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Depression and Suicide If you or a loved one is feeling depressed or suicidal, you are not alone. Talk with other users about your feelings here.

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Aristo Offline
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Not sure if worth seeking help or not - December 8th 2011, 02:04 AM

Hi everybody,

So, I'm not quite sure if my issues are worth seeking help over, or whether they 'count' as depression. I'll run through them in a giant wall of text that I hope someone will read through.

I'm 18, just started university and left highschool last May. For the last two years of HS I was taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma course - for those of you who don't know about it, it's an incredibly tough course. And I mean incredibly tough. I became very very stressed, constantly tired, and extremely unhappy with my life during the last year of HS and frequently fought with my father, who is very much an emotionally distant parent and preferred to ignore me when I would randomly burst into tears in front of him, for example. During this time I also developed mild OCD symptoms - specifically arranger's and checker's symptoms - which never interfered with my life to the point where I felt I needed to ever get an official diagnosis or professional help (though I did visit the school counsellor a couple of times, but found the sessions unhelpful). However, these symptoms quite constantly appeared during the last year of HS as a symptom of my high levels of stress.

I would also have various 'sessions' of extreme unhappiness during this time, as well. I became quite obsessed with not showing weakness (probably due to my father disliking it as well), and constantly tried to suppress my negative emotions, until they always inevitably burst out into an avalanche of self-hatred. It would become a vicious cycle: self hatred -> trying to suppress it -> being unable to -> self hatred. Although I have never physically self harmed myself in any way I would verbally abuse myself and have random moments where I would argue that I didn't deserve to eat, or that I wish I had never been born. I am also transgender (FTM) and I had a lot of severe body image issues and self-hatred because I felt like a 'freak'. These 'sessions' never lasted more than a few hours but would occur at least every couple of weeks.

After I left HS, everything seemed to calm down. I was no longer under stress so my OCD symptoms vanished, and I became more contented. I even stopped fighting with my father because I was able to step back from the situation and see it more clearly and decide not to get angry over it. From what I can remember, I had few or possibly none of the 'sessions' mentioned earlier.

OK, so fast forward to September, I move overseas to attend uni in the gender of my choice (no one knows I'm trans here), everything seems great. Then in late November I realise I am extremely homesick, and also lonely. My OCD symptoms have been flickering back sporadically, not as strong as they were before but still tickling at the back of my mind when I'm in an uncomfortable mood. I have also recently started having these depressive 'sessions' again, with the same trans-self-hatred and conflict over being unable to erase all my emotions (I often feel that my ideal state would be to have hardly any emotions at all), and yet again they only last a few hours at most and are only occurring every 2-3 weeks, but during them I feel an overwhelming sense of self-repulsion and hatred. Also my best friend who usually comforts me is now in another country which means I no longer have a strong support system.

HOWEVER...
I don't self harm.
The 'sessions' only last a few hours and don't haunt my every waking thought.
The 'sessions' are quite infrequent.
I don't seem to tick many of the other symptoms of depression, e.g. overeating. I do seem to be fatigued all the time but I don't know if that's just because of university work.

Someone once told me that what I am experiencing is just normal teenager depression. The problem is that, the very nature of my insecurities is to tell myself that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill and that I should stop whining all the time and suppress my emotion (as usual). So I am inclined to believe them. However, I do worry some of my friends with the intensity of my self-hatred at these times and I am wondering if maybe I *should* do something about them, like see a counsellor about it. I don't really know what to think as I don't want to make myself seem overly-important or diminish the severity of those with 'real' depression, but at the same time I'm pretty sure that my mental state is probably not the healthiest. However I don't know if this is just minor and everybody gets moments where they feel 'depressed', etc, etc, and I'm just overreacting or not. So I guess in conclusion I'm asking for anyone else's opinion.

tl;dr: Experiencing short (2-3 hrs) sessions of 'depression' every few weeks; not sure if this is normal behaviour or worth seeking help for.
   
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Re: Not sure if worth seeking help or not - December 8th 2011, 02:18 AM

Well honestly, that's how my depression started... Stress, fighting with family, it was always short bouts of self-hatred.... then they started getting more frequent and lasting longer. Now I cut and I'm clinically depressed because I did exactly what you are doing. I suppressed my emotions and kept them bottled up for so long that it just kept building and getting worse.

Quite frankly, I think it might be a good idea to try talking to a counselor. It really can't hurt anything. Plus you might be able to catch it early before it turns into something much much worse.

If you ever want to talk you can PM or IM me anytime. I know what you're going through (except the trans-gendered part, but I am bisexual) so I'll try to help as best as I can.
   
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Re: Not sure if worth seeking help or not - December 8th 2011, 06:27 AM

In my opinion it doesn't sound like anything very serious. So long as you are able to keep things under somewhat under control I wouldn't worry about it. If however, things feel like they are continually getting worse and you can't handle it, that is when I would get help.

Even though I am now relatively stable I still go through infrequent moments of basically bursts of depression, so I would say it is normal.

On the other hand, talking with a counseler somewhat regularly isn't a bad idea. You might also want to consider psychotherapy if it persists, as I have seen this work wonders on people. (Just keep in mind you have to find the "right" therapist for you, so just make sure you don't get someone who just completely doesn't resonate with you_

Best of luck!


"Love is the law, love under will."
Yours in L.V.X.,
John Osborne
   
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Re: Not sure if worth seeking help or not - December 8th 2011, 07:02 AM

I would say you should talk to someone, especially if it's interfering with your life. Talking to a counselor won't hurt, and it could help these symptoms go away. They may start out as something little, then get worse, and in that case, it's best to get help while it's not terrible. Even if it doesn't get worse, it might be nice to talk to someone and learn better ways of coping, and make the depressive sessions diminish, and make you happier. I think if you want to seek help, go for it.


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Re: Not sure if worth seeking help or not - December 8th 2011, 08:57 AM

Thank you everyone - I think it's about time I started looking into counselling again, I was just scared off by my last experience which wasn't very helpful.
   
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