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Depression: Info, help, discussion

JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. posted this thread...
May 4, 2012 at 1:09 am

Anyone out there depressed? Want to rant, seek advice, give advice, or express your ideas about depression? Want information? Come here and post.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Jubilex. People also call be Jubie, Jub and J. I developed major depression in late 2007, which persisted until early - mid 2011. I cut throughout a lot of it, stopping in Sep of 2009. I came here for support (in May 2008) and I found it.

As I started getting better, finding constructive ways to cope and really healing, I started offering advice. There may still be people on here that recognise me as the one who gives all the advice on stopping self harm. I left TI for a while (due to no longer being a teen), but I find it difficult to leave things behind, especially things with personal meaning to me.

Today, I wouldn't name myself depressed. I wouldn't have said that for about a year. That's not to say I'm a perfectly happy human being. Things can still happen that make me spiral, or want to lay in bed and not go anywhere. The main differences are it doesn't happen as often, nor as servely, and I am able to cope and carry on with life when it does. I don't know if I'll ever fully escape some of those backwards menalities, or excessive emotions that came along with my depression, but I do know that I can fight them, and that I can live how I should despite what I may feel at times.

If you are depressed, know someone who is depressed, have an idea on depression, or simply want to learn more about it, I encourage you to post here. I don't know everything and there are bound to be people who differ to me with what they feel or how they cope, so the more people we can have contributing to this the better.

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shapeshifter56This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 5, 2012 at 12:34 am

Hey Jubilex. Thanks for the post. I really appreciate your story.

I got depression when I was in seventh grade. It lasted a little over seven months maybe, but it was pretty severe. I hated myself, and I was kind of...suicidal. But I tried my best to get through it, and for a year, I felt really good and confident and truly happy. 

Now, I'm in ninth grade. I feel like my whole life's falling apart--My family, my friends, and myself. I think I have depression again. Sometimes, I feel so sad and hopeless and worthless. Other times, I'm angry at the world or just plain numb. I started cutting myself. I tried to stop, and I did for two weeks about, but then I started back up again, and I'm still doing it. I don't think I'd ever commit suicide for real, but I think about it (and even wish I could really do it) constantly. I'm so disappointed in myself because after my first encounter with depression and self-harm, I promised to myself that I'd never do it again. I feel like such a failure and like I've let everyone down, but most of all, I've let myself down because I don't even know who I am anymore.

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 5, 2012 at 11:00 am

Hi shapeshifter. Let me start off by saying that you don't need to feel guilty about depression. I find that it's often something analogous to the weather. Trying to control base emotion is like trying to force the rainy weather to be sunny. You can, however, use an umbrella to shield you.

 

I find that dealing with depression is more often primarily filled with learning how to deal with the emotion when it arrives, and still live your life despite it. There's other things involved too, like developing a new mindset about life and what it can hold for you, but from what I've seen, it tends to come down to day to day function.

 

A simple and powerful piece of advice that I found worked for me was to live life. I found a way to stop the emotion from holding me back. It's not some big secret that pulled me out of the gutter. I didn't need magical advice or any huge, life-changing experience to slap me in the face, I just started living again. I went back to doing the things that used to make me feel motivated. I hung out with friends and studied hard. I avoided being burnt out and made sure that I relaxed by reading a book, or gaming. It was simple, and it worked wonders.

 

That all sounds great when I put it out there like that, and now that I'm here, it sure is great to look back and think on how much better I am now, but it's a partial explanation. It was hard to make the change and it didn't just happen overnight. I had to consciously work at it and sometimes I failed. Sometimes I would slip back into old habits and let the emotion consume me. But I didn't give up. I kept working at it and eventually these changes I was trying to drill into myself became habit, and then it wasn't so hard anymore.

 

Cutting and suicide are complicated, and so may require a complicated discussion. Even after I stopped fitting the criteria for depression, I still thought about cutting. Not that I felt like I would do it, but it creeped into my thoughts every now and then. It still does sometimes. The idea of doing it repels me, but I still feel some kind of connection to it. I still remember how it made me feel. It's an incredibly destructive and addictive habit. Suicide another matter, but still complex. I am glad to hear that you don't think you'd do it. Thinking about death, not wanting to exist, wanting to die and wanting to kill yourself are all quite different things. They can be stages of the same sort of idea, but they're all different.

 

If there's anything that you want to go through in more detail, I'm here to talk about it. I know there are some areas that I didn't go through much in my reply, so if you would like to talk more on those, then feel free to mention them. Also, if you want help or advice on anything, then ask for it. There is no shame in asking for help. I encourage it.

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fey.sense.This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Hey everyone. I haven’t been very active on teen ink for a while, but I’ve been on for a little over a year. I don’t talk about my depression much, so here it goes. I was fairly recently diagnosed. October of 2011 is a pretty realistic guess. About a year and a half before that I was severely anorexic. I got into therapy to help regain weight, and that process smothered whatever kernels of self-esteem and confidence I had. That is a large contributer to my depression. My brother has been depressed for a much longer time than I, and couple Christmases ago he tried to commit suicide. I know that my brother’s depression is much more severe than mine. I do not deny it and I don’t feel jealous of it. When I’m desperate enough to want to reach out for help I often feel like I can’t because my brother gets lots of the time I feel like I need. My therapist keeps asking if I have a need for attention but I feel like I don’t, I just need help. That’s a big lead in to a problem of mine. I feel like no one thinks I’m “sick enough” to be taken seriously. I have depression but not nearly in the league of my brother. I used to be a straight-A student, but in the past year that has slipped. Only into B-range, which is why no one that I tell really cares, but it’s a big bother for me. I care about my grades and work very hard to get them. Recently I’ve had to push myself so hard to lift a pencil and keep my grades above a C. I know How much I’m struggling with school work but because it doesn’t show so much on the report card no one takes notice despite whatever I might tell them. I started my first depression medication 2 weeks before spring break. Very low dosage to start, and it didn’t affect me very much. The dosage was doubled during spring break, which was fine, but when I got back to school I couldn’t keep my head up during school. The entire first week back all I did was sleep. That made my grades into D’s and since I’ve been trying to get them back into b range. I’m off the meds now, but like I said before now I’m feeling full throttle of my depression again. I feel my eating disorder habits creeping back into me and I just don’t have enough energy to care. Looking back I felt much safer during that time in my life than now. Relapse is an ugly work but I don’t know how I can keep on muddling through without a vice.

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Hi fey.sense. I'm sorry to hear about all you've been through. I'm going to tell you up front, I don't know a heap about eating disorers, but I do know a lot about depression.

 

I can see how it would be hard for you, having a brother who also has depression, and as you said, having it more severely. I want you to know that just because someone else has it worse than you, doesn't make you less important. Unfortunately your parents are likely to be occupied with helping your brother, but I still encourage you to talk to them at least a little. They may offer you some help that they also offered to your brother.

 

The grades/depression downwards spiral is a tough one. You feel depressed, so you don't work, and when you get bad grades, you feel depressed, an so on. I had this problem. A lot. It may sound stupid, or like I don't understand, but the best way to combat this is to work. I know it feels like you don't have the energy, that's okay. I don't mean to tell you to try and do everything at once. Maybe just try doing a little bit at a time, and keep increasing how much you do. Start off with a subject you find easy, or one that's important you work on, and start there. Do a little, take a break, and then maybe come back to it. Take it a step at a time.

 

As I mentioned before, day to day living is a big part of dealing with depression. I used to have to force myself to get out of bed, eat regularly, do my study, talk to people, go to bed at a reasonable time, but now it's more habit. I still know it's the healthy option, but I don't have to force it anymore. There were times where I slipped and did things the old way for a while, but I got back into it and now life is much easier. I know it's hard to really do anything when you're feeling depressed, but you should anyway. I used to start with something that would perk me up a little, and then move onto what I was supposed to be doing. So, maybe I'd talk to my family for a bit before doing my homework. It stopped life from feeling quite so hopeless.

 

Feel free to come back here and talk some more. Depression takes a lot of time to deal with, and it tends to be slow going. Don't expect changes over night. It's kind of like falling asleep, or falling in love, it happens slowly, then all at once. One day I woke up and realised I didn't feel sad all the time anymore, I was more happy than not. It had been happening for a while, but I realised the extent quite suddenly.

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shapeshifter56This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 7, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Jubilex,

If I understand you correctly, you said you cut during your depression... How did you stop? Did you ever tell anyone? What about your parents? 

This is my biggest problem right now. I have cuts on my arms and legs, and most of them look like they're going to scar. It's 100 degrees where I live, and people are starting to get suspicious about the long sleeves. 

I go back and forth between wanting to talk to someone about it and wanting to keep it secret. My parents are divorced and both pretty preoccupied. And I really don't want them to have to know what I've done to myself, and what I continue to do. I have four younger sisters too, and I hate being such a bad role model for them. What if they see my cuts and follow in my footsteps? I lost a lot of friends this year, but there are still a few people I could confide in. I'm just afraid they'd think I was a freak or tell on me. I wouldn't tell anyone at all, except that I don't think I can do this by myself anymore.

Cutting is like my addiction. I can't fully convince myself I should stop. When I look at my scars, I'm messed up enough to think they're beautiful. Ick. What is wrong with me? I used to be an optimist, and when I smiled and laughed, it was real. I was happy a good 90% of the time, and I LOVED life. Now...I've completely lost myself.

Sorry. I'm just kinda going on and on now, I guess. It's just that I really don't have anyone else to talk to about this right now. 

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shapeshifter56This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Hey fey.sense, I just wanted to say I'm sorry about you and your brother. It sounds like a sticky situation. It's hard when people don't take you or your problems seriously. I understand the lack of motivation with the grades too. I have a hard time caring about my own schoolwork. I've never been on meds, but I've seen my dad on them and therefore know how difficult they can be. I understand what you said about feeling safer during your eating disorder too--that's how I feel about cutting :( I hold you in my heart and wish you the best in overcoming your depression, eating disorder, and grades. 

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 9, 2012 at 9:23 am

You are correct, I cut during my depression. Not all throughout it, but for quite a significant length of time. I told a few close friends, and a trusted adult or two (however, I don't believe I ever told the adults that I was currently cutting, but I mentioned that I had in the past). I never told my parents. They're good people, but my Dad wouldn't have got it and my Mum would have been too sympathetic. It would have driven me nuts.

 

Telling a few of my friends did give me people to lean on when things got tough. It's hard to draw the line between asking for support and relying on someone too much though. However, with a bit of push and pull, a balance can be found.

 

Stopping cutting is a complex process, despite pretty much all the advice being really simplistic. It's one of those easy to say, hard to do kind of situations. Once you manage to convince youself that you want to stop and that it's best for you, you've really got the process started. I can't stress enough how important this is. The next big factor is will power. Sticking to the idea that you should stop, no matter how hard it gets. It's hard, but whether you believe you can do it or not, you can. Anyone can obstain from self inflicted injury. It may hurt like he.ll sometimes, but you are capable of it.

 

The rest, it tends toward personal preference. How you go about dealing with the feeling of addiciton as you withdraw from it should be tailored to what would suit you best. I'd encourage you to keep thinking about the reasons why you want to stop. Group them together and use them as a shield. Have them protect you from giving in. Some good distraction techniques can work well too, but I should warn you that whilst these can be helpful, they are temporary and superficial. They'll get you away from thinking too much about cutting while they're available, but when you're not in a position to undertake one of these activities you'll be more vulnerable. That's why all that will power and self talk (on why you want to stop) is so important. That said, distraction methods can be anything that keeps your mind off of cutting. It could be something you find enjoyable, interesting, intellectually stimulating, tiring, etc. Some examples: reading, listening to music (preferably not anything that makes you feel upset), exercising, learning about something new (or something that you have an interest in), talking to a friend (about whatever you want, it doesn't have to be about how you feel).

 

When I combined the core methods (remembering my reasons for stopping and sticking to those beliefs no matter what), with distractions when necessary, I found a good method for stopping self harm. I was still depressed and still struggling over the time that I quit, and it was not until more than a year after the last time that I cut that I really felt confident that I would never cut again (I was still depressed at this point too).

 

It's a difficult process and takes a lot of time. You may still feel like cutting for a long time after stopping. It may still be your default thought for coping with emotional pain. The trick is to under no circumstances give in. Commit yourself to that and you'll get there. It's worth it. Even when I still felt like cutting, I knew I'd made the right choice and I knew my life was easier because of it. Cutting teaches destructive methods of dealing with pain. Once you remove it from the equation, you start to learn better ways of dealing with that emotion.

 

I've talked a lot on this subject, mostly about what worked for me. As I said before, you may have to change things around a little so that it works best for you. We are different people, and so what suits you may not have suited me and vice versa.

 

If you think it would benefit you to tell someone, then it might be a good idea that you do. Having a friend to talk to about it does make a lot of a difference. It's bound to upset them, and unless they've been a cutter, or potentially closely known someone who has cut, then they are unlikely to understand all that well why you do it, but as long as they are a good friend, able to listen and be empathic, then it'll take some of that weight off of your shoulders.

 

Cutting is an addiciton. It's got physical detriments, but I find the mental aspects far more frightening. I used to think my scars were beautiful too. I still do a little (but I'm not so absorbed in it now). It's crazy how it gets into your head, makes you believe that it's helping. I talk about it like it's another person, because it feels/felt like it at times. I used to be someone who was happy too. I never understood cutting (despite one of my close friends trying to explain to me). That is until one day, I was upset and a little numb, and I just did it. I didn't even think about it. That moment changed a lot of things for me.

 

You don't have to feel the need to apologise for explaining things, or ranting a little. As someone I respect very highly said to me once, "ranting is therapeutic." It gets your thoughts out. I don't mind if they're jumbled around, I'm just glad that you're reaching out.

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shapeshifter56This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Jubilex,

Thank you so much for your responses. You have a lot of really great advice, and it's helpful to talk to someone who understands about cutting and depression. I started cutting too when I was upset and numb. I didn't think about how it would affect anything. I just did it. Now, I try to look ahead into my future and see how this will affect the rest of my life...and I can't even begin to guess.

I had some questions about that actually. From your experience, will cutting keep you from being hired and getting certain jobs? Do people trust you less around kids if you have self-injury cuts and words carved into your skin? Do you know if any schools have a policy about cutting? What kind of things can cutting affect? I just want to know what I've set myself up for here.

I also wanted to say that I understand what you said about drawing the line between asking for support and relying on someone too much. I believe that you can't just expect someone else to save you. You've got to save yourself. You can ask for help, but ultimately, it's up to you. 

Thank you again for your encouragement and responses. I really appreciate this.

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 12, 2012 at 3:39 am

I don't have answers to the job questions. It would be understandable for a company to deem you a risky choice if they see fresh wounds/numerous scars all over you, but I'm not sure if there's any law regarding it.

Schools where I'm from do have a policy. I'm Australian (each state has its own policies as well). If a worker of the school is under the impression that you mean any harm to yourself, they are obligated to tell some sort of youth support service. I forget exactly what it is. They'd probably tell your parents too. It might be different where you're from, but that's what it's like here.

Cutting can affect all kinds of things, but the big ones I can think of are based with how they affect your own way of thinking and interacting. For example, when I cut I relied on it to be my means of excape and lost my other coping abilities. I had to rebuild those when I stopped cutting. If you have lots of obvious scars, people might look at you funny, or make comments. I'm at a point now where it doesn't bother me if people notice. I'm not ashamed, and I can say to people, "yes, I did cut, I was in a bad place at the time, I'm not anymore, and I've learnt so much from the experience." There's a lot of negative stigma and association with cutting, but once you stop letting that get to you, it's much easier.

I never really had many issues though. Not from other people at least. Most of the struggle was within my own mind. Friends of mine, however, used to assume I was still depressed, or that I was still at risk of cutting well after I was. It's strange how people hold onto impressions of people that they know even after they no longer fit.

I'm glad you've got that mentality about it being on you to change. It's an important thing to be aware of and it's great that you are.

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Coffeecat3 replied...
May 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I haven't gone to my parents yet about this, i'm scared to. It's been going on since July last year. I've tried to be happy and tried to stop cutting, but it's just not working. I've had suicidal thoughts, but I just couldn't do it even if I wanted to. ),: I just want to be happy again and I'm starting to loose touch with all my friends.

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shapeshifter56This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Coffeecat3, I feel like I can relate to your struggle. I'm scared to go to my parents about this too, especially about the cutting. I understand what you said about suicidal thoughts too. Sometimes I feel like I want it so bad and it's my only choice, but I know I could never really do it. I'm really sorry you feel like this. It kind of sucks.

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 15, 2012 at 5:11 am

Hey guys. You don't have to feel pressured to tell your parents. I weighed up the pros and cons and decided I was better off handling things without them knowing. However, there can be some massive advantages. Health care is a big one. Therapy can be really useful, but it's also very pricy. Your parents could also offer you support at home and someone to go to if needed. Have a bit of a think about it and decide what you think would be best for you.

 

Coffeecat3, battling through depression and self harm are both very difficult endeavours. Maybe read through some of my above posts and see if any of it can apply to you. If there's things you'd like to add or talk about specifically, let me know.

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Coffeecat, if a post of yours doesn't go through, it's because you've used a word that has been blocked by this site. Your whole post gets put into a line of other posts that have also been blocked and they are supposed to be read over my a mod and approved, but a lot of posts never end up going through.

 

Put dots in words that may be seen as "offensive". Like preg.nant, se.x, g,ay. Anything including cra.ck will also be censored. As well as some words that don't seem necessary, like ba.lls.

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Coffeecat3 replied...
May 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Thanks Jubilex and Shapeshifter56, I read all of your posts and that's the same thing thats going on with me.:(

I don't want to ask my friends for help because they already treat me fragile because in October my Appendix burst and I was out of school for 3 weeks, and then I had to go back again in January. I just don't want them to feel more sorry for me than they already are.:(

 

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StupidAndFearless replied...
May 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm

I've suffered from depression for years off and on. I self harmed, I've gone from cutting to scratching, and I'm slowly going away from that.

I know how it feels, believe me. I'm a sophomore now. I've had close family friends commit suicide, and i've seen a lot of stuff in 16 years.

I try to help everyone I can, because I know how horrible it can be. You're not alone, no matter how bad it gets.

So, to help people, I was heavily involved with a movie called The Road Back made by Project AWARE, a non-profit youth involvement organization. It deals with reducing the stigmas about anxiety and depression.

honestly, it changed my life just as much as my depression did. I'm not sure I would be alive if I hadn't become involved with it. It really did save my life in every single aspect.

So my advice? Find something you're passionate about, and stick with it. Anyone with depression is a million times stronger than they even realize. They're also much more beautiful and important than they realize.

Depression is a disease just like any other. It's caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it should be treated just like any other thing. If someone skips school and comes back saying: "Oh, I had strep." everyone feels bad, and everyone understands. Yet if someone comes to school and says: "I needed a day off, I have depression." All heck breaks loose. Because according to society, we can control it. But we can't. We really can't and people need to understand that.

If anyone needs it the site to see some info/trailer is:

here: http://acadiatheroadback.org/

Honestly, I just want people to realize they aren't alone. Get help if you need it. You have support here.

Love always.

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StupidAndFearless replied...
May 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Don't feel guilty. From what I can tell, you are incredibly strong and beautiful inside and out. 

I suggest seeing a school guidance couselor? If you feel suicidal, it's really important that you see someone. It's confidential, and it will make you feel a lot better. Counseling isn't for everyone, but it sounds like you need someone to talk to. :) 

You're not alone. I promise you that. And you don't have to fake anything. Just do what you need to do for you. 

I think your parents will understand. It's hard for some at first, but when they realize their 'baby' is in trouble, everything will change. 

You're not crazy, I promise you that. You sound like a caring, amazing individual, and you will be alright :) Really. :)

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I agree with StupidandFearless, you guys both might want to consider seeing a school guideance counsellor. You might find that they have some useful information and advice for you. It'll also give you a chance to talk about it face to face with someone.

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Coffeecat3 replied...
May 26, 2012 at 12:07 am

@stupidandfearle, Jubilex, and Shapeshifter56 thank you so much, you guys are amazing for just taking the time to listen. I really wish I knew you guys for real. You have helped so much, I've found places where I can just talk. Like here, My Broken Palace, and Teen 2 Teen. I'm just so grateful :)

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 28, 2012 at 3:34 am

Happy to help :) Whenever you want to talk, feel free to come here.

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