“Teen Thing” or Real Issues?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I think i may have mental health issues i’m not sure. Well i’m asking this because for about a year now i haven’t felt… well right. At first i thought it was just a teen thing it’ll pass but it hasn’t and i’m scared that i may have mental health issues. I’ll go into more detail; Well alot of things have happened in my life i’ve felt alot of pain, Relatives have died, my dad had cancer, my parents got divorced and many other painful events. I hate showing my feelings so tend to keep everything inside but i really don’t think this is the best way to cope. Lately things have really got bad; death seems to dwell on my mind alot whether it’s my own, others or just the thought of death, and i have been thinking about suicide and i did attempt it once but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I live with my mum and she hates me she said she wanted nothing to do with me, she even says there’s something wrong with me. I can’t talk to her and my dad who i no longer live with has recently got a girlfriend and isn’t interested in me anymore. I tried to tell a friend once i was feeling suicidal but he just said seek professional help, but i can’t i don’t want to they’ll just ruin my life even more send me away i don’t want to go away. I just feel i have no future that my life isn’t worth living. I cry every day. I get hardly any sleep. I’ve completely lost my appetite. I don’t socialize. I just sit in my bedroom all day unless i have to go to school which i have begun to hate. I know something isn’t right but my question is what? I’m just really worried I’ll do something I’ll regret. I have an uncontrollable temper and have hurt many people in the past with it. I can really lose it sometimes. I just feel my life is on a downward spiral please help me? Do you know what could be wrong with me?

A. Your emotional instability and depression are understandable. You’re living with your mother who you said “hates” you and “wants nothing to do with you” and who tells you there is “something wrong with you.” You said that your father has a girlfriend and no longer has “interest in you.” You also wrote that some of your relatives have died, your father had cancer, your parents were recently divorced and that there are other painful events that have occurred in your life that you did not include in your letter. Any one of these situations or events would be extremely difficult to handle and you’re dealing with them all, simultaneously and seemingly without any help or support. This cannot be easy.

I believe that all of the abovementioned events and situations may be contributing to how you are feeling. It does not seem that there is anything “mentally” wrong with you meaning that you probably don’t have a mental health disorder. I say this because you’re living through a very challenging family situation in which you have no help and you’re reacting to what you are faced with. You are in a situation that is truly difficult to handle and you’re trying to manage it alone.

Please know, however, that there is help for you. You should go to a trusted clergyman, a teacher, a family friend or to the school counselor immediately. Tell them how you have been feeling and that you want their help. It is imperative that you stop trying to handle these matters on your own and that you go for help immediately.

You also said that your friend suggested getting professional help. This would also be a good idea. If you had a person in your life that you could go to for help, support or advice you would have an easier time knowing how to manage your emotions. You need someone like this in your life. Unfortunately, your parents do not seem to be fulfilling this role for you as they should. This is extremely regrettable because it is their job to provide you with advice and support. Because you do not have a person that you can go to for advice, you need to find someone who can help you. Remember, this person may be a therapist, a teacher, the school counselor, a family friend, a member of the church, etc. Please reach out for help. You deserve help and you need it. Please consider writing back and letting me know how you are doing and please find someone to help you.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Sep 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). “Teen Thing” or Real Issues?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/09/08/teen-thing-or-real-issues/

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