Was It A Mistake Asking My Dad If I Could See A Counselor?

Published: May 05, 2014
Dear Was It A Mistake Asking My Dad If I Could See A Counselor?,

So I've been really depressed for about six months now and for awhile I was cutting myself, not eating, and using inhalants and taking a lot of (legal)drugs that I didn't really need. However, I stopped the cutting and drugs a four months ago. But one of my friends was concerned and told my swim coach who called my parents, but I lied my way out of the situation. I seemed to get better for awhile but then I started thinking about suicide and I had a plan and everything. And one night I tried to finish it but I couldn't. But I really regret that decision to stop sometimes. And recently all I can think of is suicide. My grades have also tanked which is really bad in AP classes. Surprisingly though the last week has been really good and I have barely thought ,and not seriously at all, about suicide. But a friend convinced me to ask my parents to let me see a counselor, so I did last night, and my Dad said yes. But maybe I don't need to since I have been feeling better? But, I am worried about how they'll react when they find out I am suicidal. My family is really strict and super religious and they are all in the medical field. I just don't want to be more of a failure to my parents... And because some things like cutting and drugs and suicide attempts are automatic disqualifiers for some jobs I have to lie and keep those things hidden. And do they even matter since it's been months since I did any of that? And I am really worried if I tell them about my plan or how much I think about suicide that they'll hospitalize me or lock everything in my house away or don't allow me to be alone. I've been like thins for months but I have been controlling myself really well, but what if they don't understand that? And my cousin had similar problems and they told EVERYONE! Is there any way I can get her to not tell my extended family and her friends? DO I need to tell a counselor upfront that I am suicidal? I think maybe asking my Dad to see a counselor was a mistake... any ideas?

Dear Was It A Mistake Asking My Dad If I Could See A Counselor?,

TeenHealhFX does not think it was a mistake for you to let your father know that you need to see a therapist right now. Given the issues you are currently dealing with, FX thinks that it is very important for you to meet with a reputable mental health professional, such as a clinical psychologist or clinical social worker, so that you can get the help you need.

FX would like to stress the importance of getting help even if you have moments where things are feeling better. Many mental health issues can be like a roller coaster – there are moments where it levels off and things might be feeling somewhat fine and even, but eventually there are going to be dips and drop-offs to deal with if the issues are left untreated.

When you meet with your therapist for the first time, FX suggests that you start off by asking the therapist what his/her confidentiality policies are in terms of what information is shared with parents when that person works with teens. FX would also recommend that you let the therapist know what your concerns are in terms of how your parents might be react if they find out certain details about the issues you are dealing with. FX wonders how much this fear is part of the problem – that to disclose to your parents ways in which you are struggling brings up more fear in you than a sense of comfort. And FX thinks this issue would be important to address in therapy as well. If you let your therapist know your concerns, he/she can proceed in a way where you feel safe in how these issues are being addressed.

Again, FX thinks it is a very good thing that you have alerted your father to your need to see a therapist. FX thinks it will be helpful for some of the personal issues you have described to be addressed by a mental health professional, as well as for some of the problematic family dynamics to be dealt with.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area 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.

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Memorial hospital at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), available 24 hours a day, or the Suicide & Crisis Hotline, 1-800-999-9999, 24 hours, 7 days a week.