Kathleen, 16, US

12115619_501336280040900_538071850556542098_n“I am undiagnosed officially but I am struggling with depression and possibly anxiety. I am trying to survive the workload of high school and junior year. I have a one day a week job as a lifeguard/swim instructor at an indoor pool as well as run a club started by my sister at my school. I fence for my school as well as outside of school and an active in several clubs. I have been a Girl Scout for a long time.

How I deal with it is by distracting myself especially with music… I often surround myself with positive upbeat people and that is actually very helpful until I’m alone. When I’m alone I just let my emotions free and often cry myself to sleep. No one knows except for a few internet friends but I would not suggest making internet friends most of the mine ended in heartbreak. But for a while it was nice… But really having anyone that you can text at 1 am when the thoughts of cutting are creeping up again who can talk to you and help you feel less alone is so helpful.

I have a few select things I love doing and when I’m feeling down I do those… This list has gotten smaller and smaller as my depression gets worse but the things still there help so much. I haven’t told my parents because I’m scared they won’t understand. This is all going on inside your head and it’s your own mind that’s betraying you; other people often contribute to the mental illness but it’s often in your head and no one else can see it.

Which is the worst part because people can’t tell most of the time and assume your fine or just having a bad day. That, in my opinion, is the worst part… That it’s your own mind betraying you and thinking these awful things because, in the end, it’s you who picks up that blade and cuts yourself, not someone else.”





Stuart, https://www.flickr.com/photos/74009/

Harry, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRzs8M26VhrMJlKC5qEI2og

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  1. Well done for your bravery Kathleen,i am a hypocrite when i say this,but please try not to harm yourself,i have done so in times,when i had less control than others,that’s the hypocrite part! However you’re very young,it is real what you are going through,but things can get better.I suffer from chronic recurrent depression,and have had many hospital admissions,and horrendous episodes,its still with me from time to time,but i am glad to be alive,i love photography,a fairly new hobby,music too,in a massive way.Try and talk to people about it,there are certainly ignorant people out there,not always intentional,about what you and others go through,with mental health problems,but there’s a suprising amount of people who will want to listen to you,and will want to help,you are not on your own,though your depression will make you feel like it at times.Just please try and ask for help,and be kind to yourself,i have been notoriously hard on myself,in the past.Also pat yourself on the back,for doing what you have here,it takes guts to do it,i will do mine soon,i just keep losing track of time! Well done,and i hope things get better for you.

  2. Christine Renner

    I agree with everything you say. Kathleen, it is very brave of you to admit this. I like that you keep yourself busy but I , too, want to say, find someone you trust, maybe a school counselor or teacher. You need to tell someone and if it is too hard right now to tell your parents, that is OK. The more you talk it out, the easier it will get. I am 60 years old and have suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. The past three years have been good. I am on medication and I write and keep busy. I have two sons. I was depressed a lot when they were young and self medicating. It took me two years of counseling to be able to talk to them about what was going on with me. They were fine with it and didn’t stop loving me. I stopped the self medicating and that has been the best I could have done for myself. Keep going. There is always hope.

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