Despite my numerous attempts to reach out to my parents for support about my mental health, I am constantly dismissed and told it’s ‘not that bad’ and I’m treated like I have to ‘just get over it’ and receive no compassion or support. It’s like they could care less about me at all. I’d like to seek treatment for previously diagnosed mental illness along with ones I suspect I may have, but I feel like I won’t be able to be successful with my parents constantly making me feel like my illnesses are made-up or just an excuse. None of my attempts to make them understand do any good, they just see them as more excuses as to why I can’t function ‘like an adult.’ I approached my mom recently to express concern that I may have dependent personality disorder and avoidant personality disorder, and she basically just waved me off and dismissed my concerns. It really tore me up and disappointed me. I already suffer from depression and anxiety.
I have no friends to speak of or other family I could get support from and I feel totally alone and afraid. I’m 30 years old and can barely care for myself (I still live with them and am unable to live on my own currently), which is why I want to get help. Will I be able to even successfully get help with them constantly belittling me and my problems? It’s already a struggle to find help, as an incredibly small amount of places accept my insurance, so I’m afraid if I finally do find someone to help me, my parent’s attitude with me will just counter-act any help I get. What should I do? Why are they so dismissive of my mental health? (age 30, from US)
I’m sorry that you feel your parents are not supporting your mental health needs. Unfortunately, many people still don’t fully understand how serious and debilitating mental health conditions can be and thus tend to minimize them. Until you are stronger yourself, attempting to change your parents’ opinions may be a wasted effort. I’m sure you’ve heard the line about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Your time and energy will be better served by finding good treatment providers and seeking support from those who are already educated on the topics. Although there are many good therapists in private practice, from what you are describing, you may be a more appropriate candidate for a mental health agency that can offer a team approach — individual therapy, psychiatry, case management and group support. I did a quick internet search and found several community mental health centers in your area. Please reach out to them.
You may also benefit from making contact with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and this resource would be an excellent connection for you parents as well. Further, there are many online support groups on this site (Psych Central) that you can make contact with immediately.
Although it may be difficult at first, taking charge of your own health and treatment will reap more benefit than expecting help from those around you. You deserve to be heard and validated — so choose your audience carefully.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
No Parental Support for My Mental Health
Holly Counts, Psy.D.
Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.
APA Reference Counts, H. (2018). No Parental Support for My Mental Health. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/04/06/no-parental-support-for-my-mental-health/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 6 Apr 2016) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.