You need to make the right decision. You need to do what is best for you, in the long run. You should not let fear drive your decision-making. It can lead you astray and might lead to more suffering. Generally speaking, if you think that something is wrong, then it should be investigated. You should not feel shame when seeking treatment for mental health problems. Being open to treatment is indicative of a healthier mind. It is a sign of someone who is willing to take the necessary steps to improve their life and who correctly recognizes that treatment is the most efficient way to feel better.
I doubt that you would feel shame if you developed the flu and had to call your doctor for an antiviral medicine. You should feel no more shame about seeking help for mental health problems than you would for seeking help for medical problems.
You might consider two options. If you are a college student, then you can seek treatment from your school’s counseling center. College counseling services are typically free to all registered students. They will also keep your visits confidential.
Another option is your local community mental health treatment center. You may be eligible for free services which might allow you to access treatment without your mother being notified.
Regarding your mother, you should reconsider your keeping this from her. If she knew what was wrong, she might be able to help. You may be making assumptions about how she will react. Many teens feel as though they can’t speak to their parents about their problems and often they are making a mistake. Most parents would do everything in their power to help their children.
I strongly urge you to seek help, to stop keeping secrets and to be open with your mother about how you are feeling. You may be surprised by her reaction. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle