I’ve been struggling with school. It’s been harder to cope with the stress of moving and having no friends. I feel like I can’t talk to my mother about this because she scares me when I bring up issues in school. Last quarter I had a 3.6 GPA, which is pretty good. So far it’s gotten worse. I have 2 d’s in algebra and English. Normally I’m an amazing English student but I’ve been struggling because of my teacher. She’s an awful teacher always talking about how she’s a published author and we should be perfect at everything. I’ve also been struggling due to the fact that I’ve moved to a place I hate. Everyone here does drugs and drinks. I don’t like that. I miss where I used to live. Life is getting me down. Anytime I read an article about depression I start crying for no reason. I’m worried about myself and my grades, please help!

A. I’m sorry that you are experiencing such a rough time. It’s difficult to move and to be uprooted from your friends. It is not easy to find new friends in an unfamiliar place. Many people have had to endure a similar experience. It’s no fun and it can feel everlasting, but I’m here to tell you that it isn’t. It might be difficult temporarily, but it will get better. You won’t always have an “awful” teacher. Eventually, the school year will end and you will have better teachers more suited to your needs.

There are many periods in life when things are not ideal but the key to enduring these difficult times is having coping skills. These skills can be learned in counseling. Thus, your immediate goal should be finding a way to convince your mother to take you to counseling.

You mentioned that you can’t talk to her about these things because she “scares” you, but don’t let this stop you from asking for help. Tell her that you are stressed, struggling and want help. Don’t hold back. She needs to hear the truth. Ask her to help you find a counselor. It is a reasonable request for you to make. You might even tell her that you wrote to us at Psych Central.

In the meantime, you should speak to the school guidance counselor. They can help you deal with the stress of adjusting to a new school. They can also refer you to a counselor for more intensive treatment, should it be necessary.

Based on the information you have provided, I would characterize this as an adjustment issue. Undoubtedly, it’s difficult to leave your friends behind. Change is difficult for everyone. Adjustments are rarely easy but they will go more smoothly with professional counseling. I hope that this answer will help you in knowing how to proceed. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle