I want to be happy.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a 15 year old: My step-dad and my mom is really gettin on my nerves. my step-dad threatens to lock me up in the house and never let me have any privilages. he won’t let me go to the movies, or baby-sit, or even go see my friends. my mom won’t do anything. they think i have an attitude, but i have been taking quizzes for bipolar and it has said that i have moderate-severe bipolar. my parents think i should be perfect. i want to be happy.

A: You didn’t give me much to work with. Are your parents restricting you because they are unreasonable or is it possible that your moods are so unpredictable that they worry about keeping you safe? I’m concerned that both sides are in an endless cycle: your folks worry so they restrict you, you develop an attitude, so they restrict you some more, so you get mad or depressed or put on more attitude and on and on it can go. Stop! It’s time to take a big step back, take a deep breath and really talk with each other about what is going on. Ideally, this is a time for you to gradually be more and more independent but you also have to show your parents that you are responsible enough to handle it. If you can’t manage talking about this by yourselves, maybe it’s time to enlist the help of a good family counselor to help you all work it out.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 May 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). I want to be happy.. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/04/i-want-to-be-happy/