My Depression Diagnosis: Childhood and Teen Depression
For as long as I can remember, I've felt sad and defective. So when did I realize that I needed help? I didn't always know I had depression. I actually didn't have a clue what it was until after my doctor gave me my depression diagnosis.
My Road to Depression
Between the ages of nine and fourteen, three members of my extended family died of cancer: my grandfather and two aunts. My parents, my sister, and I all took the deaths very hard. We'd watched each person die without being able to save them. Then my mom showed early stages of cancer and had to have major surgery to save her life.
Even after my mom got better and our family life went back to normal, I still felt sad most of the time. I felt really hopeless about life and dwelled on the fact that we would all die eventually. I started to want to die. It seemed a lot easier than being alive for so much suffering.
As school pressure intensified in the tenth grade, I felt myself break down. I hid in bathrooms, pushing back tears so no one could tell how overwhelmed I felt. I wrote in my journal about feeling like I had tar in my veins because my body felt so heavy and dark. Each day I'd literally pray for the strength to get out of bed and get ready for school. I listened to only sad music because it was all I could relate to. I started to get really angry at my peers at school for seeming to be so happy. Why couldn't I be like them?
Getting Depression Help
After I started to self-injure to cope with my feelings, I realized that I needed help. I reached out to a guidance counselor from elementary school and she contacted my high school's psychologist. The school psychologist was really kind to me, and helped me talk with my parents about how I'd been feeling.
At first, I was ashamed tell my parents know how bad I felt because I knew they loved me a lot and really wanted me to be happy. Only after talking with them, however, did I learn that depression runs in our family and that there were depression treatment options that could help me. My mom went with me to see our family doctor and she prescribed me an antidepressant. We also found a psychologist for me to talk to.
I went to the library and signed out books on depression. I read everything I could, both fiction and non-fiction, and started to feel less alone in my despair. I learned that depression isn't my fault; it's an illness.
It's been a long battle but I'm so thankful to have made it this far. I know I can keep getting better with support from those around me.
A Depression Diagnosis Can Help You!
If you ever feel like you can't cope with how you're feeling, I really recommend reaching out to a friend or family member for support. You might feel scared at first, but that's okay! Talk to someone anyway. It's only through talking about our pain that we can get help with it. And we can't get better alone.
If it's too frightening to think about talking with someone about your feelings, try writing them a letter instead. You will feel a lot of relief even just getting your feelings down on paper.
Do you have any tips on reaching out for help? Feel free to comment with your experiences and you might help someone else start their journey to recovery.
Schulthies, E. (2014, March 13). My Depression Diagnosis: Childhood and Teen Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/03/my-depression-diagnosis
Author: Erin Schulthies
Great blog! I have depression and anxiety disorder and it can be very difficult to deal with alone. Reaching out was the best decision I had ever made! Definitely what worked for me was a combination of medication and therapy. I also had the privilege of getting admitted to a women's mental health inpatient program at CAMH in Toronto. Treatment changed my life, and I would recommend it to anybody struggling with mental health issues. Also, learning DBT and CBT skills have helped as well.
Have a great 24 hours!
Hi Samantha! Thanks so much for your comment! I felt so scared in reaching out for help, especially when my parents needed to know how bad I'd been feeling, but it was so worthwhile in the long run. It's great to hear that treatment, in all its forms, has helped you too. Be well! :)
It's a real comfort to know I'm not alone in feeling the way I do. I didn't know what depression was as a kid. I had stomach aches and headaches all the time. As I got older it turned into cutting and thoughts of suicide. I was ashamed to ask for help, but when I finally did, I too learned that it ran in my family. Now I'm medicated and doing CBT. It's still hard, but it is working. Thank you for sharing. Keep fighting!
It helps to know there are others who not only have depression but understand that somedays, just getting out of bed is a huge accomplishment! I knew something was wrong for my whole life but I just tried to hide it and people said I was shy and a very quiet person. I did not get the official diagnosis until 41 years old and I had a breakdown and to get shock therapy. What I want to tell anyone who wants to listen is don't just hide it for years. Even though it may seem terrifying to talk to someone about what is going on in your head, it will be better than losing so many years to sadness & pain! Tell someone how you feel. Do it today!
What a marvellous point you have. We definitely gain so much by reaching out for help, and when we avoid it, we can lose precious time in our lives. And it's never too late to reach out for help. I'm glad you are on the road to recovery. Getting out of bed IS a huge accomplishment. You are awesome! Thanks so much for your comment. :)
Gettting out of bed is very hard....even if you feel ok when you go to bed .....I always
wake up with terrible remorse!!!!!
I have always been depressed.....but been hiding it .....until I could not do it anymore!!!
Try to think possetive is not always easy!!????
Thanks God that some days are better than others!!!!
Taking medication......I dont know if it helps or not ......when is rhis gone end!!!?
So tired of beeing depressed!!!
Thanks God I dont have to go to work every morning!!!!
Why reach out everyone say it will be better in time they don't get it I just have to get my kids grown and then I can leave this hell I'm in.
Thanks for sharing this. I have had depression and anxiety issues for as long as I can remember. I am almost 43 and have been diagnosed by a few drs with moderate to severe depression. About 10-15 yrs ago I tried meds. It was a long road with lots of problems with the meds so I stopped. I have found therapy to be helpful in the past. I have reached out to family in the past but I never found it to be helpful. I wish it was but because I seem to be sort of functioning ok most of the time, the diagnosis is ignored and swept under the carpet and I am just told to cheer up. Wish it were that easy.
Hi Val. If it were ONLY that easy. Look... it seems as though its been a long time since you tried meds. Meds have changed a lot in the last several years so maybe it's time to try it again. Don't be swept under the rug. Throw that damned rug out the window and seek another doctor if you must. Best of luck.
What happens when you have no one to reach to?real people.in your enviroment.who you see or know the voice?
If you have no one to reach out to, I recommend checking out a mental health or crisis line to talk about what options there are in your community. I've always found easier to talk to professionals than my family and friends because they are trained. HealthyPlace's Mental Health Hotline Numbers and Referral Resources might be a good place to start. I also recommend our Depression Forum. :) Thanks so much for your comment! <3 Erin