I have been feeling depressed lately. I have started pushing family members and friends away. I have stopped talking to my brothers, rarely talk to my parents, and have been spending less and less time with my friends here at school. I have considered suicide more than a couple times. I don’t know what the problem is, it might have to do with me being stressed with my own future or my grandpa’s health problems. I have been to the Counseling Center and it did not seem to help much. I do not want to feel depressed anymore, any recommendations?
Dear Depressed: Charlie hears your concern and wants to let you know that your situation sounds serious, especially because you have thought about ending your own life. Clinical depression is a condition which includes a variety of symptoms such as: having a low mood, feeling easily irritable, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, changes in sleep or appetite, low motivation and concentration, disconnecting and withdrawing from important relationships, and thoughts of suicide. Charlie also hears that you have been searching “the problem”, and wants you to know that treating depression is about more than finding out the one thing that is bothering you and making it go away. Depression is treatable, often most effectively through a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Charlie is encouraged that you’ve been to the Counseling Center, and would strongly recommend that you go back and try again. Some students just go for a few sessions; however, for most people, treatment of depression requires multiple sessions with a counselor with whom you feel comfortable and connected. Charlie also wants to add some specific recommendations about your thoughts of suicide. Charlie is very encouraged that you don’t want to feel depressed anymore, and hopes you can direct that motivation towards moving through this rough time in your life. If you ever feel like you are in danger of killing yourself, Charlie would encourage you to talk with a professional immediately, either by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK; www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org), going to the Emergency Room (dial 911), or calling or contacting the Counseling Center for crisis services (765-285-1736). If making that contact yourself feels too difficult, Charlie would encourage you to ask for help from a friend, family member, resident advisor, or anyone who would be available to support you in making that contact. While depression is very treatable, completed suicide is not, and Charlie very much hopes and recommends that you can seek the help and support you need to move through this time. To hope for the future, Charlie
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