“There is nothing wrong with me. I am healthy, pretty, smart and fun to be around. I don’t have cancer or any kind of deformity. I don’t even have acne. I have a great family who loves me and lots and lots of good friends. I’d even say I am popular at my school. I play softball and I’m really good at it; probably the best pitcher in the district. I have never suffered from any kind of tragedy and have no deep dark secrets. Why then, do I feel depressed?
It’s not like it happens when I am sad or mad or anything. It happens out of the blue. It hits me mostly when I am alone. I don’t even mind being alone, so I don’t know why it comes. I will be feeling fine and then it’s like a fog washes over me. I seem to get lost or stuck in the fog. Bad thoughts come to my mind. I get down on myself for no real reason. I feel like I am not good enough. I don’t like myself. I feel like no one else likes me either. Actually, I hate myself. I get upset. Sometimes I have trouble breathing because it is like the fog gets in my lungs. I get close to panicking. I feel like I am going to totally lose it. If anyone calls, texts or bothers me when I feel this way I ignore them or snap at them. I can be mean. I know I scared my little brother a couple of times screaming at him to leave me alone.
I want to know why this happens to me. Why do I feel this way? I could understand if someone like my friend Cameron felt this way. She has lots of reasons to be depressed. Her parents got divorced. She broke her arm and will never play softball again. She put on 30 pounds. She should be depressed, not me. Or what about Chloe? She lost her sister in a car wreck. She has problems. She should be depressed, not someone like me.
I want to know why it happens and how to stop it. I can’t talk about it to anyone, because they will just say the same thing I am thinking. There is no reason for me to be depressed. It doesn’t make sense. I hide it from my family, because I don’t want them to think I am crazy. I must be crazy, because there is really NO REASON for me to be so depressed.
This has been happening for as long as I can remember. Now it is happening more and more frequently and getting worse. Why do I feel this way? What do I do? Please help.”
This is an example of one of the most common types of recurrent depression and it can be treated successfully. You are not crazy, and you do not need to suffer any more. You say there is no reason for you to be depressed, but there really is. It’s in your brain. This does not mean that there is something “wrong” with your brain either. Depression is first and foremost a chemical beast, not just an emotional one. The chemicals in your brain affect your emotions. There does not need to be anything outwardly “wrong” in your life to cause you to experience depression. It is a simple chemical imbalance which is very, very, very common. We can’t express that enough. There are thousands upon thousands of people whose brains are just like yours. There are also thousands upon thousands more who haven’t had the courage to tell anyone about it. As the stigma surrounding mental health is disappearing, we are just now seeing an influx of people willing to talk about and get treatment for their depression. Continue reading