Ask Julie: I’m Depressed & No One Knows
Q: First off I would like to thank you for taking the time out to help me. But the problem is I’m depressed but nobody knows it.
Half the reason I am is because I have no really close friends to hang out with or etc. While everybody is usually going to the movies, the beach, or somewhere fun I’m at home. My mother has started to notice it, she always suggests I hangout with my friends but truth is I don’t have the heart to tell her I don’t really have any. It started at the age of 11 when I started to notice I didn’t have a lot of friends like all the other kids did.
I have tried on several attempts to makes friends, but all miserably failed. I try not to be clingy or to appear desperate. I think I have
been cursed not to have any friends and it kills me every single day. I don’t wanna go talk to a counselor in person, it makes me feel even more abnormal. And I don’t wanna tell my parents because they’ll feel bad for me and I hate it when people feel sympathy for me.
I’m just tired of feeling so alone all the time, I mean it used to not bother me as bad but now that I’m getting older it really has taken a toll on me. I just wish I had somebody to talk to, or to share my feelings with. I’ve tried to make friends before but I’m probably what you could call a “outcast” I don’t really fit in and it really does bug me.
Another reason why I’m depressed is I get made fun of a lot. Every time I got to school I get called fat, ugly, pig, horse face, I know I shouldn’t let it bother me but it does. It gets so bad sometimes that I feel like just running to the bathroom and cry my eyes out. Getting made fun of has really taken a toll on my confidence as well. I used to be really confident now I can’t even stand looking at myself in the mirror.
Another thing is I always compare myself to my cousins. I mean I’m the youngest of the family. All of my cousins are gorgeous, have an abundance of friends. They always have someone took talk to. They don’t know it but their the only ones I hang out with. I haven’t been to an actual friends house in over a year. Which is pretty bad if your my age. I just wish I could be happy and perfect like they are.
Thank you for listening and really do hope you respond, because the truth is this is my only hope. And again thank you for taking the time out to read my “story”.
A: Thanks for reaching out for help so you can start to feel better. It is painful, especially during the teen years, to be excluded from peers and to feel on the outside of social events.
I feel bad that you’ve been so mistreated by your peers. No one deserves to be bullied, made fun of and tormented, including you. If this is happening at school, please reach out to a counselor or administrator so they can help put a stop to this cruel behavior and make sure that they keep your identity private so you don’t have to suffer retaliation from peers. Their behavior is unacceptable.
I’m curious about your comment, “I hate it when people have sympathy for me.” Sympathy and empathy are ways that people express love and concern for you, which is what we all ultimately want and need. I know it feels like a huge risk, but the only way to help the loneliness is to let someone in and share your painful feelings with — your parents, or a trusted teacher or school counselor. Please let someone know how down and alone you feel. Please talk to your parents about your depression and ask them for help in finding a counselor in your area who works with adolescents. Also, your parents or counselor can help you find an adolescent therapy group to help you practice relating to peers in positive ways, help you understand why relationships are so difficult for you, and develop the skills to build and maintain strong friendships.
It’s hard to believe, but your life can get better and you can have meaningful relationships, but the first step is to let someone in your life know about your pain and ask them for help.
Take good care of yourself.
Originally published in PsychCentral.com’s Ask the Therapist
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available.