Do I have depression ?

Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2019 03:06 pm
Hello. I am 17 years old and am wondering if I might struggle with depression.
I have an eating disorder (bulimia) since a little over a year now. Probably from a toxic relationship with my ex-boyfriend back then.
I still find enjoyment in the things I like and I can be happy around friends. I still manage my school responsibilities (though not as well as before) and can sleep normally most of the time. These points speak against depression.
But for some reason, there's always something... When I'm alone with my thoughts, there is something there that makes me uncomfortable, makes me feel uneasy. I've started hurting myself in order to cope with this feeling. It's like a tenseness in my stomach. It is really hard to describe. I can live with it. It's not making incapable of acting in my life. But my mood has been a bit more pressed lately and I find it extremely hard to talk to my parents (also due to shame towards them), even though talking with friends is fine. I isolate myself a little more, but I still can cope with social interaction.
Often I feel like I want to cry or scream. Though I can still manage to ignore that feeling.
I live a very stable life with a loving family and friends. I shouldn't have anything to worry about.
So my question is-
Could this still be considered depression? Because there are some arguments speaking for and against it. Might it be another mental health problem? Or is everything just fine and it's just phase of my teenage years that will pass soon?
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2019 03:15 pm
We're not doctors, and any doctor worth beans won't diagnose anyone over the internet.

That said, you sound troubled at the very least. Lots of teens go through angst, and it's practically a synonym for being a teenager. But many, many teens don't cut themselves or have an eating disorder. Those things are troubling all by themselves.

I am guessing you've read a bunch of stuff online and wonder what is going on if you are unable to tick off every single depression "box" there is.

You don't have to, in order to have a problem.

I realize you don't want to talk to your folks, and I respect that. However, you need to talk to someone, and in person, not online.

Might I suggest asking to see your pediatrician? You have physician/patient privilege (yes, even though you're still a minor). The only things that can breach it are your consent or if the doctor reasonably believes you're going to commit a crime or you're a danger to yourself and/or others. I am not 100% certain how that would go down given that you're self-harming. I believe the benefits are going to outweigh any consequences.

Even if you, personally, feel you've gotten nothing out of it, the doctor will at least have a heads up that something is going on.

If it is absolutely, 100% out for you to see your doctor, then talk to a beloved teacher or another trusted adult. There is no shame or dishonor in reaching out.
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2019 10:08 am
You should have a counselor at school who is a psychologist or a social worker - either one would be someone trained to listen to what you are going through, and figure out how to address it.

I don’t know how you feel about talking to the counselor at your school, but I’ve worked as a counselor, and I know it’s their job to help you sort through emotional issues. Also they are obligated to never tell anyone what you talk about unless you give permission. The only exception to that is if they think you are an imminent risk to your own, or someone else’s, safety and life.

You did good to ask here, but like Jespah said, face-to-face is the only way to be sure you’re being heard and understood.

Best wishes
0 Replies
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2019 01:09 pm
Thank you for your answer. I'll try to reach out
0 Replies

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