Am I depressed?

Hi, I'm 16 years old and I don't know what's going on in my life. I've always been a bit of worrier since a young age but except from that I'm a fairly cheerful person. The past few months I've been down a lot and at first I thought I was just upset but it's got to the stage where I'm crying myself to sleep, not eating all day then the next eating loads and having thoughts that I shouldn't be having. I've even attempted cutting but always backed out at the last minute. I don't know who to speak to as I don't have any friends I can trust and as I'm a happy smiley person at school and home I don't want people to think I'm attention seeking. Things are getting worse what do I do?

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  • a) go and see your GP - try booking a double appointment to give you more time and write things down - take a copy of this when you go. It can help to have someone you trust with you because there may be a lot to take in and it helps to have someone else there to hear things for you and to check back that you have understood - but also appreciate that you probably don't feel there is anyone who can take that role for you.

    b) know it may be difficult but is there a counselor at your school? - there often is these days - though you may feel that people are going to look at you sideways if they find out and not want to go for that reason.

    It may not be that you are depressed - and there could be something else that is causing the problem that a bloodtest might pick up.

    It does sound as if you might actually be quite a shy person and very sensitive to what people think of you and it may be that some counseling might help you to build up your levels of confidence and increase your resilience to worry and stress - meditation might also be useful - Buddhist mindfulness practices can be very useful.

    I'm not quite sure what the thoughts are but if they are thoughts about how nice it would be to be dead then I would have to say that I personally think they are actually quite a natural response to being stressed - the brain looks for an out and death is the ultimate out - but sometimes things go wrong and you can get into a loop: you are stressed - brain sends you a thought about death as a way of calming you but it doesn't calm you - makes you more anxious and stressed so the silly old brain sends you more thoughts of death and so on in a rather black downward spiral. I know it isn't easy to deal with that when it happens but it is possible to find ways out because I've done it and now when I have the occasional thought about death my first reaction is to acknowledge that I'm stressed rather than getting caught up in the circles that would totally devastate me.

    Hope things pick up soon

  • You need to go and see your Doctor and tell them everything about your thoughts and feelings. I know from experience that this is extremely difficult so what I did is I wrote everything down like crying, thoughts of suicide, anxiety and not sleeping. This helped my Doctor a lot as he knew straight away how to help me and he got in touch with a local CBT Therapist. Hope this helps be strong and take each day as it comes. Remember crying is not a sign of weakness but a sign that you have been strong for far too long. You could go on the Mind Website and look under depression and suicide thoughts, they have some really useful information.Take care and remember that 1 in 4 people suffer with mental heath a some point in their life.

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