My Parents Tell Me “Deal with it”

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been severely depressed for almost 2 years and now it seems to be worse than ever. I’m 20 years old and I dropped out of college to be an actor. I have asked my parents if I could see a therapist but they just shrugged me off and told me to just “deal with it”. I had one good friend that I could talk to but a few months ago he did something that really hurt me and we haven’t been friends since. I miss him a lot and it tears me up inside and I’ve been cutting my wrists. I’m extremely lonely and I have no one to turn to. I think about suicide sometimes but I haven’t reached that point and I’m scared that I’m going to. I know there is something wrong with me and I need help but I don’t know what to do or how to get it.

A: I’m sorry you are in such pain. After two years of suffering, you are certainly right to want to do something about it. I’m confused, though, why you are asking your parents to find you a therapist. At 20, you can certainly make an appointment for yourself. If you are carried on your parents’ insurance, you might want to be sure that they will continue to do so. If the issue is that you don’t have the money to pay for therapy, ask your doctor if there is a clinic that has either a sliding fee scale or low fees for low-income people. If your acting career isn’t taking off enough for you to be making a living wage, you may have to do what most beginning actors do: Get a job so you can support yourself and your therapy while you look for your first acting break.

If you miss your friend so much, perhaps it’s time to reach out and see if you can patch things up. Yes, he hurt you. But maybe there is more to the situation than you could see at the time. Maybe enough time has passed that you can forgive or at least work on it.

Meanwhile, if you feel like cutting your wrists or if you think about suicide as an answer (it isn’t), please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK. Counselors are there 24/7 to talk to people who feel hopeless or depressed.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). My Parents Tell Me “Deal with it”. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/01/13/my-parents-tell-me-deal-with-it/