Q. My mother thinks I’m faking my issues, or else isn’t taking them seriously. I don’t know what to do. There’s something really wrong with me. I know it, my friends know it, my doctor knows it, and unfortunately, so do my co workers. The only person who doesn’t know it is my own mother.
I can’t step on lines, cracks or patterns. I can’t touch doorknobs or things that I feel are contaminated, I straighten things compulsively, I just can’t…. Do certain things. It affects the way I work, and the way I live my life. I have panic attacks that I can’t control or find a source for, and because of all this, I have depression as well. I was diagnosed with depression, and during this time I explained to my doctor my other strange symptoms, and she referred me to a Psychiatrist. I thought that this was the end of my issues, that I was finally going to get some help. But when I told my mom about it, she basically brushed it all away.
She blamed all of my issues on television. She thought I was just pretending, or desperate for attention, or something else. She didn’t want to believe that perhaps I had something wrong with me. I personally don’t understand how she can think this, especially since you can’t fake a panic attack. She told me I didn’t need a psychiatrist, that I was perfectly fine. Since I am legally able to get a doctor for myself, I could just look around for someone, but there’s the lack of support that I feel, even if I did find someone, it would all be in vain because my mom would demand I stop going, or would act bitter and ask me why I’m wasting my time and money.
I honestly don’t know what to do. Should I just grit my teeth and believe that maybe I am faking it? Maybe I am just starved for attention? I really feel desperate at this point, I’m scared I’ll get worse and end up being a shut-in. I already have noticed a progression of symptoms since I first began avoiding cracks in high school. Any advice at all would be appreciated.Mom Thinks I am Faking. Do I Get Help Anyway?
Mom Thinks I am Faking. Do I Get Help Anyway?
You need to listen to your instinct regarding this matter which is to seek help no matter what your mother thinks. Unfortunately, you probably will not have her support but this should not stop you from getting help for yourself. I know this may be difficult to do, attending treatment without the expressed blessing or support of your mother but the alternative is much worse for you.
The fact that you have tried repeatedly to speak to her about this issue and her mind does not change indicates that she may never support you in seeking treatment. Most likely, it would be a waste of time and energy for you to continue to try and reason with her. She does not seem open to logic or reasoning. She may be in denial or she might have her own unresolved psychological issues that make it difficult for her to recognize your problems. My advice is this: for the sake of your own mental health, you may have to attend treatment without her knowing. You’re old enough to seek this help on your own and you definitely should.
As for support, your therapist or doctor can act as supporters. Your friends might also serve as a good support system. You can also search for a depression or anxiety support groups in your area. If you are in college or will be this fall, most campuses have mental health centers and support groups that you can attend. These services are also free and confidential (meaning they usually do not tell your parents).
Get help now. Don’t let her unwillingness or inability to see that you need help hinder you any longer. As you said, you know you need treatment as do all of the other rational-thinking individuals in your life. Your symptoms are worsening and without treatment, this will likely continue. I know that this is easier said than done but it is what you have to do.