It must be frightening to not be able to trust anyone enough to ask for help. Not only is that frightening but it is a very lonely feeling. Clearly, you are struggling with multiple issues, most notably depression and suicidal ideation. I am glad that you decided to write because it gives me a chance to possibly shed light on your situation and to offer you hope.
Please know that this is not a hopeless situation. Actually, the opposite is true. You can be helped. Yes, there are issues to deal with but as you mentioned, this is the first time you have let anyone know that you need help. The fact is that by writing this letter you have begun the process of seeking help. In the grand scheme of things, writing an anonymous letter is only a small step in the process, but it is a step nonetheless.
You seem to be experiencing depression and suicidal ideation. You feel that there is little or no hope for you. You have a great deal of difficulty interacting with others, to the point where you completely avoid it and have created a fantasy world. In this fantasy world, you feel safe. You can be yourself without fear of what others might think of you. It’s a freeing feeling, which may even be addicting. That might explain why you increasingly find yourself reverting to the fantasy world. Psychologically, it’s a safe haven for you and thus you allow yourself increasingly more often to enter this realm. The increase in frequency may be psychologically preferable to you but it is problematic. It’s okay to daydream; we all do it from time to time, but the fear is that eventually you will not be able to “bring yourself back” from your fantasy world and that you will lose touch with reality completely. To lose touch with reality is to be psychotic.
I do not want to alarm you, but I would strongly advise you to seek help from a therapist immediately. This is the next step in the process. Writing a letter is the first step. Asking for help and presenting your situation to a mental health professional, face-to-face, are the next necessary steps. I strongly recommend therapy because you are struggling with serious issues and your way of handling the situation is to slip into a fantasy world. The danger is, as I mentioned above, that you will be unable to return to reality. I worry this might happen to you and that is why you should consider talking to a therapist about these issues. He or she could address these issues and teach you new skills that will equip you to live in the “real world.” Remember, the fantasy world is not real. It is made up of imaginary people, places and ideas. It is okay to fantasize and to use your imagination, but not to the point where you feel compelled to escape into fantasy because you fear reality.
The biggest concern, of course, is that you are depressed and suicidal. That makes it all the more important that you seek help immediately.
If you are not sure how to speak to your parents about this, then give them this letter and my response. If you do not want go to your parents, then give this letter to a school counselor or school official. If you believe that you might harm yourself or someone else, call emergency services immediately or take yourself to an emergency room. Lastly, if you are feeling overwhelmed or confused, call 800-273-8255 to speak to a counselor trained to deal with suicidal thoughts. It is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis.
One last thing: you wrote at the end of your letter that you know you need help. You have a strong sense that something is wrong. The good news is that everything you wrote about is treatable, but it requires that you ask for help. I understand that you may be frightened but please know that getting help is nothing to fear. Millions of people are helped by mental health professionals and it changes their lives for the better. Good luck.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on November 20, 2009.