My family life makes me so depressed.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q. So, I just got in a huge fight with my parents. Who actually got in a fight earlier today over my brother. My brother is 23. And around 3 months ago he got arrested and spent around 4 days in jail for drug charges. He’s done drugs probably since he was around my age. And now he’s living with us.

My problem is, my mom does drugs too. And I’ve known that since I was maybe 8 years old. I’ve pleaded with my dad time and time again to get them both help, he just tells me he can’t make them stop.

I turn 18 in less than 5 months. I’ve told both my parents that at that time, I’m turning my brother and mother in to the cops. I just can’t handle them anymore. For years, I’ve cried about who my family really is. I’ve kept it secret. Hid the truth from every one of my best friends. My other family members such as my grandma, and aunts, and uncles don’t even really know. I want to tell someone so bad, but I’m afraid if I do, everyone will just hate me. I’m constantly crying and upset about all of this. And the thing is I know it’s not my fault. But I just want things to change. What should I do? Please help.

A: What you should probably do is find out where the nearest Ala-Teen program is located and go. You have been carrying this load by yourself for much, much too long. The Ala-Teen program helps kids who are dealing with family members who are substance abusers. It doesn’t matter whether the substance is alcohol or illegal drugs. The issues are the same.

At meetings, you will find other people who are going through the same things you are and who can really understand. You will also learn new ways to cope and get good advice for how to handle the situation.

Here’s the web address: www.al-anon.alateen.org/alateen.html
You’ll find a directory of meeting locations as well as articles that will give you good information.

Please don’t be shy about calling. You need their help. They are there to help you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Jul 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). My family life makes me so depressed.. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/07/02/my-family-life-makes-me-so-depressed/