You mentioned that you are too frightened to ask for a therapist, but then said you were diagnosed with anxiety by a professional. I’m wondering how you were diagnosed with anxiety by a professional, if you’ve never seen a therapist. Typically, therapists provide those types of diagnoses. Perhaps you were diagnosed by your primary care physician or your pediatrician. Maybe that’s what you meant by being diagnosed by a professional.
I’m also curious about why, if you were diagnosed with this anxiety, you weren’t offered treatment. Most professionals, when they give a diagnosis, either refer the client for treatment or provide the treatment themselves. It is not clear what happened in your situation.
Your emotional numbness, irritability, anger, bottling up of emotions, feeling on edge, inability to get out of bed, and so forth, are all suggestive of depression. You would need to be evaluated by a professional to determine if depression is an appropriate diagnosis. It’s important to know the truth.
Many teenagers, feel the way you do about asking for help. It can be especially difficult when you first have to convince your parents that there is something wrong. As you noted, your parents don’t seem to think there’s anything wrong. Maybe that is because they don’t know all of the facts. Have you shared this information with them? Perhaps the only symptom they see is you staying in bed for too long, leading them to falsely believe that you’re just a moody teenager who likes to sleep. Do they know that you feel emotionally numb? Do they know that it’s physically difficult for you to get out of bed? Did they know that you feel like you’re going to snap? In all likelihood, they have not been made aware of those symptoms and are making assumptions based on limited information.
The solution to this problem is, to be honest with your parents about what you’re feeling. They need to know the truth. If they knew the full truth, in all likelihood, they would be doing more to help. If you share this information with them and they’re still unwilling to help, then contact the school counselor or another trusted faculty member. They are trained to know what to do in these situations and can help you. Even if it’s the summer and school is out of session, there’s likely a way to get in touch with a school representative via the Internet.
As for feeling frightened about seeking help, please understand that therapists are in the helping profession. It’s what they do. They know how to help people overcome the types of symptoms you are experiencing. They understand that initial sessions will be nerve-racking and are trained to help you feel comfortable about starting therapy. Give it a try and you will see there is nothing to be afraid of.
It’s especially important to ask for help given your belief that the “world would be better off” without you. That element of hopelessness, in your letter, provides insight into the depths of your suffering. The proper solution to this problem is to ask for help. Do it even if you’re frightened. Be brave because it is the right thing to do. I hope that you will give it a try. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle