Just Wanted to Get it All Out

Published: September 28, 2015
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Hi. I'm 19 at the moment, but for several years now I have struggled with different things and it all comes from stress. You see i have a friend, my best friend, she is struggling with so many things at once. Depression, anxiety, low immunity, fear of isolation, fear of getting attached and all these things at the same time, she also attaches very personally to simple things like.. let's say a character from a show or a cartoon or something. It has ALWAYS caused me stress because i can't stop thinking about it. I come from a family where it's normal for us to be constantly worrying about things, even tiny unimportant things. I have ALWAYS something to worry about, always something to stress about and usually it's about her since she used to have such a horrible depression period quite a while ago. I already know I stress more than i should, it's breaking me down. I've always had sleep problems, i used to always think and think and think about everything, especially negative things before sleep before, it stopped in a certain level, but it's slightly returning.. Recently, my friend is just really exhausted, fatigued and also sad about some series characters she got extremely attached to personally which doesn't seem to have a happy story til end. She always gets overly emotional that she gets scared of herself and these feelings, they always make her cry. She sais i's a sort of trigger she doesn't understand herself. Recently, this is what is bothering me so so much. I never know when she can just BOOM be sad again, really sad. I'm usually there for her all the time every day, but i can't. I still live home, i have a life too, even though it's basically about her. But as time is now it's so much going on for me that i just popped. It's been growing and growing and today i got so fatigued and heavy inside my body and head that i just broke down. She got upset again, about the characters, it happens all the time and she got tired but said she was fine, but since then my head has been hurting extremely much, i took a walk, a never usually do at night alone like this but i tried to talk to myself as if someone was there next to me, it kind of made me feel worse.. or.. not much different, but i felt tears. I cried when i came home. I didn't have a specific reason to cry, i just felt so tired, so tired of stressing and worrying ALL the time. Non stop. I can't sleep, i've had muscle pains in my neck and back mostly recently and I'm always waiting for her to be upset again. Even when i do something good, which is the most happiest feeling i know, the sadness i feel when i'm in this mood just ruins everything and not even the usual happiness i feel makes me happy.. i hate it. Is the stress causing me depression? Or am i just having these problems because i never sleep good? I eat ALOT, but could it be a lack of something? I'm taking vitamin pills that have a lot of different things in, but not things like sugar? Is it my age? Or maybe just something as silly as period.. to be honest it's been worse than usual with the pains and such. May that be the cause of my heaviness, indescribable moods and such? I don't train, but i walk a lot of long trips, 5 days a week maybe. I'm sorry for telling and describing and asking alot, I just want to get it all out. I'm so confused. Thank you anyways. < :)

Dear Just Wanted to Get it All Out,

Nowhere is your letter does it indicate that your friend provides the same support and encouragement, that you do for her. She sounds like an emotional roller coaster and she takes you along for the ride. These decidedly one sided relationships can be very draining because the other person is so demanding and does not recognize anyone’s needs but their own.

In a perfect setting this would be hard to bear, but you’re struggling with significant anxiety and stress of your own. We hope that you are starting to appreciate by getting immersed in your friend’s life, that you are neglecting your own wellbeing.   

Stress can lead to depression, or it can complicate a depression that is present. Everything that you named as a possible cause of your depression are also symptoms of depression as well; sleep disturbance, appetite disturbance, lack of physical activity, anxiety, muscle soreness and feelings of sadness.

TeenHealthFX strongly suggest that you refocus your energy and begin to concentrate on the issues that directly affect you. Not only is important that you take action, but it is critical that you realize that you matter too. It is admirable that you go out of the way to help your friend but not if you lose yourself in the process. The best way to work on your issues is through therapy. You have self-diagnosed yourself with depression and have reported several symptoms consistent with the disorder. This needs to be followed up by a mental health professional. The person you see may recommend that you see a Psychiatrist for a medication assessment to see if medication is warranted.  Why struggle, if help is available?

Since your friend seems to lack the appropriate boundaries expected in a friendship, there is a good chance that she is not going to deal well with her not taking up center stage in your life. All you have to remember is that you are struggling as well and that you are putting what energy you have into taking care of yourself. You are entitled to that and a good friend would understand. 

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.



Signed: TeenHealthFX