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My Life Is Amazing, But I Am Miserable. Why?


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I'm 17 years old, a high school junior. My parents are incredibly generous and trusting, my friends are all supportive and wonderful, I have been lucky enough to travel the world. I get straight A's and feel I am reasonably mature. But I hate myself and my life makes me so unhappy, like there's something crucial I'm missing out on. In the past few months specifically I've found myself losing interest in all the things I used to enjoy. I constantly cancel plans with my friends because I can't bring myself to follow through. The only thing I look forward to is coming home and taking a nap. I've started wondering if there's any point to my life at all and it scares me. I used to see counselors but my parents decided it wasn't helping and so I stopped. It's come to the point where I don't even know if my life is worth it anymore. But it doesn't make sense: I am so very fortunate, why should I get to feel this way when there are people with real, genuine struggles? I feel bad for even feeling bad. Any advice? Thanks.

Edit: I would like to add that I have told my parents how I am feeling and, I'm sure it was just a reaction of fear because they can't help me, they told me they thought it was ridiculous because there are people in hospitals dying who want to live and it's stupid that I would have so much opportunity and choose not to take advantage of it.

Edited by itscoldinhere
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Depression doesn't judge. For people this is a good thing, but for mental health problems it's a terrible one because it means that depression will strike people who are fortunate, unfortunate, single, married, rich, poor, and everything else. Depression doesn't mean someone isn't grateful for what they have, because feelings are more complicated than having things and feeling good or not having things and feeling bad.

If your school counselors weren't helping, perhaps there's someone more qualified.

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Hi there...your post struck me because I think you may have some things in common with my 17 year old daughter. She would describe her life as similar to yours, and yet she suffers from periodic episodes of depression. I don't know your exact situation but HER therapists have determined that her issues are most likely chemical in nature and we are looking into appropriate pharmaceutical treatments. This may be the case with you too...have your doctors ever prescribed anything? And I would say that if counseling provided little relief, you may have been seeing the wrong therapists.

I'll say to you what I've said to my daughter. This isn't your fault. You don't need to feel guilty for having these thoughts because an actual, medical condition is probably causing them. A condition like any other condition...high blood pressure, chronic migraines, strep throat, etc. It wouldn't be your fault for having any of those and it's not your fault for experiencing this. But like those conditions, depression is often highly treatable. Depression also lies to you and tells you that you will never feel any differently, and that there is no hope. I know it's difficult to argue with that voice but you must try because it's not telling you the truth.

I can guarantee that your parents would want to hear how you're feeling and would be receptive to finding a treatment that will work for you. Please talk to them and let them know how serious the situation has become. I've personally seen the lifelong anguish of a family who's child did NOT talk to them before it was too late. They're on your side...let them help you. And keep posting here. The people here are incredibly supportive.

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I'm in my 30's, and have had depressive episodes going back to my late teens. Maybe about your age when the first one happened even. My life has often been what I would call "good on paper" too, leaving friends and family baffled when they've learned that I suffer from major depressive disorder. They say, "but you're always so nice and cheerful," Or, "but you earn a good living, and you've got it so together." You know, some measure of success or happiness they they see on the outside as an image that I am projecting, while they don't have a clue what's really going on inside.

The conclusion I've drawn is this. Depression sometimes doesn't make sense any more than cancer makes sense. Some people just get it. It doesn't matter if you are rich, famous, successful, intelligent, beautiful, powerful, devoutly religious, generous, angelic, kind. . . depression does not discriminate. It isn't something that is earned or deserved. Sometimes there are certain risk factors that might make it easier to predict that you might get it, like any other illness. But even that is not always a solid indicator.

I am very sorry you are going through this at such a young age. Many of us here on the forums I think will be able to relate to what you've said. I know I do. Hang in there, and keep posting and reading. This is a very supportive place with good people.


Edited by yourlocalwonderwoman
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I can completely relate. I am 48 years old. I am married and have 2 wonderful children. I make a good living. I am respected by my peers. On the surface my life is wonderful. I am grateful for my family and the life that I have. But I have depression.

Part of the problem with explaining depression to others is that there is a big difference between depression the illness and depression the emotion. Most everyone has felt sad or depressed at some time in their lives. Because people have felt sad or depressed after an upsetting event, they think they understand what it's like to have depression. But depression can hit at any time. It can be triggered by an upsetting event, but it doesn't have to be. Someone with depression will not bounce back without intervention. It can happen at any time for no outward reason.

You need to try to talk to your parents again. It may be difficult for them to understand, but you must get the support you need. Depression does not go away on its own. You can go to a school counselor or other trusted adult who can help you seek treatment. If the first counselor wasn't helping, find another--they aren't all the same. Talk to your regular doctor about it. Ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Keep telling people how you feel until you get the help you need. Eventually you'll find someone who understands and can help you. Please don't give up. The way you feel is not your fault--and there is help. In the meantime--keep coming here. We understand. Ypu are not alone.

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I want to reiterate what several people have already said (normally I wouldn't waste anyone's time with a redundant thought, but in this case there is real strength in numbers).

I'm 26 year old, I have two of the absolute best, most unconditionally loving parents you can imagine, two older brothers who are my best friends, and network of great friends to go along with them. I'm surrounded by love and support. But:

That doesn't change the fact that I suffer from depression.

That doesn't change the fact that when I'm depressed I reach a level of unhappiness feels nearly impossible to tolerate.

Look - I've heard the same things you've heard ("I just don't understand it. You have everything going for you... Are you sure there's not something else going on that's causing this..."). I'm sure other people on this forum will tell you the same. Believe me, I understand. The fact that everything should be great, the fact that there was no external event that caused your condition is initself part of the horror in many ways because it makes you feel like even more of a freak. But you're not a freak. As you can see, there are many people who have gone through the same thing.

By the way, I just want to say... What your parents said to you was bulls***. I'm sure they love you and I'm sure they didn't understand how serious and persistent your problem was. That being said, it was bulls***.

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