Hello, I’m 13 years old, and on most days, I have auditory and visual hallucinations. Anything from mild disturbances to voices that seem to be right behind me. I feel highly anxious most of the time. I find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Some days or even weeks I feel ok or even very happy but then for a few days or weeks, I feel depressed. I don’t want to get out of bed. I’m at a point at which I’m overeating very often and I need help. I’ve talked to both my parents about these issues and my father says I don’t have these things, yet my mother says they are normal for my age. Is this stuff normal or is there a serious issue? Thank you in advance and I appreciate your support.

A. In order to make the most accurate assessment, I would need more information about your symptoms. However, the symptoms you have described are concerning. I would not categorize them as “nothing wrong” or “normal for your age.” I disagree with your parents.

Your parents are not mental health professionals and thus might have difficulty recognizing mental health problems. A common reaction by parents is denial. Their reaction might also be wishful thinking. Perhaps they believe that by minimizing the problem, it will simply go away.

It’s best to be proactive about mental health. Treatment can prevent the development of troublesome symptoms and mental health disorders. You are doing the right thing by asking for help and I commend you on your efforts.

I would encourage you to tell your parents that you wrote to us at Psych Central. Suggest that they speak to your primary care or pediatric physician about your symptoms. If that doesn’t work, report your symptoms to your school guidance counselor or another trusted adult. They might be able to speak to your parents for you.

You should also inform your parents that depression is highly treatable with medication and counseling. Treatment works. If you can convey that message to them, they might be open to your getting help. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle