Okay, I have decided i need help but i have some questions first. I guess i'll start with why i need help. For a while now, I've just been feeling very sad, angry, and lonely. I stay up late all the time just thinking about different things. I barely find the motivation to get up in the morning, i've been sleeping in and missing school. I just don't know where my life is going and wonder if anything i do even matters. I often think about suicide, but i know I won't carry through, I usually just think of how others would be affected, how I would do it, and other stuff. I just find it very hard to enjoy things. There are odd times where the sadness is lifted, but my default state seems to be a mix of anger and sadness.
I don't know if this is depression but that is what i think it is. Sometimes when I am in a good mood I doubt this diagnosis. Also, I know a lot of different conditions have similar symptoms to depression. Anyways this is where the questions come in. What do you think I have?
Whatever is causing this I need to fix it and I have decided i need to see my family doctor. I don't want my family to know anything about this. Will the doctor keep it confidential even if i'm under 18 and say i have suicidal thoughts? Also, what do i say to the doctor? do i tell him my symptoms and ask for a diagnosis, or just tell him i think i'm depressed and ask for antidepressants? Will the doctor run any tests? I'm new to this as I've only ever visited the doctor for physical problems, so this is very foreign to me. If anyone can please share their stories of how they went about getting help and what they said/how they asked i would really appreciate it as it would help me understand things a bit better and build up the confidence i need to take this step.
P.S. I live in Canada, do you think any tests/meds i will need will be covered? And will my parents be billed if it is covered? I don't want them to know.
kid: I am not a "kid" - I am 52. But I had NO TROUBLE understanding every word you said. Unfortunately I live in the US, so don't know anything about Canadian Health Care. I hope you can get the confidentiality info you need, because I completely understand the absolute need to keep parents out of it. I couldn't tell my parents, either. My Mom is dead now, and I never told her. But I know I inherited (at least some of) it from her.
Depression is a wierd thing. When you are young, people tend to have tons of opinions and advice. It is teenaged angst (normal). Buck-up, learn to DEAL WITH IT! You need a sport/hobby. You'll grow out of it. Don't be so dramatic...Should I continue? (Probably not.)
I first had suicidal thoughts (as you described, rather benign thoughts) when I was about 10 or 11. As previously stated, I am now 52. Still have the EXACT SAME suicidal thoughts at times.
I have been on and off ADs since my mid-30s. "On" because I was ready to 'do it'. "Off" because I wasn't willing to accept that I needed the meds. I am now "On", and have accepted the probability that I am not only Clinically Depressed but also physiologically depressed via heredity. At my relatively late age, I have decided that I will take the meds, forever if necessary. I have an oddly paradoxical Will to Live.
The truth is, only you can determine your parents' trustworthiness. (I personally do not subscribe to the notion that parental Love is Divine and infallible - YOU know more than we know.)
But let me say this: You are smart. You are articulate beyond your self-descriptive screenname. You deserve to live. You deserve to be HAPPY. Whatever it takes. SO, in the event you can get confidential care, make sure you tell your doctor that you'd rather not have a chemical lobotomy. There are lots of ADs out there that will just make you "pleasant" - but not YOU. Give YOU a chance. You just might find out that you need temporary assistance passing from adolescence to adulthood. (Your peers are jackasses. Sorry. If you can survive a few years, they will grow up...Wait for them.) But above all else, give YOU a chance to grow up.
You can also consider calling you local mental health association to get advice. Contacting your doctor is also a good thing. Also, you could speak to your school guidance counselor. They are trained and have experience working with students that are in your situation. As far as your parents are concerned, it's hard for us to give you advice because we do not know your family situation. Just remember that your parents love you and in most cases a parent would be so relieved that their child has confided in them and come to them for help. Having family support is a plus. Your doctor may be able to advise you more on this since he is your family doctor and more familiar with your family dynamic. When you start talking to people about this that alone will be a relief to you. You sound like a very articulate kid in your post. The teenage years/childhood can be tough because your transferring from childhood to adulthood and your hormones are in overdrive. Millions of teens/children go through what you are going through and grow out of it. You are doing the right thing. Hang in there buddy. You'll be okay. Take it one day at a time.
Last edited by hopeforpeace70; 09-30-2009 at 06:05 AM.
Kid, Hope is probably right about your parents. But again, only YOU can make that call. I tried it both ways when I was younger (trust them/don't trust them) and learned very definitively a few years ago that NOT trusting them was the right call...
A Canadian answer. The health care in Canada does not cover the cost of prescriptions and when we are talking mental meds they can be rather expensive. Chances are your parents have benefits through their work (a lot of people do for stuff that is not covered such as meds, glasses, dentist, etc). Calling the CMHA is a good start but another way to speed up the process is to see your general physician who can refer you to a psychiatrist if necessary or else you will end up on a waiting list some of which are months to years long. Again depending on the type of therapist you see will dictate whether or not the government health care will cover it - the doctor who prescribes my meds is covered but if I want talk therapy it is not. any questions just ask and I will try to help
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Hey guys, thanks for sharing and thanks for the advice. I realized though that my first post may have been a bit misleading with regards to age. I am 17 and will be turning 18 in december, so i am still young but not as young as the post may have implied. Actually, I'm in my first year of university (not going well). However, I am aware of how young an age I am still at, and the "kid" in my name is because I am so inexperienced when it comes to certain things that I feel like a kid.
With that out of the way, I want to raise another concern. It never occured to me until I read lilc's post (btw very helpful) about a "chemical lobotomy". I want to feel happy, but I also want to feel like myself. I hate that feeling of not knowing who I am and who I want to be, and if that is what the meds will bring, then I won't be happy taking them anyways. I am starting to wonder if meds are the right choice. I am not experienced in this so can anyone share some advice as to what exactly the anti-depressants will do for me? Maybe I should try to change the way my life is so that I am happy instead of trying to be happy with the way it is now. Maybe like you said I just need them to help with the transition. But how will I know when I no longer need them? What are my alternative options to meds? If the meds are as mind-altering as I am imagining them to be right now I don't think I will take them. It seems like a false happiness to me, but I can't say because I've never tried them.
Also, is a psychiatrist necessary? I am a very quiet person and I usually keep to myself. I like that about myself and would like to stay that way. I don't see what a psychiatrist could do for me anyways, besides diagnose me. I'm an introvert, and always have been, and I think that I should be able to overcome this without having to change who I am.
More than anything I just need some advice from someone who has been down this path before. Any advice and/or stories that you think will help me out are appreciated. I need to know what I'm getting into.
Last edited by scaredkid; 09-30-2009 at 10:29 PM.
Well, I just love you. Let me say, I meant no disrespect by calling you "kid". As Sarah said, I wish I'd sought help as early as you are. I did not suspect you were pre-teen, was pretty sure you were in the "approaching 20" group. But it doesn't really matter. I maintain: You are smart and articulate. (Could be the difference between US and Canadian Education systems? Oops, I'm a Liberal, SORRY!)
This is my personal opinion, I'm no expert, but I think you ought to forget about your age. You are in University, you have passed over into the realm where years blur. YET your peers are likely not well-equipped to support you - even if they are 5 to 10 years your senior.
From the miniscule bit of you I've seen (this thread) I've drawn hope. Can't say exactly why, but your manner, in a young man, excites me, for your intelect and compassion. Oh, you've not really written anything in this thread that reflects compassion for others. I just boldly assumed it. Could be wrong. (After all, I'm a hard-case of Depression. Historically wrong!)
Wish I could hide my next comments from the rest of the world. I can't, so let them think I am arrogant. But I need to say this: Sometimes it can nearly kill you to know things that no one else seems to know.
You'll be ok. The key is this: Trust that YOU are WORTH IT. I'll start a poll right now.
1. Not worth it: Zero
2. WORTH IT: One.
I'm so confused ! I haven't been to the doctor yet. I told my best friend I was thinking about it and he doesn't think I need anti-depressants. I don't know anymore. I can't even describe the confusion going on in my mind right now. It's got me asking: what will the anti-depressants really do for me except make me happy where and when I normally wouldn't be? Is this right? Is this true happiness? Is that what they were intended to be used for? Why doesn't everybody just take them then?
I don't think everything in life was meant to be/has to be enjoyable and I can think of many people who do unenjoyable things, accepting them as part of life. Maybe I am not depressed and don't need meds. Maybe it's just that the only thing going on in my life right now(school) is one of those unenjoyable things and constantly being stuck there has lead me to believe that I am depressed. It seems like depression is just one of my moods, and that I happen to be in this mood all day because of the way my life is. That's why I feel like I should be changing the way my life is instead of treating the "depression". I am so lost and my confusion only leads to inaction. I don't want to make the wrong decision and ruin my life.
Antidepressants are not designed to make you happy what they can do is make life a little bit easier by clearing up the cloud that depression causes. A good saying is that antidepressants make therapy possible. Like any kind of medication there is side effects that come with antidepressants that vary from drug to drug and person to person. The best thing for you to do is go see a doctor and get all of the physical possibilities removed then move on to the mental health end. If you don't want to involve your parents than start at your schools guidance counseling office and see what they have to say. If it is mental health related it is better to catch it early than later on. good luck
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Yes, you appear to be an extremely articulate young man. I'm not looking to pick a fight with anyone else who has posted advice to you, but I want to say this:
It is condescending and demeaning to say to a young person who is struggling that "their hormones are in overdrive" or "that millions of young people go through this and grow out of it" I don't think that you would have gone to the trouble of posting to a public board for help if you didn't have significant concerns. The best place for you to take those concerns is to a Doctor. Now its not even worth anyone here trying to guess if you need medication, what medication you might need, what the side effects of any medication might be or any other hypothetical situation. Only a Doctor can know for certain, after listening to your concerns what the best course of action might be. Sometimes medication is a huge help for people struggling and in no way means that eeveryone becomes "chemically lobotomized" by a medication. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error for prescribing physicians to find the right medication to help someome. And it is certainly worth considering that medication is not the only answer when someone is clinically depressed. Cognitive/Behavioral therapy can really really help.
Please, anyone reading this thread, do not dismiss this young man because of his age. I have suffered from clinical depression for my entire adult life and have benefitted tremendously from a mixture of medication and therapy. Society often does not take the cry for help from young people seriously enough. When my own daughter was struggling at eighteen the first Doctor she saw was dismissive. The result of her not getting help whn she asked for it was a pretty severe downward spiral. Ultimately my daughters struggles culminated in a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder, and she is now doing much better on her medication regieme. That may not be the case here at all. I would just like to see this young man talk his concerns over with a medical professional so they can decide how best to help him.
It is better to talk to a parent you trust. It is ok to talk to them, they are there to help you. Yes, talk to your Dr., I tell mine how I feel. If you want total confidentiality you need to talk to a therapist, they cant say anything to anyone. Your Dr will refer you to a therapist. Ask your Dr if you can talk to him in confidence and not talk to your parents. But parents worry and want to help more than you know.
Sounds like mood swings from depression to the other. I cycle like that and a mood stabilizer does the trick. I believe Canada does have coverage.
Dont keep it locked up it will get uglier and hurt more and those thoughts may materialize. You need to talk to someone you trust. Dont be afraid. I am a parent myself and I am here for my children and want to know how they feel. If you dont feel like you can talk to them talk to someone like a counselor at school. Try to trust, I know its hard. My mom lived in denial of my condition but she did try to help the best she could. I didnt tell her everything and it did cause problems. Your parents may start feeling you are experimenting with drugs if you leave it unspoken, especially if you are withdrawing. Talk to someone. Just tell the Dr exactly what you wrote, make notes and just give it to him, if you dont feel that you can get it out.
I hope this helps.......take care.
There may also be a hotline to call....
Last edited by jynn0629; 10-07-2009 at 08:50 AM.
Reason: adding a thought
Thanks for all the advice everyone! It helps just knowing people care.
I found out that my school offers counselling and it's completely confidential, so I made an appointment today. They are going to call me on Tuesday and do an over the phone evaluation and then based on that decide how to proceed. Just the thought of being happy again has lifted my mood already. They only do short-term therapy so if I need long-term help they will refer me somewhere else. That's fine, I still think this is the right choice since one of the biggest reasons I'm so depressed is school. I have high hopes for this.
SK: I am proud of you! My sincere hope is that you will pass through this time and NEVER need help fighting depression again. But if you do, please know that you have found a place where no one will judge you nor (collectively) BS you. It is truly wonderful to connect with other REAL PEOPLE that have experienced something of what you are experiencing, but please always remember that you are YOU, and not one of us has anything like definitive advice for you. You deserve a wonderful life, go get it!