I'm 18, and i now have to struggling with severe depression

Patient

Q: Hi docs. I will be 18 next Sept. I've been experiencing sleep disorder for 4 years and depression for 1 year and a half now. I had always had nightmares every single night since 4 years ago, but i didn't go to the doctor until the first had the feelings of depression at the beginning of grade 12. At that time, i suddenly lost all my hobbies, interest in life, i was so desperate so i decide to go to the doc and he told me i had depression, then he gave me a prescription with 2 pills of anti depressant a day ( Oleanzeapitab 5mg 1/2 per night and Venlafaxine 37mg 1 per night ) After first night using those, i felt much much better, i almost stopped worrying, questioning everything to myself in my head but still had no interest in life, just get better in feelings, but i felt sleepy all day since then, i almost slept in class like everyday. 2 months later, the doctor told me that i got epilepsy after i told him i usually got fainted like 1-2 seconds everyday for 1-2 times (i had to took some tests of course) so then he gave me Depakin 200mg once in the morning and once before bed. After 6 months of struggling with sleepiness i decided to go to another doctor, she said she need to cut down some drugs in other to make me feel better because with those drugs being used for long time can cause side effects. So she cut down to 1 depakin 500mg and 1 Venlafaxine 35mg per night. Well in the first few months i had to struggle with many thoughts and feelings coming out of my head but after that, i began to sleep better, now i don't have nightmares anymore, but i'm still tired every morning when i wake up, but that's for sleep, and about my depression, i'm now still have to struggle with it every couples of days , but less than before. I still have in my mind many thoughts about life, like why do people continue to live when eventually everybody dies, what is the point of living, i'm very afraid of time, seems like time obsesses me, i'm afraid of getting older , of aging, i don't want to grow up and i regret my past, i regret not spending it right. My dream is to go to a big University in Florida. My dream stops there, that's all my dream now, i really don't know what to do in the future, after i graduate. To me college is heaven with lots of friends and funny people surrounding you with lots of joins, I'm afraid to graduate because i think when i finish college, all the fun will be gone, all the things that we do when we still be together will be gone, i will be alone, i will have no more friends around me, i will have to live alone by myself, i will have to go to work all day, and no more hanging out, going to festival, beaches with friends. Thinking of that , i usually become extremely depressed usually at night . Please help me, i have no one to express my thoughts, feelings here, they all think i'm crazy. I have to drop out and spend 2-3 gap years to defeat completely my depression before attending college . I read a very helpful article online and then i decide to start to enjoy every little thing while i still can, i talk to myself that i will go out to breathe fresh air more, enjoy what i have right now, appreciate everything around me, well that makes me feel much better :) but sometimes i still have to struggle with depressing feelings, thoughts though. Will my depression will ever be cured ? i have very little friends here, but when i get to University, i'm sure i will make good friends there. So i'm wondering whether taking risk and attending college while my depression still hasn't been completely cured will cure my depression cause i think when i'm surrounding with joins and happiness my depression will go away. My mother worries for me that i won't perform well in college while still have severe depression. So please give me advise about my disease, my life, my future, I've never to a therapist before, and i don't think there is any here. Thank you for everything :)

Doctor

A:   We have noted your concerns. The depression is real and you have to face it. We are happy you are trying your level best to come of it - rejoin college, make friends and attempt to feel better. They too are extremely important. Your idea to join college early before you are fully cured appears fine with us, medically speaking. Depression may not have specific cut off point - you must have strive to get out of it along with drugs and other treatments.

Regarding drugs, it is right to maintain at treatment dosage because your depression is already long standing, and if not treated properly and adequately can become chronic and recurrent. Do follow the doctors advice regularly and promptly.

Looking at your dreams, they are fine. However, there is a small risk that you may become too happy or unduly happy and plan many big things which may be part of the illness – infact that is the other face of the same coin. That is called as BIPOLAR DISORDER. The best advice is to be under care of a psychiatrist who can recognize these changes early. Depakin may also help as mood stabilizer, in addition to benefiting seizures. Doctor may consider increasing the dosage or adding a new drug to help you stabilize your mood.

Again, do listen to your family and the doctor, both can help you in a big way!
Best wishes!

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