Facebook Pixel

Clinical Depression or Teenage Angst?

By April 5, 2010 - 12:04am
Rate This

Since childhood I am already quite a grumpy kid, but these past few months everything has been so erratic.

There are times when I am considerably cheerful but I just end up crying everyday, upset by petty things, and about once a week I am plagued by sudden anxiety attacks. By that I mean just feeling very miserable, hating the whole world and myself, then feeling so numb and hopeless and just so drained and empty. I won't eat or talk to anybody. What alarms me is that I, like most others teens, usually want attention to myself and my problems, but I just want discretion about these attacks. I would avoid all human contact as much as possible and pretend as best as I can that I'm fine. All this lasts for an hour or so, then everything's back to cheery.

I'm about 70% sure that all this is just plain old teenage mood swings amplified emotionally since I have a lot to deal with (family problems, verbal abuse, academic insecurities, being overweight, being financially incapable plus other problems teenagers usually dwell on). But I just want some opinion about this other than my own.

Add a Comment6 Comments


I know exactly what you're going through as I suffer with it. It's a horrid feeling. I usually spend all my time alone, in my room thinking "Why me?!". When my Mum noticed my 'strange' behaviour becoming more regular she offered to talk. I declined and continued on for a few more weeks, isolating myself. Then I finally worked the courage to talk to my Mum. She confirmed what I thought; that everyone get's like this and it's not just me. So don't worry everyone gets bad 'teenage angst'; some just get it worse than others.

What really helped me is focusing on something important. For example, my two main things were my nephew and going to University (my escape :).
I know it probably feels like it's just you and the worlds against you but sometimes you need to try to pull yourself out of it.

I hope I've helped!

P.S. Would love an update :)

April 12, 2010 - 4:53pm

I've read the article, and it has shed light on my situation. Thank you very much for attaching that link. It helped a lot.

I think it is quite normal, just that I don't see anyone this much affected. I know no one has no problems, especially teens, but none of my friends is struggling with anything in particular.

My friends are all smart and sensible, just a little air-headed sometimes. But they're very mature and they're not afraid to show it. They don't need anyone's approval.

No one really reads my work personally (I post my works online) but I'm not motivated to write if no one reviews anymore, unlike when I was younger, when I didn't care what others thought.

Also, I'm a little taken aback that I have some of the symptoms (there's a big chance that it's pure coincidence, but still). I feel tired a lot, and I do sleep a lot these days. I'm angry and irritable so often now. I've gained weight, and I eat a lot when sad. I'm becoming paranoid because my limbs hurt for no reason a lot. All of my friends say I'm pessimistic and cynical all the time, and sometimes I just don't care. I used to be a straight A student. This past year my grades plummeted. I sometimes hurt myself, physically. Not anything serious like cutting or burning, just minor stuff like hitting myself mildly or banging my head or tearing my hair in sudden fits of frustration or anger.

I see some risk factors too, such as a violent and controlling family atmosphere and my parents' separation.

But I still think I'm not really depressed, because if someone is depressed it's most likely that he/she has no idea, right? In fact, he/she might not even care enough to try to figure things out.

April 8, 2010 - 6:11am
(reply to sardonyxmemoirs)

People who are depressed might not figure it out early on. But over time, they know that something is different about themselves, they start missing the way they used to be, and they do get comments from family and friends about the way they are.

However, the internet is changing things so quickly now that a person who considers whether they are depressed can do some research right away and see if they have the symptoms of depression. I think that helps a lot of people figure it out today. Before the internet they might have never figured it out.

There are different degrees of depression, too. There is everything from mild depression that is associated with an event or a period of time to severe, chronic depression that is a lifelong battle.

You are a smart, alert teen who is pretty aware of her own self and the life around her. I would not be surprised at all if you are suffering from a mild depression. The things that you say about a lack of caring, an increase in sleep, a weight gain, your moodiness, your grades falling and your inclinations sometimes to hurt yourself all say hey, there's something that's off right now.

What kind of violent and controlling family atmosphere are you in the middle of? Has no one noticed that your grades are falling and that you're feeling a little withdrawn? Do you have siblings? How recent was your parents' separation?

I'm really sorry that you're going through this right now, sardonyx memoirs. It does sound to me that you might benefit from some therapy right now. I have gone through a serious depression myself and nothing helped me more than talk therapy. Is this something you would be interested in? Do you think it might help?

April 9, 2010 - 9:00am


Everything you say can be absolutely, perfectly normal for a 14-year-old to be going through. Or, it might not. Part of the key is you. Is it normal for you?

What is it about your world that is so different from your friends' world? I am willing to bet that they do not really have perfect or painless lives; it may just look like it from the outside, but no teenager sails through without some angst and issues. There's too much going on from the years of about 13 to 17 to even hope for contentment sometimes.

Wanting to be appreciated for who you are is important. Was there someone in your life who used to appreciate your drawing and writing who is not there anymore? Or did it used to be fun for you, and now it doesn't seem fun if others don't like it?

A lot of girls your age go through similar issues with being smart. Girls are as smart as boys, but somewhere around the 7th or 8th grade, they can often start hiding how smart they are so they can be liked by others. They might even act dumb, or helpless, as a way of flirting. Do your friends ever do this?

There are plenty of teens (about 1 in 8) who experience depression. Some of the symptoms are losing interest in things you used to be interested in, withdrawing from people you used to hang out with, wanting to stay home and sleep instead of doing things you used to like to do, a change in your weight or eating habits, a change in your activity levels, and general feelings of anxiety or dread. Here's a good article about it:


In that article, there are sections that talk about the following:

•Depression Is Common
•How Do People Respond to Someone Who's Depressed?
•Why Do People Get Depressed?
•What Happens in the Brain When Someone Is Depressed?
•Types of Depression
•What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
•How Is Depression Different From Regular Sadness?
•Getting Help
•When Depression Is Severe

Will you take a look at it and see if you think it might be what you are dealing with?

April 6, 2010 - 9:32am

I usually have fits of depression when I encounter anything even just slightly relevant to my insecurities or problems. I'm afraid of having to live like how I do now forever. I genuinely love my friends, but when I see them in their almost perfect and painless lives I become so angry and lonely and envious that I just withdraw, so I don't talk to them about this even though I trust them.

I really liked drawing and writing, but these past few months whenever I start something I keep thinking of ways on how to make people want to appreciate my works. Sometimes, I just stop a project in the middle because I realize no one really likes it. Now I suddenly realized I'm drawing and writing less and less.

There are moments when I really am cheery. Sometimes I forget my problems when I see my friends laughing and happy. But then something would come up and I would remember my real situation. After that maybe I'd laugh at a few jokes but it wouldn't be the same.

These down in the dumps sessions do end, but I just feel like I'm not really happy. I mean, there's no hope or faith or just plain contentment and acceptance of who I am and what I have. Like everything's just a black and white picture which brightens or darkens but never acquires color.

I'm fourteen, and I do think that might be reason enough to feel this way.

April 6, 2010 - 2:11am


You do have a lot to deal with. And teenage mood swings are made worse by the fact that your body is growing and changing hormonally as well as physically, which can affect all of your moods and emotions on an ongoing basis.

How old are you, Sardonyxmemoirs?

When you are crying, does it end soon or do you feel like you always want to cry but you make yourself stop?

When you are cheery, do you feel that it's genuine, or is it an act?

Do you ever find yourself withdrawing from things you used to really like?

Do you have a close friend you can talk with? Are you close with either of your parents? (Are the family problems affecting you in particular?)

When you have your sudden anxiety attacks, what are you fearful of? And what tends to bring them on? Are there certain situations that are worse than others?

April 5, 2010 - 11:56am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.



Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Depression Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!