I can't get help for my problems.

A few weeks ago, I posted a thread on how I am afraid to get friends and how I’m constantly suffering from depression. Frankly, I think my problems got rather worse because even though I do talk to my friends in my kendo classes, none of them really know me personally (something I want to keep) and my mother and sister still don’t believe me when I tell them I have depression. I’m not sleeping at night as in AT ALL; I’m literally pulling all nighter after all nighter just thinking and writing my book only to sleep for a few hours or sleeping at like 5 o clock and waking up at 3. It’s a problem that has been going on for a few years and my parents positively refuse to help me even though it’s been making suffer for years and years.

Not only that but outside my psychological problems I feel that nobody at my house really tries helping me when I either do some housework or cooking; they just don’t understand why I can’t always finish dinner on time or why I don’t always dust the furniture or sweep the floor and my sister who is always around the house (she’s still young at 16 by the way) never helps me. If I try to discuss a problem with them, they just brush me off or say they are not interested. Nobody ever cooks for me, does me any favors or even initiates a talk with me; I always have to start a conversation even with those whom I’m closest with. I’m feeling really lonely and I don’t know what to do if nobody is interested in solving their own problems much less mine.

I’m also writing a book which is making me very depressed. I want to write it but the more I realize how much of myself I’m putting into it, the more scared I become on how people are going to recieve it or those close to me will think about it. Reminding myself of all the horrible things in the world is also making me depressed. I’m writing it because I can’t cope with anything and I have a lot of things to say about everything that makes me angry. In essence, I’m scared that I’m being selfish by trying to discuss my problems because I know my fmaily has their own financial problems they need to work out; I know they themselves are stressed and overworked but why can’t they set aside some time for me to discuss how we can solve what we’re going through?

I am sorry that you are feling this way and cannot get anyone to help you.

How old are you by the way? I think knowing that will put things in it’s proper perspcetive for people when they respond.

I’m 19, turning 20 in a month.

Okay, one more question if you don’t mind. Are you currently attending college? (Or will you be in the fall, I mean.)

I will in the fall.

That is just the answer I wanted to hear. I don’t know if you know this, but most colleges have someone that you can go to for counseling. I think after you get settled into your classes and know what is expected of you, that you should go talk to someone there. Just because no one at home will believe you or listen to you doesn’t mean that you are not feeling badly. There is no charge for this and your family does not even have to know that you are going.

How is your spiritual life? you cannot separate parts of your life from one another. A strong faith life will carry over to the rest of your life. Do you belong to a group of young adults at your church?

Sadly, I’m not being very spiritual. I’m hardly praying even though I still believe in God and every dogma in the Church.

It can help a lot if you start to pray and receive the sacraments.

Hi Mr Ajax
I can deeply empathise with you. I’ve been in a very similar position in the past, and am under a lot of stress right now which has been making me very unhappy for the past several months.

First I’d like to encourage you to analyse your feelings and step away from the word “Depression” and “Feeling depressed”.
While this is a valid medical condition, the medical disease includes a wide range of emotional feelings and symptoms.
to highlight just a few:
Deep dissatisfaction with yourself. Very low Self Esteem
Very low satisfaction with your current situation in Personal &/ work/study &/ social life.
Feeling very “Sad” a lot of or most of the time
Feeling very Worried or anxious a lot of or most of the time
Unable to feel happy most of or any of the time.
Irrationally unable to cheer up even when you have good cause to feel happy
A total lack of feeling not happy or sad or worried etc. just emotionally “Numb” all the time
A chronic lack of energy - physical or emotional
Unable to sleep
Unable to stay awake even though you’ve got enough sleep
Not wanting to socialise even if you have good opportunities

the possible list is long. This is just part. I assume that when you say you feel depressed that you mean you feel “Sad” you feel “Lonely” - you have described very good reasons why you may be feeling these things, and you sound very rational in your descriptions.

Based on this I guess (I’m not medically or psychologically trained so take this however you like) I suspect that if you are able to directly challenge some or all of the factors leading to the low emotional state that you should find your moods and your ability to enjoy life should improve rapidly.

You say you will be attending College in the Fall. Will you be living away from home?
May I strongly advise that you make significant effort to find and develop friendships there. I would suggest you join one or 2 new societies, and seek to “Let people in”.
Seek out the Catholic Chaplaincy or Newman Society. Try to make social connections there. Pray with them. Talk to the priest or other Chaplains about what you’re going through. They can and will help or point you in the direction of those who can.

If your description of the level of family life and support is unbiased I would not disconnect that from your emotional state at all, but it could in fact be a significant contributing factor. However I would caution that determing whether you are seeing the situation in a rational and unbiased way is very difficult to judge, and impossible for me having just read a couple of paragraphs from the far side of the atlantic.

In terms of sleep: A lack of sleep will cause tiredness which makes feeling happy extremely difficult. It can directly cause symptoms of depression and other mood dissorders. If such dissorders are already present, lack of sleep will make them worse.

On the other hand as listed above, unable to sleep, or a strong urge to sleep too much can be a significant sypmtom of depression in many people. (It’s a 2-way street, where the symptom can make the disease worse, and make recovery far harder)

I would strongly advise you to address this matter with great urgency.
Avoid all caffine drinks after lunch - or eliminate them entirely. - that goes for all stimulants whether Legal or ilicit (unless prescribed by a doctor).
Therefore no Coffee. no Cola, no Red-Bull etc. (Or at least none after lunch)

Set yourself a morning wake up time, and a bed time, and really try to stick to them.
Even if you don’t get to sleep, try to get up at your normal time anyway. Never sleep in past mid-day. (I’m assuming your not on shift work)

Always try to go to bed at a set bed time. Probably somewhere between 10pm and midnight.
There are things which can help induce sleep: A warm bath or shower, just before bed causes a slight drop in body temperature, which induces the early part of the sleep cycle. (because in early sleep the body temperature naturally drops)

Calming the mind helps. Choose late evening activities that don’t stimulate adrenaline - i.e. no computer games. No Action Thrillers on the TV. Don’t exercise in the late evening.
A warm drink like Chamomile Tea, or hot Milk flavoured with Cinnamon or a malt drink can help.

Consider getting a hops pillow. This is a bag stuffed with Hopps (one of the raw ingredients used for beer. It’s the fruiting body of a bush) The dust from the hops is natural a sedative when inhaled- which makes working with the stuff difficult as workers will often fall asleep on the job from inhaling the dust. These pillows often contain a mix of Hops and Lavender.

Pray a meditative prayer at bed time. Night Prayer from the Divine Office, Lectio Divina, The Rosary, and other meditations or forms of contemptlitave prayer are suitable.

If you wake in the night, and don’t go back to sleep easily, then get up and do something relaxing. - Remember that until artificial light became common, humans commonly would have 2 4 hour sleep periods with a relaxed night time period between when they would read, pray and / or socialize. The structure of the Divine Office, and most monasitc traditions reflect this, with the “Office Of Readings” having been renamed from the hour of “Matins” which was typically some time between 3 - 5 am. - Note this was a time for meditation on the scriptures and other spiritual writings.

If you aren’t able to pray, select activities that are calm and restful. - maybe read another book you enjoy (but isn’t too exciting.)

I hope this advice helps.

Mr Ajax,
It sounds like your sleep difficulties could be exacerbated by your thinking. I would suggest setting aside your book and engaging in a great deal of prayer instead–regular prayer, and prayer for help to put your trust in God, and prayer for your family. Maybe also ask for protection from negative thoughts and influences.

By giving your negative thinking validity, you are sort of rewarding your mind for throwing up these types of thoughts at a time when these thoughts are not helpful to your spiritual life or your actual life.

This one.

May I ask why you haven’t talked to a doctor? You’re old enough to make appointments and go to them on your own. And surely you are still covered by your parents’ insurance.

If not, you are probably eligible for insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act or some other law. Ask.

Depression is a medical condition caused by a chemical imbalance in your body. It may affect your spiritual life, but becoming more committed to your faith won’t necessarily help depression, any more than it will cure cancer or fix a broken bone.

If you found a big ol’ lump in your breast, wouldn’t you go to a doctor? Or if you fell down and your foot was facing backwards instead of forwards, wouldn’t you go to a doctor?

The symptoms that you are describing could be a clinical depression that can be treated. Depression is usually treated with medication (prescribed by a psychiatrist) and by cognitive therapy (administer by a psychologist or counselor–it means learning new patterns of thinking).

Yes, young people suffer from depression. My daughter was in college when she volunteered for one of the psychology department grad school “experiments.” A few days after she did their survey, she received a call asking her to stop by the psychology dept. They told her that she was dangerously depressed, and they wanted to help her find treatment. They also asked if they could call us (the parents).

We weren’t surprised. My husband was diagnosed with clinical depression about 20 years ago. He is on a med that is very helpful (he couldn’t function without it). He also did about a year of cognitive therapy when he was first diagnosed, which was very helpful to him.

Several other people in his family have been diagnosed with depression, too. So that’s why we weren’t surprised that our daughter has the condition. She was given a very low-dose of an anti-depressant, and some cognitive therapy, and it did the trick. Several years later, she still makes sure to monitor her mental health and take care of issues before they develop into full-blown depression.

If indeed you have the medical condition called “depression,” you will be amazed how effective anti-depressants and cognitive therapy are. So please, go to the doctor. Stop analyzing yourself–again, you wouldn’t diagnose yourself with breast cancer or with a broken bone, would you? And you certainly wouldn’t try to treat either of these conditions yourself. So let the medical community help you. You’ll be glad you did.

Find one thing positive each day to think about to carry you through the rough times. Treat yourself to a movie or write down your feelings in a journal then trash it if you don’t have security. Many times you just have to get the negaitive feelings out and expressed. If you can’t get couseling or get to a doctor do those things. Fighting depression is a step by step processes. Also don’t rely on meds. I’d try excercise and eating healthy those have been know n to do wonders.

“Don’t rely on meds”…

Giving direct medical advice is prohibited in this forum.
I would be vary careful about dishing out this type of advice. It may be that the O.P. is suffering from a condition that would benefit from prescribed medication It may be that his distress is caused by external factors and will disappear when they do, or it may be that his perception of the external factors is strongly influenced by a depression of biological origin, and he’s just not seeing the world clearly.
The truth is most likely to be somewhere in the middle.
Never tell a person over the internet, with so little information to go on, to not take their “Meds”.
I’m personally no fan of SSRI antidepressants, and never benefited from taking them, but some other people benefit greatly from them. (even it the effect is no better than a placebo on large groups as some of the latest trials are indicating).

“Never tell a person over the internet, with so little information to go on, to not take their “Meds”.”

Amen!

Guys thank you for your responses but no matter what I do, I don’t think my family is going to listen. They don’t want to listen and frankly, I don’t think they care. I’m really at that point of utter despair in my life as now I truly feel that nobody cares for me. My biggest problem is that I don’t think anybody is interested in hearing my own problems, in helping me get over them and I’m scared I’m going to be alone all my life.

I’m undergoing things that are beyond my control; my mother is emotionally abusive to me, always telling me how she wishes to die and how she wants to leave over why dad isn’t giving her money to buy her stuff, I don’t know what got into dad lately as he’s been really quite and not speaking to me despite us not having any friction between us etc… I don’t know, there’s this meanness in my family and I feel that I’m getting the butt of it. I’m always getting expected to take sides whe I don’t want to, I’m getting extremely stressed out and tired and nobody will listen to me. I have no idea how to act without getting into a row with my parents. I’m even thinking of slitting my own wrists just to show them how much they’re making me suffer and how much I despise them for what they are doing. All anyone cares is about keeping a false peace, not caring for the rel problems.

“Guys thank you for your responses but no matter what I do, I don’t think my family is going to listen. They don’t want to listen and frankly, I don’t think they care. I’m really at that point of utter despair in my life as now I truly feel that nobody cares for me. My biggest problem is that I don’t think anybody is interested in hearing my own problems, in helping me get over them and I’m scared I’m going to be alone all my life.”

It sounds like your parents have a lot of problems of their own. Bear in mind that heredity matters a lot in problems of mental illness, which means that the members of your family may 1) be troubled people and 2) be incapable of helping others in the same position.

Don’t have any expectations of your parents and make plans to move out as soon as you can. For the moment, get yourself to student counseling or call a crisis hotline to talk to somebody.

“I’m even thinking of slitting my own wrists just to show them how much they’re making me suffer and how much I despise them for what they are doing. All anyone cares is about keeping a false peace, not caring for the rel problems.”

Look, either they care about you or they don’t. If they don’t care about you (which is what you think), they won’t care what you do to yourself. And if they do care about you, harming yourself is selfish and evil.

Call a hotline, see student counseling, see a doctor, call everybody in the phone directory until you find somebody to listen to you and get you real in-person help and medication.

I’m not a psychological expert, but your style of thinking sounds very depressive–seeing no hope, thinking that nobody loves you, etc. Depression is very treatable, but you have to get yourself into the right hands and follow a course of treatment. If you do that, within a few months, you will be in a much better situation.

The Lord created you and he loves you! Seek help as the previous poster advises!

I was where you are. I come from a cold, unsupportive family who ignored my severe mental health issues for over a decade (since I was seven). My mother told me it was my fault I didn’t have any friends.
I attempted to slit my wrists to see if they would care. They just yelled at me, which made me feel worse - so yeah. Don’t bother. I carried on with the self-mutilation for years hoping someone, anyone, would notice and care. Eventually friends did.
The smartest thing I ever did was leave home and go to college far away. My parents continued their emotional abuse but it was easier from a distance.
I didn’t realize how horrible it was until I had kids myself. My anger at my parents is now a continual cross. I struggle to allow them in my life at all because I was hurt so badly when I needed them most.
I am blessed to have an amazing husband, children, and dear friends who care.
My advice? It gets better. I promise. You can get mental health treatment. But you can’t get your parents to love you. Some of us will never have that luxury and it’s a horrible cross to bear. Pray. And run as fast and as far as you can from their toxicity.

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