Teenage Problems/PLEASE HELP. PLEASE!
Im looking for advice. Can you please help me? I've tried reaching out to at least 5 others on here no one replies, it hurts.
My name is Samirrah. I am 14. I have been struggling for the past 4-5 months now. How do you know if your depressed? Yea, i am able to smile and laugh at jokes and have a little fun. Sometimes i just space off into my own thoughts. Im a cutter and a little suicidely. Sometimes i think im done with all of that but im not because at some point or some day it all comes back. Do you think i need help? Of course i want help im scared to ask because what if i ask and my family starts to look at me differently. I don't want that. PLEASE HELP ME! I NEED SOMEONE.
Hi there Samirrah,
Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.
To answer your question, how do you know if you are depressed there are a lot of different things that you need to think about and know to answer.
Everyone has days when they feel down and a bit sad and want to just withdraw from seeing people. This feeling can last for a couple of days but then as our circumstances change, we accept that how we were feeling was only a temporary state and it is now over. This kind of sadness is not depression as people expect, it is referred to as 'down days' and is caused by minor troubles and strains in our life.
Depression is a state of emotional distress that may or may not have a trigger that lasts constantly for a period of over three months. During this time there may be times of happiness but for the majority of the time, the person feels sad or upset. Each person presents differently with depression but typically the following kinds of symptoms may be present:
1. Lack of energy and not wanting to do anything.
2. Social withdrawal and not wanting to see or speak to anyone.
3. Low self-esteem and self worth.
4. Feelings of guilt about past events.
5. Lack of pride in appearance and lack of personal hygiene.
6. Periods of hyperactivity and then an immediate crash.
7. Crying for no apparent reason.
Not all of these symptoms are present in each person that suffers from depression but some will. Some of the symptoms occur when we have a 'down day' so they do not automatically mean that someone is 'depressed'. Doctors and Psychologists assess a whole range of factors, including symptoms, history and life events to determine whether or not someone can be classified as 'clinically depressed' #that is, they require some form of treatment# or just having a 'down day'.
In teenagers, it can be easy to mistake some of the feelings that you are experiencing as being depression when they may, in fact, be teen angst which again is different. Teenage angst is the term used to describe the emotional rollercoaster that teenagers go through when they are going through puberty and their emotions are all over the place. As your body begins to develop, so does your brain and the surge in hormones that occurs throughout puberty can lead to things such as mood swings, questioning your self-worth and constant comparisons with other people. It can leave you feeling confused about the World and not really knowing where you fit in; which makes you panic about the future. These are normal teenage emotions that most teenagers experience; what differs, is people's ability to cope with the uncertainty that this brings. If you are experiencing teen angst then this is something that you will come through and be able to manage because it will naturally begin to settle and stop as you get older.
Self-harm is a strategy that people use to bring a sense of order to their World when they feel like they have no control over anything else; as well as using it as some form of punishment or pain relief. The harmer believes that by harming themselves in some way, it is helping them to cope. That said, self-harm can be dangerous and leave lasting emotional and physical scars which means that as you get older, harming yourself may make your self-esteem drop. Stopping self-harm is not easy because you get into a cycle where you almost need to do it in order to cope and this is because of associations you make when you harm yourself.
Something bad happens - You Self-Harm - You Feel Better - You think Self-Harm makes you feel better - Something bad happens again and so on and so on.
What you have to do is to learn to break the cycle by realizing that what happens to you is not of your doing and you can manage to cope with life and all of its troubles without the need to harm yourself. If you are not responsible for what has happened to you, then why should you punish yourself when you are a victim of circumstance?
Bad things happen to good people and we all get into situations where our anxiety increases and we feel like the World is spinning out of control. But what happens when you get older is you learn that it is something that happens and tomorrow is another day with new opportunities. When you are younger, because of the way your mind focuses information, you tend to focus on the today and tomorrow and not the wider picture and this is something to bare in mind when you are going through a tough time.
You ask me I think you should seek some help and I would always recommend that if you are feeling suicidal and resorting to cutting yourself then you may want to consider speaking to your doctor or psychologist and asking about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which may help.
Do not think that you are on your own or you should deal with this all by yourself, your family are there for you and they would probably prefer that you spoke to them about how you are feeling than end up visiting you in hospital if you cut yourself in the wrong place.
The future is bright and although you may only be seeing the grey at the moment, remember you still have a lot of your life to live. As someone once put it, 'If you want the rainbow, then you have to expect the rain' and it's true, it is the hard times in life that make us appreciate the good.
I hope that helps.