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Should I Tell My Family About My Failing Medications?

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I am a 16-year-old girl who takes medication for ADHD, depression, and anxiety, at one time i could feel emotions while taking these medications but recently I have been feeling numb again to the point where I want to start cutting again even though i have been scar free for 2 years. My family is also struggling to pay to keep our house, so i don’t want to trouble them with more bills from both my Therapist and the doctor who proscribed them for me. because of my numbness, my grades have been slipping. there is also the fact that I have been a brat to them for the dumbness of things. I just want to feel something again I don’t know how long it will be until I start cutting again. (From the USA)

Should I Tell My Family About My Failing Medications?

Answered by on -


I am sorry you are having this struggle. The combination of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, and cutting are a tough combination to manage. Before we dive into what could be done, let me first identify your incredible strengths of persistence, courage, and love for your family. These are very evident in your description. For a young woman of 16, you are already showing some remarkable character strengths that you don’t want to overlook. These are not only platitudes — these are important traits that will be important for you to rely on as you move forward.

While I’m not a physician I am aware that the combination and nuance approach for the conditions of ADHD, depression, and anxiety are important to manage properly. If you feel the medicines are causing you too much numbness the best and the first course of action is to talk to both your therapist and physician about these feelings. It is not a bother to them, but they cannot help if they don’t know what is happening for you. Also, you are in a much better position to help yourself now than if the cutting begins again. If you want to help your parents not have to deal with a more severe symptom (which will likely cost more) doing something to prevent this will be a huge help. As Ben Franklin said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

While I wouldn’t wait to get this information to them I would also be prepared to give them as much data as possible. Let them know when you feel least numb — and when you feel it the most. Being able to notice the distinction between these states is an import bit of information. The desire to cut can often be triggered by a desire to feel something, so rather than say you feel numb all the time, look for those moments when you are less numb — or even those times when feelings breakthrough.

The other trait I want to highlight is your self-control. Being scar free for two years, I am certain it has not been easy. You have already been dealing with the urges and it is a tremendous credit to your ability for self-reflection that allows you to want to stay in the prevention mode. Emotional self-regulation is one of the top strengths a person can have — and you have two solid years o this going for you.

You’ve taken an important step by writing us here at PsychCentral. You may want to check out our forums to connect with others who struggle with these symptoms, and bring as much information back to your therapist and physician as you can.

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

Should I Tell My Family About My Failing Medications?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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). Should I Tell My Family About My Failing Medications?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 29 Dec 2019 (Originally: 1 Jan 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 29 Dec 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.