Hi all. I'm a 23-year-old female who has suffered from depression since age 13. Although I've never actually seen a doctor and being diagnosed. Which brings me to the main subject of my post - I can't talk to people. I just can't do it. Displays of emotion from others don't bother me, and I have no problem talking friends through their crises - but when it comes to my turn, I just make some stupid joke and say I'm fine. I have a fantastic group of friends... and they have no idea I even suffer from depression, with the exception of my best friend.
I know this sounds stupid - I'm reading it back and even I think "that's not much a problem. Just bite the bullet and do it!" to the person who wrote it. But, I swear, it's like a tic. When I'm on my own I'll ring someone for a chat and resolve to just tell them that I'm down and feeling like crap. But when I'm actually faced with another person, I physically can't do it. I'm afraid to go to a doctor in case they refer me to a counselor. I have an actual fear of therapy - the very thought makes me clench up in my stomach. I've tried to ring helplines, and when a real person asks me what the problem is I just choke and put down the phone. I also make jokes all the time. I can't help it - every time someone asks if I'm okay, it's like the joke forms of its own accord and popped out (I do a great Knock knock :) ). I get so frustrated with myself, it's like I can't help it. I come over as a functional, happy person, and since I spend every day inebriated with some kind of substance, I think most of my friends just have me down as a bit of a party animal. Today is my first sober day in two weeks and I've been unable to stop crying all morning. I say I've been depressed since age 13 - it was the worst it's ever been from age 13-16, still there but fairly easy to control from age 16 to the last six months or so. Right now is the worst I've felt since that first really bad period. I'm thinking about suicide more and more lately, and two weeks ago I cut myself for the first time in years. It was only one, small cut, but I thought I was done with that years ago. I don't *think* I'd actually commit suicide - then again, a few weeks ago I didn't think I'd ever cut myself again. I know this isn't going to fix itself, and I need to do something if I want it to change, but the thought of discussing this in depth with someone makes me want to just curl up and expire quietly now... I guess what I'm asking is, does anyone else have this much trouble showing how much pain they're in to other people and, if so, how do you get past it?