Self-assurance and self-esteem develop over time. It is quite normal for teenagers to lack confidence. Generally, people develop self-esteem as they accomplish more in life. The more accomplishments that one has, the more “proof” of one’s ability and thus the increase in self-confidence.
Though it may be normal for teenagers to lack self-confidence, your situation is concerning because of the cutting, depression and suicidal thoughts. These problems are serious and are degrading the quality of your life.
Like many people with depression, you seem to minimize your positive achievements and maximize negative aspects of your life. You also seem to be comparing yourself to others, which is problematic. Since each individual is so unique, any comparison to others will ultimately be an unfair and an unmatched comparison.
I don’t suspect that you have a mental health disorder per se but rather are misperceiving reality. In other words, you may be cognitively wrong about how you perceive yourself. You are a perfect candidate for psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is also recommended because you’ve “been trying to change yourself” but it’s been a struggle.
You have not informed your parents about these issues. Your parents need to be aware of your suicidal ideation, self-harm and depression. Your parents need to know so that they can assist you in receiving the appropriate treatment.
You seem to want help which is very encouraging. People who want help and who are willing to receive it have a very good prognosis with regard to resolving their psychological problems. The problems that you are describing are very, very common. When you look around you at school, many of the people that you are looking at are experiencing the same problems that you are. When they look at you, they might think, “why can’t I be happy and normal like her?” They don’t know what you are feeling on the inside and you don’t know how they feel on the inside.
Counseling can be a great help to you. It can make life much better. There is no reason to suffer, when help is so available to you. If you had a toothache, I would want you to see a dentist because they can easily take away your pain. Counseling can, likewise, easily take away your pain. Report your symptoms to your parents and ask if they could assist you in seeking professional mental health treatment. You will be glad that you did. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog