I’m 16, Male. I’ve been depressed for 3 years and it’s got progressively worse, what should I do?

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So I’m 16, just left high school and I am in my 5th week of college. I’ve been depressed for 3 years, and I’ve realised it’s got progressively worse. I don’t really know how it started. Well, I do (kind of) but I don’t see why it’s something that should cause depression. I’m from a large family, it’s not a loving family at all. I don’t have conversations with any of them, and if we do talk, it’s short and quick, anything longer blows up into an argument. We don’t do anything together, last time we had a “holiday” was a weekend to the nearest beach (3 and a half years ago) and that turned into a s**t stain.

I don’t know what to do, I’ve only ever had friends inside of school, or now, inside of college. Never anything outside of those times, I understand that a lot of that is my fault, because I’m not sociable. I’ve not been sociable since around year 10 in high school (the years go from Year 7 - Year 11). This was around the time when my friend group or whatever you call it, started regularly doing drugs, I don’t just mean weed, but all sorts of s**t like cocaine, ecstasy, acid. All sorts. Immediately i lost interest with them, and just like that I lost connection with most of my “friends”. The rest slowly drifted away because they stuck with the majority, I don’t blame them honestly. There were many times they offered me stuff and I considered it. But my parents are super strict on drugs, I’m not scared of them flipping out on me, more on the disappointment they’d have in me. So, yea. For the next 1 and a half years I stuck with the same group, because I was too worried about trying to join any others (because at this point groups had been established). They’d just talk about what went on at the weekend, who got twisted out their head, sharing videos of each other gurning and all that disgusting s**t. So I was in the conversations, but left out at the same time. And I think this was where loneliness seriously hit me. 

I’m not stupid, I’m aware of things that happen in life, my final grades of high school were the best in my family, I passed every subject with flying colours. I went home that day and I got congratulated by everyone that was around. My parents promised they’d “treat me” and my exact response was “you say that but you probably won’t”. It’s been 3 months and since that day there hasn’t been any mention of it. Now you probably think I’m being a spoilt brat or something. I don’t see it that way. I have 5 sisters and a brother, (I’m Male btw) and we don’t really have money. So as you can imagine, we barely ever do stuff, or get treated. So the gcse results were kind of a big thing and I was excited when they made that promise, but I was left with disappointment as per usual.

My relationship with my parents is quite bad. I’ve chosen to study engineering in aerospace, I try to talk to my dad about it but all the f*****g time all he does is bring up whether it’s a suitable choice for my life or not. I say that I’m interested in aerospace and his actually response (yesterday) was “no you’re not”. The way he said it p****d me off, but who the f**k is he to say whether I’m interested in something or not ? Why can’t he just support me in what’s probably the biggest decision I’ve taken in life so far? It’s an interest I have, I have remarkably few interests as a result of my depression. I don’t care about much. I don’t care about my physical appearance. I used to regularly play football, now I do f**k all. I don’t even go on the computer or console. I just sit on my phone all day and then wonder where the time went.

I doubt anyone’s even reading this

I’ve considered suicide multiple times, but I think that’s just selfish of me. Why should I put my struggles on the people around me?

I just want to hug my parents and cry in their arms, I don’t remember what that feels like. Last time my mother hugged me was in primary school. I don’t remember the last time my father hugged me.

I usually cry myself to sleep

I know I need to get a job, but I can’t get myself to do it. I don’t know why. And this is what’s p*****g me off, I don’t know the reasons why I do what I do. I completely zone out into fantasy worlds where there is so much less misery, and find myself coming back to reality where it’s just s**t.

I don’t know what I want in life, I’m incredibly lonely, I can’t socialise anymore. I’m so miserable I don’t even have interest in girls anymore (I’m not gay btw)

When people do try to talk to me, I unintentionally push them away.

I feel like I fell off the boat 3 years ago, I’ve been staying afloat but nothings working, I’m staying where I am on the surface but going no where, the boat is continuing without me, and I’m running out of options, so now I’m giving up and feel like drowning.

I shouldn’t even be feeling like this, I feel like a little b***h because of it. So many people actually have good reasons why they’re depressed. What’s my reason? Loneliness, a family terrible at expressing emotion, and too much time to way overthink ?

I’m pathetic.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. If you have any suggestions, I’m open to them all. I may as well use what I’ve got left to get back on the boat before I actually drown 

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  • Posted

    Hi I am sorry you are going through all this.  It sounds to me there is a lot wrong in your family and I am not surprised you are having problems.  Following a hunch I would say google Childhood Emotional Neglect to see if it holds any recognition for you.  It often does for those with depression who can't see many or any obvious reasons for it. x


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  • Posted

    Hi User30 - I can relate to many things you have posted here. I'm not surprised you are feeling low and isolated given the complete lack of support given you by your family, not to mention the empty promises made when you have achieved. You are certainly not pathetic. You are in touch with how you feel and that takes insight. You have rejected hard drugs which are a huge temptation for a depressed person because self-medicating is that way many, many people deal with their inner demons, leading to all sorts of mental, physical and social issues that destroy not only their lives, but the lives around them. Self imposed isolation can be a defence mechanism to avoid rejection, or behaviours similar to the indifference of your parents.

    I am wondering if perhaps depression might be an issue in your family. Your fathers dismissive "No you're not" echoes the behaviour of some-one who puts another down to make himself feel better - perhaps because he knows you have the brains to achieve something he never will. It was a feature in my family too, and also the empty promises of reward for effort. Your achievement has not been acknowledged in a way that encourages you to continue. Engineering in aerospace? I can barely say the words let alone imagine what that sort of dedication would entail. You must do it. See it through. Don't let anyone - parent or otherwise - take your dream away. 

    How to deal with what is happening? First, a doctors appointment, where you can explain what you are feeling. If that is not an option, how about a school counsellor? The important thing here is that you have somewhere to unburden yourself, with a professional, who can decide what is the best approach to deal with your depression. Crying yourself to sleep, a disinterest in girls and isolating yourself are not ideal or expected situations for a young man of your age.

    If you get to the docs, meds - anti-depressants - might be prescribed. they will take 3-8 weeks to work, you will feel your mood lift. If you are averse to taking meds, there are herbal medicines that might help. Unfortunately, the environment you are in sounds a little toxic, and it seems it is the root of your problems. Some things to remember are; that you cannot change others they have to want to change themselves; that people cannot give what they don't have, whether that is encouragement or even a hug; that you are the master of your future and should follow your dream - which, by the way, is an amazing and commendable one (I can't think how many parents out there would give anything to have a son with a dream like yours); that what is now is not forever and one day (soon) you can move on and establish your own environment; that loneliness is a condition we all experience in life, but you have target, something to strive for; and that suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem, that it would be a waste of an intelligent and aware young man like you.

    One step at a time - first, get professional support doctor, therapist or counsellor or psychologist; then, when feeling better, find that job; plan your way out of now and step into your future; don't give up on your dream. Hope this helps - hang in there, and we are always here to talk.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Wayne, it’s refreshing to see someone who can relate to my experience, and also saddening at the same time.

      Depression definitely is an issue in my family, and only in the past year have I realised how bad it is. It seriously is a silent killer. I couldn’t see it, but now that I’m experiencing it, I can see it clearly.

      I’ve realised that 4 of my sisters either suffer with it or have suffered with it.

      My mother certainly does, and it’s got to a point where she doesn’t really try to hide it, I think it’s been seriously encouraged since the death of her Dad, it was completely unexpected and hit her hard. So perhaps being around her has indirectly affected me too? I can’t really confirm if my dad is depressed, I think he goes through phases. When my mum is down he gets really down too.

      Because of this the atmosphere is horribe at home, everyone feels like they’re “walking on egg shells” with each other.

      I’m not slagging off my family or anything, despite everything they’re still going to be family at the end of the day. My parents do take their hardships out on me now and then, but you could say that’s my fault for sticking around and not going out (with all the friends I haven’t got).

      I hate the idea of seeking professional help, I hate that I may need the help of a specialist to manage MY OWN emotions, thought process and general attitude on life. I don’t want to be classed as a sick patient, helpless and in need of care & special attention. Especially if I have to take anti depressants just to feel better for the day. The part I hate most about it is that the people I see for help have the power of controlling who knows about me and who doesn’t. I won’t speak to my family about it. If there is one thing I noticed early in life that is clear to me, is that my family are TERRIBLE at expressing themselves, whether it’s their thoughts, opinions or emotions. Perhaps my struggle of expressing my emotion is one reason why I struggle with depression? (Every time I say that word about myself I cringe a little, it’s pathetic)

      Anyway, enough blabbing on about irrelevant stuff, thanks again Wayne, seriously smile it means more than you may think

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    • Posted

      Hi again, User30. Thanks for your response, I'm glad you have considered my post. There can be a genetic component to depression where one has a predisposition to depression that will emerge when the 'ideal' conditions are present. Your parental description is similar to mine, where mother was (is) a severely depressed person and her fears and portents of doom created the conditions for depression in her children.

      I can relate to your dislike of the word, what it means, and how others might perceive the situation. Many of us have/have had the same reaction, and can travel decades hiding or compensating for the condition until one day something happens, a death, and event, an accident, a major life-change, or an inability to hold it together anymore, and there is no option but to deal with it. Many wish they had dealt with it years - decades - before, especially when they realise just how much it crippled their lives and how much they had missed out on. 

      The good thing about this day and age is that an intelligent approach to this sort of illness has developed, unlike the days when sufferers were expected to 'man-up,' 'shut-up' and 'get over it,' or were just locked away somewhere and forgotten about. This is not to say that there are not professionals who still dismiss such illnesses and do more damage than good. Finding suitable help where one is comfortable is a journey in itself. It can be hard to trust, and revealing one's innermost thoughts and fears, giving up control takes enormous courage. 

      If you are concerned about taking that step, then that's perfectly okay. Just knowing that option is there can be supportive. Expressing yourself is one of the outlets for relief. Some people keep a journal, expressing what they feel on a daily basis. This can help pin point any triggers that put us into a slump, and we can learn coping skills to get around that. Medications - like finding a sympathetic and competent professional - are also a trial and error situation. There are many meds and one that works for me may not work for you. You are sensible to be concerned about that aspect. There are herbal solutions you can try - St Johns Wort is one that seems popular, camomile if sleep is an issue, and lavender too. Meditation is another, though for some of us it's difficult to shut the mind up. Listening to recordings of rain and nature sounds can help

      Meanwhile, you are not helpless, or flawed, or to blame for what you are experiencing. Many people suffer in excruciating silence. You did not choose it. But information is power, and understanding what you are experiencing from a clinical standpoint might reveal an answer, a remedy, even just a thought that sits right with you. You are not alone. We are always here to talk, there are many on this site who understand exactly how you feel, and they are all very supportive. It makes a difference to know there is somewhere we can go to be with others like us who will help you and not judge.

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