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I Think I'm Depressed

Question:

I think I am depressed. I feel sad almost all of the time. There are rare instances when I am really happy, but then, I suddenly get sad again. This just started happening a few years ago. I got really sick from a combination of SLE, kidney failure, and meningitis. As a result, I had to miss half of my junior year and senior year. The friends that I have are gone off to college, and I’m attending an online college.

Sometimes, I start to feel sad whenever I remember how sick I was. I also get sad when I see other people. I start to think, “Why can’t I be them?” or “Why can’t I have their life?”

I think that if I had friends, or things to do, I’d probably be happier, but I feel stuck with no possibility of escape. I have little money, no car, nothing that could help me get out of the house. Some of my happiest moments are when I’m on the Internet on a forum or something, or playing  video games.

I really want to have a social life but lack the ability to do so because I’m afraid of what people are thinking about me. I hate my life. I hate the way I look. I hate that I got sick during my high school years. Nothing ever seems to go right for me. Sometimes, I feel like I’d have been better off if I had just died. I really need help.

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Answer:

Indeed, your description of yourself and the things that happened to you over the last three years does make it seem that you are very depressed. What I do not understand is why you are going to school on the Internet rather than attending college in your town or away from home?

Yes, you were quite sick in High School and that robbed you of opportunities. However, I am assuming that you are now in good health. You refer to having “SLE” and I assume that you mean Systemic Lupus. My understanding, and I am not a physician, is that Lupus should not stop you from getting out of the house and going to school.

My impression is that you are a young person who has become very socially isolated in your home. It appears that you do not go out, have no friends and engage in solitary activities on the Internet, such as forums, or on the computer, playing computer games. This is not a fulfilling life for a young person.

In addition to feeling depressed you describe low self esteem. You fear what people are thinking about you and you hate your looks and your life. All of these define someone with very low self esteem and with depression. They also describe someone who may stay at home because of these negative feelings.

I want to point out that it is normal to feel depressed after experiencing that types of illnesses you had. However, you should be able to get over these feelings and get on with your life.

In my opinion, you need to enter psychotherapy as soon as possible so that you can begin to learn to improve your life and reduce your depression and low self esteem. In addition, I suspect that you may benefit from anti depressant medications and for that you need to see either a psychiatrist or your family doctor.

You are a young person and, therefore, have a good prognosis. I am guessing that you will greatly benefit from psychotherapy and medication.

Best of Luck 

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