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Dear Dish-It: I’m Secretly Depressed

Dear Dish-it,

I’m depressed but nobody knows. I act like a crazy, fun, happy girl,but under all that I’m sad and lonely...I can’t keep lying to my friends when I’m in the bathroom stall crying. Should I wait until it goes away or should I tell them…and how?

Leah123

Dealing With DepressionDealing With Depression

Dear Leah123,

I know just how you feel. I’ve felt down a lot of times, too, and it’s been hard keeping my feelings hidden from everyone around me. But what’s even harder, I think, is dealing with the blues yourself when you’re not even sure why it’s happening!

You’re Not Alone

First thing’s first: you’re not alone in how you feel. Depression is really common, affecting about 1 in 8 teens. It also seems to affect more girls than guys. No one really knows what causes depression. It may have to do with your genes (if your mom or dad suffers from depression, you may be more likely to get the blues than some of your friends), something bad that happens in your life (like moving or changing schools), being stressed out – sometimes depression is even caused by a medical condition.

Depression vs. Sadness

It’s important, also, to understand the difference betwee depression and regular sadness. Everyone has their ups and down – sadness is a totally natural emotion. Things like arguing with friends, breaking up with your boyfriend, getting a bad mark on a test or having to deal with your best friend moving away can all make you feel sad, hurt or disappointed. But it usually doesn’t last very long and you eventually feel better.

Depression is more than feeling down in the dumps every so often. It’s a strong mood that lasts for weeks, months or even longer and it gets in the way of your normal life. You may feel more tired or you may not be motivated to do the things you normally like to do. It may even make you pull away from the people around you – but this will only make you feel more lonely, making the depression worse.

Getting Help

Now for some good news: depression is totally treatable! About 80% of people who get help for their depression end up feeling much better than they did before! The best way to get help is to talk to your parents or some other adult that you trust (a close family friend, your fave aunt, a school counselor or your family doctor) about how you’ve been feeling. While your friends definitely care about you and will be there for you if you need them, they won’t be able to explain why you’re feeling like you do and they won’t be able to find a solution that will help you. An adult may be better able to help you figure out what’s happening inside your head, and find a way to make it better.

Types of Treatment

While there are prescription medications out there for depression (only your family doctor can decide whether you need to try any of these, and he or she will then write you a prescription), it doesn’t even have to be about that. Sometimes just talking about your life and feelings with a counselor or a therapist once a week or so can help a lot! Other things have also been shown to make depression better: exercising, getting outside more, painting, changing the way you eat are all thing that can help to change your mood!

Don’t Wait

One thing’s for sure: you shouldn't wait and hope your feeling of sadness and depression will just go away on their own. After you talk to an adult and get the help you need, you may feel more confident about letting your friends in on your feelings, or you may not even feel the need to explain anything to them because you’ll likely be feeling better than you did before!

Have Your Say

What do you think Leah123 should do? Do you know how she feels and have some advice for her? Leave your comment below!

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How Do You Deal With Depression?

  • I hole up in my room and listen to angry music.
  • I fill my face with Chunky Monkey ice cream.
  • I get all my frustration out on paper by writing poetry.
  • I'm never depressed.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Wonderfulcalico
My parents have always been aggressive and abusive and I only just noticed it a couple months ago. Over time they've gotten worse (specifically my mother). Whenever she gets mad she'll yell at us and if she gets mad enough she'll hit and push us around. Whoever we get into arguments it's always one- sided and she always wins, even if she knows she is wrong. An argument we had not to long ago was about me not taking care of myself. She looked at my hair and started to touch it and told me "Your hair isn't soft why is it so dry, it's probably because you aren't taking care of your hair." Then she goes on to tell me that she's going to cut it and all of this other stuff when she knows I'm conscious about me looking like a boy ( Used to get called a boy for having short hair). As the argument goes on, I start to tell her things that she knows she is wrong about. She proceeds to yell at me then grabs me by the face and say "If you don't lower your tone and listen to what I'm saying I'm going to knock you in the head." Then she goes on to tell me she remembers nothing I was saying and that it's a lie. She also hit me when I didn't clean the laundry room correctly and whenever she gets fed up. I'm constantly having to watch what I say and do, because I'm scared that I'm going to end up hurt. She also likes to degrade me and tell how bad I'm doing. She's said plenty of thing like when I didn't have my bed covers tucked in she yelled at me and hit me and I said "Do you expect me to just stand here and take this", and she replied saying "That's what you are supposed to do you are the child and I am the adult, you take whatever I do until I'm done." Another time is when I had my band concert and I had to pick out the right attire. When we went shopping to get the clothing I chose slacks when she liked a skirt better, we went on to fight in the store and she bought the slacks. When we got home she said to me that real girls wear skirts and dresses and boys wear slacks and pants. This hurt me because she knows I have a past with people telling me I look like a boy etc. Another time I started to sleep on the floor, because I was practicing a minimalist life. When I left my pillows on the floor she found it and questioned me on why they were there. I told her it fell of my bed when really I left it there. Later when I told my dad, he told her and she got mad because I was getting cat hair on my pillows. She then proceeded to ask why I lied and I told her sometimes lying is better then the truth (I knew she would get mad that I was sleeping on the floor so I lied) then she told me that I was never going to have a relationship, a job, or friends ( This hurt me because I don't have friends now). She's also said that I don't take care of my body because I ate two sweets in one day which lead her to banning me from Doritos and now I have to ask to get chips and any other snack. She's told me I don't take care of my teeth because I have yellow spots from using whitening toothpaste with braces on. She's told me I don't take care of my hair so I can't wash it or do any hair style or then a bun. She had lead me to starving myself (Unless she makes me eat) and cutting myself. I've just stopped caring, because what ever I do is always wrong. I never get a choice in my activities, she controls my life in fact she me just in a different body. But what is even worse is that she's turning my dad into her. Now I have a scheduled time to eat breakfast and lunch, and to go onto my electronics. I feel like I'm in a prison with my parents constantly watching over me, in fact yesterday when I was pouring my milk my mom got out a measuring cup and poured my milk into the measuring cup and said "Why isn't this a full cup" and I replied saying "Because I don't measure my milk." Then she got angry at me. There's so much I could say about her, but I'll stop. Anyways my father is always sarcastic and he doesn't realize how much it hurts me. Today I was cleaning out my bag for next school year and my dad came in and said, "Wow, you aren't even dress yet and I had to come up here to tell you how sad." Just little things like that hurt me. My little sister got mad at me last week for sitting in a certain area and she said " Why are you sitting there," and I didn't reply because I didn't want to speak to her and she then said, "Probably because you are too stupid to answer." I wanted to break down crying then and there, but I kept it in. I've limited my talking to her, because all she does is break me down. Like when there was a Proactive commercial and she said, "Ha, you need that." That hurt me because just the other my mom was telling me how I don't take care of my face and that's why I have acne. My older sister and I barely talk, because whenever I try to talk to her she's mad for what ever reason and when my parents were talking about hitting my sister she was in the corner laughing. My cat Preston is very young and I got hi,abo a year ago. I get very sad and often cry, because I've seen him turn out scared and aggressive just like me because he's been through what I have. One time he pooped in a clothes basket (It's right next to his litter box) my mom grabbed him by the neck and hit him while she smothered his face in his poop, all while yelling at him. I was going to call the Animal Protective Services, but I got too scared and I realized how lonely I would be. Please help me I'm not sure what to do anymore. Also sorry for the very long post!
reply 1 day
Error101
Error101 posted in Family Issues:
Dear Kkmr324, I hope you get to feeling better as time goes on.  It does get better but like you said you can't actually get over it.  Losing someone to cancer is awful and I have never lost a friend and I hope I never will and I am so sorry that you did, but I have lost family to cancer and it is horrible.  I hope your okay. :(
reply 3 days
Kkrmr324
Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
reply 6 days
Kkrmr324
Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
reply 6 days
Tennis123
why are you allowing that to control your happiness? why can't you have true happiness instead of chasing some dream for momentary satisfaction? You're 12. This is when your core beliefs, values, and outlooks on life start. Don't mess it up choosing to be sad over something like that.
reply 6 days