Lately I've been needing to go out with friends in order to feel happy. Which is fine, I used to isolate myself so I'm grategul that I have this option. But I use it to escape the fact that when I'm alone, I feel depressed. I thought I was recovered. This depression feels different than last time when I isolated myself. This time all I want to do is go out drink smoke have fun enjoy life but I know that something is wrong. Idk what though
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I’m glad to hear that you’re not isolating yourself because of your depression. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but hanging out with friends is a wonderful way to cope with depression. However, I do understand your worry that there is something wrong. Depression can be a life-long disorder. Even if you are doing well, it can sneak back up on you. Healing and recovery aren’t linear processes. There will be ups and downs, so don’t be discouraged while learning to manage your depression. For more information on depression, please check out https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-symptoms-and-warning-signs.htm.
Are you currently seeing a therapist and/or a psychiatrist for your depression? Have you seen one in the past? If so, I highly advise you to reach out to them and tell them what has been going on. They may have to adjust your treatment regime. If you have not seen a therapist and/or psychiatrist before for your depression, I recommend seeking mental health treatment. Self-help is not always effective, but it can be useful. With that being said, there are a few ways for you to start therapy. You can contact your primary care doctor about getting a referral. If you are in college, you can visit your university’s counseling center. Or you can visit https://www.opencounseling.com/ to find a therapist near you. If you are not financially able to afford therapy, there are telemedicine options out there that you can try out. Check out these articles for more information and recommendations:
Here is additional information on therapy and therapists that I think may be helpful to you:
Going out, having fun, drinking, and smoking with friends is totally okay. However, it’s not healthy to use drinking and smoking as a coping mechanism for depression. They potentially can make depression worse. For further information, please read the following article:
There is conflicting evidence on whether or not weed (medical grade or recreational) is bad for depression. I would exercise caution when smoking it, just in case, it had some adverse effects. For more information, check out https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bmwwmz/why-people-smoke-weed-to-treat-depression and https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2017-08-08/weed-and-depression-does-marijuana-make-for-depressed-brains.
It seems that you would benefit from developing positive coping mechanisms for your depression that don’t rely on alcohol or smoking. There are many healthy ways to cope out there, and some may not work for you, but that’s okay. Keep trying different ones out until you have developed a system that works for you. Here are some articles with suggestions on coping strategies:
In addition to the resources above, I recommend that you utilize helplines for added support. Hotlines are excellent resources because they are free, confidential, and many are available 24/7. Their primary purpose is to provide users with support and guidance. I think that you may benefit from speaking with someone in real-time about what you have been feeling. Please note that hotlines aren’t meant to replace help from a mental health professional, but act as a supplement. Here are my suggestions:
Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741 speak with a counselor.
7 Cups of Tea: Visit www.7cups.com or download their app (IOS or Google Play) to create an account. Once you have, you can start chatting with a trained volunteer, participate in group sessions, or for a $33 per week, you can meet with a therapist.
CONTACT Helpline offers emotional support listening- Call 800-932-4616 to talk with a counselor.
WoeBot is an app dedicated to providing support for people with anxiety and depression through daily check-ins and other tools. https://woebot.io/.
The Samaritans provide emotional support listening to anyone who feels lonely, depressed, or feeling suicidal. You can call )877) 870-4673 (HOPE) to connect with a counselor.
YouthLine is a peer-run hotline for teens and youth. From 4-10 pm pacific time, you can speak with teen volunteers. Any other period, you will be connected to an adult. YouthLine offers four different ways to access their helpline, which you can view at https://oregonyouthline.org/.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you feel that you are in danger of hurting yourself, please don’t hesitate to call 1-800-273-8255 to speak with a crisis counselor. If you prefer to chat online, visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
Please make sure that you reach out to your therapist or a therapist for help. They can create a treatment plan, figure out what’s wrong, and develop further coping skills for your depression. Remember that it’s okay that you’re feeling depressed again after a period of normalcy. Healing is not linear. So many people go through these things while trying to better their mental health. I know it may seem like you won’t get better, but you will. I’m so proud of you for realizing that something isn’t right with your mental health and reaching out for help. No one should have to feel like they are alone because they are not. You have many people in your corner that will be there for you. If you need any more support, please don’t hesitate to come back to Asking Jude.
P.S check out Asking Jude’s YouTube channel for helpful videos at www.youtube.com/c/AskingJude.