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How Do I Ask My Parents for Help?

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From a young man in Poland: I was university student but since quarantine started I couldn’t force myself to work and I dropped out university. I had no reason, I was just sad and I felt it’s going nowhere. I didn’t tell my parents because I felt that maybe I’ll be able to fix everything and I didn’t want to worry them, also they have their own problems.

But now it’s near to end of academic year and I can’t hide it anymore. I don’t want to disappoint them but I had to. They think I’m good child and I feel awful that I’m just liar that failed them. I think I need professional help, because I was very sad and heavily afraid of social situations for several years now but I don’t want to worry my parents.

I have to talk about therapy with them but I know they will be sad and I would have to use their money but I don’t want to bother them even more. How should I say them about my university and ask them for help? I don’t want them to blame themselves for my failures. I’m terrified when I think about this talk, I don’t know what to do.

How Do I Ask My Parents for Help?

Answered by on -

A.

IT looks to me like the truth is going to come out on its own when your grades arrive — or — you can find the courage to tell them the the truth. I think it’s better for you to do the right thing and admit that you dropped out of school. It will be difficult enough for them to realize that you are in so much distress without also having to handle the breach of trust that comes from lying about it.

You did have a reason. You didn’t set out to fail or to disappoint your parents. It sounds to me like it’s possible that you have been fighting with a depression and possibly a social anxiety disorder. I don’t have another information to make a diagnosis, of course. But what you shared in your letter does suggest investigating those possibilities.

Talking to your parents will be difficult. I do understand that and I sympathize. But not talking to them will be more difficult. So the thing to do is to try your best to tell them what has happened and why. You could start by showing them your letter (and this response).

You do need treatment. I don’t know what mental health services are available to you. Do check to see if your university has any mental health services for students like yourself. Many schools want to retain their students and will provide academic and psychological services to keep a good student on track. If face to face therapy sessions aren’t available, consider working with a counselor online. Other alternatives are outlined in the following articles here at Psych Central:

You could also consider what you can do to help pay for a private therapist.

Yes, this conversation will be difficult. Do work on keeping your defenses down. Be patient with their confusion and even anger. You’ve had months to think about this. They haven’t. The situation is a problem to be solved, not a reason to fight. You and your parents love each other. You are all smart adults. Working together, you can figure out what to do.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Ask My Parents for Help?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). How Do I Ask My Parents for Help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/07/25/how-do-i-ask-my-parents-for-help/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 23 Jul 2020 (Originally: 25 Jul 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 23 Jul 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.