Tired of everything
I started feeling depressed when I was about 14. I would never kill myself because that's just such a selfish thing to do. Whenever I'm alone or before I go to bed, I get extremely depressed and I don't want to live anymore; I'm just tired of everything. I hate going to work, I hate going to school, and I hate putting on a smile and pretending that I'm okay.
I'm afraid of talking to my friend, because the one time I tried they kind of laughed off the subject and changed it. I can't talk to my dad because I love him and would hate to disappoint him or make it feel like it was his fault. Another thing I hate about myself is that I act like I'm really smart and that I just don't care about school to make people like me, but I actually struggle in subjects like English and history. Recently I have been going to parties with my friends just to keep my mind off it, but after I leave the thoughts just come back. I honestly have no clue what to do with my life. Whenever I look at a mirror I hate myself, not because of what I look like, but just for being me.
I don't know what to do with my life, and I don't know how to stop being depressed.
Evan, when I was your age, I was just as depressed as you are now. I felt the same, wishing not to wake up in the morning. Like you, I would never have killed myself, but my life was a misery. And yet, I've lived to be an old man, and have had wonderful experiences and achievements. My wife still loves me after 47 years of marriage, and my kids are my best friends. My joy now is to show the way out of misery to other people, precisely because I have suffered.
If I could do it, so can you.
You didn't say where you live, or how old you are. You refer to both work and school, so I expect you to be young, but with a bit of money. In some parts of the world, Britain and Australia for example, you can get free or cheap access to a psychologist. In other places, it's more difficult, but worthwhile. You will find that a few sessions with a good psychologist will give you an excellent chance of turning your life around.
I think part of the problem is that you are a caring and intelligent person. It is actually your strengths that lead you to feeling depressed, and to reject the idea of hurting your father. However, another problem is that you feel ashamed of the depression. Actually, it shows good sense. "You have to be crazy to stay sane in a crazy culture." You are OK, it's the world you live in that's wrong.
Naturally, I can't guess the reasons you are feeling like this, based on your short note. But whatever they are, you can do something about the effects:
1. Read my list of 7 things you can do to feel good
2. At the moment, your misery is the focus of your life. It's what your attention is on, whenever everyday life doesn't distract you from it. Attention is a magnifying glass. Here is proof: For one minute, do NOT think of the word "hippopotamus." What happened?
So, you need other things to attend to, besides parties with your friends. My next few points will give you examples. You can use them as a pattern for thinking up your own.
3. Find a cause, or more than one, to be passionate about. Mine has been working for a sustainable society: I want there to be a future for young people like you, and a life worth living. Get involved with groups, in person as well as online, read about the cause, and become committed at making a difference.
4. Do acts of kindness. You can be a sort of a detective. Secretly study your family, friends and other contacts. Work out what will make them feel good, and then quietly arrange for them to have this. It's best if they don't even know you've done anything. When they light up, so will you.
5. Set yourself achievable challenges, then work hard to succeed. For example, you can decide to improve your English and history marks. A rule is, "If someone else can do it, I can learn it." You can find many helpful resources on the internet. You might privately ask your teachers for extra help, or may have a classmate who is willing to help you. I used studying as an antidepressant when I was young. The result was a long list of achievements.
6. Notice beauty. Focus in on beautiful flowers, birds, little children, butterflies, falling snow, clouds at sunset, lovely music, poetry... anything that you find beautiful. Over time, try yourself out at skills that can result in producing beauty. Examples are playing a musical instrument, painting/drawing, cooking, and gardening.
7. Finally, learn to meditate. There are many ways, and all work. This is the biggest thing that helped me out of my misery, because it involved inner peace, acceptance of what is without judgment, and living in the present moment.
You haven't left an email address. If you read this, track me down via my website and send me an email. Then we can continue this discussion.
This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com