Depressed despite having a mostly okay life?

So- I am an 18 year old guy with a loving family, a decent size amount of friends who are like my second family, and a girlfriend who I love. Despite all these things- I'm not happy. I often feel guilty because I recognize that I'm a very lucky person to have all this in my life but... I feel empty inside. It seems that I'm never satisfied with what I have. First I felt all alone and I wanted friends- so I went out and gain that over the years. Then I wanted a girlfriend and it was the main cause for my depression as I felt I would never find a girl of my dreams and as I was with friends- I met a girl who I fell in love with instantly and she is everything I could ever ask for in a girlfriend. Honestly, every day feels like a constant struggle as I keep fighting to become happy. That's all I want- is to be happy. I'm on anti-depressants but they don't seem to do anything. I keep pushing forward- telling myself tomorrow will be different but I'm starting to break down and give up as my grades are now all D's and F's. Please can someone give me some advice on the key to actually being happy or if I'm missing something because I'm trying so hard.


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18 Replies

  • Reading your post, You seem to have the world. Friends who would break a leg for you a girl who would jump over hoops for you, You have the basics in life that make you whole, all that is left seems to be association with family and a job.

    Two things that lead to the third problem Money, am I getting anywhere.

    If you have friends and a Girlfriend the above is all there is of course if your health is bad or the police are after you I can only think there must be other things that that are lacking or unwelcome attention.

    Personally you say you have been given AD medications by your GP what was the reason and understanding that this medication was given?

    Have you lost family members to death or are they far away and you miss them ??


  • You are right- I do have the world in my hands and that's why I don't understand my displeasement with life. My past isn't the best- but it isn't the worse either.

    You could be onto something- I was told by my parents that I will have to get a job within the next few months because I'm old enough to pay for my own things.

    My health isn't so good- I have an problem keeping food down that I haven't really told my family about. When I eat food- I sometimes will throw up about 5 to 10 minutes after eating depending on how stress I am. Also- no- no the police aren't after me. 

    I was  given the antidepressants because before I met my current girlfriend- there was another girl who I had strong emotions for but she didn't mirror the same feelings. In short- my relationship with this girl ended and because of that- I fell in a deep depression and was ready to take my own life. One day when I was at school I called my dad at lunch when I couldn't take it anymore- told him I was ready to kill myself- I then was told to tell the school which I did and they placed me in a rehab center for a week. There they put me on anti-depressants as I was diagnose with OCD- major depression- and also anxiety problems. I always experienced depression to an extent but ever since I met that one girl who I will respectful not say the  name of, my depression worsen ten fold.

  • I would possibly recommend you talk to your GP and  discuss if you could be weened of AD, you will be able to tell as the drug is withdrawn if you need them as your needs are being met by your new situation.

    With regard your sickness after food this can be caused by several things. Your GP will be able to put your mind at rest. Then treat the problem

    If you are taking AD they will dumb the brain down as you look for a job so you need to be on your game, it will also sharpen your relationship with your girlfriend Lol.

    If the medication is still required the dose can always be built up once more under your GP


  • Your circumstances sound good but you could have twice as much as this and still not be happy. Some people are never happy whatever they have but you do not sound like a malcontent. Depression however does make it impossible to be happy however good things seem to the outside world.

    Presumably your GP has prescribed you ADs but they might not be doing much for you. Firstly they often take several weeks to take effect and secondly it can often take your GP several tries to find the AD for you. At least you are male which gives your GP more options but finding a suitable AD can take time. Tell your GP that your current prescription is doing little for you and perhaps you should try an alternative.make sure you let your GP know if that one works.

    Also , perhaps you are chasing happiness too hard. That could make it more elusive. Try worrying less about your happiness and try making others happier. Every day there are many opportunities to do this in small ways that will cost you little in effort. A compliment , a sincere thank you etc. etc. Most people find that making others happier makes them feel good and this may be one of the short cuts you need to finding happiness.

    You'll still have depression to fight,but that will end , I promise you and the habit of making others happier will hopefully continue . You'll be even nicer to be around which must be good news for you and everyone around you.

    Depression often interferes with memory and what the medics call cognitive performance. In other words you'll have to work harder to maintain the same grades.  Decision making and speed of thought are often affected , not by that much ,but it will affect grades unless you put in some extra effort. Grades are important and ultimately will affect job choice and income. As a very wise school master told me years ago "Money ain't everything but If you ain't happy on £20 a week you're very unlikely to be happy on £15 a week"  

    Depression is n't the end of the world ; use it to cultivate some good habits that will make you even more effective when the depression ends .


  • Why would you get more options if you are male?  I don't get that.  x

  • Well in general doctors have to be more careful about just what they can prescribe for women of child bearing age.

    It is also true that certain ads can promote weight gain and I suspect that men might often be more relaxed about that.


  • I wouldn't say that Olderal.  If a woman needs meds then she needs them regardless.   If she was actively planning to become pregnant then maybe that is different.  I can't believe doctors won't give women of child bearing age some of the drugs they might need just in case of pregnancy!    That would be a doctor making decisions about a womans right to choose based on her age,  and sex.     I think women are responsible enough to understand and make their own decisions.   You might think differently of course.   I am sure many of these drugs affect men's ability to conceive a child as well.

    Many males now are worried about putting on weight too you know.  Maybe not 50 years ago but life has changed a lot since then.   x 


  • Hi 

    Nice to meet someone who sounds just like me.  The common mistake people make with depression is they think they can eradicate it by having all those "things" they think make them happy.  Even the most accomplished and wealthiest people suffer with depression.  You may achieve all the things you aspire to, but it will not help you deal with your depression,  I would recommend some good counselling if you can find a reputable Councillor.  It will help you understand your own thought processes, to work out how you don't realise that the way you think is actually sometimes the cause of the problem  and see depression in it's true light.  The anti depressants are useful if they are helping but it is an experimental drug and sometimes you will need to try other types to find the right one for you.

    Please try and get help, at 18 life is hard, everything is expected of you and the pressure is intense.  My son went through the same thing at 18 (counselling really helped him) and now at 20 he is more capable of dealing with depression in a manageable way.  

  • It's good to hear that I am not the only person who has felt like this before. I normally don't like to bother my parents nor the doctor too much but this time tonight after dinner I'll sit down with them and explain to them that the medication that I have been taken isn't doing what it's soul purpose is and that the next vist the doctor we need to ask them to put me onto a different medication. Also- like I already said to someone else- counselling hasn't really "work" per say in the past but I'll give it another go. I'm willing to try basically anything if it means I can start feeling better and start enjoying life.

  • Counselling works for quite a lot of people , probably more often if one has faith in it. I'm a bit of a cynic so it has never done much for me , although I must admit that I did have one counsellor about twenty years ago who was very good and did quite a lot for me at a time when i was pretty desperate.

    I'm no doctor but reading your post again I'm not sure its all depression . I think some of it is that you have the wrong values. This is n't your fault necessarily. It takes most people a lot longer than 18 years of life to sort out what they want from life. Also life is now much tougher for young people than it was when I was young, and it is easy to feel a failure if you are not happy all the while . There is no rule in life that says you can be happy all the time.

    Although life is tough for young people my parents generation went through the war. A time of shortages, many deaths affecting most families and all sorts of bad news. Once the war ended they were just glad to have survived and improve their life a little and I think they were far more content with not much. I remember as well that several years ago a UN survey of national happiness for each country found that the happiest continent was Africa of all places. 

    Certainly keep pursuing the right treatment for depression but I think you need to develop the trick of relaxing about it and not worrying overmuch if you are not happy all the while. No one is. Don't believe all that rubbish on social media.


  • Counselling is just like medication it depends on who you get I had to go through 3 different councillors before I found the right one.  But I did get a lot of help from reading books written by fellow sufferers, Ruby Wax, Danny Baker and Spike Milligan.  You will get the best support from other depressive people because they will understand you like no other.  It's important to keep trying to get the right help and support (I have suffered with depression on and off for over 10 years) not every day will be a bad day and you will learn to embrace depression and deal with it in your own unique way.

  • So- Thursday I finally went to a therapist and she told me to start exercising on a daily basis. She recommended that I start drinking less iced tea and soda and more water. She then gave me an paper on depression and negative thinking saying that from everything I told her- one thing that I'll have to make a constant effort is to try to recognize when I'm thinking negatively and to challenge it with a positive thought. I told her that my anti-depressants aren't helping me at all and she wrote that down to add it to her report so on May 25, when I see the guy who gives me my anti-depressants he'll either increase the dose or change me onto a completely new anti-depressant. In short- I feel like I made some progress. The only bad news she told me is that since I've experience depression my whole life and my father also has a history of depression that I will most likely have to battle with depression for the rest of my life so it's important that I learn healthy coping skills as soon as possible.

  • I really wanted to tell you that I thought depression was hereditary but thought that as I didn't really know your family history that would have been presumptuous of me. My mum and dad also suffer with depression although in their day it was not a recognised illness. Coping skills are good and will help you learn that your lowest moments will pass. It's not always easy thinking positive when you're in a slump but knowing that you will be able to think positively again is what gives you faith. I hope everything works out for you, keep in touch and tell us how you're getting on.


  • So- Maria ask me to keep you all updated on my progression so I'd decide I'll do that. I've been doing a LOT of research and thinking. One of the things that seems to helped lift my mood was to finally take responsibility for not just my happiness but my obligations and life in general. Most of my life I used my depression as my escape goat for why I didn't do my school work, why I would get up later in the day and when I do finally get up, I hardly complete anything. After a lot of thinking I personally have concluded that it was my own inaction, laziness, and always playing the victim card that was making my depression worse and harder to cope with.

    Now- while I'm not ruling out that I may have a chemical imbalance in my brain and I will still continue to take anti-depressants that my doctor prescribes me as well as staying active here since there seems to be a lot of support and helpful people here but for now on I'm really going to make a constant effort to better myself as a person. Eating right, drinking more water, exercise, doing my school work and since I'm going to need to be able to pay for college by myself, getting a job. So far I noticed I feel a lot better now that I've feel like I made real progress and all by myself too! I'm just hoping this isn't one of those times where I am having a high moment followed by a really, really low moment as I have had that happen to me before.

  • Hi

    Having a high is normal so is having a low. Diet is so important I am to blame for a lot of my tiredness, I never excercise on a regular basis I am anemic and should be taking iron tablets but I don't I can not stress how important other factors will play a big part in helping you deal with depression. I am on anti depressants but just taking them alone will never be enough.

    What I feel we forget is that we have to learn to enjoy life, share laughs with friends, share experiences do things that make us happy. We are all so busy trying to jump to hoops to survive in a world where you're constantly being compared to the next person that we end up letting this aspect of life rule us forever.

    Good luck with your school work but remember it is just one of the hoops you will have to jump through but it is not the most important thing in your life, which is YOU.

    Love Maria xxx

  • Hi there.

    Firstly thats just it depression and feeling depressed are two separate things.

    Everyone gets down and some feel depressed even.

    Then theres the feeling of everything being wrong and having a low mood despite "having it all". Yep you guessed it thats depression.

    Also you may get real lows followed by exceedingly high highs. Welcome manic depressives. These feeling bear norelation to what is going on in your life.

    All these can be managed an not always with drugs. Realising which you have is the key. Then accepting it is part of your life and not the whole of your life.

    The advice I would give in managing depression is try everything offered and see what works for you.

    Good luck.


  • Hi there! You sound like a really nice guy!! :) Sometimes the mind gets into a 'habit' of feeling and reacting certain ways... I know this is what has happened with me any number of times... Olderal has a great suggestion. Setting some goals to make others feel good or happy is a GREAT way to feel better yourself...Also, a counselor might well be able to help you. Someone who does not know you...Just make SURE you are seeringly honest about what you REALLY feel... I say this because I, at times, had the tendency to NOT face certain things because I thought "I really don't have any right to feel this way because I have so much good going on".... So, just think about it. Sending you a grandma hug!

  • Thank you for the kind words. I have seen Olderal's post and I also agree that maybe I'm focusing on myself and my happiness a little too much. I have been through counseloring before and at the time- it didn't honestly help but I like to try to be as open as I can be so I'll give it another go. Also *internet hugs back*

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