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I Ruined My Life And Wasted My Intelligence And Potential. I Am Unable To Forgive Myself. (Long)


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#1 fibonacci

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 08:41 PM

I came to a realization as to a major contributing factor of my ongoing depression. It certainly took long enough- I have suffered from it the entire sixteen years of my life.
Though it is highly likely I have a natural proclivity towards depression and since it is a constant, appears to have no causation, this is one factor that is external and therefore malleable.
When I can reason as to why I feel depressed, it always leads back to boredom and how I wasted my potential.
I was one of the children that was expected to be some type of genius that went on to do great things. I talked early, I was reading stacks of young adult books by age six. I scored in very top percentages on national test scores, I was in the 'gifted' program, I had a college reading level in primary school, and so forth. I also frequently made art and learned to play the violin. I trained in martial arts from age seven and was going to be the youngest black belt in our class. I dislike saying such things, it sounds conceited but I want to convey the idea.
I honestly despised it. I could not stand the attention. I turned down offers for children such as myself; I wanted to be normal. Nobody wanted to know me, nobody liked me. I didn't have friends, and I could only talk to my parents about superficial matters. I felt so bitter for being so young; how could these people give me such undeserved praise, call me 'special' and 'gifted,' want me to do so much and yet care so little about my well-being? How could they expect me to not 'be lazy' and to accept opportunities for 'genius' children when being intelligent only isolated me, when they refused to listen to me when I wanted to discuss serious issues? How could they want me just for my abilities and not want the responsibility of the problems that came with it? At the same time as this shallow appraisal was occurring, I was insulted by a parent for my behavior. I was depressed and connected with no one.
So I did try to be normal. I tried not to be 'like an old man,' 'too serious,' 'too depressing,' 'too cynical and pessimistic,' 'embarrassing,' 'too unemotional,' and so forth, which I was called. This occurred around the beginning of 7th grade. I tried to take the easiest, average level classes that I could. I stopped playing the violin. I stopped taking martial arts lessons, I stopped any activities. I no longer spent my time watching science documentaries and doing creative hobbies. I modified my entire behavior, studied people to try not to seem so weird, I didn't discuss anything I truly thought about and started to act superficial and idiotic.
It lasted for about a year, after which I sunk deeper into depression upon realizing that despite acting normal, I still couldn't make friends. I just gave up and cared about nothing.

I was sent to a mental health doctor earlier this year. I still feel extremely angry about this. After years of being very non-supportive and even mocking of my being depressed, literally (my mother has mocked me about it and embarrassed me in front of other family members) she just sent me off to see one because I happened to be self-injuring without even telling me or confronting me, but by me finding out as I came home from school to hear her making the appointment. It wasn't even serious- as idiotic as this sounds, it was because I was trying yet again to fit in with a group of people, and this time it was those who self-injure- and I stopped instantly and have never relapsed. I quickly talked my way out of the sessions. And throughout the whole time period, the only time she directly addressed me about it at all was to say "I wish you would have talked to me about it." I am still unbelievably irate over that.

Now I am finishing up my sophomore year, and I feel as if I have already ruined my chance of recovering now that I have found a significant cause. You see, because I wasted those opportunities, now I /am/ seen as normal and no longer have them. The classes I took have only made me more depressed with literally nothing left anymore. I am doing absolutely terribly, and only becoming worse, and I myself caused myself to be stuck in this rut.
There are no programs I can get into now that will provide me the challenge and relief I need. Despite choosing the hardest schedule I could for next year based on my current classes, I know it still will not be challenging enough, and I am upset thinking of how the other ambitious students in my school are in such more advanced classes and yet I can tell from talking to them it is only because they were basically guided to work hard to get the best college opportunities, and they don't actually care about it other than how it makes them look good and because they want to be the best and go to the best college, while I would give anything right now to take those classes just to help end this depression.
Thinking about this summer, I have no idea what I will do. I am afraid. I am already doing badly enough while occupied by school, even if very easy; what will I do during an entire summer? I will probably lose it.




-I apologize for this monstrosity of a post and completely understand if you do not read it.

#2 lindahurt

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:20 PM

:welcomeani: Hello fibonacci and welcome to DF.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and story with us. Sounds like your parents invested a lot in terms of providing you what you needed to cultivate your gifts and talents but forgot that you were a child needing unconditional love and acceptance. I'm sorry for your pain and hope that through reaching out here and letting your voice be heard you will find some degree of solace.

The pain and anger you feel about how toward your parents is justificable. it seems they gave you everything they thought you needed to prepare you for success and actually they left you feeling somewhat lonely and void in some areas of your of life. I am sorry that they failed to give you the type of nurturing you really needed. I'm sorry that you didn't really have a "normal" childhood so to speak. Many of us didn't so you are not alone. Our experiences might differ but the impact is the same.

I think that it will take some time in therapy to work through your inner struggles and that is ok. Learn how to forgive yourself so that you can move forward. Many of us are on that same road rediscovering outselves and making out lives what we want it to be. Its never to late to start in new beginning and find challenges that add more meaning to your life. So don't adopt the attitude that you have wasted your life and talents. You still have them. Take what you have and find the direction you want to go in.

We are glad to have you a part of this community. I hope that you will find support and help here. Please make yourself comfortable and we look forward to hearing more from you.

Lindahurt

Edited by lindahurt, 27 April 2011 - 09:47 PM.

Even in the most horrific of situations, one's attitude has an enormous role in shaping what happens ~ Viktor Frankl
In you lies the power to choose, to commit - Stephen Convey

 
The kind of person you want to become is greatly influence by your inner decisions, and not from outside influence alone. We can even under adverse circumstances, decide what shall become of us ~ Brian C. Stiller



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#3 Hertz

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:47 PM

You seem to be very angry about yourself, but what about your parents responsablility? They have shown no compassion or understanding, they did not support and encourage you on an emotional level. This sickens me. Having parents that are distant, and who belittle you like your mother does, is extremely traumatic. No wonder you have been depressed all those years.

You are very courageous to have shared your story here. Many people want to solve their problems on their own only, but those are the people who end up ******* themselves. Depression is a serious illness, it can't be beaten alone. I encourage you like Lindahurt did to see a therapist.

You have not ruined your life, your were born in ruins. With the right tools, such as therapy and/or medication, you can build the life that you deserve.

#4 fibonacci

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 11:58 PM

:welcomeani: Hello fibonacci and welcome to DF.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and story with us. Sounds like your parents invested a lot in terms of providing you what you needed to cultivate your gifts and talents but forgot that you were a child needing unconditional love and acceptance. I'm sorry for your pain and hope that through reaching out here and letting your voice be heard you will find some degree of solace.

The pain and anger you feel about how toward your parents is justificable. it seems they gave you everything they thought you needed to prepare you for success and actually they left you feeling somewhat lonely and void in some areas of your of life. I am sorry that they failed to give you the type of nurturing you really needed. I'm sorry that you didn't really have a "normal" childhood so to speak. Many of us didn't so you are not alone. Our experiences might differ but the impact is the same.

I think that it will take some time in therapy to work through your inner struggles and that is ok. Learn how to forgive yourself so that you can move forward. Many of us are on that same road rediscovering outselves and making out lives what we want it to be. Its never to late to start in new beginning and find challenges that add more meaning to your life. So don't adopt the attitude that you have wasted your life and talents. You still have them. Take what you have and find the direction you want to go in.

We are glad to have you a part of this community. I hope that you will find support and help here. Please make yourself comfortable and we look forward to hearing more from you.

Lindahurt


Thank you for the welcome and words of encouragement, lindahurt. I will try my best to overcome these obstacles I encounter and most importantly, to look forward.

#5 fibonacci

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 12:02 AM

You seem to be very angry about yourself, but what about your parents responsablility? They have shown no compassion or understanding, they did not support and encourage you on an emotional level. This sickens me. Having parents that are distant, and who belittle you like your mother does, is extremely traumatic. No wonder you have been depressed all those years.

You are very courageous to have shared your story here. Many people want to solve their problems on their own only, but those are the people who end up ******* themselves. Depression is a serious illness, it can't be beaten alone. I encourage you like Lindahurt did to see a therapist.

You have not ruined your life, your were born in ruins. With the right tools, such as therapy and/or medication, you can build the life that you deserve.


Thank you. I did find it difficult to share here, but nearly impossible to in real life. I have not ever related any of my thoughts or feeling such as this since I was a child, and that learned reaction I have formed to not dare say such things is almost akin to conditioning which is difficult to overcome. Though the battle is an unpredictable rollercoaster, I will try.

#6 darkdaxter

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 12:52 AM

I promise you when you get to college, you will have the opportunity to find the challenge you desire. While I never experienced that kind of lifestyle, I can certainly relate to not being able to make friends and to changing parts of yourself to fit in and then hating yourself for it. As for the opportunities, you can reclaim in the future. It sounds like you'd skate through college courses if you applied yourself. And the good thing about college is you can get scholarships and grants and can go back for as many things you want. You can even work your grades back up and go to an IVY League school because you're certainly smart enough. Hopefully you'll meet people you can relate to better in college... I don't really have the answers as to what you should do during the summer, except to give yourself a project. Maybe write complex programs or develop a game. Maybe take up art again and paint the way you feel or take up music again and write songs about it. Maybe design a robot or the blueprints for some architectural structure. I've never had this problem, so I don't really know what to tell you...Good luck in whatever you do, and I hope you find love and support soon.

I came to a realization as to a major contributing factor of my ongoing depression. It certainly took long enough- I have suffered from it the entire sixteen years of my life.
Though it is highly likely I have a natural proclivity towards depression and since it is a constant, appears to have no causation, this is one factor that is external and therefore malleable.
When I can reason as to why I feel depressed, it always leads back to boredom and how I wasted my potential.
I was one of the children that was expected to be some type of genius that went on to do great things. I talked early, I was reading stacks of young adult books by age six. I scored in very top percentages on national test scores, I was in the 'gifted' program, I had a college reading level in primary school, and so forth. I also frequently made art and learned to play the violin. I trained in martial arts from age seven and was going to be the youngest black belt in our class. I dislike saying such things, it sounds conceited but I want to convey the idea.
I honestly despised it. I could not stand the attention. I turned down offers for children such as myself; I wanted to be normal. Nobody wanted to know me, nobody liked me. I didn't have friends, and I could only talk to my parents about superficial matters. I felt so bitter for being so young; how could these people give me such undeserved praise, call me 'special' and 'gifted,' want me to do so much and yet care so little about my well-being? How could they expect me to not 'be lazy' and to accept opportunities for 'genius' children when being intelligent only isolated me, when they refused to listen to me when I wanted to discuss serious issues? How could they want me just for my abilities and not want the responsibility of the problems that came with it? At the same time as this shallow appraisal was occurring, I was insulted by a parent for my behavior. I was depressed and connected with no one.
So I did try to be normal. I tried not to be 'like an old man,' 'too serious,' 'too depressing,' 'too cynical and pessimistic,' 'embarrassing,' 'too unemotional,' and so forth, which I was called. This occurred around the beginning of 7th grade. I tried to take the easiest, average level classes that I could. I stopped playing the violin. I stopped taking martial arts lessons, I stopped any activities. I no longer spent my time watching science documentaries and doing creative hobbies. I modified my entire behavior, studied people to try not to seem so weird, I didn't discuss anything I truly thought about and started to act superficial and idiotic.
It lasted for about a year, after which I sunk deeper into depression upon realizing that despite acting normal, I still couldn't make friends. I just gave up and cared about nothing.

I was sent to a mental health doctor earlier this year. I still feel extremely angry about this. After years of being very non-supportive and even mocking of my being depressed, literally (my mother has mocked me about it and embarrassed me in front of other family members) she just sent me off to see one because I happened to be self-injuring without even telling me or confronting me, but by me finding out as I came home from school to hear her making the appointment. It wasn't even serious- as idiotic as this sounds, it was because I was trying yet again to fit in with a group of people, and this time it was those who self-injure- and I stopped instantly and have never relapsed. I quickly talked my way out of the sessions. And throughout the whole time period, the only time she directly addressed me about it at all was to say "I wish you would have talked to me about it." I am still unbelievably irate over that.

Now I am finishing up my sophomore year, and I feel as if I have already ruined my chance of recovering now that I have found a significant cause. You see, because I wasted those opportunities, now I /am/ seen as normal and no longer have them. The classes I took have only made me more depressed with literally nothing left anymore. I am doing absolutely terribly, and only becoming worse, and I myself caused myself to be stuck in this rut.
There are no programs I can get into now that will provide me the challenge and relief I need. Despite choosing the hardest schedule I could for next year based on my current classes, I know it still will not be challenging enough, and I am upset thinking of how the other ambitious students in my school are in such more advanced classes and yet I can tell from talking to them it is only because they were basically guided to work hard to get the best college opportunities, and they don't actually care about it other than how it makes them look good and because they want to be the best and go to the best college, while I would give anything right now to take those classes just to help end this depression.
Thinking about this summer, I have no idea what I will do. I am afraid. I am already doing badly enough while occupied by school, even if very easy; what will I do during an entire summer? I will probably lose it.




-I apologize for this monstrosity of a post and completely understand if you do not read it.



#7 darkdaxter

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:04 AM

Many people want to solve their problems on their own only, but those are the people who end up ******* themselves. Depression is a serious illness, it can't be beaten alone.


Woah woah woah woah... I agree that it is very hard to deal with on your own and that you should seek help, but not seeking help does NOT equal death or suicide. Saying something like that and internalizing something like that severely diminishes your own responsibility for your actions and your own inner strength. It takes the depression which is only one aspect of yourself and places it above yourself. It is a very hard battle, but it can be won alone. I wouldn't encourage others to fight it alone by any means, but I do NOT agree with that statement. If you tell yourself you are out of control of something, what happens when it gets bad and you can't access that support? THAT IS WHEN PEOPLE **** THEMSELVES!!! I have had to work with my condition alone, and I have made gains by leaps and bounds and was forced to seek help. It was not my decision and so far isn't helping me at all. Rather dealing with it alone made me strong. VERY STRONG. I would not have developed such strength if I had been dependant on others to fix my problems and make me feel better. I don't mean to offend you or anyone you know or anyone who agrees with you, but that is not what I believe in. I absolutely hate when people say things like that because for the person who is alone and has no one to turn to, they feel that much more lost, alone, and hopeless. I know I did...

#8 Hertz

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 09:45 AM


Many people want to solve their problems on their own only, but those are the people who end up ******* themselves. Depression is a serious illness, it can't be beaten alone.


Woah woah woah woah... I agree that it is very hard to deal with on your own and that you should seek help, but not seeking help does NOT equal death or suicide. Saying something like that and internalizing something like that severely diminishes your own responsibility for your actions and your own inner strength. It takes the depression which is only one aspect of yourself and places it above yourself. It is a very hard battle, but it can be won alone. I wouldn't encourage others to fight it alone by any means, but I do NOT agree with that statement. If you tell yourself you are out of control of something, what happens when it gets bad and you can't access that support? THAT IS WHEN PEOPLE **** THEMSELVES!!! I have had to work with my condition alone, and I have made gains by leaps and bounds and was forced to seek help. It was not my decision and so far isn't helping me at all. Rather dealing with it alone made me strong. VERY STRONG. I would not have developed such strength if I had been dependant on others to fix my problems and make me feel better. I don't mean to offend you or anyone you know or anyone who agrees with you, but that is not what I believe in. I absolutely hate when people say things like that because for the person who is alone and has no one to turn to, they feel that much more lost, alone, and hopeless. I know I did...


Isolation is a recognized cause of suicide, among other causes, such as depression, having gone through a loss etc. Also, someone who is suicidal or in a self-destructive path and doesn't reach out or open up will die for sure. In view of this, my intention was to make a strong statement, maybe a bit shocking, in favor of getting support, especially for teenagers such as fibonacci, who are at a very vulnerable age.

I'm sorry that you have not found the right help yet, it takes alot of perseverance to get it, and I hope you don't get discouraged, because when you will find it you will be able to make huge gains.

#9 stickaforkinme

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 09:48 AM

Hey Buddy. You remind me so much of my 13 year old son. I took him out of school early on so that he could school at home at his own pace and focus on his own interests. BUT, I digress. YOU have awsome writing skills (to say the least). Have you ever written your parents a letter? Tell them how hurt you are that they don't seem to even know you. Do they know your favorite color or food...or only the grades on your report card?
If they won't listen to you, find someone who will. They are out there. Either a school counselor, a therapist, somebody. Tell them everything that you feel. It helps more than you know to get an outside perspective and to just get it all OUT, then it's not tearing you up inside anymore.
In the meantime, yes, decide what you're passionate about. What you'd like to know more about and delve into that. Not what someone else tells you to learn about. Something that interests YOU.
Keep us posted. You'll do fine.

#10 Ahzuri

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 11:38 AM

Thank you. I did find it difficult to share here, but nearly impossible to in real life. I have not ever related any of my thoughts or feeling such as this since I was a child, and that learned reaction I have formed to not dare say such things is almost akin to conditioning which is difficult to overcome. Though the battle is an unpredictable rollercoaster, I will try.


I just wanted to say that I can relate to the difficulty of talking about how you feel. I have been dealing with depression since I was 15/16 (25 now)and have told very few people in real life about it, it took me years to tell my husband via a written letter that I needed help and another year to actually seek out that help, my first appointment is next week. I don't think that you've ruined or wasted anything, I think its normal to want to fit in with everyone else. For some of us it is so much harder to find friends and I think that depression really hinders that ability. Is there any possibility of talking to a school councilor about why you took those normal level classes instead of the advanced ones? Its fairly well known that when people with above average intelligence aren't challenged it can cause them to do poorly in school so it could help you get back into classes that you do feel challenged in. Maybe you can pick up the other stuff you did again as well, is there anything stopping you from doing so?

Also I just wanted to say that I think its hard for some parents to deal with their children having depression because that stigma about depression is so ingrained in them. Used to be you never talked about it and it was some sort of black mark, once people knew they steered clear of you completely. When I first realized something was wrong I told my mother I thought I was depressed and she laughed at me. She told me "Your a teen you can't be depressed" and would you know shes on anti-depressants herself now? I hated my mom so much back then when I think the depression was the worst because depression has the effect to color the things around you in such a negative way but now we get along fairly well.

As a mother myself I'd like to think that your mom setting up that appointment for you was her way of reaching out. Its probably really hard for her to admit that you could be depressed and I think she does care in her own way though I can't be sure as I don't know her and can't see the situation for myself. Perhaps you could try talking (or writing a letter if talking is too difficult) to her about setting up some sort of family counseling or solo counseling for yourself. Good luck with the situation and I really urge you to seek out help because there is so much that can be done to help depression that you shouldn't have to try and face this on your own.

Edited by Ahzuri, 28 April 2011 - 11:56 AM.


#11 fibonacci

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 04:25 PM

I never would have expected so much support. Thank you to everyone who has posted a reply.

I promise you when you get to college, you will have the opportunity to find the challenge you desire. While I never experienced that kind of lifestyle, I can certainly relate to not being able to make friends and to changing parts of yourself to fit in and then hating yourself for it. As for the opportunities, you can reclaim in the future. It sounds like you'd skate through college courses if you applied yourself. And the good thing about college is you can get scholarships and grants and can go back for as many things you want. You can even work your grades back up and go to an IVY League school because you're certainly smart enough. Hopefully you'll meet people you can relate to better in college... I don't really have the answers as to what you should do during the summer, except to give yourself a project. Maybe write complex programs or develop a game. Maybe take up art again and paint the way you feel or take up music again and write songs about it. Maybe design a robot or the blueprints for some architectural structure. I've never had this problem, so I don't really know what to tell you...Good luck in whatever you do, and I hope you find love and support soon.


I hope to do so. I actually have about a 99% average for this school year because the classes I took were average level and I rarely had work to finish outside of school. (Which is the only reason I would struggle with them before, lack of motivation to do homework. I have no need to study.) However, I am afraid an Ivy League school would not accept me due to the lack of activity/extra curriculars and because I have not taken take a challenging course load until I will next year. Also, I appreciate the thought put into your ideas and I will certainly try them out!

Hey Buddy. You remind me so much of my 13 year old son. I took him out of school early on so that he could school at home at his own pace and focus on his own interests. BUT, I digress. YOU have awsome writing skills (to say the least). Have you ever written your parents a letter? Tell them how hurt you are that they don't seem to even know you. Do they know your favorite color or food...or only the grades on your report card?
If they won't listen to you, find someone who will. They are out there. Either a school counselor, a therapist, somebody. Tell them everything that you feel. It helps more than you know to get an outside perspective and to just get it all OUT, then it's not tearing you up inside anymore.
In the meantime, yes, decide what you're passionate about. What you'd like to know more about and delve into that. Not what someone else tells you to learn about. Something that interests YOU.
Keep us posted. You'll do fine.


Wow, how thoughtful of you to support him in such a way. You truly seem like an excellent parent. Years prior, I did often entreat my mother about finding another option such as home/online schooling and teaching myself, as I was capable of it, However, that also only caused her irritation and to tell me to "deal with it" so I discontinued. Also, thank you for your kind compliment. No, but unfortunately, they are the type of people which I believe truly are unable to understand or listen. The grades are the winning answer. And as soon as I discover such a person, I will do so. I am grateful for your encouragement, stickaforkinme.

I just wanted to say that I can relate to the difficulty of talking about how you feel. I have been dealing with depression since I was 15/16 (25 now)and have told very few people in real life about it, it took me years to tell my husband via a written letter that I needed help and another year to actually seek out that help, my first appointment is next week. I don't think that you've ruined or wasted anything, I think its normal to want to fit in with everyone else. For some of us it is so much harder to find friends and I think that depression really hinders that ability. Is there any possibility of talking to a school councilor about why you took those normal level classes instead of the advanced ones? Its fairly well known that when people with above average intelligence aren't challenged it can cause them to do poorly in school so it could help you get back into classes that you do feel challenged in. Maybe you can pick up the other stuff you did again as well, is there anything stopping you from doing so?


Thank you for the post. It is nice to hear from others who experience similar circumstances. I did talk to my guidance counselor (though I did not explain why- she is more of an impersonal/business-type woman and constantly in a rush,) but there are two classes I simply do not have the opportunity to take. I am signed up for four AP level classes, but I do wish I could have taken the other two as well. Particularly AP calculus, as I believe I could teach myself pre-calculus/trigonometry very quickly and so a year long class in it will be rather dull.
Though I feel as if I am giving excuses, there are two. Motivation, which I can fight to improve. Money actually is somewhat of a difficulty. For example, painting requires the materials, lessons for hobbies I enjoy are expensive, and while not technically necessary, they help my motivation to practice. A major regret is that I cannot afford an advanced summer educational program, which I would absolutely love to do.

Edited by fibonacci, 28 April 2011 - 04:27 PM.


#12 Red_penny

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 07:13 PM

Your post is interesting because I can relate to it a lot as I have had very similar experiences. Like you, I would classify myself as a 'very above average' child (kind of afraid to use the word genious because I don't think I was ever as gifted as you describe). I understand how you feel that you might be coming off conceited by listing your accomplishments and history. I feel like that all the time so I don't ever really tell anyone about my 'above average capabilities' (you can see how carefully even now I am choosing my words). I was the same as you, always excelled in reading and writing and other intellectual areas beginning in the very early years of my life.

My teachers always told my mother about how I was extremely gifted and that I would have a very bright future ahead of me, with the sky being the limit. Throughout public school, I won the proficiency award for four years straight (award for having the top grades out of the entire grade). I had been the first person to achieve winning the award four years in a row (not sure if I still am since that was obviously a long time ago; I'm 22). I had always won contests for designing posters and writing contests at the annual town fair. I won writing contests, including an essay about the importance of November 11th. It just seemed like I was good at every subject, and I personally loved every subject (with the exception of writing and english being my most desired class).

Your parents seem very different than mine were though, perhaps putting too much emphasis on your achievements as opposed to your identity. But try to be more forgiving of them, because afterall parents are human beings too and don't always know what's best or the most healthiest. Imagine how happy they were to have a gifted child, and I'm sure that you became known more for being the talented child, and maybe it was taken for granted that you would always be happy, successful, and able to have it 'altogether'. I know that is what it was like for me. People just assumed that because I was smart that it meant that I was emotionally sound and able to handle myself.

I went to a therapist once and she made a point that has now become a revelation to me; that school is my identity, achievements are my identity, and without them, I don't know who I am and flounder. You see, I went into high school and did good, about at the end of grade 10 I became more concerned about my social life as I had always seemed to struggle with it and had not ever been happy with my peers and how I felt like I was supposed to fit in with them. I began partying, drinking, using drugs, etc. and yeah, I made a lot of 'friends', or so I thought (obviously just party buddys looking back). When that stage of my teen years came to an end, I began to isolate and found myself to be the same person I was before all the partying had begun. That was when my depression and anxiety began to affect my life, more than it ever had before. I eventually pulled myself together and finished high school with a high 80's average.

I eventually got into a good University. Let me make it clear, by the time I was your age or maybe a little older, I blamed myself because I thought I had wasted and destroyed all my potential, and had failed short of being able to achieve the life and kind of success people had always expected of me. I constantly lived in fear of failing academically and also in other areas of my life. This fear caused me to work extremely hard when I got into University, while the entire time I made myself believe that I would miserably fail everything. I never had the confidence I seemed to once have in myself. If I could go back to age 16 and tell myself anything, it would be that, "you are so young even though you feel so old. Life hasn't even nearly begun for you, and in the years to come these experiences you are having now will become more and more distant; but don't focus on them because you will never be able to keep your head looking in towards the future".

In my sophmore year I was just like you are now. I was somewhat proud of myself to have been accepted to a good school. I felt so lonely though, and still do till this day, because it always seemed like the only thing I had control over in my life was my academics. I found friends coming and going in my life, and school became more of a distraction so that I didn't have to live in the loneliness all the time. I made the Dean's Honour List after my first year of University. In my second year, I made the top 15% of my program. I worked good summer jobs for my age and education at the time, but I was never happy. I had always been depressed through University... doing good only made me feel proud of myself for the few moments that I saw I had gotten a good grade on something. But then it was back to my unhappiness and my irrational focus on how I had completely ruined what I 'could have been'.

Anyway, fast forward to third year. This is when sh*t hit the fan. I entered third year so extremely depressed that this time around, I couldn't force myself to go through the motions I had previously done. I was introduced to 'study drugs' (ritalin, adderall, etc.). I took these because I thought (and had heard) that they would make me reach my potential, or at least most of it. In second term, I had developed a habit and near exam time, I had entire 360 degree break down. I had three of my classes cancelled (instead of given an F, the school showed them differently on my transcripts as I was deemed as having a mental illness). That summer, I turned down a very good job offer, and half-heartedly worked through therapy, extensive outpatient programs, etc. Usually I would miss too many sessions and would be removed from these programs. I gave up completely and hated myself every day for slowly going from an accomplished, hardworking person to someone who had now let her grades slip, dropped classes, and began to do nothing at all.

Looking back, it has been such a crazy adventure. I never thought I would suffer from the same depression I suffered in high school, but it walks with me everywhere and just seems to deflate my life in the most extreme ways. I sought help, have been on a variety of antidepressants since 17, attended therapy... well, tried everything. I guess my problem was not putting my 'all' into these depression treatments.

I am saddened to hear that you have somewhat intentionally tried to 'downgrade' yourself in order to feel normal. I really hope you realize that there is no definiton of norma, and there is no reason you should feel guilty about exceeding other students/peers. When you enter college, you will realize there is a place for everyone and friends for any and every type of person. If you fully open your mind to the true experience of college and a new stage of adulthood, your life will significantly be better because you will be able to be yourself and won't feel the need to manipulate who you are. Unfortunately, I went into university with a sense of fear that really reduced my university experience.

I wish I could have told myself that I had not 'lost' my intelligence, potential, and abilities; I was just convincing myself that I had, and that caused me to continuously beat myself up and hate my life... becoming better, feeling out of place in the world.

I guess my advice would be to embrace yourself, and get help! and sincerely engage in treatment, such as therapy, medication, extra-curricular activites that you once loved, etc. I understand how unforgiving and an misunderstanding people in society and around us can be to depression. But I wouldn't take it personally (I don't), because I put myself in their shoes. I know it is hard to imagine what depression would feel like, especially if the person in question seemed to have the world at their finger tips. Luckily, that is what professionals are for. It will probably be a bumpy road but it is worth it. Literally, your whole life is ahead of you and your potential and intelligence will never go away, you just need to ensure yourself that you are capable of anything.

Right now I just finished my fourth year of university. I took a lower course load this year to ensure that I wouldn't have another break down. I still suffer from extreme depression and self-hatred. I am mad at myself because all my Uni friends just graduated, and I have to go back for a fifth year before I graduate because I (feel like) screwed up badly last year. But I can say that there is always a speck of hope, no matter how small, most of the time. I am volunteering again and trying to give myself purpose. I am living with a boyfriend for the first time, and that has been emotionally taxing because my depression has now imposed itself on another person's life as opposed to only effecting my life.

I still really feel like I'm only reaching 25% of my potential. Sometimes I think back to the days where things were so different, but I try to remember that just because I am/was intelligent, etc. does not make me immune to mental illnesses. Rather, I find that sometimes the ingenious and intelligent folks among us (and throughout history) have suffered from depression and types of mental torture. The brain is very complicated indeed.

I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and my emotions usually get the best of me. Not too sure how things became this way, but just realize you do have a choice in your future and your emotional turmoil. I want you to take what you can from my experiences and maybe figure out where you see yourself being based on whatever decisions you can implement. I still hear most of the time about how smart I am and how I'll do fine (people always say this during exam time, even though I'm convinced I will fail miserably). Sadly, many people who have seen my decline say that they see the great potential in me and that I deserve to be happy. I feel like if only I were able to reach the inherent potential I had been given, right now I would be somewhere else being happy, successful, and envied. It can be very easy to get caught up in this. I looked towards the future with fear and doubt, feeling so plagued by something that only seems to get worse.

I know I probably seem very pessimistic (well, I am actually lol)... but I'm hoping I can make you feel a bit more settled with the fact that it is not bad of us to feel and think like we do.

#13 fibonacci

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 10:31 PM

I know I probably seem very pessimistic (well, I am actually lol)... but I'm hoping I can make you feel a bit more settled with the fact that it is not bad of us to feel and think like we do.


(Mostly removed for the sake of brevity.)

Thank you for your story. I do enjoy to hear of others similar to myself, and you make many valid insights. I am sorry the insidious monster named depression has caused so much undue stress during your lifetime, and I wish the best for your future. I agree; the brain is ridiculously complex, as well as fascinating for that very reason.

I do realize this. While I still feel uncomfortable and dislike praise and attention, as well as disclosing achievements (I still struggle to not hide my face when my classmates bring things up, asking about my test scores, saying I probably got another 100 and didn't study, I probably knew all the information already and wasn't worried about tomorrow's test, etc.) I no longer feel as if I have to be normal. The tendency still exists, as I have mentioned, likely because it was inculcated into me from a young age by mother, but through reasoning and reflection I have managed to gain control of these slightly irrational thoughts.
What is causing me stress is actually the realization itself. The feeling that if only I had known this as a child, I could have done so many things, I could have easily been in college by this age, I could have achieved things. And in this way, though I understand that I am technically still quite young, I do feel old. This is also in part due to how I matured to near the level of an average adult at the least six years in the past; thus, I feel well past being young and as if through my mental maturation I have aged through most of my life already. I apologize if this sounds odd and incoherent, but it is difficult to describe.
I simply do not know if I will ever find the ability to cease regretting the opportunity I have so ungratefully passed up, if I can cease daydreaming about how far through education I truly should be at this point in my life, and lamenting over what I have missed for a goal I have never accomplished anyway (connecting with peers of my own age,) and which I no longer desire.

Edited by fibonacci, 28 April 2011 - 10:33 PM.


#14 Ahzuri

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 10:37 AM


I just wanted to say that I can relate to the difficulty of talking about how you feel. I have been dealing with depression since I was 15/16 (25 now)and have told very few people in real life about it, it took me years to tell my husband via a written letter that I needed help and another year to actually seek out that help, my first appointment is next week. I don't think that you've ruined or wasted anything, I think its normal to want to fit in with everyone else. For some of us it is so much harder to find friends and I think that depression really hinders that ability. Is there any possibility of talking to a school councilor about why you took those normal level classes instead of the advanced ones? Its fairly well known that when people with above average intelligence aren't challenged it can cause them to do poorly in school so it could help you get back into classes that you do feel challenged in. Maybe you can pick up the other stuff you did again as well, is there anything stopping you from doing so?


Thank you for the post. It is nice to hear from others who experience similar circumstances. I did talk to my guidance counselor (though I did not explain why- she is more of an impersonal/business-type woman and constantly in a rush,) but there are two classes I simply do not have the opportunity to take. I am signed up for four AP level classes, but I do wish I could have taken the other two as well. Particularly AP calculus, as I believe I could teach myself pre-calculus/trigonometry very quickly and so a year long class in it will be rather dull.
Though I feel as if I am giving excuses, there are two. Motivation, which I can fight to improve. Money actually is somewhat of a difficulty. For example, painting requires the materials, lessons for hobbies I enjoy are expensive, and while not technically necessary, they help my motivation to practice. A major regret is that I cannot afford an advanced summer educational program, which I would absolutely love to do.


It sucks that you weren't able to get those two classes but perhaps you will be able to take the year after next, you just have to keep working on it and eventually you will be right back where you were in terms of the advanced classes. I would just take this as sort of a lesson in why you should be yourself and remember that though you are different from others that isn't a bad thing. I can tell you are a very smart person just by the way you write, don't let anyone make you think that there is something wrong with being smart because there isn't at all; they are just jealous because they know you are going to go far in life.

Depression can suck the motivation right out of you, a lot of the time I find it hard to make my self concentrate on my own school work. Right now I have like 3 or 4 things due next week and haven't even started on them yet. I try to do my best with it but I am hoping that medication will help the problem, I also have ADD and Absence Seizures so its a bit insane on how often I just kinda zone and not want to do anything. Have you tried any other forms of artistry other than painting? I am a artist by hobby and I usually use pencils, pens, or my tablet to draw, the tablet is pretty expensive up front but after that it costs nothing and is really nice to use. Pencils, pens, charcoals and other things like that are pretty cheap compared to paints and if you've never used them before to draw it might be a interesting experience for you to learn how to use them. There are many free guides online that could help you as well and you might also think about writing. It can be a very good form of stress release and since you already have a computer it wouldn't cost a thing :)

Edited by Ahzuri, 29 April 2011 - 10:41 AM.


#15 darkdaxter

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 06:16 PM



Many people want to solve their problems on their own only, but those are the people who end up ******* themselves. Depression is a serious illness, it can't be beaten alone.


Woah woah woah woah... I agree that it is very hard to deal with on your own and that you should seek help, but not seeking help does NOT equal death or suicide. Saying something like that and internalizing something like that severely diminishes your own responsibility for your actions and your own inner strength. It takes the depression which is only one aspect of yourself and places it above yourself. It is a very hard battle, but it can be won alone. I wouldn't encourage others to fight it alone by any means, but I do NOT agree with that statement. If you tell yourself you are out of control of something, what happens when it gets bad and you can't access that support? THAT IS WHEN PEOPLE **** THEMSELVES!!! I have had to work with my condition alone, and I have made gains by leaps and bounds and was forced to seek help. It was not my decision and so far isn't helping me at all. Rather dealing with it alone made me strong. VERY STRONG. I would not have developed such strength if I had been dependant on others to fix my problems and make me feel better. I don't mean to offend you or anyone you know or anyone who agrees with you, but that is not what I believe in. I absolutely hate when people say things like that because for the person who is alone and has no one to turn to, they feel that much more lost, alone, and hopeless. I know I did...


Isolation is a recognized cause of suicide, among other causes, such as depression, having gone through a loss etc. Also, someone who is suicidal or in a self-destructive path and doesn't reach out or open up will die for sure. In view of this, my intention was to make a strong statement, maybe a bit shocking, in favor of getting support, especially for teenagers such as fibonacci, who are at a very vulnerable age.

I'm sorry that you have not found the right help yet, it takes alot of perseverance to get it, and I hope you don't get discouraged, because when you will find it you will be able to make huge gains.


I understand. And furthermore, I agree that being forced into/preserving that isolation made things a lot harder for me. I really hope he finds people he can relate to. I just hate claims that say, 'you cannot hope to live with this on your own.' If one's support system dies or leaves or goes away, the person needs to know that they can help themselves until they find more support. That's all...

#16 darkdaxter

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 10:02 PM


I know I probably seem very pessimistic (well, I am actually lol)... but I'm hoping I can make you feel a bit more settled with the fact that it is not bad of us to feel and think like we do.


(Mostly removed for the sake of brevity.)

Thank you for your story. I do enjoy to hear of others similar to myself, and you make many valid insights. I am sorry the insidious monster named depression has caused so much undue stress during your lifetime, and I wish the best for your future. I agree; the brain is ridiculously complex, as well as fascinating for that very reason.

I do realize this. While I still feel uncomfortable and dislike praise and attention, as well as disclosing achievements (I still struggle to not hide my face when my classmates bring things up, asking about my test scores, saying I probably got another 100 and didn't study, I probably knew all the information already and wasn't worried about tomorrow's test, etc.) I no longer feel as if I have to be normal. The tendency still exists, as I have mentioned, likely because it was inculcated into me from a young age by mother, but through reasoning and reflection I have managed to gain control of these slightly irrational thoughts.
What is causing me stress is actually the realization itself. The feeling that if only I had known this as a child, I could have done so many things, I could have easily been in college by this age, I could have achieved things. And in this way, though I understand that I am technically still quite young, I do feel old. This is also in part due to how I matured to near the level of an average adult at the least six years in the past; thus, I feel well past being young and as if through my mental maturation I have aged through most of my life already. I apologize if this sounds odd and incoherent, but it is difficult to describe.
I simply do not know if I will ever find the ability to cease regretting the opportunity I have so ungratefully passed up, if I can cease daydreaming about how far through education I truly should be at this point in my life, and lamenting over what I have missed for a goal I have never accomplished anyway (connecting with peers of my own age,) and which I no longer desire.


I know it's hard to believe it, but I tell myself everyday "coulda woulda shoulda...the past is the past!" If you focus on the past, you'll never be able to move forward in the future. The past is what it is. We can't change it, no matter how much we want to. No amount of guilt or self-defamation/self-injury will ever fix our mistakes or make us feel better about having made them. That path won't lead to forgiveness. Accepting that we made mistakes and taking that lesson to use it in the future....to try your best not to repeat that mistake, that is what helps us along the path to self-forgiveness and self-acceptance. And I am of the school that believes "you get sadder the smarter you get." It's quite true. There is a clear cut choice between being a realistic pessimist or a blissfully ignorant optimist. The more you learn about the world, the more you realize what a horrible place it is. That's why it's our job to do our part to change it. It's our job to try to help others not feel the way we did. Also, I like to think that our disorders and neuroses (no matter what they are) are a natural result of our lives. That if anyone grew up with our genes in the environment we had, they would've also developed the same disorders. When you think about it that way, even so-called "abnormal" behavior is quite within the normal realm.

I understand feeling matured beyond your peers. I always did. I think WAY too deeply into things. I love philosophy and I'm fascinated with people's brains and the differences from person to person. But trust me when I say, you're not nearly as matured when you might think. I know I wasn't. I'm smart enough to know now that (even though I knew I didn't know a lot of things) I knew even less than what I thought I did. Spending the night in jail, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and trying my best to cope with my life, that's what matured me to the point I am today. But even now I am not an adult. I may be 20 (21 in 7 months), but I'm still not an adult. I won't be one until I get my life fully together. Not until I get a job and a family. Not until I have kids....Not until I have grandkids. We are always maturing. We are always learning new things. That being said, I feel old beyond my years. I think about things most other people my age don't think about. But never mistake age for maturity. Never mistake age for wisdom. For those are things we can never learn from books. We can rehearse and recite them over and over, but until life teaches us those lessons personally, we'll never really KNOW it to be true. The best advice I can give you is to be open to all sorts of experiences. Try to find the joy in lots of different things. I listen to so many different music genres now for example :P The more diverse and eclectic your interests are, the more you'll be able to enjoy life. Not that life is good or great or happy. I'm completely miserable. But I'm better at being able to have a good time with other people than ever before now. Anywho, Good luck. May ye rest your weary bones upon the bed and awake with renewed vitality and vigor!

#17 WarDanceHS

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 10:25 PM

You may be my twin separated at birth. Only problem is I'm probably 6 or 7 years older than you!

Therapy has helped me understand that I may have failed or disappointed people in some areas but I can still move on and do something great. I was expected to do great things and I intentionally chose a really small college that's not known for good academics. This has been something I have regretted often but therapy is helping me see all the good that has come from my choice.

Engage in therapy and be open to change. You can never completely fail. Remember that. These struggles make us better people. Use this is as a chance to grow.




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