Should I Tell My Parents I'm Feeling Depressed?
anonymous Asks ...
Hi, I am 16 years old, and not sure what to do. I think I may be depressed or something, but maybe not. I am too scared to tell my parents, in case my problems are normal teenager problems, or I am making nothing into something. I will describe this to you as quickly as possible..
I have periods where I am completely sad for no reason. I have no motivation, and don't enjoy things I used to. I stay up until 2, until I finally can make myself do my homework. I feel hopeless, and often think of suicide. (But I don't actually consider it.) I am extremely irritable towards my parents. I just wish I could lay in bed all day. But I still go through my daily activities, and get good grades in school, and usually socialize. And sometimes I wake up and am completely happy all day. I also have days where I swing back and forth between these two moods. Sometimes the presence of friends makes me happy, sometimes it doesn't. On a bad day, I tried to cut my wrist with scissors (but failed to bleed) because I had heard it would be a release.
I've had times like this before. I remember wishing I would die when I was 10. I remember feeling more depressed than I do now when I was 13. But the happy days and moments make me doubt myself. Sometimes I wonder if I am making myself sad. Maybe I enjoy being sad. Maybe I am making this all up in my mind. I am terrified that I am doing this for attention or something. Maybe everyone feels like this, but I am acting this way for attention. This terrifies me. I don't know if my emotions are real or not.
Sorry, end of rant... Basically, I want to know if I should tell my parents that I need help. And if I should, what should I tell them??
Stephanie Adams Says ...
I'm glad you wrote. Short Answer? Yes, what you're describing sounds a lot like depression. And yes, the BEST thing for you right now would be to tell your mom and dad that you want to see a doctor and or a therapist to try to get help.
Everybody has up days and down days, especially in their teen years. But the fact that you're desiring a "release" in cutting yourself tells me that your brain recognizes this is a problem and is looking for a way to feel better. Cutting yourself is a way out - but not a good way. It doesn't last. Seeking to talk through your problems with a professional and in some cases take prescription antidepressants CAN make the changes last. The sooner you can start feeling relief, the better.
Depression is a REAL disorder - a brain imbalance, and you can overcome it. You just need the right tools. There is nothing wrong with you as a person, just with the way your brain and emotions are working right now. I know you have a lot of questions about why you might be feeling the way you do, and it's possible that you are aware of sometimes the benefits of feeling sad - like getting attention and support. But I don't think you would be asking me for help if you really "liked" being sad. It's one thing to recognize that sometimes it feels good to have others give you attention. It's another to say that you like feeling this way. I don't think that you do. Do you?
If you want an idea of something you can say to your parents, try this: "Can I talk to you about something? Lately, I've been feeling really sad sometimes for no reason. I don't want to get out of bed. I have thought about hurting myself, even though I don't think that's what I really want. I've been reading about it and I think I might have depression. Do you think you could help me make an appointment with a counselor or doctor to talk about getting help?"
What you're telling me is no different than any other person that I've talked to who has dealt with feeling depressed. It's a difficult circumstance. But you're not CHOOSING this. You've had this disorder attack you and you're doing your best to deal with it. You're doing a great job by seeking answers. As long as you don't give up you WILL find a solution. I'm sure your parents will want to know what's going on and will jump at the chance to help.
If you or they have any difficulties finding help, send me an email privately and I will be happy to help you find suitable therapeutic support in your area, or see you myself if you're a Texas resident. Don't give up! You deserve to feel better as soon as possible.