seen as an adult. Others probably expect you to have goals and the motivation to achieve them. Easier said than done. So do you.

It’s a huge step into adulthood. Kids who have thought about it (and maybe stressed about it) for much of the senior year usually have figured out what they are going to do next, whether it is college or a job. Kids who avoided thinking about it find themselves quite suddenly without a plan for. This is a crisis of identity.

Sadly, there are kids who try to solve the problem through partying or endlessly playing video games. It’s a grand scheme of avoidance that will certainly bite them later. Other kids sink into immobility, thinking if they don’t make a move, they won’t make a mistake. Of course, that doesn’t work either. Not moving is a mistake. Others get high or party, telling themselves they will think about it tomorrow. Somehow tomorrow never comes and they are in the same going nowhere rut a year from now. At least you haven’t added a layer of addiction to the original problem. Give yourself credit for that.

The way out is probably therapy. Ask your mother to permit an evaluation by a mental health counselor. An evaluation often costs nothing. Unlike me, the counselor will be able to hear your complete story. They will then give you some ideas about what to do next. It is then your choice of whether or not to follow those suggestions.

If you could figure this out on your own (or if your mom could), you would have done it already. Since you haven’t, the wise thing to do is to call in a consultant.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Questioning Existence Has Led to Depression

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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. (2019). Questioning Existence Has Led to Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019 (Originally: 10 Sep 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 7 Sep 2019
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