by Cynthia

So I'm gonna start from the very beginning..(I'm 14 now).
3 or 4 years ago, I was that girl who always was alone and never had any friends, my classmates would ignore me when I talked, I never got chosen for groups, bottom line, nobody loved me, nobody wanted me...

However, this year, things have changed a great deal. I started being having friends, great friends. I started t be more socially open, boys were a forbidden territory for me, we never spoke at all. But the problem is that for these past 7 or 8 months I've been going through these very depressive episodes (I fit the bill for depression symptoms). I never actually hurt myself but I wish I could, something just stops me. My relationship is deteriorating with my mother, we are having a lot of fights, I start talking rudely and -according to her- I have a bad attitude. I'm generally a nervous person. My brother is only 12 but he's becoming very abusive, both verbally and physically, I'm afraid that from my violence, he picked that up.

However, now for 3 months maybe, I got to know this amazing person whom I felt comfortable saying anything to and I can trust with anything. Ever since having this special relationship, my depression has gone away, but I still fight and binge. When this person is around, I feel great, very happy - but when they're not, I kinda crash and just feel very depressed and just feel that I'm suffocating.

So, that's my whole story, I was just worried, I don't want to go like this, it's very hard. I can't seem to tell my parents that I need therapy or that I may be depressed (Not in my community). I don't know whether this is a teen thing or is it something I should worry about..

Thanks for your time.

Ben's Answer:

You seem to have a lot of good insight and self-awareness. Most adults would say that the hardest period of their childhood was around the age of 13 or 14. At this age you're going through intense and major changes in your emotions, your personality, your social life. It's common for parents to get frustrated, when their kid gets moody and negative, and they simply label it "bad attitude." As hard as it may be, it's really important to try to actually communicate, in words, what you are feeling and thinking. Otherwise, your parents will just see the external stuff - the "attitude" and they wont really understand.

So many kids your age tell me they can't tell their parents they want to see a therapist. I personally think that any child/teen that wants to see a therapist should be allowed to. It should be the law in my opinion. I don't think it's any different than asking to see a doctor when your sick. They would call it child abuse if a parent said, "I know your sick, but I won't let you see the doctor - because what would people think..."
Seeing a therapist is a confidential matter that should be respected - no matter what your reasons are. But I also realize there are still many communities - especially in rural areas - where people still think therapists only see "crazy people." Most unfortunate.

Try to focus on the positive things in your life. It's wonderful that you have good friends now. That is one of the most life-changing things that you could experience at this age - forming new trusted friendships. It's easy to get overly attached to a friend or a boyfriend. Just try to recognize that your happiness doesn't really come "from" another person. Your happiness is within your self. It's just that you become aware of it when you are with certain people. It's through relationship that we learn the most about ourselves - and sometimes it's painful. But you have to take the good with the bad, or you wont grow as a person. Don't be hard on yourself. It's normal to have lots of ups and downs at your age.

If you can't see a therapist, you could try using Meridian Tapping/EFT to help your depression; and you could also call a free crisis line (confidential), like the Adolescent Crisis Intervention & Counseling Nineline:
1-800-999-9999 (or one of the other free hotlines listed on this site).

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT

Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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