Q: I am a very busy parent and I am at university too. I feel like it is all too much, I can’t cope with it all, I want to start self harming again, and I have even been thinking about ending things. I can’t speak to my doctor because I lied to the psychiatric assessment because I knew I would be locked up if I was honest. I can’t leave my son, I love him, and he loves me, he cried when I left him with my parents overnight. How would he cope without me around? I just want to stop being anxious and stressed out, and I can’t quit university otherwise how will I get money to get us a better apartment? I have no time to relax properly I don’t sleep properly because I wake up early and stay up late busy, and I cant stop eating chocolate and sugary food because it seems to help with energy, but then I feel flat after a while and I’m overweight. The only reason I am holding on is because I love my son and my partner. I am very scared of death, but even that isn’t so bad anymore. I need to hang in for a couple more years til I can start earning a decent wage and then we will have less problems. But I don’t know if I can.
A: It sounds like you are really overwhelmed, but remember, all things like these problems are temporary. Bad stuff happens, then it seems like good stuff starts to happen, too. After all, you have a wonderful son, who needs you desperately. If you start harming yourself, or even end things, where will he live? Who will teach him the things he needs to learn?
I realize that self-harming or binge eating seems to take the pressure off temporarily, but it doesn’t fix things, now does it? If you can’t trust your psychiatrist, find one you can; we doctors don’t like to “lock” people up. People really should be at home with loved ones. However, it sounds like you could use some medication.
Look at it this way, medication may be something that you need to do short-term, or you may need to take it for the long run. Which is worse; taking an extra pill and feeling better, being able to finish your schooling and watch your son grow up, or missing out on all of that because you ended it?
Here are a few things that I suggest: First, find a psychiatrist you can trust, and get on the proper medication. Don’t assume that because you tell him or her that you want to end it or hurt yourself that he’s going to hospitalize you. Second, consider going to a counselor to talk about your problems. You can find one at our therapist directory. Third, make a list of the things you want to share with your son: his graduations, dating, marriage, maybe even kids? Fourth, if you need to talk to someone immediately, who won’t “lock” you up, call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE. Finally, check out this website to better understand self harm: http://www.palace.net/~llama/psych/injury.html
I hope this helps,
Dr. Diana Walcutt
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Apr 2009
Walcutt, D. (2009). Don’t know if I can cope anymore.. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 8, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/04/21/dont-know-if-i-can-cope-anymore/