Am I Sad, or Depressed?

Patient

Q: Hello, I am A 14 year old male, and in these past few years I have noticed a change in my personality, attitude, and decisions. I usually do not want to leave my house, I am not as happy as I used to, and I find myself with a "I don't care" attitude at many times. I have been experiencing anxiety at times that I should not. For example, just days ago my mom told me she was going to drive somewhere and come straight back and my heart began racing and thoughts of losing her ram through my head. ( I did lose my father in a car accident, so I do see where the source of anxiety is coming from) I experience overwhelming anxiety at many times, just like that one. I also find myself very tired and stressed. I sometimes have moods wings from very happy, to just wanting to be home in my bed alone. I tend to not go out as much and when I do, at places where I should be happy, I find myself not. There are also times where I find myself thinking about how the world would react if I was gone, and I also have found myself thinking about "Visiting my father." There are many more symptoms I am experiencing, and I have never seeked helped before, but I have noticed many of my friends attempting to and getting the help they need. The question I have is ; Am I Depressed? Or are the people around me experiencing the same thing. I seeked help because just months ago I found myself self-harming, attempting to do anything by any means to escape reality. But I have recently let go of that behavior. Please let me know as soon as possible. This could be the question that brings me back to my normal self. Thanks you.

Symptoms:  Symptoms: Feelings of Worthlessness, Past Self-Harm, Medicine abuse(past), Severe Headaches, Not wanting to leave the house, Attitude Changes, Mood-swings, Anxiety
Doctor

A:   Thank you for writing to us.

The symptoms of anxiety and depression are not normal. You should visit a psychiatrist and seek relief. Please do not worry. Hope is not elusive. With modern medications and psychotherapy, depression and related psychiatric illnesses are very much treatable and most people lead a very normal life with treatment. Negative thoughts are a part of the disease, do not pay attention to those thoughts, caused by the disease itself. They are not true.

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