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Depression and Anorexia

by hrcounts

When I was in the seventh grade I always joked about depression. I never knew how serious it could be. My mother abandoned our family when I was little and got into drugs. My dad has been a single parent almost all his life. In 8th grade I started to realize that it was not a joke, because I had it. I stayed in my room, I drew away from my family and sports, and then one day I cut myself. It was the only feeling I had experienced in quite a while. And then when that became a habit, I stopped eating. I know this is serious and it should stop but I have no idea of how I should tell my mom, who has come back and I thought she deserved another chance. I just recently moved in with her about 4 months and all it’s done is made everything so much worse. I want to go to the doctor and let him help me. (age 15, from US)

I’m sorry that you are feeling depressed. Writing in was a great step forward in getting some help, but I agree, you probably need more than just this. I think it was kind of you to give your mom another chance, we all deserve them, but giving someone another chance doesn’t mean you have to live with them. If you were happier living with your father, maybe you should consider going back or at least splitting your time between them.

As for getting some professional help, don’t worry so much about telling your parents “why” you need to talk to a therapist, just let them know that you do. The therapist can help you explain the details later. You can tell them that you have been feeling sad or that you have been struggling with some stressful situations at school and you want to talk to someone who can help you.

In the meantime, rather than not eating or cutting yourself to deal with your pain, please try to find some positive coping skills. You can talk to friends, exercise, keep a journal, volunteer at the animal shelter, etc. These types of things can help a great deal without causing you physical damage. I hope things improve soon.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

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