Psych Central

Might Be Depressed, But Afraid To Tell Parents

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW


I know one thing, I completely hate myself, you wouldn’t know it by seeing me, I try to hide it all. I am ugly, fat and I can’t handle it anymore, I want to hurt my self, I cut my self, I have planned suicide, but I am saving it… for when I REALLY need it. I am starting to feel like that. Sometimes, I want to throw up so that I don’t get fat. I have done that before, I also diet a lot…

But I am not bulimic or anorexic, I know that.

My problem is, I just CAN’T explain this to my parents. They have so much going on in their life, they can’t handle this, I know if, I just feel like if I go away, they won’t have to deal with anything. I know that I can’t afford a psychiatrist, we are already on the highest amount of EBT, food stamps, there is…

I just can’t hurt them. I just CAN’T tell them…

A. You are clearly in pain. I understand the reasoning behind your desire to keep your suffering a secret from your parents but you are making a mistake. Their main job, as parents, is to protect you. Your parents cannot protect you if they don’t know that a problem exists. In fact, in all likelihood, they would be upset to learn that you had prolonged your suffering because you considered them unapproachable.

It is not your job to worry about your parents. Your job is to make your parents aware that a problem exists, so they can help you. They need to know. They can handle it. In addition, the longer that your mental health symptoms go untreated, the worse that they can become. It is imperative that you inform your parents immediately and get the help you need. Many cities have community mental health centers that offer free or low-cost services to qualifying individuals or families. Help is available. Tell your parents about your symptoms. I wish you the best. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Dec 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Might Be Depressed, But Afraid To Tell Parents. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/12/01/might-be-depressed-but-afraid-to-tell-parents/