I think I may have some sort of depression, but my parents don't really believe in mental health care for that. What do I do? [a bit long]
posted by anonymous to human relations (37 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
So, I think I'm depressed. I'm pretty sure it's not normal to cry every day. Frequent crying for no apparent reason, little to no motivation, have lost interest in things I care about, significant libido drop, bizarre sleeping habits alternating between insomnia and sleeping way too much. This has been going on at a somewhat low level for a while now (probably at least a year). It doesn't help that I'm home from college for the summer, and all of my friends and my boyfriend are all hundreds of miles away.
I am technically an adult, but I am still financially dependent on my parents. My parents don't really, uh, believe in psychiatric medicine or therapy. At the very least, my mom dismisses the entire field as being full of quacks. I don't really know where my dad stands, but minor anecdotal evidence leads me to believe he's more normal about the issue. (He has at least asked me if I were sick, given my odd sleeping patterns, and I said I didn't know.)
I don't know what to do. Were I at school, I could do something about it, because I could probably afford the subsidized treatment there without my parents having to know. (My school takes mental health very seriously.)
I do not consider myself a danger to myself. Although I think about suicide on a fairly regular basis, it's more in an abstract sense, and I am very sure that I couldn't bring myself to end my own life, as I have a pretty good one and don't want to give up on it. So, it's not a potentially deadly condition at the moment, it just makes life suck, and my mom continues to yell at me for having no motivation to do anything.
I'm also rather torn about the issue myself. On the one hand, I know rationally that depression-like diseases are chemical in nature, and there's only so much one can do. On the other hand, from my upbringing I'm thinking to myself that I'm just being a wimp, that I'm just making myself out to be a victim, and it's something I should just deal with on my own. And that therapy/drugs are just giving in due to lack of willpower. I am constantly trying to convince myself I am not depressed, but if I weren't, I assume I wouldn't have to. I've been this way so long I don't even know what normal is anymore. Again, I know on a rational and abstract level that this is not sound thinking, but if your brain is affected by a mental illness, it's kind of hard to get around thinking that way.
So, what can I do? I have read other depression threads on here, and I noticed exercise was a common suggestion. I have just started exercising today again after a hiatus for several months. (I used to be on my high school varsity team, but wasn't good enough to be on the team at my university. I've been taking gym classes for my particular sport, but I sort of lapsed this past semester after I fulfilled my PE requirement.) It was good, albeit tiring, and it reminded me how much I missed doing that.
How could I possibly approach my parents about this? I don't even know how I would approach my mom about this. My parents are very supportive, but my mom can be a bit conservative and traditional in some of her beliefs. I suppose I could approach my dad, but I don't really talk to him about medical issues (which are mostly female-related ones), so I don't know.
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