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Normation Offline
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Name: Norman Stanger
Age: 18
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Depression - May 23rd 2016, 10:05 PM

Lately my depression been getting really bad, i feel like i am just a problem to the people around me. I've been cutting alot lately but that dosn't make me feel better any more. What am i meant to do to make me happy?

~What's wrong isn't me, what's wrong is the word~
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Re: Depression - May 26th 2016, 05:07 PM

Hi Norman,

I am so sorry to hear your depression has gotten so bad to the point of you cutting yourself a lot. I know how bad things can get and it can feel really lonely and isolating and to think badly about yourself on top of that. I can only imagine how tough things are for you.

I've been through similar times of feeling like I'm the problem, and still do. Can I ask what's having you feel this way? Is it the way one or more people treat you? Sometimes previous experiences can have us trapped in the past thinking we are still the problem we were made out to be. Try to remind yourself that this is not true. You're not a problem. You're a beautiful human being who deserves to have a happy meaningful life, to be loved and cared about. Try to surround yourself with people who appreciate you. This can not only allow you to feel more welcomed around others but also if you start having anxiety about being a problem, it will be easier to communicate these feelings with someone who had been kind to you and discussing it with them can help alleviate some of the fears.

Finding supportive people can be a challenge though. It took me a while to find people this way and people change or drift apart. That said, there are still ways to go about this. How is your family life and home environment? Do they contribute to you feeling like a problem or do you think you can allow them to support you? What about making friends at school, religious place of worship, clubs, activities etc and people in your community? Also sometimes talking to a trusted adult that is not your parents or in addition to your parents can be helpful. Sometimes even though parents have good intentions they can react in ways that are harmful and this is partially because they're your parents and are more likely to be worried and anxious about raising you then say, your grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends' parents, or teachers who have the secondary role of taking care of you but not their primary responsibility, if that makes sense.
I hope you can try building a support system because having that safety can really help when living with a mental health condition.

Speaking of safety, have you ever tried to make yourself a safe space? This can be a physical space that you go to when you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed. It is a way to calm down. This can also be in the form of a box. In other words, you can get an empty shoe box or any other box and fill it with comforting items such as photographs, paper and pens, things that make you smile, inspirational quotes. Anything that cheers you up. You can also add alternatives to Self Harm. For instance a container of play dough or crayons and a notepad. Or anything that uses the five sense, such as sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. This is a list to Self Harm Alternatives. You can find that the list is divided into categories by the reasons a person self harms. So for instance if you do it for the sight of blood, an alternative is to use markers to draw red lines. Something you can put in your box are a set of markers so that you can instantly redirect yourself to an alternative rather than scramble for materials that are sometimes hard to find in the moment of being overwhelmed. So this way you are already prepared.

About triggers, do you know why you self harm? What are your thoughts and feelings before, during and after you self harm? You've mentioned feeling like a problem. Are there events that take place or does something happen that trigger these feelings? Or does it appear as thoughts seemingly out of nowhere?

If you are unsure of these answers, it's okay. But it's something to reflect on as it can help you combat self harm and find effective coping strategies. One way to learn more about yourself and reflect on these thoughts is through writing. Writing can be in any form you like such as poetry, long passages, bullet points, lists. Sometimes when I'm very angry and don't feel like writing whole sentences, I just write a list of things that are frustrating to me. If written word is not your thing, there are also other activities of self expression such as dance, music, visual art, theatre performance. I heard some people prefer taking voice notes as a way to document thoughts and ideas. If you have a phone with voice recording, you can pretty much take voice notes anywhere, anytime you have thoughts and can vent into the recording and play it back later if you want to or delete it.

What you're going through is not simple and does not have an easy answer so I don't want my response to sound like I'm giving telling you exactly how to be happy because that's something you'd have to figure out for yourself but I am here to support you and help you along the way. So if you want to talk more, I'm open to it. I think it's a good start for now and if you post here again I can try addressing what is said when it comes.
Hope you're doing well today. Take care of yourself.
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