Happy and Humorous with Friends, Dark and Depressed Alone

Patient: Dear Doctor,I have been suffering from severe sadness for years now. I first started feeling sad when I was 11 and I was informed that I’d be moving to a far away state (I’d never moved before). I have a big problem with changes. The smallest change in routine things can make me very sad. I have ADD and have problems concentrating which makes my hectic life hard to manage. This year, I have been through a LOT of changes. My grandmother died, I went through my first breakup, I got my license, got my first job (and then two others on top of that), I started having severe chronic back pain caused by what I later learned was scoliosis, I started college, and I got a bank account. Those are just the big changes. I am scared to talk to my parents about my depression because they see me as a happy, jokey kid. They don’t know yet that my depression has had an impact on my grades. I don’t know how to handle things as they come. I find adapting and adjusting to simple things difficult. What is wrong with me and why are my emotions a wreck?