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Depression Q & A: Depression at Night. Faking a Mental Illness. Mean Therapist? Angry Parents

We are continuing with our weekly segment answering your questions about depression, anxiety, phobia and general life-problem. For this edition, we are responding to questions about loneliness from the website Quora. In the future, we hope to answer your questions, so please contact us via email ( or any of our social media accounts. All questions will be answered without using your name for reasons of anonymity.

My parents love me soo much, but they speak so harsh to me that it makes me feel I am useless and I undergo depression. What should I do to make me feel better?

In short, there may be two things at play here. Either you parents are showing their love for you in a way that is unsuitable to you. They are trying to motivate you to better grades and other achievements by way of the “stick” rather than the “carrot”. If this is the case you have to make it clear that you are more motivated by kind words than harsh words. Another thing that you may want to consider is that you may be overly sensitive to their words and may in fact be looking for their harsh comments and ignoring their positive comments. I am not saying that it is so but you may want to consider it.

I’m 24. I got lost in life a little over a year ago. What do I do? I feel constantly bored and lonely.

Essentially, there are periods in your life when you are meant to be lost. There is nothing “wrong” about being lost at the age of 24. So I think the first step is to accept this and to take some pressure away from you. Then I think you need to work towards having a plan and keep in mind that this plan does not have to be long term. I think we are going towards a lifestyle where we have different phases and are not stuck to a single career path. Find a life plan that will last you for the next few years then if something else comes a long then feel free to explore it. A lot of what pushes people into a sense of feeling lost is being scared of the permanency of a career or life plan.

Why would my therapist not read my letter I brought in to her? She said she wouldn’t read it unless I read it out loud because it was supposed to be talk therapy. I was too self conscious to read it so my feelings went unspoken.

Please see the video below for a more expansive answer to your question. I cannot really answer for her intentions as I don’t have much information about the matter. What I can guess is that she is trying to get you out of your comfort zone and trying to push you, so you can analyse what you have written down.

I have been sad for so long that it does not bother me, but everyone wants me to be happy. What should I do?

What interests me with your question is the part where you say that everyone wants you to be happy. Which is quite natural. However, this can make things worse for you. A lot of where our sadness comes from is the fact that happiness is held up as something normal. Happiness is by no means normal. We should not feel happy every minute of every day. And I don’t think that’s what the people around you are saying but you might be interpreting it as such and this puts added pressure on you when you least need it. And then when you don’t become happy under circumstances that would normally make you feel happy, you get even more sad, which in turns makes it harder for you to achievement what should be considered the normal state of life, contentment.

I’ve been depressed for most of my life, and the depression has become considerably worse recently. I’ve also noticed that I get more depressed at night, why is that and what can I do?

Although I cannot answer as to why your depression is getting worse without additional information, a reason for why your depression is worse at night may be because of a fear of death. A fear of death is by all means a very common issue. As you are reaching the end of they day, everything goes quiet and darkness is starting to surround you. This can make people feel very claustrophobic and remind people of death. This may even be the case at dusk or early evening as the day is starting to slowly go towards its end. It is also a time of day when people naturally feel more lonely. 

Is it normal to feel like you are faking your mental illness?

Faking a mental illness is quite common but the reasoning behind it is what really is interesting. I wrote an article a few months back about the dangers of becoming your diagnosis. There are a lot of people in this day-and-age who are searching for a diagnosis to explain away certain things about their personality. When they do not get the diagnosis, they simply move on to the next illness to pursue. Once people get a diagnosis some people make it a part of their identity and fear losing it. This is especially the case with some people who have suffered from depression for a very long period of time. Without the depression they do not know who they are so they try to be as unreceptive to treatment as possible.

Philip Andersson

Life Coach

Cross Culture Therapy


Depression Q & A: Are You Lonely?

Research has found that loneliness can have an affect on a person’s physical and mental health. According to the National Institute of Ageing, 28% of older adults…

Philip Andersson – Counsellor

Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.

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