From a teen in the U.S.: I’ve struggled with my depression for 9 years and my anxiety along with it. I did develop several issues including self harm and suicidal tendencies among other problems that aren’t as major. I’ve been trying to deal with this for a long time but it’s consuming my life. I’ve went to my doctor and told her my depression and anxiety were causing problems with my physical health and causing many issues.
There are some days I don’t even bother with doing anything, sometimes getting up or even simply watching TV are impossible. My family has no idea about any of this and I save face to avoid their harsh criticism. 90% of the time I barely want to see anyone but my boyfriend and I want to avoid everything. On my happier days, things are manageable but still take all my energy even with simple tasks.
Some other problems that come with that are frequently having nightmares and waking up in panic and some nights I can’t even be bothered to sleep when they get very bad. Those days I usually don’t eat or over eat. It’s a lot to explain, but I hope you’ll bare with me here.
To make things more complicated, even on these days I don’t want to do basic things like brush my hair or bother to put on the fakest smile to pacify my family or coworkers. These days are what suck the most simply because I know I should do things like make people around me happy or care about myself but I can’t be bothered with it.
There are also times where I have no regards for what happens to me in some situations. For instance, my best friend and I used to lay in her street and wait for cars to drive up. One night, there was a car coming at us and I only got up because she dragged me out of the road.
I’m not sure if there’s hope for me anymore. If there is, what should I do? Everything just feels out of my control and like I’m doomed no matter what.
Thank you for writing. You’ve been dealing with all of this since you were only 10?? How is it possible that your family isn’t aware of your pain? Either they are clueless about those they live with or they feel so helpless to help you that they are in denial. It’s also possible that you are very good at covering your needs. Regardless, if your parents are basically good people who love you, it’s long past time when you should be turning to them for their support. They will feel terrible that they have missed it for almost a decade but they will feel far worse if something happens to you due to self neglect or risky behavior born of self-loathing.
You tell me you talked to your doctor but you didn’t mention what you were told to do about your distress. Are you accepting help that is available? Or was your doctor unable to refer you on to a mental health professional?
You didn’t tell us whether you diagnosed yourself or if you have seen a mental health counselor. I certainly hope you have done the later. Self-diagnosis sometimes provides a label but it doesn’t provide any useful direct help and care. You need to be assessed by a licensed therapist. The two of you can then decide how to best proceed to get you out of this very long slump and back into normal life.
Sleep issues only make things far worse. Anxiety and depression are exacerbated by lack of sufficient, restorative sleep. You might find it helpful to read this article I wrote for other professionals.
I was glad to read that you have a boyfriend. That tells me that, despite all the problems, you’ve been able to interact with someone enough to love and be loved. If you were seeing a therapist, that’s an important toe-hold that could be built on to help you begin to move out of your depression.
You are not doomed. You do need to get yourself the help you need and deserve.
I wish you well.