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20yrs old - severely depressed

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Old 07-24-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2
ava001 HB User
20yrs old - severely depressed

Hey everyone,

Just a bit of info on me - i'm 20 years old, female and have had severe depression now for 5 years. I left school when i was 15 due to being bullied - which has left me practically as a recluse. I have no friends, boyfriend and no job. I am attempting to return to college this year (i've tried twice before to go but froze and refused to leave the car) I've been trying to repair myself but am totally unable to go anywhere without my mum - i panic when i'm on my own. I'm on prozac which helps somewhat but not as much as i would like it to. During school i got called a lot of terrible names (aswell as being pushed around and punched daily) about my appearance which mentally scarred me to this day. If you had told me when i 12yrs old that i would be this way - i would of thought 'absolutely no way'.
I used to be extremeley bubbly, confident and most of all - never cared what people thought about me!

I wear a lot of makeup (and i mean full makeup) on the rare occasions i do go out, i am obsessed with my appearance. I always want to look "perfect" (if that even exists!) - and feel that i'm not remotely attractive without it, even though people compliment me and have had a lot of men show interest in me - but i put that down to my make-up and absolutely PANIC at the thought of never having it, as i feel nobody would even touch me without it. And that has ruined any potential chance of having boyfriends. I constantly feel i am not good enough, and a lot of the guys ive been with compare me to other girls. I also feel that they would leave me if a more attractive female came long, which ultimately drives them away - its ruining my life and most of all, messing with me mentally.

People often make nasty comments now about how much cosmetics i wear, which i can't help - but this whole situation is messing with my head. It's ruling my life, i have this unattainable image in my head that i want to look like. I feel that because i don't look like the models/actresses thatr men obsess over, that i'm ugly and disgusting. I get so upset by it that i hurt myself, because i hate myself so much - so much that i just want to die.

I'm sorry for going on like i have! But i'm at a loss of what and where to go. I always had ambitions of going to college, then uni.... or even just being like a normal 20yr old. My obsession with my appearance is killing me mentally and disabling me in making the steps to go forward in my life. My parents are sick to death of me and think i'm lazy. The truth is i have become so unmotivated i feel like there is no point. I just feel like crying all the time because i hate how my life has turned out and i want to change it now, i dont want to be 30 years old and in the same boat. I also want to be less obsessed with my appearance. My family view me as a nobody, and when i do speak to other girls, i have nothing to talk about as i'm doing nothing with my life - no wonder i have no friends.

I really need some help, i want to be how i used to be before i became this way.

If anyone could help me, it would be greatly appreciated!


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Old 07-24-2009, 03:50 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 24
Superspud HB User
Re: 20yrs old - severely depressed

It sounds like you're really in need of some counselling, or perhaps some psychotherapy. Or perhaps just having a friend to talk about on this? Sometimes it feels better to get it all out with someone who will listen and not pass judgement.
Going back to college would be worth investigating. If you could do it, you'd get such a boost from it.
If you need to talk to someone who understands, I'm always around to listen. Just send me a message and I'll get back to you

Old 07-24-2009, 05:07 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 62
someboddy HB User
Re: 20yrs old - severely depressed


Definitely therapy/counselling is what is most likely to help you.

With many depressions and the like we initially do not know the cause and spend sometimes years identifying what caused it.

In your case you pretty much already know exactly what caused it and need to learn to deal with that. Sounds simple but of course it isn't. It takes a lot od hard work and critical self examination to get through why you feel and think what you do and then gow to change that way of thinking.

To oversimplify, very much, I can say to you that it is the people that bully who really have a deep problem. You see they are weak and cowardly as they need others to run with and they always pick on people they think are vulnerable. Cowards, all of them.

It's terrifying for you to have gone through that and you do say people still criticise the way you look or use make up. Here I think it's important to say to you that the current comments are normal but to you they feel the same as back when you were bullied. This is where therapy should be able to help.

In helping you see those that comment today do so simply out of ignorance, or even jealousy too, as opposed to the previous kids who were just vicious.

Whatever you look like and however you present yourself does not matter. Really doesn't. What matters is how you carry yourself. That is, if you show confidence in what you do people will just accept you as you are, however that is. Hard to learn to do but in the end all of us must learn that it matters not what others think and do. It's what we think and do that is critical.

Learn to trust yourself and be yourself, forget how others will react.

These are all simple advices from me but they represent a huge workload for you to learn to think this way. I used to be so shy I wouldn't speak in front of anyone I didn't kknow, until early adhulthood really. I learnt to ignore what anyone thought and was just me, confident and secure, at work at least.

You mention that men are obsessed with models and so on. Yes we are when we see it in the media all the time but any man with half a brain should know those images are air brushed, faked and made to look a certain way. Seeing one of those models without make up is actually quite a shock. I see many more wonderful looking ladies just in every day life compared to the models real looks.

They are mainly not what they are presented as. Fakes if you like but they are used to sell things to men. And men are used the same way to sell to women. It's all part of the lie we call society Ava, it's not actually real but so many think it is.

Just look in the mirror and learn to love what you see, it's you.

Old 07-26-2009, 06:37 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2
ava001 HB User
Re: 20yrs old - severely depressed

Superspud; Someboddy

Thankyou so much for replying I've no idea where to turn recently - but I will definately go and look into some sort of therapy to get over this. I've been hesitant of telling anyone about my obsession with my looks etc - always thought it came across as somewhat narcissistic, when infact its totally the opposite. But i've never expected anyone to try and understand it, i just wanted some help for it as i know it's a crap and stupid thing inside my head. Difficult to try and tell yourself that though...!

Thanks for your responses, i really appreciate it

Old 08-07-2009, 02:02 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Tokyo Japan
Posts: 1
Veylinel HB User
Re: 20yrs old - severely depressed

Hi Ava

Don't know if you will see this because it is a long time after your initial post.

But I wanted to reply because your post struck a cord with me.
I don't often say this because everyone has different experiences but I believe that I understand how you are feeling because I have lived it. Everything that you described in your post I have felt to one degree or another.

You've already been given great advice by previous posters so I don't have much more add in response to that. But it seems like although the teasing was a trigger for your anxiety and hatred of your physical appearance, that it is not the overall cause.

For that reason I was wonder is you are familiar with Body Dysmorphic Disorder? It's a kind of obsessive disorder that revolves around a specific set of behaviors and thought process related to feelings of despair and anxiety circled around one's appearance. People with BDD can't really see themselves the way the rest of the world does. Something or everything is distorted. And if you are familiar with it, than that slapdash description was just moot. The way you described your feeling reminds me of exactly I used to feel before I was diagnosed (and still occasionally feel today). I highly recommend that that you read "The Broken Mirror" by Katharine Phillips. It's regarded as the BDD bible and may help you make sense of your feelings of physical inadequacy. The hiding with makeup is a common issue as is anxiety relating to dating and boys. I know it was for me. I didn't have a long term boyfriend until I was 23. And barely dated before that at all. I even told my first boyfriend I felt like I was too ugly to be with him. The fear and anxiety and feelings of despair are very real even if the physical defect isn't. And if guys are comparing you to other girls well those guys are jerks and you don't need them. You and your health are more important than a guy. But that's the catch 22, right? It seems like you feel like you need their approval to feel normal but at the same time are convinced they will reject you because "How could anyone find me attractive and want to be with me when I hate myself so much". That kind thinking leads back to depression. It's a cycle, hating your physical appearance makes you depressed which in turn makes you hate yourself more. But it's a cycle that you can break with the right tools.

I agree that any kind of therapy will be good for you, talk therapy to vent and analyze. Also if you do happen to read "the Broken Mirror" and relate, I would recommend finding a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavior therapy. It’s a way of controlling and alleviating the negative thoughts and behaviors before they start by acknowledging them for what they are; irrational and destructive.

5 years is a long time to deal with depression and the pain that you shoulder every day. It can be especially hard when your depression develops during your formative years. I believe that it can really stunt the growth of your social intelligence which makes you stand out from people all the more as different. What you experienced at fifteen was a trauma. And trauma takes time to overcome. It's seems also like you are a fairly sensitive person and thus something like that experience and the depression itself would hit you harder than the average person.

And while the feeling of guilt are normal it also has be a suggested that you not beat yourself up (easier said than done I know) over it. You have already made the decision that you want to improve your quality of life and you want to get better and that there is at least half of the battle. You should be incredibly proud of yourself for that. And as cliched as it sounds, you really do have to take life one day at a time and make sure to acknowledge all of the victories that you achieve no matter how small they seem. Confidence is great to have but it doesn't just happen. It takes a lot a work and often a lot pain to achieve it. At 25 I am not nearly as confident I would like to be. But most confidence comes with experience. You achieve it by taking yourself out of your comfort zone and realizing "hey look what I just did". That could be something as seemingly easy as going out without your mom. As you do more and more you will find you can take on anything the world throws at you. That's true confidence. And as you do it- despite you fears and anxiety and depression-you will realize just how strong you are even if it feels impossible right now.

Mental illness is an ongoing war we can never stop fighting because if we do, it will swallow us whole. Treatment helps but ultimately it is up to the individual to allow themselves to be a person again. It seems like you are already on the right path.

Just know, for what it is worth there is a girl in Tokyo who'd like to lend you her strength and energy because she believes that you can beat it.

If you need to vent more or want more info on anything, please feel free to pm or email me.
I'll listen.

Take care of yourself,


Last edited by Veylinel; 08-07-2009 at 02:16 AM. Reason: brain faster than fingers

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