Am I just sad, or depressed?


Q: Hi, I'm 16 and in high school. It's come to my attention that my feeling down in t dumps all of the time could possibly be something more. Ive looked into and done research n a possibility being depressed or havng an anxiety disorder i generally avoid any big social get together, constantly feel worthless and unloved and im always worried about what people are thinking of me and if they're looking at me.

Symptoms:  Feeling hopeless, loss of interest in activites, feeling the need to eat more of less than usual, hard time falling asleep/staying asleep, unwanted/unreasonable anger and sadness.

A:   Hello,
Thanks for choosing "Ask The Doctor" for posting your query.
The symptoms that you have mentioned suggest that you could be having a depression. Depression in young can present such atypically. The mood swings that you are describing are occurring due to imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. The neurotransmitters like serotonine, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine. This condition can be corrected with the help of medicines such as fluoxetine, mirtazapine or venlafaxine. These medicines start showing improvement in 2-3 weeks and the illness requires a treatment of 6-8 months. During this period, try to do regular exercise and eat healthy food and try inculcating some hobby. If you averse to medicines, then cognitive behavioural therapy can help you in the treatment of depression. This is a specialized counselling technique mastered by clinical psychologists and is almost as effective as medicine.
You may meet your doctor and get these medicines prescribed, or you can request for a psychologist consult.

Hope I am able to answer your concerns.

Wish you good health!

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