I am approaching my late twenties and think that I have had depression for most of my life. It is extremely embarassing to me, and I have never been treated, probably because I know that such labels stick and I do not want to be known as unstable or placed on medication. I had hoped that not recognizing the problem would reduce it, and sometimes it does. However, I am feeling the same kind of hopelessness I did in high school when ending the suffering by swallowing a bottle of pills seemed like a good idea. (I am not suicidal enough to act on it...just trying desperately to prevent getting there.) The agency of adulthood helped me find hope, motivation, and purpose, but in recent years I have lost all that. (Snapshot: my father-figure grandpa died of cancer about the same time I moved to New York from Texas, struggled to succeed in an unfunded PhD program at an Ivy League, I 'quit' school with a masters degree in social science which is absolutlely useless in finding a job, and am now saddled with major debt. In fact, my biggest issue right now is probably career failure and trying to figure out how to get back on track without filial or friend support networks, and little money to invest in career/educational development.)
Due to cost and time constraints, I have never attempted to speak to a professional until several months ago when I attempted to use my husband's EAP benefit to find a licensed psychologist at the doctoral level. This allows 5 free (to me) sessions. No one in my area could accept new patients. (Yes, this seems odd to me too.) I tried once since then, and ended up wasting an hour on the phone with a guy who gave me the same contact names as the psychologists who rejected me previously. After that I decided to spend time trying to deal with my issue myself rather than ineffective bureaucracy.
I suspect that if I could work out the career issue, other things would work themselves out, but after a year of being on the job market, I have had only a couple interviews and even been rejected from internships. Every rejection is crushing and makes it that much harder to keep going, and in fact I do not even know why I am in my field anymore...so maybe I should deal with this depression thing. But I still need help, so here I am. Encouragement and constructive thoughts greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading this far.