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I Think I Might Be Depressed

Dear Sugar
I am a freshman in college and I think I might have depression. I don't know who to ask or how to tell my parents if what I am feeling is really depression. These feelings started at the end of ninth grade. I was on the honor roll, I had a lot of friends, and I was overall pretty happy. This year my grades dropped, I have terrible mood swings, I have gained weight and never want to leave my room.

I feel like I am missing out on my last year of high school and am afraid that I am pushing all my friends and family away. I have never hurt myself and don't want it to get to that point. I have tried talking to my parents but every time I bring it up, they tell me what I am going through is normal and all teenagers are moody. How can I get my parents to listen to me? Melancholy Molly

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Melancholy Molly
The symptoms you described are red flag signs of depression. Feeling down and out can be very scary, so opening up to your parents is the right thing to do. Depression is not something to be timid about so please speak with your family or guidance counselor immediately.

Although your parents might think this behavior is typical of a teenager, try explaining to them that what you are experiencing feels a lot more than just growing pains. Some parents are not educated about depression, so presenting them with information might help them understand how you are feeling. Open up to your family and remember, they love you and want you to be happy.

If talking about your feelings doesn't help, make an appointment with your doctor. There are many different kinds of medications that can help you. Meeting with a therapist may be beneficial as well. Anonymous online forums are available to you 24 hours a day which are very informative and can offer you great support. Two excellent sources are Hope Line or Teen Help. Good luck and always remember that you are not alone.

Join The Conversation
herbiefrog herbiefrog 10 years
...err ...right on [tries to raise fist] oooff tired
fashioncat fashioncat 10 years
Speak to a counselor at your school about how to talk to your parents about it, maybe you could have a mediator. You have probably heard this before, but exercise is really good for depression... gets those natural endorphins going, and, with college classes I'm guessing your schedule is erratic. Getting up at the same time every day and having a regular morning workout will help get you into a routine. Valeri makes an interesting point, but you don't have to compare yourself topeople who areless fortunte to be happy about your life. Try keeping a journal of things your a grateful for. If your depression is getting worse, it's definitely time to seek help. If you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself there are hot-lines. Talk to someone, you don't need to deal with this alone.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
i think you do get my point, you just don't like it. people with issues like dodging bullets and being able to feed their children don't have time to sit around, watch dr phil and ponder whether they are depressed. they just put on their big girl panties and take care of business. we are a spoiled society that thinks we are entitled to always "feel good" but sadness and struggle are part of the human existence. as i said in my previous post if someone truly has a mental health issue they need to consult a medical professional.
ishtar ishtar 10 years
people in the third world deal with different things, you can't compare our two societies. along with the benefits of comfortable living, the ability to do what we want, and more money, we also have different things to deal with--among them is mental health awareness so I don't see the link valeri. people don't always have 'reason' to be depressed. it could be several things that she would have to work out with her therapist. anywhoo, i was confused as to whether you are in highschool now or college since you said you were a freshman in college, but are worried you are ruining your senior year. if you are in college, see student health services. if you are living at home, sit down with your parents and tell them how you feel. don't just mention it in passing. if that doesnt work, could you contact your doctor on your own? maybe get a friend to help? hope you can get some help, and do it soon so you don't waste ANY years of your life.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
just my 2 cents here, but do you think anyone in a third world county woke up today and thought "i'm depressed". there are people worrying about where their next meal will come from, losing the roof over their family's head's and such. do you REALLY have reason to be depressed? you aren't dodging bullets, you are in college pursuing a degree of your choosing and have your whole life ahead of you. perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed by all that life has to offer and need to take a bit to step back and absorb all that it means. if you truly feel that you are depressed seek the input of a medical professional immediately. this is an exciting, but transitional time in your life which can be stressful. we all feel overwhelmed from time to time, depression is the "i can't get out of bed to bother with life" feeling. in any case, you aren't alone in your feelings. take care.
TxHawaiianTropic TxHawaiianTropic 10 years
I've had depression before. NOT FUN! :( But with some couseling, meds, rest, friends & A LOT OF FAMILY I made it through okay. I'm lucky to be alive. :) Everyone deals with it differently but you will make it if you try.
azucar_maddy azucar_maddy 10 years
Hi Molly. First, I hope that you are not blaming yourself for dealing with Depression. It can happen to anyone. If you live away from home, please try to see your counseling center on-campus. If you have access to other doctors, including your primary care physician and psychologists/psychiatrists -- please make an appointment and begin treatment. You can never get back the time that you lost in Depression -- so please get professional help immediately. Best of luck and know that there are millions just like you. Keep your head up.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
molly, there must be some free counselors on campus, i would go talk to them if you feel like your parents won't understand. cravin is right, alcohol only makes things worse. :( besides messing with your studies, it doesn't really make you feel much better. i had a bad semester in college with lots of alcohol-related blackouts and regrets. good luck to you, i hope you feel better!
head-sparkler head-sparkler 10 years
Molly, do talk to a doctor! There are real solutions for depression, including therapy and meds. I have had plenty of experience with this, unfortunately, but am doing really well now because I finally took the problem to the professionals instead of keeping it inside and trying to fix it on my own. You can do this! xo
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 10 years
Sorry to hear it T0xxy. Blame it on the little human growing in your belly ;)
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Blondie dear Im having mood swings terribly. Im quite the grinch so I dont want to share my beauty lol
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Well, I had chronic depression at one point in my life. I didn't take anti-depressants, but it took a while for me to get through it. What helped is that I had the support of my friends and family. I did try to fill my sadness with other things...for instance I started drinking, smoking more than usual, and that didn't made it worse. You will make it through, just make sure you seek out help. I'm all in.
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 10 years
T0xxy, why no pic?
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
You dont have to tell your parents just go see your Dr.
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