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young and depressed - please support!
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An_251457 posted:
Hi,

I am 21 yrs old and live with my boyfriend. I'm still in school and he runs his own business. I have suffered from varying degrees of depression and severe anxiety for about 2 years. I have been seeing a therapist privately (for cognitive behavioural therapy) as well as doing group therapy, and things overall seem to be getting better. I've had a hard time in the past few days, however: crying many hours of the day, too depressed to even move from the couch, etc. This time of year is stressful because it's exam time at school, and my boyfriend (who's usually very supportive) is working 12+ hours / day at his own job, so he doesn't really have the time to help.

In therapy we've just gotten to the section about "core beliefs" (for those of you who aren't familiar, one of the claims of cognitive behavioural therapy is depressed people often have distorted and unrealistic beliefs about themselves, others, or the world which underly their depressive thoughts and inform much of their thinking). I believe one of my beliefs is that I'm "worthless"; that I'm just not a very interesting, accomplished, capable, or intelligent person.

When I found out recently my boyfriend might appear on a reality tv show (he is pretty accomplished and has done this sort of thing before - I am less outspoken), this triggered my core belief that I'm worthless. My thoughts were "my boyfriend is a much better person than i am. I am nothing. I would never be good enough to be on a show. He's going to be in the spotlight again, and it's going to be terrible for me. What will all my friends say when they find out he's on national TV?"

And that's what i'm wrestling with (and this is where I'd like your input, please! am i right?!?). I know that I, too, am a valuable person. I have not been able to do the things I wanted (like learning the guitar, doing really well in my classes, getting into shape physically) in the past couple of years because of my depression. But I have really made progress in terms of my depression. I would never have been able to arrive at this "reasonable" conclusion five months ago, and would have spent the whole day completely consumed by it. Now I am helping myself, as shaky as I feel, and that is a huge accomplishment that would not be easy for anyone. Also I have been able to more-or-less complete (and do well in) two courses this term which is an accomplishment despite the madness. I am happy if my boyfriend is going to be on TV - If I want to do something like that, be noticed for my innovation, then I will too one day.

If you have any input in terms of my "reasonable response" I'd like to hear it. It can been tremendously helpful to have someone reaffirm what I've been thinking.

Thanks for reading.

-- Khora
Reply
 
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LjaDeC responded:
Hi Khora,

I would like to say congratulations on your improvement in your classes. That has to feel really good. Your bf seems to be having great success in his life, but it does not make you any less of a person. You do not have to be the one in the spotlight to be of value. You do not need to be in a spotlight of any kind to be a valuable person. You should never determine your own value by some other person's achievements. You are destined to be great at what you do as an individual. It is a great thing that you have come to a more reasonable conclusion. You can achieve whatever goal you want to accomplish one day as well. You are correct. I use to feel the same way about myself regarding my own personal accomplishments compared to those of my bf. I never did feel valuable. But, I began to realize that depression was blinding me from reality. Keep your head up and stay strong. Remember, you can accomplish anything you want.

Lee
 
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khora replied to LjaDeC's response:
words of wisdom, lee - thank you so much. It makes me feel a lot stronger to know that you've already done this.

Thanks again,

khora
 
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LjaDeC replied to khora's response:
Khora,

You are very welcome. I was compelled to respond, because I have been where you are, and, while I am not completely healed, I have had lots of improvement. I wish the very same for you. It is a very rewarding experience, once you open yourself to feel the value of your accomplishments. It can change your whole perspective of yourself. Good luck!

Lee


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