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My Parents Won’t Believe that I Have Mental Illnesses

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Recently, I have been feeling very depressed, hopeless, anxious, etc. I have been binge eating constantly and my grades have suffered an insanely large drop. Upon getting my report card, my parents took away everything and nearly kicked me out of the house. In the past, they have talked about how depression and anxiety are not real illnesses and how they are just a call for attention, so I have been very scared to approach them about it. When I finally drew up the courage to approach them about it when they were yelling at me about my grades, they basically laughed in my face and told me that I was making it up. I really do feel like I need help from a psychiatrist or therapist, but they refuse to get me the help I need. What do I do about it, how do I teach them that mental illness is real and how do I show them that I have it? (From the USA)

My Parents Won’t Believe that I Have Mental Illnesses

Answered by on -


I am sorry your parents are not understanding how important your well-being is. When parents minimize their child’s emotional needs they are neglecting their primary responsibility. I’m sorry you have had to endure this.

Go around them and do not wait. Make an appointment with your school counselor as soon as possible and let them know it is important. Depression and anxiety are real and your parents saying otherwise doesn’t change that fact. The school counselors are adults in you school specifically trained to help. They are equipped to help you deal with both your emotions — and your parents.

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

My Parents Won’t Believe that I Have Mental Illnesses

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). My Parents Won’t Believe that I Have Mental Illnesses. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 1 May 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 1 May 2019
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