Should I Seek Out Therapy?

Published: January 12, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Should I seek therapy? Is it possible to do so with out parents knowing? I reside in California, if that helps with the laws. Honestly I don't know what to do, anymore. Let me start off with saying that I don't have any suicidal thoughts or thoughts on harming myself. However I do have emotional problems that I need help dealing with. I want to talk to someone but I can't find myself trusting anyone that I personally know to talk too. I feel depressed, I guess. Maybe not yet to the point of depression but probably getting there. I've never had a close relationship with my parents, don't get me wrong they're great parents but I can't trust them. My dad cheated on my mom and my mom airs out all our information. Telling my mom would be like telling a local news channel. Lately, my grades have dropped. I've always been an A students but lately I got my first F and I'm settling for Bs. I don't have the motivation or will to study and things that I used to love, I simply don't anymore. What should I do? What's wrong with me?
Signed: Should I Seek Out Therapy?

Dear Should I Seek Out Therapy?,

TeenHealthFX does not think that anything is “wrong” with you. It sounds to TeenHealthFX like you are dealing with two issues that certainly may be connected and that many people deal with. The first is that it does sound like you are dealing with a certain level of depression. To feel depressed, to not feel motivated to do things like you used to, and to not be interested in the things you used to love – these are all symptoms of depression. Second, it sounds like there are some relationship issues between you and your parents. You stated that you are not close to either of your parents. It is also understandable that you would have trust issues with your parents between your father’s infidelity and your mother’s inability to keep healthy boundaries when it comes to private and personal information about you. The problem with not being close with your parents and not being able to trust them is that it contributes to the sadness you feel and also leaves you alone in dealing with your feelings.

TeenHealthFX thinks that it would be very helpful for you to meet with a reputable mental health professional, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist. It is important for a therapist to work with you so that the depressed mood and issues in your relationships with your parents can be addressed. It would be ideal for your parents to be involved in your therapy so that the relationships can be worked on and improved. But if for some reason this is not possible because your parents are completely resistant to addressing these issues, then it is important for you to discuss with a therapist how to handle these relationships (and your feelings about them) if the relationships are not going to change any time in the near future.

FX can appreciate your wanting to deal with this without your parents, but try and keep in mind that they need to be included because they are a part of the problem. If you have concerns about addressing this directly with them, consider speaking to a school social worker or school psychologist so that someone can intervene on your behalf with them.

FX would also like to say that given the trust issues you have with your parents, it would make sense that you may have trust issues with other people as well. This may likely include the therapist you work with. Do not let these trust issues deter you from seeking out therapy, but rather make it something to address in the work that you do in therapy.

If you need help finding a therapist, you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

You can also get information from the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) California website or from the Mental Health Services Division – California Department of Health Care Services.

Signed: TeenHealthFX