Psych Central

Depressed and Stressed but My Parents Won’t Listen

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Today I tried to drop a hint (again) that I’m stressed by showing my parents multiple websites on teenage stress, showing how bad my generation is said to be. My parents proceeded to mock me by saying things like “Yeah, and teenagers are also proven to have the cleanest rooms.” (because mine tends to be a bit untidy with schoolwork and such) After a while, my dad says “The only reason that you’re ‘stressed’ is you think you are.” While I think this is partially true, I also believe it’s from school. I’m currently in all honors and I’m taking two advanced placement classes that count towards college credits, I have straight A’s and I won’t settle for anything less. I also believe it’s caused by fights with friends and mostly family.
Also, over the past few years I have also been feeling depressed. I feel as though I wish life could just stop and come to a halt because I can’t keep up with it. Like I’m behind everybody else in the “real world” and that I’m entirely unprepared to grow up. I’ve tried telling some of my friends how I have been feeling, but I just can’t say it. I feel like I’m complaining and just being whiny. And when I can say how I feel, it seems like their only response is “oh” or “you’re wrong” (as if they know how I feel and need to correct me). I feel like I’m done with the world, and if everything ceased to exist I would be okay with it. To see if I am depressed, I’ve tried multiple tests online, and they say I’m either in the “moderate-high” or “high” levels of depression, but I don’t want to tell anyone about how bad it is.
Is there anything I can do? I don’t want to tell my parents that I feel depressed but I at least want them to know I am stressed out (and hopefully work my way up to telling them how i truly feel). I have told them before but they just say “you don’t know what stress it” and “you’re a teenager, its nothing, it gets worse” (and the fact that it gets worse terrifies me). I don’t think we are the closest family in the world, so it’s hard to tell them anything.

Please help.
(and I apologize for such a lengthy and sort of scattered post)

A: Sorry your parents aren’t taking your requests seriously. But their lack of responsiveness doesn’t mean what you’re saying isn’t true. If you’ve taken the online test and you’re deeply feeling it, this is a time to honor your own feelings and needs above your parents’ reaction to them.

I would highly recommend you do two things. First I would talk to the guidance counselor at your school because he or she is highly trained in working with students who are feeling stressed. In fact, I would simply show them this post as a way of introduction to your concerns.

The school’s counselor is the best first step because you want to deal with these feelings sooner rather than later. It’s always easier to manage the symptoms of being stressed earlier in the process rather than when they have been around for a while.

Second, I would call the women’s center in your county. The women’s center is used to dealing with young women and young adults who have counseling needs and can point you in the right direction.

Your parents are minimizing your feelings with their response and you need to find people who will listen. Once you make connection to the counselor or the women’s center, you can then decide, along with the counselor, what the best route is for talking to your parents.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Depressed and Stressed but My Parents Won’t Listen. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/13/depressed-and-stressed-but-my-parents-wont-listen/