Teens For Teens©1996-2002 | Date: 15th of December 2002 | teenage.depression.tripod.com |Mail: teensforteens@teensforteens.net

Maureen's Column
Depressed? Express it!

Being the kind of person who bottles up my feelings, I'm hardly one to give advice on expressing your feelings. Anyway, through past experiences I can tell you that you'd better stop waiting to exhale and just breathe out.

I've seen two ways in which people deal with depression. Let's call them type A and type B. The type A person keeps their feelings locked inside until the pressure builds up and they, well, explode. More often than not, a lot of people end up getting hurt. In fact, some of them may pretend everything's okay in certain environments and express it later in other settings. For example, maybe you're being bullied at school or maybe you're not popular or you just can't seem to make friends. At home, you may snap at family members or just be irritable, but at school, you might not act as if anything is bothering you and be quick to dispense the plastic smiles.

Although the school front is what is causing you to be unhappy, at home is where you choose to express it.

The type B person has no problems with letting people know exactly how they feel. Usually when they're not happy they reveal this by snapping at people, yelling or even by a simple statement like: "I'm so depressed." They are the ones who are more likely to share their problems with a close friend or relative. This is the right way to go because remember that a problem shared is half-solved.

By telling you to express your feelings I don't mean that you should trash a car, spray-paint graffiti or vandalize property in any way. I also don't mean that you should hurt yourself or anyone else. Find an activity that makes you feel better like painting, singing or writing poetry. Play with or even get a new pet. Get involved in a club or participate in group activities. Surround yourself with good friends and relatives. Isolation and idleness usually worsens depression as it provides you with an opportunity to indulge in dark thoughts. Even shout or scream if it helps you get through your dark period. Talk to a counselor or someone you can trust about your problems. If it's not hurting you or anyone else and helps you get over your depression, then do it.


Written by: Maureen Mogambi

Up and Personal with Nicole!!!
Nicole is a teenager suffering from depression. We have asked her a few questions which she has answered the best way possible. I think we all feel a bit like her in some way at a certain point of our lifes. Anyhow, here is the interview. Enjoy!

Written by: Karina Montez

Q1.) How would you explain yourself to someone who doesn't have depression?


If I tell people that I am depressed and they ask me what it’s like I tell them that it makes me feel tired and I can’t be bothered to do anything. I just want everyone to leave me alone and I can’t eat properly. It’s like a big black cloud pushing on me. I don’t really know how else to explain it. It makes me feel useless and that I’m no good. I can only think of negative things when I’m depressed.

Q2.) How long have you been depressed?


I have been depressed for about 4 years now. Since I was about 12. I noticed that I was behaving differently to everyone else.

Q3.) Are you on any medication? If so, which?

I’m not on any medication; I feel that it doesn’t do anything to me. All I seem to get is side effects. They make me feel lousy.

Q4.) How does your family feel about your diagnosis?


My family doesn’t say anything to me. They know what I have been through and they are always acting like nothing has ever happened. My mum did say the other day that she knows when I have bad days but she says nothing to me. She never even asks me how I am. My sister couldn’t careless and I don’t have a dad.

Q5.) When did you first notice yourself becoming depressed
and when did you know that you’re "just being down" was 
something more?


I first noticed that I was feeling depressed when I went into hospital. I just sort of denied that I was depressed. But I suppose I knew that I was depressed when I just felt horrible all the time. It just wouldn’t go away. It was pushing me further and further down. I just couldn’t get up. I realised it was something more when I knew I couldn’t control it so I started to control my eating. I became anorexic. That’s when my real problems started.

Q6.) Many people who have been diagnosed with depression 
have many different ways of dealing with their feelings. 
What are some of the ways you dealt with your emotions?


At first when I was depressed I controlled my food and just lost control of that. When I was in hospital I was encouraged to eat. After a while I wasn’t in control anymore so I started making myself sick. It was all about food the whole time. If I were upset I would eat biscuits, toast, crisps, whatever I could fid basically and then go and throw up. I became in control again. I would cut my arms too. I did this when I got found out about puking up after my meals.

I just couldn’t live with who I was.

I got put into hospital for taking overdoses, that and being anorexic was the main reasons I was in hospital. I’m not sure if taking an overdose is trying to deal with my emotions though?

Q7.) Do you think the world will treat you differently
because of your depression?


NO people don’t care, not that I’m asking them to or anything. It just sometimes makes me angry when someone has a broken leg and people are like you poor thing it must be awful but if you tell them that you have other problems they look at you in a different light.

I mean it’s not their fault but I just wished that someone could understand what was really going on.

Q8.) Are you (or have you ever been) in any sort of 
counselling/therapy? If so, how do you feel it works for you?


I have been and still am having counselling/therapy. When I was in hospital the main focus was for the adolescents to have therapy sessions. Like art, music, drama. My therapist was drama and I hated it. I think he scared me too. But I just didn’t like it and mucked around most of the time.

Now that I’m out of hospital I see a lady at a normal hospital. She’s really good. I feel a lot more comfortable with her. It can sometimes be scary talking about your past and I sometimes cry but it has to come out otherwise I will go down again.

Q9.) What advice do you have for people struggling with depression?


I think the only thing that I can say is if they haven’t already got help and know that they are depressed get help today, even if you feel stupid or that no-one understands. Go for it. I wish I had gotten help sooner and maybe I would be in the mess that I’m in now. So I would say get help before you get worse.

And if you are getting help don’t be afraid to ask for more help. Tell them want you want and how your feeling. They will have a much better understanding of you then. Also try and help yourself. Write things down and show it to them. Just don’t struggle alone weather you already have help or not.

Q10.) Do you have any friends with depression? If so, do 
you feel you can be more open with them?


I have a very special friend who I met at the hospital and she is in the same situation as me. So I could probably tell her everything. I wouldn’t care how stupid I would think it may sound to her I would just get it out. She could give me advice on anything and I try to do the same for her. I’ve never met someone so special and caring in all my life and to me she is number one. She’s always there for me. Because she understands it is easier for me to talk to her rather than odd people at college.

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