From a teen in the U.S.: I’m 16 years old, and for about two months I’ve been hearing, and seeing things that aren’t there. They’re mainly dark figures, but sometimes when they’re close enough, I can hear them saying things. They normally say my name, or just gibberish. I’ve tried and tell me mum, but she doesn’t believe me, and my friends say I’m losing my mind. I’m having homicidal thoughts as well, but the figures, and voices are scaring me the most right now. What can I do?
A: Thank you for writing. I’m sure the appearance of these “figures” is confusing and frightening. You are wise to look for support and help soon after they started. Waiting to respond to things like this generally only adds a layer of anxiety on top of whatever is going on. That just makes any treatment more difficult.
I’m sorry your mother isn’t being supportive. Parents often get frightened by this kind of problem and write it off as a “teen issue”. The symptoms aren’t as obvious as is the case with a medical illness. You seem okay. The idea that there is a mental health issue is hard for them to cope with. It’s understandable that these parents want to avoid the problem but it’s not helpful. It might help if you tell your mom how frightened you are and that your friends are seeing something that concerns them.
The best way for you to make sense of this and to get some peace of mind is to talk to a licensed mental health counselor. From my point of view, it’s better to get a professional opinion and recommendations than to be worried and distressed. Once you have new information, you and your mom can make informed decisions about what, if anything, you need to do.
If your mother won’t or can’t help you make an appointment to see a counselor, please talk to your school counselor, your doctor or an adult relative or adult friend you trust. Often other adults are able to be more persuasive than kids with parents.
I wish you well.