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Depression: Depression & Related Conditions

Ask Dr. Schwartz
Ask Dr. Schwartz
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Anxious, depressed, confused, angry....the typical...

I have been feeling anxious and depressed since before high school. I'm not exactly sure when I started feeling this way. At first I attributed my problems to being in high school, and that maybe all of this was just a normal part of growing up. However I'm now 19, almost 20, and nothing has changed. I have a history of substance abuse, I would feel anxious and depressed and drugs helped me cope, however I didn't intend to develop a habit. I have since then, overdosed, been in the hospital, been in rehab, and have "moved on." However in reality I haven't moved on at all. I don't feel any different than I did from the first time I tried drugs. I have lied to everyone I love and know by saying that I've been clean. I HAVE relapsed, many times, and it's usually to the point where I do way too much, scare myself, and then drive myself into further depression after it happens. Then I don't do anything for a couple weeks, and the stress and depression build up again. Recently I have started drinking alcohol regularly. This scares me because although it was not my previous drug of choice, it's still a drug, and I fear it's just going to lead me down the same path that I have been in so many times before. I constantly wonder why I can realize what's wrong with me, yet not fix it. Why I can understand and admit that I have a problem, and not be able to resist my urges. This I feel is causing the anxiety. It's just become more and more debilitating. I am now in college and I fear I am going to flunk out because I can not get myself motivated to even try in classes because 3/4ths of my day is my thinking of why I'm depressed and anxious. I become angry at myself for not being able to resist my urges. Some days I will feel normal, not anxious, not sad, not confused, but on those days I always reason with myself that I should do a drug. And then the next days I'm either on something, or anxious and scared that I'm about to do something. I don't believe the drugs caused all of the problems. I started being depressed, used drugs to cope, quit drugs, became more depressed. I don't even seem to fit into the categories of the typical "depressed" person. I don't constantly cry, I don't sleep in bed all day, I don't experience half of the symptoms that most people define as clinical depression. Is there a category for people who are just, generally unhappy?

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