I really don’t know what to do

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    When i was younger i used to be an actual prodigy,not that there was any skill i would practice,i just mean i was full of creativity and some kind of inborn talent to be good at pretty much anything i tried but i never tried anything,i would just go to school and back home,i like to blame it on my parents since i was only a kid back then and naturally didn’t know what was good for me. later on after a teacher bullied me in 6th grade,humiliating me in front of the whole class because i wasn’t devoted to studying,i decided to study really hard to get accepted in the best school in town.

    (where i live people start middle school after 6th grade and the school i mentioned is like a system all over the country, 6th graders try hard to get accepted in the entrance exams for these schools and they’re called schools for gifted/smart students)

    i put so much pressure on myself back then because of this trivial matter,i used to think that i’d grow up to be a useless person if i never get in that school and also,my parents at that time where having a little cheating game,literally cheating on each other in secret and not caring about anything else,so i just wanted to have something,an achievement,a form of success under the name of the gifted school so that maybe they would pay attention to me and i would feel accomplished. long story short;i got in that school and after that,after i acheived success,setting foot in the old and ugly building of that school thinking “i’m going to be the best student here”,everything fell apart. i would wake up at 5 in the morning to get ready,go to school and come back and i would just sleep or escape to social media because i didn’t have a life,i would lie in bed all the time staring at the ceiling ,crying,i hated my life and every part of myself but i couldn’t do anything about it,school was pretty strict and i failed two subjects in 7th grade which only discouraged me more. i just started to invite depression into my life and i got involved with it more and more every day. at some point i found myself enjoying self harm,nobody cared about me anyways, nobody would notice even if i did that thing in front of a hundred people,so it became my habit for a while and i sank deeper in depression losing all hope. my sister tried to help me,i tried 4,5 types of antidepressants but none worked,i started to lose anything else that was left of me. I would go to sleep every night with the hope of dying,wake up again and think of all the ways i could use to end it on my own but i was never brave enough to do it. I sometimes think that i’m occupying someone else’s spot in this world, wasting recources,wasting oxygen while someone else deserves to have life more than i do,i wish i could give mine to someone’s diceased mother or exchange it with an infertile couple’s nonexistent child because that way at least someone would be happy.

    right now it’s been 4 long long years since the time my life fell apart,i haven’t felt happy in so long that i don’t remember what it’s like,i’ve now lost my sense of time and reality feeling unfamiliar with everything around me. over these years i really tried to do something,to persue my passions and do some things that would make me happy but all of them slipped away,i tried really hard,even begging people,hoping to change my boring loop of going to school and back home into something productive but as always nobody cared,i tried sports,music and some things that i really like but for some reason,like money or my own body,i couldn’t keep any of them in my life. the spark of life,the thing that helps everyone go on with their lives and gives them a reason to live,well it died inside of me. I seek a marvelous adventure, something like fairytales and superhero movies,and i’ve always wished to be free without having to worry about human things like money, food ,rent ,bills ,employment,relationships and so on,i wanted myself to be like a magical person (you know like people that practice yoga/kung fu/energy healing etc) and do things that the ordinary can’t even imagine but i just found myself stuck in this situation,barely getting through life,having to study to go forward but not making any process and it frustrates me;I feel like i have to choose between becoming a magical person (which might not work at all) and settling for a normal life of studying,getting a job or at best starting my own business and i don’t like any one more than the other because i want a mixture of both in my life but i feel like i’ll be wasting time so…

    I’m 16 now and i feel like my parents will just kick me out of their house the moment i turn eighteen and of course i need to focus on a career for my future and all but somehow i don’t feel the urge to do anything at all.

    There’s an international competition on programming which i like to think i’m interested in,the path is simple;you study some math and take 3 exams and if you pass all of them you go to a training camp and then compete with people from other countries. Easy right? other kids talk about it being easy too and in fact i believe myself to be pretty good at math so it’s supposed to be okay but it’s not. I just have no motivation to do anything at all,i don’t have a reason to live; yes they say that we must live on because of the people we love and the people that love us,our friends and family but honestly with no exaggeration i don’t love anyone in my supposed family and i literally have no friends,i also have nothing in my individual life so what’s left there?

    If i don’t make it to that international competition,then i’ll most likely never be able to make a life for myself and i know this better than anyone but i’ve been living this life of depression and aimlessness for so long that whenever i try to study and solve above-easy problems,i just give up and get distressed. I know very well that i need to work hard to succeed and it’s not like i’m being forced to do it so there must be no problem but i just can’t do it, i don’t have anything else to do,i just don’t feel like doing anything at all and so this goes on like a loop forever but i don’t want to miss this chance.

    I’m sorry i talked too much but i can’t figure this put on my own.


    Dear Sarah:

    You shared that you are 16, that your parents never really cared about you, but instead were focuses on “cheating on each other in secret and not caring about anything else”. As a result, you’ve been depressed for about 4 years, “tried 4,5 types of antidepressants but none worked”, “feeling unfamiliar with everything around me.. the spark of life.. it died inside of me”.

    I read all of your post and this is my input: life can get better for you, much better; it is possible for you to heal from the devastation of growing up without love. It is a process that will take time and work and you will need professional help and guidance. If you started the process now, by the time you are 20, you will feel that “spark of life” again, every day.

    Here is what will not help you: magical and extreme thinking. Children naturally think in magical and extreme (all-or-nothing) ways, but to heal and function well in life as an adult, you will need to correct your thinking so to fit it to reality.

    Here is your magical thinking: “I seek a marvelous adventure, something like fairytales and superhero movies.. be like a magical person.. and do things that the ordinary can’t even imagine”- this is good for pleasant daydreaming, similar to watching a science fiction movie, but it is harmful when it comes to everyday functional living. Everyday living does have adventures in it, but they are small adventures, not marvelous, flashy out-of-this-world adventures. If you look for flashy adventures, you miss the small yet meaningful adventures.

    Here is your extreme thinking:

    1) When a teacher bullied you in 6th grade, humiliating you in front of the whole class because you weren’t devoted to studying”, you didn’t choose to devote more time to studying in the school you attended. Instead,  you decided to go to an extreme: “to study really hard to get accepted in the best school.. school for gifted/ smart students.. I used to think that I’d grow up to be a useless person if I never get in that school”, “thinking i’m going to be the best student there”- the extreme, all-or-nothing thinking is: either I get into the best school and be the best student in the best school  or I am useless. The middle way in between extremes would have been studying hard in the school you were attending, being a good student in that school.

    2) Currently there is “an international competition on programming.. If I don’t make it to that international competition, then I’ll most likely never be able to make  a life for myself”- again, it is the extremes of either you make it in that competition or you don’t make it in life.

    This extreme thinking creates a lot of pressure on yourself, like you suggested yourself (“I put so much pressure on myself”), and as a result of this pressure, you lose motivation.

    About the gifted school you attended, you wrote: “I just wanted to have something, an achievement, a form of success under the name of the gifted school, so that maybe (your parents) would pay attention to me”- your parents didn’t pay attention to you not because you were not successful but because they had other things on their minds. You were already as lovable as can be, but they failed to see it because,  like you suggested yourself, they were otherwise occupied. As you proceed, you will need attention, a caring attention. A professional caring therapist would be best for you. In the context of this thread, I, as a very active participant here and not a professional, can be a caring, attentive individual for you.




    What you describe sounds like a large, all encompassing depression. You write about feeling very distressed and unhappy and I hope you find a new path that serves you better than the one you are on. Who is prescribing your antidepressants? A psychiatrist or your pediatrician? Are you getting counseling from an effective and good therapist? All of these things are important. You may not be diagnosed properly, the depression may be part of another diagnosis for example. The inability to focus sometimes could be part of something like a mood disorder for example or ADHD and this is where a good psychiatrist does their job. I am going to suggest you take your brain health more seriously, or call it your mental health, and have a heart to heart discussion with a good psychiatrist or therapist and get diagnosed correctly and treated correctly. Some of this may be that you have to seek answers for yourself through reading books, etc. Tell your parents you need help, be insistive, or tell the person prescribing your meds, and don’t feel badly about yourself for needing further help. If you tell your parents and they won’t help, then tell someone else, keep telling and asking for help until you get the help you need. You have value and worth as a human being, no matter what anyone thinks or how your parents act. You are okay just as you are but right now you are struggling and need further in person help.

    In some ways, all teenagers struggle emotionally and feel “less than” their peers. Even the popular kids feel a need to compete to be “better than” or “good enough” among their peers. It is really kind of sad. There is a lot of pressure on young people these days by parents in that the children have to be perfect. No human is perfect so this is not realistic. But the parent sees their own need for being good enough in the fact that their children are so wonderful, so amazing, so perfect. It is about the parents’ need to push the child to bring reflected glory upon themselves. I am okay as a parent if my kid gets straight As and goes to Harvard. The converse to this is “I am not okay as a parent if my kids has a brain health disorder and needs mental health help.” This is wrong and short sighted. Brain health disorders are problems in the brain just like cancer is a problem in the body. The problem is not in your soul being unworthy because of the depression, you are valuable as a human being for breathing air and being you.

    This is the time in your life that you have to start thinking about things and finding your own way. I can remember the struggle of this for myself and I am old enough to be your grandparent. How we find self love and self value on our own, how we figure out what we think makes the world the way it is, our spiritual beliefs, etc. If someone has limits on us, meaning we are not good enough for them to love us, unless we do X or Y, get into this school or make all As, then this person has their own issues. It is not about your being bad or not worthy, it is about their lack, their emotional problems, their own self defeat. Sometimes our parents are not able to love us in the way we need but we can love ourselves in the way we need. A good life is waiting for you, it will be there in the fullness of time. 

    When you say if you don’t make this competition you will never be able to make a good life for yourself is called catastrophe thinking. The world will not end if you don’t make this competition. Your life will go on and will turn out to be a good life, if that is what you seek. It is not either this or that will happen (called black and white thinking). I had to learn the fallacy of this through counseling and stop doing it a few years ago. But I am much happier now even with all my own problems and emotional needs. You deserve to find the self love that will heal you and the brain health help that will allow you to begin this journey. There is no shame in needing help for depression or for a brain health disorder. I have 3 kids with a mood disorder and varying types of depression. Once they got the proper help, the proper counseling and medications, I am seeing happier people and more successful in their lives. I am rooting for you, I send you hugs.

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