First and foremost, I’d like to preface this with the clarification that my parents are good people. They mean well. They’ve tried to help me with my depression and anxiety in any way possible. I’m lucky. But lately they’ve been unintentionally making me feel so much worse. But when I try to communicate this, my complaints fall on deaf ears. They just can’t seem to comprehend that they don’t have me, their own daughter, figured out.

A little history: I’m 14 years old, and my depression developed around the time I turned twelve. The anxiety came along the following year. I was always a straight-A student, and I was able to maintain an academic average of 98. Then my motivation suddenly plummeted, and with it my grades. I’m already in two high school level courses (I’m in eighth grade), and next year I’m taking entirely pre-IB/AP classes. I don’t know how I’m going to handle that. Last year I was so stressed I tried to kill myself. But then I started taking medication, and I’ve been noticeably better these past few months.

Yet my grades have yet to improve. It’s frustrating, because I know that I’m capable of earning adequate grades. I’ve got the brains and the skills. But something is just holding me back. My parents seem to think that they can just drill this out of me. They punish me when I don’t hand in an assignment on time, even if I was straight up struggling to breathe from being strangled by my own damn mind while I did it. They take away my laptop and my phone, among other things. First world problems, I know, but I have plenty of online friends (that doesn’t mean I don’t have real life friends) and communities (read: fandoms) that I follow. And I’m an obsessive writer: it’s the one thing keeping me sane at this point. I just loose it when I’m denied access to these comforts.

But that’s not my main issue. My parents, despite claiming otherwise, definitely think that I’m lazy. I see it in their body language and their dialogue. In brief, they seem convinced that they have me figured out in all that I do and say. I try to suggest that they’re incorrect, but they insist otherwise, because what would I know?

Idk, I need advice. Help?

A:  If your parents are aware of your depression yet still believe you are lazy, it is time for you and them to get in front of a family therapist. This organization will have some very good referrals in your area. A professional will help them help you get back on track without making you feel worse about your courageous struggle.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral