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Is this depression?

mollybug13 posted this thread...
Apr. 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm

So nothing makes me happy Ive thought about sui.cide a lot I used to be so excited about holidays and birthdays but now I just want to be alone all the time and its a struggle to get out of bed somedays. Is this depression?

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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...
Apr. 8, 2013 at 11:27 pm

There's a lot of criteria that psychologically define depression. It's to the disadvantage of pshyciatrists and psychologists that they feel the need to place a label to everything. I know it helps with treatment and understanding to a degree, but it also limits perspective.
 
Those things you mentioned are criteria of depression. If you'd like to know the whole set of criteria (as per the actual diagnosing standards), let me know.
 
I just want you to know that you don't have to label yourself, or place yourself into a box, to be able to manage this. In the end, being labelled can hinder progress, because of how it might teach you to think that you should be handling things in a certain way because other people do, even if it's not going to help you.
 
At the same time, there's nothing wrong with identifying as depressed. I do, but I don't let it define me. Does that make sense?
 
Anyway, whatever you want to ask, or talk about, I'm here :) I know a tonne of things about depression and how to combat it. I'm functional now :) Things are pretty good, even though I still consider myself depressed. I still get all the negative thinking and mood swings and I feel worthless, or like I have no purpose a lot of the time, but I manage things, and I deal with my emotions really well.

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mollybug13 replied...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 12:26 am

Its nice to know theres someone to talk who knows what im going through.  what can I do to make the depression better? My mom hasnt noticed yet even though its kinda obvious and I kinda dont wanna tell her about it but should I so that I can get professional help? Will it just get worse? Sorry about all the questions. Its just been really hard lately Ive gotten to the point where I hate everything about myself Ive questioned why im living Im just so tired of this feeling.

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mollybug13 replied...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 12:29 am

And one more thing if you dont mind I would like to know the whole set of criteria for the diagnosis and thank you, sorry about all the questions.

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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...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 1:30 am

No need to apologise for all the questions! I'm happy to answer them, and wanting to know more is a good thing to strive for.
 
DSM IV criteria for depression is as follows:
 
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest in things once previously enjoyed
- Feelings of guilt/worthlessness
- Sleep changes (more than usual, or less than usual)
- Fidgeting, or sluggishness (the technical terms for these are psychomotor agitation and psychomotor retardation)
- Appettie change or weight change (greater than 5 % for weight)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of energy (fatigue)
- Thoughts of suicide and/or self harm
 
If 5 of these symptoms (one of which must be either depressed mood or lack of interest) have been present for at least 2 weeks, then a diagnosis of depression can be made. It's really easy to be diagnosed with it by this criteria. Psychiatrists will often do other questionaires/testing and ask a lot of background information to properly diagnose.
 
It could get worse. That's not to say that it will/won't, but it is a possibility. It depends on a whole range of things as to whether it will/won't. Things like, how much it consumes your thinking, how well you're able to continue with your life despite it (so, your level of functioning), your perspective on whether you feel like you can change things, etc. There's a huge amount of things that can affect that.
 
As for what you can do to make it better, there's a lot of things you can do. It can be really hard to develop good strategies and it may take quite a long time to figure out a pattern that works for you (it took me ages to get it right). It's generally best to start small, and only focus on a couple of areas at a time. Trying to do too much at once could make you feel burnt out and like it's all too hard to change. A very simple idea (although it can be hard to stick to) is when you feel depressed and like you don't have the energy to even care about what you're supposed to be doing, just do it anyway. It takes some effort and a whole lot of will power, but it's amazing how this can become second nature over time. It makes the other pressures of life stop interfering so much. So that school work still gets done, and your chores at home, etc, so that the pressure of those things not being done doesn't add what you're already feeling. The same goes for socialising and catching up with friends.
 
Sleeping well and eating well can also make a massive difference. Sleep can be a lot harder to control, but eating healthy and regulalrly is usually something that's easy to regulate. There were lots of times where I felt like I couldn't be bothered eating, but when I ate anyway (and made sure that what I ate was still good for me), I got some of that energy back, which helped quite a bit.
 
Enjoying life can be a difficult thing to get back. This is probably one of the most difficult ones to change. That and not letting that depressed state of mind consume you. It's very easy to get dragged down into those feelings. For them to be all that you can think about. It's easy to get trapped into that kind of thinking. I still do, but now I'm much more aware of how things will change. I know I won't feel like that forever. I find it hard to actually remember how I changed all that. It's one of those things that happens gradually, but you realise it suddenly. I think a lot of it had to do with how I changed my perspective on things. I started to believe that I could deal with how I was feeling, that I could live a normal life, that things aren't hopeless. Once I had that ideal, it was a lot easier to make the changes that lead to me being functional.
 
Professional help can be really useful. Therapists are trained to help you function despite how you feel, and find constructive ways to deal with the emotions. You might find that they have a large amount of very helpful coping strategies, and they might be able to offer you some new perspectives on the way you think about things. I'm very for professional help. One of my favourites is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (it's not for everyone, but I like the principles behind it), but a standard therapist or psychologist will also be very helpful. It might take a few goes to find someone that you like, and that suits you, so if the first doesn't work, try another. Even if you don't want to see a professional, telling your mother could help to add some extra support.

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mollybug13 replied...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Thanks,  so when i get upset or hurt and I want to bite myself thats a part of depression? and these feelings that i get that nothing i do is good enough and if someone compliments me they must be lying is a part of it too? 

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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...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Yes, both of those things can be associated with depression. The problem with the criteria I mentioned, is that even though it can allude to the things you mentioned, it doesn't go into the same depth of explaining all the things that depressed people can experience. There's a whole range of effects, emotions, actions, thought processes that aren't covered in that short list.
 
Self-deprication (and low self esteem) is common in people with depression. It comes under the feelings of worthlessness. It can be hard to believe that there is good in you, or that you are capable of anything. I know it can be hard to accept, but the idea that you are not worth anything is simply not true. When people compliment you, they are not lying. They believe what they are saying, even if you don't. I know it might take some time for you to actually believe the nice things people tell you, but if you try to understand that the people who say these things to you mean them, then that's a good step in the right direction.
 
As for the biting. Self harm is a dangerous road to go down. I know people don't often associate biting, punching things as self harm, but it is. Even purposefully depriving yourself of sleep is. Some have more obvious physical detriments, but the mental detriments are major no matter what type of self harm. It's important to teach yourself constructive means of coping, rather than destructive ones.

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mollybug13 replied...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

How would I teach myself constructive coping instead of destructive? I dont want to hurt myself its just that when i feel upset i cant help it its kind of impulsive i guess.

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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...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Yeah, I know what you mean.
 
I guess the idea is to find things that will actually make life easier to use as coping mechanisms. So for example, reading a book, talking to a friend (you don't even have to talk about how you feel), immersing yourself in learning something new, exercise (has some really positive results for combatting depression). Anything that will engage your mind, but also has a positive outcome. It doesn't have to be one of the things that I listed, but those are some ideas to get you thinking. The best idea is to find a range of things that work for you.

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mollybug13 replied...
Apr. 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Thanks Ill try some of those things you mentioned

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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...
Apr. 12, 2013 at 2:27 am

Glad to help.
 
If you want to talk about anything, feel free :)

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mollybug13 replied...
May 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Hey so.... I spent like 4 hours at the emergency room today I had to have an MRI and they found some spots on my brain so I have to see a neurologists... im freaking out I keep going between crying and like what just happened.

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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, 2013 at 6:18 am

I can see how that would be a stressful and emotional situation. I'm sorry this is affecting you so much and that it's happened to you. The doctors will do tests and figure out the likely reasons. Did they give you any possible explanations? My advice is try to wait for the doctor's results before jumping to any conclusions. They're the only ones that can give you any real answers.

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mollybug13 replied...
May 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

They didnt really give any explanations they said they dont know what it is all they said is there are multiple questionable areas. They did the MRI because someone in my family was diagnosed with MS I know that much. Thats what my mom said she said I shouldnt jump to conclusions and get worried over what could be nothing. Shes gonna make my neurologist appointment tomorrow.

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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, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Yeah, exaclty what your mum said, it could be something really minor. Best not to get too worked up about it if possible.
 
Best wishes.

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mollybug13 replied...
May 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hey, so yesterday I had a regular doctors appointment to get a referral to the neurologist he said that my brain doesnt show any signs of MS but that my symptoms sound like MS he also said tbhat my symptoms are worrisome. Waiting for the neurologist appointment is torture. On the plus side i got a song out of all 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 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Aren't you a bit young to show symptoms of MS?
 
I'm not saying it's not something that the doctors should be concerned about though, just that it might not be all that likely, particularly with the negative test.
 
I hope they figure it out soon. The wait can be very nerve-wracking.

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mollybug13 replied...
May 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I wish I was to young to show symptoms. I thought that since my brain didnt show signs of it they would think its something else. I guess ill find out when I go to the neurologist.

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mollybug13 replied...
May 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

Hey so I have to get an EEG... any chance you know what that is?

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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, 2013 at 2:14 am

Did the doctor explain it to you at all?
 
An EEG measures electrical impulses within neurons (brain cells). It can be used to measure "brain waves" for conditions related to sleep, epilepsy, etc. Anything that can disturb transmission of neuron signals.

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