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Diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression at 13 But Don’t Feel Like I Fit the Criteria for Depression

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I have many other symptoms listed below:

Overthinking/analysing: to a very unhealthy degree, for example if I’ve messaged a friend and they haven’t responded I may check to see when they were last online or if they have posted anything then I will get angry or upset if they’ve not replied to me and have actually begun to have outbursts of this sort to friends. I will notice if certain people have stopped liking my photos and obsess over what I’ve done to offend them or them to dislike me all of a sudden, or the new narrative in my head is that their jealous of me which is why they don’t like me.

I care a lot about what others think of me. Always think people don’t like me and need constant reassurance. Desperate to be loved and liked and Im beginning to think it shows.

Jealousy: I get very jealous of people’s relationships with their other friends especially. Wonder why I’m no ones number 1 or go to person or why I feel generally left out always or unwanted. I can also get jealous of people’s social status, especially if I have met them and they’ve just not clicked with me for whatever reason but wonder why everyone else loves them so much as they weren’t that great and nice when I met them. I then get more annoyed seeing the interactions between these people.

There is also a voice in my head that sometimes decides everyone is jealous of me and that’s why I’m not so close with anyone. But I find hard to admit because outerly I feel extremely self conscious about the way I look and the way people think of me and perceive me. I almost strive to be absolutely perfect (whatever my idea of that is) 100% of the time and sometimes Im telling myself I’m too good for these people that’s why we never became close.

Irritability/anger: generally I try and be a very calm person, but feel sometimes I lash out in anger (never ever violently, I have only ever self harmed through anger. I could not imagine purposely hurting another human being, ever) I can have mood swings where I just could literally be annoyed by the way someone asked a question if I thought it sounded dumb. The closer the person the more likely I am to make this known.

Mood swings: I can go from feeling amazing to wanting to cry. This usually seems out of the blue but am slowly realising it is a result of my overthinking usually. Like if a friend didn’t respond to a part of the message that I felt was important I would get severely upset later and put it down to them not caring enough to even read it properly.

However, mood swings do completely come out of the blue. I wake up feeling like different people each day, some days feel the positive bubble and try hard and carry on some days I wake up and decide I just feel so outright awful before I’ve even got up. Have spend days in bed crying and I couldn’t even tell you what over now, as clearly wasn’t that important to be having such an impact on my life.

Anxiety: very much linked with the uncontrollable overthinking, worrying far too much about the future of if something bad is going to happen. Always going to worst case scenario in my head. Unable to relax and watch television sit still concentrate on something. Flitter from one thing to another constantly.

Change: get extremely upset if plans change. Minor or major. I’ve got annoyed with my Nan because she said in the supermarket she wanted hot dogs but then when we was home said she didn’t. I KNOW this is not normal!! I don’t consciously but feel I must subconsciously plan things to such an extent in my head I get annoyed or upset when something so minor changes. This is as worst as dropping out of holidays with friends because the plans have changed, getting really upset or annoyed with my mates if we agreed to have dinner together for example and they ate before they arrived.

I often consider ending my life as I feel like I’m in a constant battle to be happy and I know never will be if I continue to do all of the above but feel extremely out of control with my thoughts and how I look at not only myself but others too. I have never been “good”for more than 2 days for as long as I can remember. My first “attempt”to take my life If you can call it that I was 13 and took some tablets, nowhere near enough to do anything but put me to sleep for ages. When I told my mum what I had done she didn’t believe me. Many shoddy attempts to take my life after this and some very serious self harm which has scarred me for life.

I do not blame him at all because it was my choice and i have done it for many reasons unrelated to him, but I have noticed since breaking off from the ex boyfriend that I haven’t self harmed at all as yet. I’m not sure if I did it for attention from him or his mental abuse drove me to frustration, I just don’t know.

I have had A LOT of abusive relationships in my life. My Nan brought me up until around age 8 and I am closest to her. My mother was physically and mental abusive from age 10-16 ( this begun when she left my stepdad and stopped me from seeing him, my 2 sisters she had with my stepdad continued to see both parents – never knew my real dad)

When I did meet my dad at 14 he spent the last 10 years in and out of prison and on the run, Was physically violent with me once. Very mentally abusive man also.

boyfriends 13-16, 16-24 both abusive mentally and physically.

Diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression at 13 But Don’t Feel Like I Fit the Criteria for Depression

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A.

It’s impossible to diagnose you over the internet. I would need to interview you in person and collect a great deal of information about your life, personal history, and so forth. If you don’t agree with your depression diagnosis, it might be wise to seek a second opinion.

Alternatively, diagnosis is not an exact science. Getting a different diagnosis might not helpful in the grand scheme of things. A better focus might be finding good treatment. I would encourage you to seek psychotherapy and to find a therapist with whom you trust, with whom you feel comfortable, and has a track record of successful treatment. Specifically, you might benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an effective treatment for mood problems and illogical thinking.

You described a number of illogical thinking errors that are self-imposed and are causing you trouble. For instance, your belief that your friends should be responding to all of your posts, in a certain amount of time, is unreasonable. Your unreasonable expectations are causing you to feel distress. If you didn’t have unreasonable expectations, you would suffer less or perhaps not at all.

One good thing is that you recognize that your responses are unhealthy but it doesn’t necessarily stop your illogical thoughts. That’s understandable, especially if you have yet to try psychotherapy. The good news is that these skills can be learned.

The idea that your friends are jealous of you may be the story you tell yourself so that you don’t feel bad about their non-responses. At some point, you came to believe that if people don’t respond to you, in a certain amount of time, and in the manner that you want, that must mean something negative about you. Where did you get that idea from and why do you have such high expectations of others?

You believe that other people are jealous of you and at the same time, care so much about what others think of you. If you think about it logically, if people are jealous of you, wouldn’t you theoretically be better than them and thus, why care about what they think? People worry about what other people think of them when they don’t feel good about themselves. If you were more confident, the opinions of others would matter much less to you. It could be that you don’t feel good about yourself and that’s why you care so much about the opinions of others.

Mood swings are common with mood disorders. If you do have depression, your mood swings could be explained by your depression. In addition, you suffer with anxiety and change. Your anxiety leads to a focus on negativity which also likely contributes to your moodiness. It would be difficult to be in a good mood when predicting negative outcomes. The inability to tolerate change is another sign of rigid or illogical thinking.

These problems are all correctable with treatment. Hopefully, you will consider it. The fact that you recognize your problems and were able to describe them in such detail are both encouraging signs. It means that you have good insight and are open to correcting these cognitive errors. With the right treatment, your prognosis seems good.

During the pandemic, it can be difficult to find an in-person therapist. In that case, you might try telehealth or telephone therapy. Both are good options while awaiting an end to the pandemic. Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression at 13 But Don’t Feel Like I Fit the Criteria for Depression

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Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2020). Diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression at 13 But Don’t Feel Like I Fit the Criteria for Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 29, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/05/17/diagnosed-with-anxiety-and-depression-at-13-but-dont-feel-like-i-fit-the-criteria-for-depression/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 May 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 15 May 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.