Question:  Kayla Marie:  I’m 20 years old, and no this isn’t just a phase of mine. I’ve been feeling the same way for about 8 years now. I’ve had experiences with self harm years ago, I no longer partake as I know that is not the answer. I’ve had experiences with drugs prior, I too know that that is not the answer. I’ve left my lack of self-worth cause me to do terrible things because I don’t love or believe in myself. I feel guilty every day about my past actions and can’t come to terms with who I am. I still live with my parents and my boyfriend and struggle everyday as no one understands what I’m going through. Everyone has their own different opinion of me, and although it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, it drags me down terribly. I sleep for up to 13 hours a night; sleeping is my favorite things to do on bad days, I have extreme highs and lows in my moods, I cry very frequently with no known cause, I have panic attacks at the drop of a hat, I constantly compare my body and mind to everyone around me and will spend hours crying over women who are far thinner, smarter and more attractive than I will ever be. I have been an aspiring artist for years and ever planned to go to college for art, but I gave up and quit drawing. I’ve lost interest in all of my hobbies. I no longer talk to friends or hang out with friends, I’m more miserable when I’m around other people. Going out in public used to excited me but now makes me feel hateful and bitter.

According to my mother, my feelings are my feelings because I choose to feel this way. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance or medical reason that causes depression, it’s just because I’m choosing to act like this and I need to snap out of it because my life isn’t that bad. I KNOW that my life isn’t that bad, I am thankful every day. I have food to eat, a job, a family and a roof over my head. I’m not going around crying that my life is so terrible and I want to kill myself and blah blah blah.I am dying to be happy. I try to force happiness out of myself everyday, every morning as I’m forcing myself to get out of bed. I have trouble talking about my feelings to anyone now, even people I used to be close with. I break down every time I try to explain.

I want to see a doctor or therapist more than anything, I want to get help for myself and end this constant cycle, but it’s hard when almost everyone I live with is putting their noses up and dismissing this issue as a disgrace that is extremely unnecessary and pointless. My mother also says that anti-depressants don’t work and are a figment of imagination. My mother has always been one of my best friends, I want her to love me. I don’t want to upset her or go against what she thinks is right, no matter how old I am. If I do this for myself, I’m making my entire family mad.

Why is it so hard for my family to understand that depression is a real issue, especially with me?

Answer:  A favorite line from a song I love “you control your emotions its as simple as that”. It’s true, but, it’s so blunt. It’s not the thing you need to be hearing. You realize that eventually, but right now, you hearing that is just more of “everything” that is keeping you from being happy. I had been depressed from about 11 years old, and it got really bad as I got older, especially when I started high school, and when I got older especially the frustration that this was such a known thing in the world but no one had any understanding of it at all. No one understands depression, I know why, a whole load of reasons why they don’t that I won’t go into, but it’s a general ignorance. People are afraid of what they don’t understand, so even though you are the one who is afraid, other people act afraid, and it hurts/frustrates because you think people in your life should at least make an effort to be strong for you.

First of all, the stuff you are writing, about yourself, more of that. I realized once I came out of my depression that I had no clue who I was, I had changed so much about myself to fit in that I lost so much of what made me myself. I’m pretty sure I was depressed because of that, and the world around me of course. I never dreamed of doing drugs, but I certainly did. Doing drugs was me not being myself, even though I thought they were great at the time. Life is a spiritual journey for people who get depressed, the people who don’t, they aren’t very bright, they will change who they are at the drop of a hat without any regard for themselves or people around them, they just care about getting ahead. The people who get depressed care a bit more about other things (like human respect) than getting ahead, and we all can’t help ourselves getting involved with certain people/things whether we choose to or not, it’s inevitable that things will not go to plan, but people who get depressed are morseso because they actually LIKED who they were, in my journey of depression hell at the end of it I realized that all the stuff I felt guilty about, ashamed of, regretful about, what a piece of shit I was, etc., I realized at the end of it all that I am the same person I always was, and I have been getting back to who he was day by day. Anyway, this isn’t about me, but I know it’s good if someone can relate (which I hope I’m doing).

I’ve only just started to love myself. A year ago and for years before that it got really bad, I could see no hope and any idea I had of me as “being someone” was aching, because I thought it was all delusion. I’ve come to the conclusion that depression is your soul crying out for who you are. This world, no one is who they really are. People might look happy, but do happy people push other people down to get ahead? Why have a mid life crisis? Because you get to age 50 whatever and you realize “what the fuck has happened?” How many people change over and over and over again to fit in? Everyone I’ve met certainly. I was going nowhere with my depression but remaining in a place I coined “the abyss” or “the world of shit” (this is when it got really bad) for so long, until I started trying to put things in my favor for once. There is bullshit ALL OVER THE PLACE, but it’s not talked about, for example, depression is not talked about, but so many people have it. There are two types of bullshit, 1) Bullshit that exists (You need ALL THESE THINGS to be happy), and 2.) Bullshit that “doesn’t exist”/invisible/not talked about (you can’t talk about depression, because of “reasons”).

People who are thinner, prettier, “smarter”, they aren’t as happy as the show they put on, believe me. But it took me years to figure that out, and it’s just go to be at your own pace to find out what you need to find out.

A few things here, that are really totally true, and again, things that are “not true”. You don’t just get over this stuff. It takes AS LONG as it is going to take. There is no time limit to find out who you are. Thinking is suposedly “bad” and for me it was for years until I started thinking outside of the box, which is the reason so many people turned against me in the first place (“friends”) and I started looking for answers that I could not talk to anyone about, that I wasn’t ALLOWED to search for (I’m a man, my “role” is to have sex with lots of women and not have feelings, or something retarded like that). It was hell, but the last year I have seen a massive turnaround, I was one of those “too nice” people, so I was just being what I thought of as a person but then people started walking all over me, started treating me like I was weak, started assuming I was gay because I wasn’t enough of a man, and the simple fact is that all I ever wanted to be was a good person and hopefully someone who would be a good husband and father one day. But amongst all this stuff, all the friends through drinking and drugs, it hurt me how they never even asked anything about me yet made up a load of crap about me and then would tell me how well they knew me. I am from a town where everybody is pretty well off and I would be average in that sense, but the majority of the people act like they grew up in the ghetto and I was widely labelled “posh” among other things. So a total ignorance about me from people who claimed to be my friends and I thought were my friends really destroyed me, and good friends are amazing, I only have two but I love them to bits, but “friends” come in packs and they are a major cause to your depression, because friends are friends and “friends” are just abusers. So the people in your life, they are part of the reason. When you are told that all your problems are your own, it’s true in a way, but other people bestowing their problems on to you and being all pally about it is a secret hell. The most important thing I’ve discovered, is “knowing is half the battle”.

“Going out in public used to excited me but now makes me feel hateful and bitter.” – It’s you, but it’s also the people around you. People may look “happy”, but they generally aren’t. You think the problem is you. partly, we all have to look at ourselves too (which by the way, I KNOW you are doing already), but most people don’t look at themselves, and have entitled attitudes, no empathy for other people, men, mostly don’t care about women at the end of the day (mostly) unless they get what they want, and women get more and more aware of this, and shift so much to become what men are supposed to want. When you are looking at yourself (and it always take years) it is always so difficult because you are the only person doing it, you have no one to relate to about things, and when you try to talk about these VERY REAL things, you are met with blockades.

Your mother is right about why you are the way you are, but it just sounds so obtuse to WHAT YOU NEED to talk to her about. You need to explore yourself, why you are feeling like this, how you feel you have gotten to this, etc., but that’s one of those things that AREN’T ALLOWED. You are just supposed to “get over it” and get on with things. Most people can, but we all have brains, hearts and a soul. They are more more by far more important than any “image” we aspire to have or are supposed to have, WHO WE ARE is all we have and everything that defines us as to what we are, does not define us at all. We were not born to have image, just self image, KNOWING who we are, not to define ourselves by the size of our tits, size of our dicks, size of our wallet/bank balance. That stuff is not important, WE are important, but we all can’t help ourselves defining ourselves by all these things we “need” to be “happy”. We get happy by KNOWING WHO WE ARE and for me a HUGE thing was trying to help people. A year ago I was like a slug, every movement felt like a major effort, social gatherings were a no-no to me anymore. Then I started helping people on the internet, eventually I realized I actually wasn’t a piece of shit, then I realized I seemed to be really helping people, and then I remembered all those years ago that I wanted to help people for a living, until my environment ground that decent ideal out of my head. I didn’t really ever have an ego, I was “too nice” remember. I was only “too nice” because other peoples ego told them I was, I was just nice because I didn’t see the point in making anyone try feel low, why not lift people up or support them? It’s just as possible, it’s only hard because people make being “nice” into a bad thing. So with me, that was a big deal. I thought I was some kind of freak, all because other people, who claimed to know me, said I was. But they never learned a thing about me, so being around bad friends, maybe I just got dealt a bad hand, but I know they are full of shit and you have to look at them and yourself.

Here is the biggest reason by the way, the BIGGEST REASON for your depression. You can’t talk. We have these mouths and these brains of ours that can make us think and visualise all these idea’s and be critical potentially about who we are but we are absolutely denied the right to just talk about whatever we want to talk about. We can only talk about the same things, everyone at the moment is an expert on Syria for christ sakes, absolutely bullshit (unless you have been there, you have NO informed opinion), we can’t talk about love, we can’t talk about our feelings, we can’t talk about what we fear, we can’t even show a chink of our vulnerability for fear that we will be piledrivered when we do. We are a very very scared world, full of people who think they are fearless, but we can not speak about ourselves, you don’t need therapy Kayla Marie, nor does anyone else (unless they have an actual medical condition that impairs thinking), you just need to speak about things. It’s not your problem, you going on this, posting about yourself, is a BIG STRENGTH of yours, BIG BIG STRENGTH, even though you think its not. It’s big because you are putting yourself out there, you should be able to do it in the actual world, when you try to do it you are shut down, but this is you desperately looking for answers, and still, despite your sadness, you are still being strong. I can’t tell one person in my life what I do on the internet, just like I couldn’t tell one person in my life about my depression (and if I did, it would be held against me), and I’ve realized, it’s not really my problem at all, I SHOULD be able to talk about depression, what I TRY to do for others, just like you should be able to talk about depression. But it’s more important talking about Miley Cyrus, or sport, or other people especially. The most important commodity in the world (in your world) is you. There are two types of selfish. 1) When you don’t care about anyone but yourself, and 2) When you HAVE to be selfish. You are the most important person here, and to find out who you are, to learn to LOVE YOURSELF again (or for the first time – you have to ask yourself these questions, and if you did love yourself, why did you stop loving yourself?), you are allowed to be selfish, you tune out all the bullshit around you (It takes as long as it takes. It’s habit forming, there is no rush) and you find yourself. You are only 20, so give yourself some slack, but you are a bright girl, and take all the time you need to get to know yourself again. Here is some more bullshit to get out of the way, “life is short”. “Life is short” is a romantic notion, it’s life just flies by and is a beautiful thing when you think of it like that. The truth is that life is very long. That sounds depressing only when you compare it to that romantic notion but it isn’t really that depressing, the fact that life is long means that you have as long as you need to sort things out in your head. It takes as long as it is going to take. When I was depressed (and it was basically for 18 years), I just wanted everything to be all better. That’s all I wanted, I wanted it to be all better as soon as possible. You are chasing a ghost. It doesn’t work like that. When I started realizing I had all the fucking time in the world to sort things out, coupled with the number 2 solution “be your best friend/love yourself”, things started getting GRADUALLY better. I can’t believe how far I have come now in only a year. A year ago I was pale and wouldn’t go outside and wouldn’t answer my phone, dreaded seeing anyone. Now I’ve moved away, I’m writing a book, I never would have in a million years have been able to answer any questions from people but now I am, and I’ve realized I’m not just not pathetic but I am so far away from being pathetic. I’m proud of myself. And that’s why I’m here, because I know all you people going through hell are going through it for a reason/reasons, and though I’m proud of doing things by myself, I really would have appreciated a bit of help, more than anything. So that’s why I’m here.

P.S. I used to be proloific at art when I was a little kid, until about 13. Then I went to school, I was told that I was terrible, over and over by some teacher who just didn’t like me, and gave that up, and then other things, and some other things after that. Now I’m drawing again, and I completely forgot I could even draw, that’s how bad I got, I forgot I was ever good at anything and I remembered I was really fucking good at that. People will shit over your dreams and smile and tell you they’re onyl trying to help you. So I’ll leave you with this: No one knows what is in your brain, your heart, or your soul… Except you. No one else knows, no one else could possibly know, they will never know either. But don’t let them tell you. Only you know. And you are trying to find it all out again. You remembered you were good at Art, that was a big part of something you loved doing that is gone. Find out why that was gone, and then find out why you stopped doing this other thing, and that other thing, and so on. It was definitely something to do with other people, there is no doubt in that.

This was a long one. I really hope I helped 🙂

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Your line “Everyone has their own different opinion of me, and although it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, it drags me down terribly.”.  This is very important, and here’s why.  We as human’s, we are social animals, we all want to be liked and we all want to be loved.  It’s something we are told we need but also something that we really adore, because it is a thing of beauty.  But it is also supremely painful.  Life is long as I have said, so you will meet more people and they will play different parts in your life.  Everyone having their own opinion about you, that’s just heir perception.  This is what I kind of mean a lot by bullshitty stuff, it all comes from ego.  EGO isn’t “reality”, it’s perception, but everyone has ego.  And everyone gives in to ego, because ego can bring all the stuff that we are told we should want/what we genuinely actually do want.  But it’s the reason people are not cool with each other, because ego serves one master – ego.  Part of it’s service, is that if I was to abuse you physically or psychologically, would be to shield me from ever doing that.  This is why you hear people saying “they brought it on themselves”.  Whoever was being bullied/ignored, they didn’t bring anything on themselves, but ego plays a mind trick, where reality is distorted to give a “perception” of reality, so the person is protected from the realization of doing the damage to another person.  When the people in your life who all have differing opinions of you display them as “fact”,  that is their perception.  It’s not who you are at all.  But in my theory (certainly in my case, but I have thought about way more than me throughout my life) we are depressed because we forget who we are, and people are telling us/have perceptions of who we are and it is said as if this is all fact.  As I said, the only person who knows your brain, soul and heart is you, all the others are wrong, they can not possible know you as well as you do.  But you are like I was/am, you are aware of what people think of you.  How could you not, but instead of doing something rash about it, which is ALWAYS at the expense of someone else, you take it personally, as you should.  Real relationships should be taken personally, and seriously.

You know it doesn’t matter, but your heart says differently.  It does matter, because you think they should know you better, especially when they claim in their arrogance that they know you.  No one will ever know you as much as you know yourself.  That’s nothing to be sad about by the way, life is long, there is plenty of time to find someone who WANTS to know you.  Maybe it is already the people in your life, but the most important thing is to know yourself.  You always get lost (its impossible not to) when peoples perceptions of you, which are displayed as reality, go on to you.  It is negative energy.  You are not any label.  You are only YOU.  That is all.  Any label of you, it is totally wrong.  How can they know what you are about?  For a world that thinks it is culturally advanced and for one so big we are barely out of the jungle here, we have so much to learn.  Perception is not reality.  Though everyone thinks it is.  You don’t think it is, but everyone around you thinks it is, and would die fighting to protect their view.  People have breakdowns/mid life crisis’ because their ego guides them through life and then they realize they don’t have a fucking clue who they are.  You are reacting to people around you not knowing this, and as you said, it drags you down.  That’s because they are all wrong, spectacularly, and when you try to tell them who you are or what’s wrong with you/what you are going through, they reject it.  Because their ego won’t let anyone or anything shatter their projection.  Ego is all self defense, and you are not allowed to make it thinks it’s wrong.  So, in regards to people having this perception of you, it’s them.  NOT YOU.  It’s them.  NOT YOU.  It’s them.  NOT YOU.