How do I tell my mom I want a therapist?

by kimberly
(new mexico)

How do i tell my mom I'm depressed and that I want a therapist? I wish I could tell her but I know she'd think it's stupid because she thinks it's dumb that one of my friends has one, and she wouldn't be concerned that I'm telling her I'm depressed. She'd yell at me for wanting a therapist and I want to go to the school counselors but they always just put you on drugs and that's what I don't want. I feel it will get rid of the pain but like I will never get over it.

Ben's Answer:

If you only knew how many kids tell me they're afraid to tell their parents they want to see a therapist. Sometimes it's worth it - to stand up to your parent and tell them, assertively, that you need to talk to a counselor - a neutral person who can listen and understand you - even if your mom gets upset or yells. Most parents get upset or angry, when actually they're just stressed out, overwhelmed, scared and worried that their kid is having troubles and they don't know how to fix it themselves. So they feel like they're failing as a parent.

She may seem angry, but it might be more that she's angry at herself - not you.

In some states a child can see a therapist without their parent's consent if they are being abused by a parent, and telling that parent would put them in danger (like if the parent would be abusive to you if they knew). I don't know if this is true for your situation, and I don't know the laws in New Mexico.

Seeing a school counselor will not mean they will put you on drugs. A school counselor has no authority, or Medical license to give you medication. But it may be true that you can't get any real "counseling time" with a counselor. It's worth a try though.

Here's another good option: Try a free hotline - there are teen lines that you can call anytime, confidentially, and toll free. You can see the listing here:

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz

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