What should one do when they are faced with an unexplained unhappiness nearly everyday that once was manageable, but now is beginning to effect family and relationships? I feel nothing for the person I am with any longer, have no desire to complete my major that I was once passionate about, and nothing in my life is wrong. There is no reason for me to feel this way. I want for nothing and am surrounded by loving people that care about me. I am beginning to wonder if I am mentally unstable and I don't know what to do.
Signed: Staying In Bed All Day
Dear Staying in Bed, Charlie hears your concern. You indicate that you are having a difficult time yet you can’t seem to put your finger on the why of it. You seem puzzled by this turn of events. In saying, “I don’t know what to do” you appear to be asking for answers. Charlie will try to provide some direction. You mention a number of problems. These include: feeling unhappy, loss of feeling for your significant other, loss of desire for your major, loss of motivation and excessive sleep. You indicate that you feel this way most days. Besides affecting you, you indicate that it is affecting your relationships as well. Though the information noted in your letter is somewhat limited, what you are describing sound like symptoms of depression. Other symptoms include: loss of interest in pleasurable activities, loss of appetite, agitation, feelings of worthlessness, reduced concentration, and suicidal thoughts. Charlie wonders if you are experiencing any of these as well. If you are suffering from depression, Charlie wants you to know that there is hope.. Depression is known as the common cold of mental disorders. In addition to being experienced by many people, it is very treatable. Approximately 70- 80% of people who seek treatment report significant improvement within the first year. For most people, treatment includes some combination of medication and counseling. Medication appears to address the biological component of depression and counseling appears to address environmental and behavioral factors. In your letter, you say, “There is no reason for me to feel this way”. Charlie wants you to know that this is not uncommon. People who suffer from depression often do not know why they are depressed. Sometimes, in the course of counseling, the “why’s” come to the surface. Therapy can help people gain insight of this type, which in turn can become part of the healing process. Charlie encourages you to consider getting some help. A first step would be scheduling an appointment at the Counseling Center. My friends there can do a more thorough assessment to determine what is going on with you and then make recommendations for treatment. If medication is indicated, the counselors at the Center can refer you to an appropriate medical provider on campus. Counseling is a free and confidential service for BSU students and medical consultations are free and confidential as well. Call 285-1736 to make your first appointment. To feeling better, Charlie
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