Is this a teenage phase or a serious problem?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q .I’ve been going through bouts of sever depression since I was 6, and almost ended my life 4 times. I worked up the courage to talk to a school counselor, and she had me talk to a psychiatrist and then after a 3 hour evaluation she talked to my parents about what they thought. And they said I may have a fairly rare form of depression, I’m not sure what it was called or anything, but my mother did not pursue to get me any form of help. I do continue to talk to the counselor at school, and now they believe I have a anxiety disorder as well. Could the depression just be a teenage phase like my mother keeps saying? Or could it be something much more serious? My mother just seemed to blow it off even though I still go through extreme bouts of depression especially after the lose of two really good friends this year. I’m not sure what to think or what to do about it? Is my mom just trying to blow it off as no big deal? Or is she in denial, or is it just me?

A. This is a serious problem that has followed you unresolved for close to a decade. This is not a teenage phase nor was it a child phase when you were only six years old. You do seem to have depression. There could be many complicated reasons why your mother chooses not see the reality of your depression but the fact is that she has ignored your calls for help for way too long. Having said that, blame, one way or the other, does neither of you any good. You cannot make your mother change her behavior but you can keep seeing the school counselor. Continue talking to your counselor and follow his or her treatment suggestions and advice. You are taking the correct actions. You are doing the best that you can. Take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 May 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). Is this a teenage phase or a serious problem?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/30/is-this-a-teenage-phase-or-a-serious-problem/