Need help breaking free from addiction?
1-888-993-3112
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Ad Info & Options

Do I Have A Mental Health Problem?

Question:

Im 18 years old, and I really hate life. For tha last two years, i cant really think of anything great happening. every day now, my mood seems to change in instants. sometimes it happens 10 times a day, sometimes never. the most common of the moods i feel are fear, anger, but mostly depression. I have considered suicide in the past, but i have never let these feelings bet get the best of me. It feels as if im fighting something. I feel like i’m sure theres something wrong, and that if i try hard enough, i can control it. The moods seem to be triggered to bad events. After something happens, i’ll get mad, then scared, then depressed, sometimes i can rationalize it, and i end up feeling better. I rarely end up feeling happy, but it does happen. I also have difficult time concentrating at work. Please help me to find out what I can do so solve this problem.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

The answer to your earnest question is Yes, you have a mental health problem and it’s called Depression. The fact that you admit to having suicidal thoughts means that your depression is serious and needs to be treated just as soon as possible. You are a young person and have your whole life ahead of you. While you may hate life at the moment I can assure you that once you are over this depression you will think and feel in ways that are much more optimistic.

It is quite normal for people to try to convince themselves that, with effort and determination, they can overcome their depression. This thinking is a variation on the theme that there is no such thing as depression and that all you have to do is "snap out of it." Well, there is no such thing as "snapping out of it." Does telling your self to "snap out of it" help any of us get over the flu? It would be like saying the flu is not real and neither is depression. Well, they are both real and both call for treatment of one type or another.

You mention that you work and, therefore, may have health insurance. If so, you can use your health insurance to locate a local psychiatrist on your plan and make an appointment. The psychiatrist will meet with you, diagnose the type of depression you have and prescribe medication to help relieve the awful symptoms you have been experiencing for such a long time.

In addition to medication, the psychiatrist will recommend psychotherapy. The purpose of psychotherapy will be to help you both understand your depression as well as how to control and reduce its symptoms. The key to handling depression is to utilize both medication and psychotherapy.

If you do not have insurance then there is likely to be a nearby mental health clinic that will be happy to see you and help you at affordable fees. In addition, there is always your family doctor who can recommend a psychiatrist. If that is not affordable, your family doctor can treat your depression himself with medication. However, I strongly recommend a psychiatrist for the medicine part of it because that is his expertise. Then, follow up with a clinical psychologist or licensed clinical social worker for the psychotherapy.

One final note: If you feel in danger of attempting suicide please go to the emergency room of your nearest hospital and report this to them. They will help keep you safe and will get you the kind of help you need to overcome these problems.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

Comments
  • Anon

    Just noted something the original poster said about feeling he hates life and there is nothing great to look forward to. You know I suffered deppression when I was younger that seemed to be linked to the environment I lived in and also had the same feelings, just wonder if maybe your outlook in life has something to do with it, perhaps you are person with really high ideals that are more than the life you are living in around you at this time has to offer and it could help to look at if your feelings of wanting life to be great has something to do with your problems with feeling deppressed. I have learnt to lower a lot of expectations and to try to see life from other angles which has helped me a lot to gain a different perspective and reduce anxiety and stress, just food for thought maybe.

Close

Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.

Close

Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand