How to Tell My Mom I Need Help?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’m 17, almost 18. I believe I may have some form of Schizophrenia, anxiety, and I’m almost positive I am a pathological liar and bipolar. My mother is Bipolar and I see a free counselor from the state. I want to get a real therapist and a psych evaluation. How do I go about this with my mom? I know she’s just going to tell me I’m wrong and I’m fine. I would go around her, but it would feel wrong and I don’t have the money or insurance on my own, help?

A. I suspect that the “free counselor from the state” is a real therapist. By “real” I mean she is likely licensed by the state to provide therapeutic services. Perhaps you are expressing your desire for a different therapist, more intensive therapy or for a therapist who specializes in treating individuals with particular types of disorders. It might also be that you and she are not a good match.

The main problem in your situation seems to be that you don’t know how to approach your mother about getting a new therapist. You might want to try speaking with the school guidance counselor about your dilemma. The guidance counselor could speak to your mother about your concerns and convince her to take you to see a specialist. You may also want to try writing your mother a letter. In the letter, explain why you were frightened to approach her face-to-face. Also, be certain to detail your symptoms in the letter.

Finally, if you haven’t yet tried to approach your mother in person, try it at least once. Perhaps you’re making incorrect assumptions about your mother, based on your fear that she will say no. Predictions based on fear tend to be inaccurate. You might be pleasantly surprised with her reaction. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Feb 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). How to Tell My Mom I Need Help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/27/how-to-tell-my-mom-i-need-help/

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