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Hi, Anon. I'm so glad you found us at EmpowHer.

I want to agree with Rosa -- what you are experiencing is very normal and happens to a lot of us at times during our lives.

At 24, you may feel like you have made a lot of mistakes and that you have screwed everything up, but you are actually really young -- and I'll bet that you have learned a lot from every road you have taken. The truth is we all make those same kinds of mistakes. We want to do well and then we screw something up. We fall in love, but it's with the wrong person. We make a bad judgment here or there. And we end up thinking that we're in a ditch that we can never get out of.

I can tell that you are really hard on yourself. Are you a perfectionist? I am. I suspect you are, from the way you write about yourself. And here's what's hard about perfectionists: We tend to believe that if we don't do it to the VERY best it can be done, it's not worth doing at all. If we can't get an A, we almost don't want to try. If we can't excel, we feel almost worthless. And if we risk something, or make a big mistake, we feel like we can never catch up again.

Does any of that sound like you?

Depression does go away. Sometimes it goes away on its own. It can go away with therapy and it can go away with medication. And studies have shown that people get over it more quickly if they use a combination of both. Can you go to a doctor and talk to her or him about what's going on? You will be surprised how much it will help you to just have an appointment on your calendar with someone who will understand what you're feeling.

The feelings of having let people down are normal, but honestly, I don't think they are nearly as strong or true as it feels like to you. You say your parents are very supportive, which is absolutely wonderful. Lean on them and ask them to help you find someone to go see if that helps you do it.

I have been through a depression and I know how painful it is. You just have to take one baby step, and then another. That's all. First, get an appointment. Next, go to the appointment. And next, see what that doctor or therapist says, and try to focus on little things.

And if there's one thing you can do on your own -- more than anything else -- it's to get a little exercise. Even if it just starts with a walk around the block. Exercise helps depression a LOT because of the chemicals that get moving in our brains.

Please write back and update us. And like Rosa said, if there's any more we can help you with, please let us know.

July 10, 2009 - 9:16am


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