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Ask A Therapist: Is This Depression, Personality Disorder, or Bipolar?

Well I’m 19, but I don’t feel 19. I have so many things going on in my life that it’s hard to keep up with everything. I’m a full time worker, a full time student and a part time gym rat. I’m also in a relationship. There is no time in the day for me to do anything and everything I do always feels rushed. Even though I’m interacting with my coworkers, friends, or girlfriend during the day, I feel empty and numb to it all, like everything is just an act. As far as feelings go, like I said, I’m numb. I feel as if my best friend or mother could die and I wouldn’t care, and I feel as though to a certain extent that I don’t care even for my girlfriend. But on the flip side, I don’t want to be alone. It scares me to think that me and my girlfriend would breakup. I laugh and joke but don’t know why I do.
I really want to know what’s wrong with me because I was never like this before. Or if I was, it was deep down and is now just surfacing and I can’t handle it. I WANT TO BE HAPPY AGAIN.

A: There are normal ups and downs that come along with adolescence, such as mood swings and hormonal changes. But what you’re describing sounds like a lot more than that. Please watch the video below for my complete response.

Take Good Care of Yourself,

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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I Feel Like A Failure. Am I Depressed?

I just feel like there’s nothing I can do right. All I want is to be good at something, but there is always someone better than me. I’ve cut myself hundreds of times because I just hate myself so much. I’ve tried to lose weight and lost it, and then gained it back. I’m so mad at myself for gaining it all back, I’m mad at myself for  not being able to show people what I can do when it matters. I feel like a loser. I get angry all the time too, and have no patience with people.  I’ve always told myself to never lose  hope, and right now I have no hope. Sometimes I pray at night, hoping I’ll die in the night and not wake up in the morning. I’ve told my Mom that I want to see a therapist and need help, but she took it as a joke. I don’t know who to turn to and I don’t know what to do with life (15 year old female teen).

A: Thank you for writing in for help. It sounds like you have an illness called major depression. While I can’t diagnose you in this forum, you do need to be seen and evaluated by a physician or mental health therapist ASAP.  How brave of you to reach out to your mom for help, and I’m sorry she didn’t take you seriously. Did you tell your mom about the depth of your hopelessness, your self-harm, and how much you hate yourself? Please reach out to her again and be completely honest with her about the depth of your despair so she can feel the urgency. Sometimes parents don’t know how to handle a child’s emotional pain. Please go to her again and tell her in firm way, “Mom, I need to see a therapist as soon as possible. I am very depressed, I’m hurting myself, and having thoughts of wanting to die. I’m scared and I need your help. Please take me to the doctor or therapist.” 

If your mom doesn’t understand depression or mental illnesses, you may want to have her read some of the resources on PsychCentral so she has a deeper understanding of what you’re going through. If your mom still doesn’t respond to you, please reach out to a school counselor or another trusted relative for help. There is help and treatment for the symptoms that you’re describing. Please continue to be persistent so you can get the help you need.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

 

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