Could These Be Symptoms Of Depression?

Published: March 11, 2015
Dear Could These Be Symptoms Of Depression?,

Hi, I'm a thirteen year old girl, and recently i have been feeling really depressed the past couple of months, but i never really thought it might be depression. I did some research, and I have some of the symptoms, like irritability, demotivation, and sleeping and eating pattern changes. I live with my mother, and she isn't very supportive of me sometimes, so i don't know if i should talk to her about seeing a doctor. I haven't had any suicidal thoughts, but i have thought about self-harming. Do you think it's depression? I don't want to self-diagnose.

Dear Could These Be Symptoms Of Depression?,

TeenHealthFX agrees that it is not a good idea for you to try and self-diagnose. It is very possible that the symptoms you are experiencing are connected to a mental health illness, such as depression, but other explanations are also possible.  

That said, TeenHealthFX recommends that you tell your mother about the thoughts and feelings you have been experiencing so she can schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to make sure there aren’t any medical concerns, as well as with a reputable mental health professional (such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist) to determine what is contributing to your symptoms. Given that you stated your mother is not always supportive of you, part of therapy for you should include some family sessions where this issue can be addressed.

The feelings and thoughts that you are experiencing certainly indicate that something is going on with you that needs to be addressed. So please reach out for help so that you can get an accurate diagnosis and then appropriate treatment recommendations based on that diagnosis.

For more information, read the Center for Young Women’s Health article on Depression.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.