Sarah is a bright, kind-hearted 19-year-old college student. She also has major depressive disorder. Fortunately for Sarah, her family (especially her mother) understand depression very well. At the age of 15, when Sarah told her mother she was having some problems, her mother knew to take her to the doctor and get her the help she needed.
It's now four years later, and Sarah is very open about her life with depression. She's doing well in college, handling life in her own unique style, and looking forward to the future. She was happy to do this interview in the hopes that it would help other teenagers.
Of course, everyone's situation is unique. But if you're a teenager with depression, we both hope that while reading about Sarah, you'll see things that apply to you. We both hope that her story will help you realize that you're not alone, and that life can be good, even with depression.
Q: How old were you when you started feeling different, depressed, whatever it was you felt?
A: It wasn't so much depression that I felt at first. It started out as a lot of anger and frustration. Around 15 is when I can best remember starting to feel "less happy" or numb.
Q: What DID you feel?
A: I remember thinking one day....shouldn't I be enjoying this more? I was hanging out with friends and everyone was laughing and having a great time, but I caught myself laughing because that's what everyone else was doing. But I wasn't finding anything funny. Now I know this happens to people, but then I started to recognize other symptoms. I was numb to everything. I found it hard to bring myself out of bed, I wasn't hungry I couldn't bring myself to enjoy things I normally did. At first I had no clue what was going on, I felt confused. I thought maybe it's just me going through a phase, but the feelings never left. It honestly felt like I was sinking in a pit of sand that was 1000 pounds heavy, but I couldn't get myself out, and I didn't want to. People say, "Well just change how you think about things, let the little things go," or my favorite, "It's not that bad. Think about how much pain other people are in." Well, when your that depressed you can't. You can't see other people's pain because yours is so great. People who don't suffer from depression need to understand that you have to measure your own pain with your own measuring stick. Everyone is different.