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Anxiety and Depression Support
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How do I convince my family that I need to talk to a therapist?

I was diagnosed with GAD at the ripe age of 9. My mother had once taken me to a mental health facility and there I talked to a therapist. I don't actually remember why I never went back and I was so young I didn't quite understand the questions she was asking me. Questions like "What do you think about that makes you so anxious?" and I would respond with something similar to "I don't know, it's random." I wasn't aware that was a symptom of that disorder, I was just young and confused and wondering why I kept having panic attacks for no correlated reason.

I'm 16 now and I haven't been back since. And I feel like it's getting worse. Most days I'm so tired and I have no motivation to do anything, I stay in my room avoiding socialization, societal expectations, and responsibilities. When I'm at school I hide in the bathroom during lunch because of the loud noises and the fear of people watching me eat. Sometimes when I'm staring at myself in a mirror I feel like I'm not *ME*. I always feel spaced out, lost, and confused. And I start to think real hard about existence like why am I here, do I exist, and does anything matter in the grand scheme of things if we're just going to die in the end?

I asked my mom several times if I could talk to a therapist but she always brushes me off and says "I don't need it". So I'm running out of options. What should I do?

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Legally you should be able to seek attention. That said you might need an adult to sign off actual treatment. If you feel suicidal or want to harm yourself then get attention immediately.

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Hi Cosmicskittles,

I am sorry that you are struggling with severe anxiety, panic attacks. I apologize for answering your question with a question, but I'd like to know if your mother is aware of what's going on at school and at home? It sounds like a silly question but my mom never seemed to notice that anything was wrong. She knew I was quiet and anxious but she never really knew what was going on day to day. She was dealing with her own issues most of the time. Is there someone in the family who could speak to her on your behalf if she won't listen to you? Maybe even a family friend, counselor, or teacher?

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I have told her twice and the reply is always the same: "You're fine." So \_( '_' )_/ idk what to do at this point

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Thank you. She needs a wake up call. How do feel about discussing this with a counselor or teacher? Do you have someone who might be able to get through to her?

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Im looking into other options for you.

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Do you mind telling what state you live in so that I can research the law concerning mental health treatment for minors?

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I want to mention something else, but I am not saying you shouldn't seek therapy. Therapy is VERY IMPORTANT.

About 24 states offer virtual public school, but course offerings are a little different in each state. I know of a few high schoolers who are taking that route.

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Yeah, I decided to talk to my school counselor. And I live in Alabama.

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I'm in Alabama! Yes, talk to your counselor. Also, I know of a few people who are taking virtual high school classes.

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The thing is I don't know if my parents would agree to me taking virtual high school classes. They're very traditional.

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Okay. Let's take one step at a time. First, they need to hear and really understand what is going on. I say this because I know parents who are very traditional but once they understood that virtual classes were best for their child, they agreed.

If you think it might work for you, the counselors can help you get through to them. But, please take one step at a time, okay?

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The fact that you are 16 and you WANT help, is huge. Most people don't figure out they need help until they are much older. Dealing with these issues now will make a huge difference in your life. Have you explained to your mom the reasons why you think therapy would be a good move for you? Like those reasons you listed above, like feeling not yourself, avoiding social situations, etc? I hope she comes around and that you're able to get a therapist, it can be so helpful.

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That's true teddy.

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I’m (sort of) in a similar situation.

I’ve never been to therapy, before, though.

Perhaps— you can talk with a teacher or so about it?

I don’t have much to say, other than that I wish you luck.

— A. ♡

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Hi you must have a school counsellor so have a word with them. I don't know what country you live in but at 16 you should be able to access treatment yourself and your parents wouldn't need to know unless you chose to tell them. Obviously if you have to pay this might be problematic but unless you are suicidal or otherwise at risk any conversation between you and your doctor should be confidential. x

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I think talking to a school counselor would be the most logical solution to this. Thank you for that suggestion.

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All teenagers go through this however you're sixteen live in UK then you can goto Dr yourself and ask the Dr for help your parents don't have to give permission. Good luck my friend.

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To start on a positive note, it's good that you know what's causing you all this trouble and you found out at a young age, understanding is very important. I'm not an expert but from my own experience it sounds like you're also suffering from depression, possibly due to your anxiety not being treated effectively. Having an existential crisis is part of growing up and I've been reliably informed by my daughter who is nearly 15 that her philosophy and theology teacher aims to give the class a mini existential crisis every lesson as it's good for your personal development apparently! If your symptoms are getting worse you definitely need to get some help, I'm in the UK and I get the impression you're in America so I'm not sure how the system works but if all the American TV shows are anything to go by you should be able to talk to a school counsellor and they will hopefully put something in place or advise you on how to go about getting help for yourself. At the very least, it would do you good to speak to an adult who understands your problems and it's part of their job as it affecting you at school. Take care, hope you get the help you need and feel better soon x

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I started having anxiety attacks in my teens as well. I use to cut school and avoid social situations. I did seek help and I got through it and went on to college. I think you should see if there is a counselor at your school and you can meet with them quietly during breaks. Unfortunately if you do not seek treatment it will continue to develop until you have an outlet for your GAD. You are not alone

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Hey, I'm sorry you're going through this. Yes, it depends where you live...you may be able to see your doctor without parents present. School counselors are a good start. Have you spoken to your dad also? If you feel like you really need therapy, I would TELL the parents, making it seem more urgent than asking. If that made any sense. Give them details and talk to them about what you're feeling. It might be more alarming if they knew exactly what you're going through instead of just stating that you want to see a therapist. I hope everything goes well!

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You should find the one person you trust. Tell them that you've been dealing with a lot of issues personally and find yourself struggling and you want to not be that way. Maybe you can ask someone if they can get you this book bit.ly/My-Child

It speaks on anxiety and depression in children. I hope things get better for you! I am 36 and I'm struggling with the same thing. I have acute anxiety disorder and major depression disorder and so I know 100% the toll it can take on a person. Me, I make it thru one day at a time and try not to think about tomorrow. I do the best I can and try to be happy I did that much.

Best of luck to you!

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