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Zebradee
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So, uhh... Hi x)

I'm sort of... increasingly worried that I'm suffering from depression, but I don't want to have to talk to someone about it... if that makes ANY sense.

I'm 15, and it just seems like I'd be causing a lot of unnecessary hurt by going to speak to someone. I just feel really selfish, and pathetic, I guess.

I feel really empty, and sort of.. dead. I don't know how to explain it... but It's like I just can't be bothered with anything, I have to force myself to get to school and go out and socialise. I'm staying up all night and sleeping most of the day when I can, and when I can't, I'm just having to suffer from sleep deprivation.

I've been pretty bad the last couple of days, having really strong urges to cut. I've only really cut my legs before, but now I'm just getting strong urges to cut my wrists, and have to keep physically bending my hands forward and down to attempt to surpress them. It's on my mind a lot.

I've been finding it hard to concentrate, especially with reading. I'm not really in the mood to talk to anyone or socialise, but I kind of make myself, to keep my friends happy. I feel fake though, like I'm just pretending all the time.

Problem is that I really really REALLY do not want to cause a fuss... but do I seem depressed? I don't feel theres anyone I can trust to talk about these things with, which is why I feel the need to turn to an online community, which I just find pretty sad. But if it helps, then whatever.

I just don't know what to do, short of putting up with it for another 3 years (assuming it doesn't go away) and seeing a doctor confidentially when I'm 18 :/

So... sorry for the mini-drama! I'm just looking for some kind of advice, or... something.

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Hi Zebradee, I read your post and I want to assure you that no one will find you to be selfish or pathetic for sharing your thoughts and concerns. You are growing up, and fifteen is about the age for growth spurts. So, focusing on taking care of your body with proper sleep and diet should be a top concern. Milk and eggs, if you can eat them, can help your body a great deal.

Also, while I appreciate your concerns for confidentiality, you should feel free to raise the issue with your doctor. If you stress that you want the meeting to be confidential, chances are your doctor will not mind to oblige. Should you keep the details of your meeting with the doctor to yourself, no one will know. But, there are also alternatives to speaking with a doctor. Some schools have counselors for their students, for example. If available, there are hotlines like 211 to help direct callers to social services in their area.

Of course, you are always welcome to continue sharing your thoughts here with us. You have legitimate concerns and I am sure other members will agree that voicing them is the right thing to do. You are not being overly dramatic in doing so.

As for whether you are depressed or otherwise, this site should not be used as a substitute for seeking out help from a professional. But, the members here are very friendly and supportive, and we will be here to offer our input and suggestions.

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Salut Zeb,

The fact that you cut yourself, that's a bad sign. It's usually a self-soothing behavior in response to some kind of trauma.

So putting aside your question re Depression, i do think you need some kind of help. If i'd gotten any kind of treatment when i was 15 (and completely depressed and suicidal) i wouldn't be as messed up in the head as i am now (and if you knew me, that's really saying something).

I don't know what your options are, since i don't know where you are or what rules/laws may apply to you. If it were me, i would not talk to the school counselor. 'Cause they don't "work" for you, their job is to report anything hinky to the school and/or parents.

Feeling guilty, useless, in the way, unimportant, unworthy -IF you do suffer from clinical Depression all those feelings are a component of Depression. You need to realize that, 'cause those kind of feelings will get in the way of you getting help.

No one can diagnose you online. One thing you can try is look for a support group. Any kind of support group meetings are usually listed in your local paper. Look in the white pages of your phone book under "depression" -i did that one day for the heck of it and found 4 groups in my city i didn't even know existed. Look at the library -or bookstores- for Cognitive Therapy of Depression by Aaron Beck. Usually in the front is a test Dr. Beck created, (i forget the exact title, The Beck Inventory something). It remains one of the best diagnostic tools for screening Depression. In fact you can prob find it inside half the books there are about Depression. Go to the index and look under "Beck", and just keep checking 'til you find it.

It's the mental equivalent of a home pregnancy test :(

You're not alone Zeb, i know a lot of people in your age group in your situation.

anon,

Poet

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Yeah, I'm not looking for a diagnosis here, haha. I know that it's nigh on impossible to do that over the internet. I just feel confused, and I dunno... there are people here that have been going through all this crap, so I'd just value your advice.

One of my major concerns has been "Is it just hormonal?". Because some of my friends will say they've had depressive spells, but that just seems to be noraml Teenage hormones. I've just been really unsure as to wheather I should just deal with it because it's hormones, or wheather I have a *real* problem .__.

My problem with school counsellors is that they will have to tell my teachers/parents anything I tell them, if my 'life is at risk'. And I'd really rather not go through that. A friend of mine has an eating disorder, and I know it causes her a LOT of hassle, with being checked up on whenever we voice a concern that she's not eating properly :/

I think my main problem is that I'm really afraid of talking with someone about all this face-to-face. It's just.. scary. Makes me feel really anxious just posting it on the internet, if you know what I mean? It's quite a private thing I suppose... but ugh. Yeah, I'm just scared.

Thank-you for the advice, I will try and find the book you suggested <3

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I remember when everything i felt, was blamed on me being 15. I remember not being thought of or treated like a person, 'cause i wasn't a person i was a teenager. The young face the worst kind of discrimination: not being seen as a person; whether you're 6 or 16.

I've studied the development of the brain and also psych meds. And the short version is: giving psych meds to young children is one of the most appalling things i see happening today.

Don't listen to people who can't see you as a human being. There's no such thing as a miraculous "stable" age. Besides it's not the number of your years that count; it's the things that happen to you, the experiences you go thru, that affect you and shape you.

Generalizations suck, they're a shortcut for the lazy mind. People are still short-tempered or moody when they're twice your age.

If you have nowhere to turn, then do some research, look up what it is you want to know about. You sound like you're intelligent. Spend a day at a library or a bookstore. You need to know who and what the source of your information is, and on the 'Net it's a lot harder to be sure. Anyone could be putting up a website; or putting up out of date info. And believe me, there's a lot of that.

anon,

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I agree with poetdowns that the “hormones” argument is one part of a greater picture. Certainly, mood swings and difficult emotions pass with time, but the position that “it's just hormones” suggests there is nothing to do other than tough it out. However, from your post, there are some issues that can be acted on even if you do not yet wish to share your concerns with a counselor or a doctor.

When you say you are staying up all night, does that mean you are trying to sleep but cannot? Or does that mean you are staying up all night catching up on things you need to do when you try to sleep during the day? As a suggestion, schedule when you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning. Try to follow the schedule and try to relax even if you do not fall asleep. The point is to establish a habit of sleeping overnight once more.

Also, as your body is still developing, you need to mind your diet. I suggested eggs and milk above because of its great nutritional value. Some even argue that eggs and milk may be helpful in easing feelings of depression. Further, it is important to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner because these meals give the fuel your body requires to stoke its metabolism. Some spread their meals into six portions throughout the day to raise their metabolism by keeping nuts, dried friuts, and granola bars close by. Proper hydration also ensures a strong metabolism.

Lastly, keeping a journal can help a great deal. I can relate to your apprehension about sharing your issues with other people. For the longest time, I felt the same anxiety sharing some of my concerns on the internet with others. I was afraid others close to me would learn about my posts, and that such posts would then haunt me in some way. However, after expressing myself here since May 2008, I think it is safe to say that I did not spontaneously combust or experience anything terrible as a result. :( You can also use your journal entries as reference points should you decide to share your concerns with a counselor or doctor later on.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I agree with poetdowns that the “hormones” argument is one part of a greater picture. Certainly, mood swings and difficult emotions pass with time, but the position that “it's just hormones” suggests there is nothing to do other than tough it out. However, from your post, there are some issues that can be acted on even if you do not yet wish to share your concerns with a counselor or a doctor.

When you say you are staying up all night, does that mean you are trying to sleep but cannot? Or does that mean you are staying up all night catching up on things you need to do when you try to sleep during the day? As a suggestion, schedule when you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning. Try to follow the schedule and try to relax even if you do not fall asleep. The point is to establish a habit of sleeping overnight once more.

Also, as your body is still developing, you need to mind your diet. I suggested eggs and milk above because of its great nutritional value. Some even argue that eggs and milk may be helpful in easing feelings of depression. Further, it is important to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner because these meals give the fuel your body requires to stoke its metabolism. Some spread their meals into six portions throughout the day to raise their metabolism by keeping nuts, dried friuts, and granola bars close by. Proper hydration also ensures a strong metabolism.

Lastly, keeping a journal can help a great deal. I can relate to your apprehension about sharing your issues with other people. For the longest time, I felt the same anxiety sharing some of my concerns on the internet with others. I was afraid others close to me would learn about my posts, and that such posts would then haunt me in some way. However, after expressing myself here since May 2008, I think it is safe to say that I did not spontaneously combust or experience anything terrible as a result. :o You can also use your journal entries as reference points should you decide to share your concerns with a counselor or doctor later on.

I get into bad sleeping habits. I don't want to go out in the day or anything, so I'll end up staying up all night, sleeping most of the day. Means I can avoid going out, I guess.

Sometimes I don't sleep well, and will wake up at 2-3am and find it hard to get back to sleep. Most of the time I oversleep A LOT though... once again, I assume that's just because I'm a teenager. But yeah, 10+ hours sleep is not unusual for me, even though I can cope on no sleep at all.

Yeah, I AM worried that people I know will find out... but then again, at the same time I don't feel as if I have any 'real' friends I can trust, and who I know actually like me, etc. I just feel very alone.

I've tried keeping a journal in the past, felt stupid and self-coscious, so I stopped. Plus I didn't want my parents reading it, hah.

Edited by Zebradee
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Hi Zeb,

I do thing a lot of what your going through is normal, everyday stuff .All teens are insecure, and want to fit in. Finding yourself , worry too much , not liking oneself, hormonal changes, friends, trust, and wanting to be independent.

Writing stuff down here is a good way to get it out, whats bothering you and feeling safe to express yourself in a safe "place".

A person who cuts is not trying to kill oneself either. It is more a way to cope , many people self harm and it is not uncommon in a teenager. Don't feel alone about that. Most people who Self harm keep it a secret too.

It is a good idea to try and talk to a school counselor or somebody you can trust. As long as your not a danger to yourself or others it is confidential. Cutting is not taken as a sucide gesture, unless it is real deep and apperant that is what person is trying to do.

Maybe you could join a group online for self harmers. If your interested I can pm you about them.

Again you might be right that depression is what is really going on and your fighting it all you can. Everyone gets depressed from time to time, however there are different degrees of it. That's why it is important to find someone to confide in. Someone who can really help you . We can help you be giving you support and feedback here . I hope your going to be ok and feel better. Keep writing about stuff , and we will be here for you .

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Yeah, my entire problem is that I don't want to sound like a whiny teen who's just overexaggerating and whinging about nothing.

But I dunno, I just don't really feel alive a lot of the time... it's just like theres some big black hole in my chest. That sounds weird, but it's the best way I can describe it.

Mm.. sometimes I WANT to cut deeper, down my wrists, but I just have to try really hard to surpress the urges.

I just don't know what to think, y'know? Am I just being overly hormonal, or what?

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Zebradee,

Welcome to our community.

No, you are not just being hormonal. Teenage depression is very real as is self cutting. Do you cut yourself? Any suicide attempts or do you think about suicide.

You know, being a teen is not easy. I remember my teen years and I empathize. My children also found it difficult. So, you are not alone.

Can you tell us more about yourself? Are you in school, how are you doing? Any boyfriend problems? Do you drink or do other drugs? How are things at home.

I want you to know that you are welcome here and I know you will find lots of support.

Allan :o

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Commanding your sleeping habit is difficult, but I think you will benefit greatly if you try keeping your hours in line with the operating hours of society. From your posts, I imagine the bulk of your activities – school and such – take place during the day. Also, while you can cope without sleep, your body simply needs around 10 hours of sleep to carry on its growth processes.

As mscat, Allan, and others reveal, the feelings of lonliness you describe are very well shared amongst your peers. I too recall a very profound sense of lonliness while I was a teenager. Of course, my entire experience was not one of lonliness, but the feeling left a strong enough impact for me to remember today. At the time, my diet was okay and my sleeping pattern was stable. However, the added stresses of lack of sleep or poor diet may exacerbate these strong feelings associated with growing up.

About the journal, maybe, when life seems awful and unbearable, you can write a journal entry and come back to it in a week – a bit like a letter to yourself. After you review what you wrote, you can have a little laugh at how bad things seemed at the time and then toss it. This way, you can still benefit from a journal while removing the possibility that others may read issues that may have long since expired in your mind.

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Hi Zebradee,

Welcome to our community.

No, you are not just being hormonal. Teenage depression is very real as is self cutting. Do you cut yourself? Any suicide attempts or do you think about suicide.

You know, being a teen is not easy. I remember my teen years and I empathize. My children also found it difficult. So, you are not alone.

Can you tell us more about yourself? Are you in school, how are you doing? Any boyfriend problems? Do you drink or do other drugs? How are things at home.

I want you to know that you are welcome here and I know you will find lots of support.

Allan :D

I do cut, not that often, but yeah. I have done, and get the urge to frequently.

I had suicidal thoughts last year (serious ones :)), but I have had them quite a lot, just not as badly.

I'm in school, taking my GCSE's at the moment, 1st year. So far It's not going too well. I'm not completing homework in some subjects, finding it hard to concentrate at school, finding it difficult to find muse/inspiration in Art and Music. But it's just horrible because I don't even know why I'm doing it... I want to pass my GCSE's and get good grades, but I'm just finding it hard to feel motivated? I'm not sure.

Never had a boyfriend, I'm too scared, to tell you the truth. I get anxious with intimate contact, even with friends hugging me and things like that. It'd take me a long time to get used to the idea and comfortable with it, I think.

No interest in drinking, my mother is a horrible drunk and I don't want to end up turning in to her when I'm stoned .__.

I wouldn't know where to get drugs from, hah.

I've had problems with my father for a number of years now, I'd say since I was 8 or 9 perhaps? I just resent him, he's got a bad temper, is argumentative, etc. Just doesn't seem to like me, which I used to get upset about but I don't care now. I think his family has a history of mental health problems; his mum had a breakdown from what I understand, but he doesn't talk about his family, we never really see any of them, etc. It's kind of touchy, after his mum died my step-granddad (who I thought was my real granddad) just dissapeared with all her possessions, because she didn't write a will (she assumed he would distribute her possessions accordingly, I guess). So that was hard for my family, because one minute we had a grandfather, the next, nothing, hah.

Thanks, seriously. It feels good to get some of this out, even if it's a bit scary.

Commanding your sleeping habit is difficult, but I think you will benefit greatly if you try keeping your hours in line with the operating hours of society. From your posts, I imagine the bulk of your activities – school and such – take place during the day. Also, while you can cope without sleep, your body simply needs around 10 hours of sleep to carry on its growth processes.

As mscat, Allan, and others reveal, the feelings of lonliness you describe are very well shared amongst your peers. I too recall a very profound sense of lonliness while I was a teenager. Of course, my entire experience was not one of lonliness, but the feeling left a strong enough impact for me to remember today. At the time, my diet was okay and my sleeping pattern was stable. However, the added stresses of lack of sleep or poor diet may exacerbate these strong feelings associated with growing up.

About the journal, maybe, when life seems awful and unbearable, you can write a journal entry and come back to it in a week – a bit like a letter to yourself. After you review what you wrote, you can have a little laugh at how bad things seemed at the time and then toss it. This way, you can still benefit from a journal while removing the possibility that others may read issues that may have long since expired in your mind.

Yeah, I know I need to sort out my sleeping and eating, but I simply lack the motivation to do pretty much anything that requires either leaving the house, or self-discipline. I just find it really difficult, which is stupid and lazy of me. But I can't seem to change.

Yes, I know I am probably being slightly melodramatic, haha. I do have good days, but I've been feeling this bad for about 3 or 4 years now :/

As in, I can't really remember the last time I was properly happy? I just feel really bad about a lot of really stupid things, and feel very resentful towards everyone, everything, myself, the world... I don't know, I just feel as if our entire civilization is completely ridiculous. I shouldn't worry about it, I know, but I just do.

I hate reading stuff back about myself, I just sound really pathetic, haha.

But the thing is, those feelings do tend to last for weeks. I'll have some days where I am still feeling crap, but also hyper, if that makes sense? Like, I'll speed up and be jumpy, agitated, unable to sit still, etc. It's weird, but it might be to do with my diet and lack of excercise?

Thank-you for the advice.

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Family relationships are difficult for everyone. As a child, I found myself in the midst of family relationships that were not as idyllic as the ones I watched on TV. It is unfortunate that family members do not always get along, and I felt badly for the difference between TV and my own circumstances. In your case, I am sorry to hear about your difficulties with your father and grandfather.

Self-discipline is a glamorous word to describe how people do things over time that end up to their own benefit. I got caught up with the term self-discipline because it sounded pretty neat, and the teachers gave me the impression that I did not have it. But, if you accept my take on “self-discipline”, then all you need is a good reason why you are doing something, and some paper. If you want to change your sleeping habit – or any habit – try making a little journal for yourself. The journal can serve as a log for how much sleep you are getting and whether that is enough. You can then begin to change the times you sleep slowly by 15 minute intervals until you have achieved your target times.

Your speed ups and downs may have something to do with your growth, diet, exercise, and sleep habits. In common parlance, people refer to speed ups as “second winds”. This speed up generally means that a person has forgone sleep. Sometime during the next day, the adrenaline in this person's body is released, causing him to become more alert for a time. However, purposefully relying on second winds is to basically exploit an evolved survival mechanism and is stressful. I am not sure if this is what you are experiencing, but it is possible.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Zebradee,

I also want to encourage you to go for counseling. How can going to get better hurt someone else like your parents? It's like saying "if I have pneumonia and go to the doctor I will hurt my family." No way. You should go. Also, there is no such thing as being "just hormonal." Depression is depression and its real and its serious. I agree with mscat, the schools have guidance counselors and school psychologists. There are also outside mental health agencies. I want to really encourage you to get the help you need. It is not "pathetic." Do you know that teenage depression and suicide are at epidemic levels?

Allan

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