Family hates me and treats me badly

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been depressed since I was 9. I’m 13 now. I’ve always had real bad health problems. And my family has always treated me like a piece of crap. But recently it’s gotten worse. My grandma’s friend told my grandma a lie about me claiming I said ‘I’d cut off girls’ fingers if they came into my room! now this is a total lie. I would actually like it if a girl came into my room xD.

My grandma believed this and convinced my entire family that this was true. Then my grandma listened to another lie that my great uncle told her. He claimed that ‘I said I was going to blow my mom up’ I never said such thing. And of course my grandma believed it and convinced my family of it also. My family now thinks I’m a devil child. My grandma thinks I’m going to be a serial killer. My mom thinks I deserve to die. My dads still cool. And the rest of my family treat me like I should have never been born.

But I can’t tell my family I’m depressed cause they think that anyone who doesn’t think life is always perfect should go to hell. I’ve told a few friends about my depression and they’ve helped me a Lot. But then this happened and I just don’t know what to do anymore

A: It sounds like you’ve already had more to handle than someone who is only 13 should. You didn’t mention the kind of health problems you’ve had. Chronic or serious illness is enough to get anyone down. Sometimes too there are long term effects of the medicines or anesthesia (if you had to have surgery) that look and feel like depression. If that weren’t enough, for reasons neither you nor I understand, the very people who should be a source of warmth and comfort are instead blaming you and labeling you in negative ways. It must hurt terribly.

I don’t know what’s going on with the family. I do know you can’t manage this on your own. You need someone who can help your family hear you. Ideally, you would all get into family therapy. But if the family is the kind that would never consider it, do at least enlist your school guidance counselor or a trusted teacher or some other adult who is willing to help sort things out. You could also ask your doctor for a few minutes in private to explain what is going on and to ask for some help.

Meanwhile, develop an active life with supportive friends outside the family. If you feel good about yourself, the accusations and criticisms won’t hurt quite so much. You will know that you’re okay even if you don’t get the support and validation you should be getting from the family. Join a team or club. Eat right, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and make sure you get some exercise every day to combat the depression. Turn yourself into the kind of guy that other kids respect. Good friends are the best medicine for a disappointing family.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Feb 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Family hates me and treats me badly. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/02/23/family-hates-me-and-treats-me-badly/

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