"Am I suffering from depression?"


Q: Hello Doctor,

My name is Miles and I'm 15 years old living in England. What I want to talk about today may seem like a complete waste of time to you compared to the problems other patients are suffering at this moment but I really can't go any longer without some sort of helpful advice, so I came here.

I don't know what is wrong with me but I feel different compared to every other person my age. I feel I don't fit in with anyone and I constantly feel most people hate me. At school I am put with all the smart kids and considered a 'brainbox' by others, although I never feel like one, and I always feel constant pressure from everybody to perform well in every test or every piece of homework. Apart from that there isn't really much people can judge me for: I am a healthy weight, a similar height to other boys, decent ability to play sports and so on. I try to be a regular guy but I never appear that way.

I have a close friend that I can spend some time with but I feel his other friends have bad thoughts about me and I feel he likes to spend a lot of time with them instead of me. We do have a good laugh when we're together and act like complete idiots (in a good way) and he's a good friend.

I also have a girlfriend and her name is Lucy, we've been together 5 months and she means more than anything to me, I would take a bullet for her any day of the week and when I'm with her I don't think I've ever been much happier! When we're not together though, she is always on my mind and I don't know if that should be happening or not. Particularly near the full moon I begin to insanely miss her and I usually have to go somewhere private to cry or do something completely out of the blue that I really shouldn't be doing because I can't seem to handle being on my own away from her. I've bunked off school lessons because I'm thinking of her in class and I can never concentrate and I need space to cry constantly. Another example of a time was when I went on holiday to Italy recently, I missed her so much I was depressed for 2 days straight and ended up running away from the school group for a period of time. There have been times when I have self-harmed, but it wasn't major. I've been miserable ever since I last saw her last Saturday and that was the final straw.

I struggle to tell either my best friend or my girlfriend about my problems because of the amount of stick I get from other people. I would send photos of messages I have received from people but I deleted them.

I can link my problem to bi-polar depression because there are some periods where I'm really happy and I just don't care how I feel, but other periods like now I am rock-bottom and have even considered suicide. I've also been observing the behaviour of the moon whilst having mood swings, and it seems whenever there's a full moon my mental state crumbles but around a new moon I'm happier than ever. On top of this I always have trouble sleeping at night and recently I have never been able to go to sleep before 1:30 am every night and this quite clearly isn't right. I don't know whether this is because I am an insomniac or this links with depression but it's something that keeps happening. I sometimes suffer a change in diet and can either eat excessive amounts of food or nothing at all for days. Again I don't understand why this happens and what it links to.

I've come to ask if you know what is going on in my head because there is quite clearly something wrong with me. I regularly find myself depressed and upset because of my struggles with friendships and it's been happening to me for as long as I can remember. I've felt that I don't fit in since the beginning of school to be honest, but over time I feel it has become a lot worse and now I feel I can only talk to very few people. The problem has worsened since the start of Year 8 (about 3 years ago). I always find myself missing my girlfriend no matter where I am or what I am doing but I don't want to say or do anything stupid because she is the girl of my dreams and I don't want to lose her, ever! I have to take a lot of time out of activities to compose myself because I panic over missing her and losing her too much.

I have asked my parents for help and advice since the very beginning, however they don't see anything wrong with me and refuse to take me to the doctors to talk about what I feel is wrong with me. I have spoken to teachers in the school since Year 9 but no matter how much we talk we never seem to get anywhere. I have a social worker but he never comes to see me, my parents disagree with working with the social worker and frankly nothing he says helps me. All I want to know is what is going on in my brain and what I can do to make myself better because it feels like a mental illness. I don't care if I need to just follow a small guideline or have a £1,000,000 brain replacement or go on drugs, I'll do whatever the hell it takes to make myself better.

There has probably been something I have missed but I think I have covered everything. I pray you can help me with my problem, even though I am not religious.

Yours Sincerely,
Miles Mitchinson
Age 15

Symptoms:  Crying, running away, lack of sleep, self-harm, occasional nightmares, inability to talk,

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