Home Anxiety Always Depressed at Home

Always Depressed at Home

When I’m at home I feel depressed and empty inside. It’s like I’m trapped inside a box filled with darkness and I have no way of getting out. I draw and write stories as a hobby but I no longer have interest in them anymore. I lack energy all the time and I have low appetite.

However, when I’m not at home, I feel more alive. Being in school and around my friends makes me forget about my depression. A few weeks ago I stayed at a relative’s house in a different town for the holidays. I have a younger cousin who I would hang out with there. I feel happier and it’s like I have found myself again. I feel more motivated to do things and I actually feel positive about my life.

But after I return home, I slowly feel depressed again. It felt like the whole vacation I went on earlier was just a dream and I got pulled back into cold, hard reality. Thinking about this makes me very anxious.

I’ve never told anyone about this because I fear that they wouldn’t understand. I once talked to my dad about how I feel and he told me that I’m just bored at home. My mother gets stressed whenever I have negative feelings so I rather not tell her.

I have an older brother but we never interact with each other. He has mild autism. He stays in his bedroom all day. My mother is the only person who I can interact with at home but I find it hard to have a meaningful conversation with her. My father works during day and only returns home at night. I feel happier when he returns from work because I have someone to actually talk to. I find it hard to believe that my family has a connection. In fact, I don’t think my family understands me.

I feel like there’s no way of getting out of my depression. I don’t know what’s wrong with me and why I feel this way. It’s making me feel really anxious and I hate and blame myself for feeling this way. What should I do? (From Malaysia)

  You list your age at 14 and I think you are very tuned into your feelings. The conditions in your home sound like they are a large part of what is making you depressed. If it were only about you, you would feel this way no matter where you went. The circumstances you are in are contributing to your feelings. When you are at home the home environment makes you feel depressed. When you are out of the home — you feel better. Take this as an important piece of information and keep developing more and varied interests outside of the home. Find people, places and experiences that fill you up — not drain you.

From what you tell us of your mother, father, and brother they are not connected to your feelings for different reasons. Your father by thinking it is only boredom, your mother by not wanting to hear your negativity, and your brother because of his condition. I would try again to talk to your parents, perhaps by saying what you enjoy about the time with your father and how much you would like to have more meaningful connection with your mom. This may help them realized they need to spend more time doing the things that help connect with you.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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