Recently my best friend moved farther away from me. Two weeks ago my parents found out I smoke and drink all in the same weekend. The combination of all this, plus the normal stresses of being a teenager was too much for me. I contemplated suicide, wrote a suicide note and made small cuts on my wrist. I have done this before, but have never acted on the thoughts of killing myself. Writing everything down helps me feel better.

Two days after writing the note, my mom was snooping in my room and found the note (I did not leave it out in the open). I had no idea what was going on when I was called to the councelors office at school and my parents were there. They took me to the hospital for a “doctors appointment” and told me going through the emergency room would be faster. It wasn’t untill I saw a nurse did I learn I was there because of the note. I was angry at my parents because I felt like they had ambushed me and I wanted to go home as soon as possible.

I am smart enough to give the correct answers to a mental health evaluation so that the docter would release me. I have felt very depressed in the past, but have been doing better lately. I lied when they asked me if I have ever felt depressed, thought about suicide, and if I knew how I would harm myself if I ever wanted to. I went home from the hospital that night.

Should I have been truthful and/or asked for help? Were my parents wrong to handle the situation in such a drastic way?

A; I’m very, very sorry that things have been so tough for you lately. Not being able to talk to the person you trust the most makes things all the harder, doesn’t it? But being clever isn’t always being smart. Yes, you should have been truthful. Yes, you should have asked for help. All you have to lose by talking to a counselor is a few hours of time. And who knows? You just might connect and get some support and ways to deal with the depression.

I have to tell you: From a parent’s point of view, your folks did exactly the right thing. They love you. They had no way to know whether you were letting off steam or thinking seriously about suicide. Once someone starts talking or writing about killing themselves, it’s very important for the people around that person to take it very, very seriously. Their “drastic” action is the behavior of concerned and loving parents. Yes, I know it may have been embarrassing. Yes, I know you felt tricked. But think about it from their position: How would they feel if they didn’t take action and you hurt yourself? The loss of a child a parent loves is a loss that is almost impossible to bear.

You are lucky indeed to have parents who care so deeply. Now your job is to care enough about yourself to accept some help. Depression affects everything. A little therapy now might make an enormous difference in how you feel for the rest of your teen years.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Jun 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I passed an evaluation in the ER because I lied. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/06/09/i-passed-an-evaluation-in-the-er-because-i-lied/