I Think I Might Be Depressed

Dear Sugar
I am a freshman in college and I think I might have depression. I don't know who to ask or how to tell my parents if what I am feeling is really depression. These feelings started at the end of ninth grade. I was on the honor roll, I had a lot of friends, and I was overall pretty happy. This year my grades dropped, I have terrible mood swings, I have gained weight and never want to leave my room.

I feel like I am missing out on my last year of high school and am afraid that I am pushing all my friends and family away. I have never hurt myself and don't want it to get to that point. I have tried talking to my parents but every time I bring it up, they tell me what I am going through is normal and all teenagers are moody. How can I get my parents to listen to me? Melancholy Molly

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Dear Melancholy Molly
The symptoms you described are red flag signs of depression. Feeling down and out can be very scary, so opening up to your parents is the right thing to do. Depression is not something to be timid about so please speak with your family or guidance counselor immediately.

Although your parents might think this behavior is typical of a teenager, try explaining to them that what you are experiencing feels a lot more than just growing pains. Some parents are not educated about depression, so presenting them with information might help them understand how you are feeling. Open up to your family and remember, they love you and want you to be happy.

If talking about your feelings doesn't help, make an appointment with your doctor. There are many different kinds of medications that can help you. Meeting with a therapist may be beneficial as well. Anonymous online forums are available to you 24 hours a day which are very informative and can offer you great support. Two excellent sources are Hope Line or Teen Help. Good luck and always remember that you are not alone.

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