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Depressed or just down in the dumps?


All my friends say I'm too dramatic and to just get over it because I make a big deal out of every little thing. It's not fair at all! I feel like I have no real friends or no one likes me. A boy recently said to me, "No one would care if you jumped off a cliff, so why can't you already?" and my friends basically ignore me at school. 

I'm scared that one day I will have a major meltdown in public and humiliate myself, or that it's something serious. I haven't told anyone but my best friend who lives very, very far away from me and is like a sister. I think if I tell anyone they'll think I'm weird or crazy or mental. I also think people will just shrug away the idea, saying stuff like "You're way too young to have depression" (I'm 11) or "You're just moody, you'll get over it."

Hey babe!

You sound like you’ve been having a rough time and I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been getting very much support from your family and friends. It sounds like there are a few things going on here.

Figure it out

Eleven is not too young to be depressed, and with more and more young teenagers committing suicide or resorting to other harmful behaviors such as cutting, it’s important for you to take a serious look at this. First, let's figure out what triggers these drastic feelings. Are mean kids at school making you sad? Do you feel like you have no one to talk to? Is it schoolwork? Once you figure out what is bothering you, you can start to work on fixing it. Maybe join a club to find new friends who don’t ignore you, or get some extra help for those school assignments that are stressin’ you out.

Is this normal?

Everyone goes through periods of depression where they are sad, anxious, afraid and just down in the dumps all the time. Most people can move past it after a few weeks. So, if you’ve been experiencing these probs on a short-term basis, take a look at how long you’ve had them. If it’s more than two months or so and you feel like it’s not gonna go away, then this is depression and not a normal case of the blues that’ll just go away on its own.

Tell your parents

After you’ve taken a look and decided how serious things are with you, it’s time to tell your parents. They’re there to make sure you get through tough stuff, and they have a right to know you are feeling this way. Don't keep it bottled up. Write them a li'l note and tell them what's up.

Step back before you react

Your pals ignoring you at school probably doesn’t help how you feel, but they might be ignoring you because they don’t want you to blow up at them. Before you react dramatically, or react at all, step back from the sitch and look at it with a calm perspective. Hopefully this will stop major dramatic outbursts and your buds will appreciate your calm approach to a situation.

It’s important to feel happy in life, and when you aren’t, you need to be able to talk to people who can help you. Tell your mom and pops what’s going on or talk to a school counselor. And try to stay positive. These feelings won’t last forever and you’ll come out of this stronger than ever. I promise.


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POSTED ON 2/9/2010 7:00:00 AM


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