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Thread: Depression: is it a sign?

  1. #1

    Depression: is it a sign?

    Hey,

    I came across Psychlinks through Googling and I noticed this forum had a lot of information that might help me. I am very pleased to be a part of this community. The reason I didn't put this post in the Introduction Forum is because I wanted to get some advice. (but feel free to move the topic).

    I'm 16 years old, and I'm currently a junior in high school. When I was around 2nd grade, I was touched by another classmate. And when I was in 4th grade, I was attempted rape by my cousin several times which caused me to cope for the following years of my elementary and middle school years. I did tell my parents part of the truth of what happened, but they just told me to stay away from him.

    In the summer before highschool, I lost my father which made me become closer to my mom but there's always this barrier between her and I.

    It wasn't until last year, that I told my teacher about the rape. In a short verison: She reported it to the school, the police came and questioned me, they met with my parents, and sent my cousin to another place to live. My parents got angry at me for reporting it to the police.

    It was also last year that I had my first breakdown when I found out my cousins were touched and I just fell apart. I tried really hard to protect them and I couldn't even do it because they were already messed with before me. But I am really glad that they were young then, and that he did not mess with them as much as he done to me. My cousins are a year younger than me and one older. We then ended up staying in a foster home for 3 days where I also missed my birthday.

    I tried counseling in school, but I didn't like the way she kept saying the same things to me like: "Hmm" everytime I say something. So I stopped that, and I went to try therapy but it didn't work for me either. I wasn't comfortable with it and my mom was always wanted to follow me, so I don't talk about the family in the sessions.

    Right now, I'm not in therapy or anything. I think I'm going through depression right now, but I'm not sure. Lately, I can't sleep at night. I would go to bed at 10:30pm, but I wouldn't be able to sleep until 12 or 1am. I try to take naps, but I still feel really tired and my mom gets really disappointed when I take them. I had 2 rape dreams that really scared me, and one of them caused me to cry.

    I really don't like going out. I rather stay home by myself. It really just sucks to put on a face for everyone. Lately I've been just unhappy. My teacher have been keeping in touch with me during the summer and I just met with her last Friday again. We talked a bit about everything I guess, but one of the things we talked about were pills.

    I think I want to try sleeping and anti-depressant pills, but I feel like I'm going to use the anti-depressant pills just to avoid my problems. I don't know what to do, I really don't like feeling this way and I don't want to bring anyone down (like my teacher), because we're always talking about depressing stuff.

    - l Faith l

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  3. #2

    Depression: is it a sign?

    Welcome to PsychLinks Online, Faith:

    You have been through a lot for someone only 16 years old... and the fact that you are here now tells me you have a lot of courage and a lot of strengths -- you have reason to be proud of yourself, even if it doesn't always feel that way to you...

    The symptoms you describe certainly could be depression, although it may be that you are also showing some symptoms of PTSD as well.

    I think I want to try sleeping and anti-depressant pills, but I feel like I'm going to use the anti-depressant pills just to avoid my problems. I don't know what to do, I really don't like feeling this way and I don't want to bring anyone down (like my teacher), because we're always talking about depressing stuff.
    Antidepressant medications do not just "hide symptoms" or help you to "avoid your problems" but they can make it easier to cope with some of the things in your life. There have been some concerns about some antidepressants with teenagers, though, so you definitely need to talk to your doctor about this. I would also strongly recommend that you try to find another therapist or counsellor: first, because if you are going to be taking medication you need someone who knows what s/he is doing to monitor those medications, and, second, because if you truly want to learn how to cope with these feelings and what you have experienced the medication alone will not do that. I know you said your first experiences with a school counsellor and a therapist weren't positive but I would encourage you to try someone else -- the match between a therapist and the client is the single-most important factor in whether or not you will benefit, so do not assume that all therapists are alike or equally qualified. Question the therapist, even before you make an appointment, about his or her training and experience in helping people with depression and PTSD and in working with individuals who have been sexually molested or assaulted.

  4. #3

    Depression: is it a sign?

    you have reason to be proud of yourself, even if it doesn't always feel that way to you...
    I heard that a lot before, but thanks.

    The symptoms you describe certainly could be depression, although it may be that you are also showing some symptoms of PTSD as well.
    Thanks, I will look up more information about PTSD.

    Do people who take anti-depressants actually cure/help their mood? And what about people who's taking anti-depressants for a couple of months and stops. Do they feel better enough to let go of the medication?

    So far a lot of people suggested that I go to therapy. I hear them, its just that I think I'm scared of going. I'm scared of being happy, and scared of not being happy. I'm totally confused and I'm not allowing myself to take the next step. But since we're on the topic of therapy, I noticed you posted a lot of threads in the Therapy forum and I was wondering what type of therapy should I be looking for?

  5. #4

    Depression: is it a sign?

    Quote Originally Posted by l Faith l
    Do people who take anti-depressants actually cure/help their mood? And what about people who's taking anti-depressants for a couple of months and stops. Do they feel better enough to let go of the medication?
    Occasionally, but usually one needs to be on these medications for longer than that. Most people do reach a point after several months whee they can taper off and then discontinue the medications, though.

    So far a lot of people suggested that I go to therapy. I hear them, its just that I think I'm scared of going. I'm scared of being happy, and scared of not being happy. I'm totally confused and I'm not allowing myself to take the next step. But since we're on the topic of therapy, I noticed you posted a lot of threads in the Therapy forum and I was wondering what type of therapy should I be looking for?
    Probably you want someone who is experienced in

    (1) Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT: see this thread on cognitive distortions or one of the following books to get an idea what this is all about:
    Burns, David. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Avon, 1999
    Burns, David. The Feeling Good Handbook. Penguin, 1999

    (2) Treatment of sexual assault victims and post-traumatic stress (PTSD)

    If your therapist can't confirm that s/he is experienced in these areas, then keep looking. The second step is if you don't feel comfortable with or "connected" with the therapist, find another one.

  6. #5

    Depression: is it a sign?

    Thank you for your help David Baxter. I'm not sure if I want to re-enter therapy yet, but I will look into it a bit more so that when I need it, I'll have the information with me.

  7. #6

    Depression: is it a sign?

    That's important, Faith -- no one can know when you are ready except you.

    Good luck...

  8. #7

    Depression: is it a sign?

    Quote Originally Posted by l Faith l
    you have reason to be proud of yourself, even if it doesn't always feel that way to you...
    I heard that a lot before, but thanks.

    The symptoms you describe certainly could be depression, although it may be that you are also showing some symptoms of PTSD as well.
    Thanks, I will look up more information about PTSD.
    Hi Faith ... for starters I'm really sorry for what you went through and how it effects you now :( You describe some pretty normal classic post trauma reactions. I recognize them because I've been through that too andknow how this stuff can effect people. Many survivors go through th exact same after effects, so you certainly aren't alone or nuts. There area lot of people available to talk to who understand because they've been there too.

    Depression? I personally assume depression as going with the territory. Its too bad you were disappointed in the people you tried talking to so far, but please don't give up hope.

    If you do therapy, like David recommended, the best choices would be people trained inthe special issues of sexual trauma survivors, and PTSD. and only a trained professional can really assess where you're at so if you do medicationss, they'll be able to figure out which ones will be best for you and your symptoms. Having a good medical work up and medical history with a family doctor helps know which meds to prescribe based on what your body and health can handle.

    Finding out more about ptsd is areally good thing too. Good basic practical helpful information just to get an idea of how this stuff can show up. If you're having nightmares then something has triggered them and it sounds like a really good time to find someone to talk to and help you through this that won't go "Hmmmm.... " That ain't helpful ;) Or makes you feel like an idiot know nothing.

    I'm no professional, just a survivor that didn't get help soon enough, not until many many years down the road of suffering in silence and fear and my life and relationships were a disaster. I hate the idea of you suffering long like I,and many others did, when there is SO much help available. Peer support is really important. Only share and talk when YOU feel comfy doing that because otherwise its frustrating?

    I'd like to "inspire" you to look out for number one YOU. Don't allow a few failed attempts to get help to allow you to stop now. Your biggest strength right now is in your desire to do something about this to make it better for yourself. Its your right and your due, simply put. Your life. Persist ingoing after what you figure will work for you.

    16. I'm not so old I forget what THAT can be like too :) (I'm 50)

    I hope I've said something helpful for you. You can private message me or email me any time too if you'd like. Maybe I can help you find some more info or resourses? Whatever works.

    Just remember, I'm no professional. No expert. I just passed on some ideas that have worked for others in the same boat as you.

    Take care.
    Kanadiana

    My hats off to you.
    Hugs from Kanadiana ...

  9. #8

    Depression: is it a sign?

    Hi Faith,

    I just wanted to mention something that's been playing on my mind a lot lately and may apply in your situation as well.

    You asked about anti-depressants, which may, or may not, be right for you. That's a decision you and your doctor will have to make together.

    As for therapy, however, there are 2 things I wanted to mention: the first thing is that you can ask about group therapy. You didn't mention where you live, but in most large cities your doctor or therapist can find a group that is specifically for teens. Make sure that you try and get into one of these groups, because you won't have a lot in common with a group of depressed 40 year-olds, and then you may not feel your issues are valid.

    The second thing I wanted to mention is that there's a need for therapy in situations like yours. You were exposed to some pretty bad life lessons at a young age. These experiences have helped make you who you are today, and who you will be tomorrow. The question is, how "normal" will you be, if your thought process is, um, skewed, or "off-kilter", due to these experiences? A therapist may help you change while you still can, and help you avoid self-inflicted emotional pain when you are older.

    From your posts here, you sound like a very intelligent person who is self-aware enough to know that it's time for help. Believe me, these are qualities that will work for you. Nurture them, and stay strong.

    Keep us posted about your decisions, please!
    The road to recovery begins with the assumption that you have a right to be you. It ends when you realize that you want to be.

  10. #9

    Depression: is it a sign?

    Sorry Faith, I'm new here. I should have just pointed you to Dr. Baxter's submission "Cognitive distortions". It explains what I was trying to say sooo much better!
    The road to recovery begins with the assumption that you have a right to be you. It ends when you realize that you want to be.

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