From a teen in Nigeria: I have depression and low self-esteem I have been living with my parents and they make me feel like I’m not good enough for anything and i distance myself from everyone and they keep complaining,
i am always unhappy with everything and i feel like ending myself so i cut myself just so i can feel pain cause i feel numb, i am mentally exhausted and physically too, they know what i want and every time i do something wrong they use it to threaten me.
I’ve always been like this since i was younger, i want to feel happy, i want to be normal, i took a depression test and they said i suffer from severe depression, i don’t know what to do, i need help please
I’m sorry you feel so unhappy and that your parents are so hard on you. But since they aren’t able or willing to help you, what you do is start taking care of yourself. Cutting yourself may distract you from your emotional pain but it won’t make things better. You know that. The strong part inside of you is what led you to look for answers.
You took a test that gave you a possible diagnosis. You state that your self-esteem is low. Both issues can be helped. In fact, they are probably related.
I didn’t know what services are available in Nigeria so I did a little research. I found that Nigeria has a severe lack of qualified mental health professionals.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four Nigerians — some 50 million people — are suffering from some sort of mental illness. But your country doesn’t have enough clinics, hospitals and other mental health facilities to provide the help they need. The doctors and counselors who are there are overwhelmed by the number of people who have need of their services.
That means it’s unlikely that you can find a psychiatrist or counselor. It’s certainly worth a try but I want you to understand that it is not a reflection of your need or your worth if you can’t locate one.
It is fortunate that we live in the computer age. You can reach beyond your country for help. One place to start is with the forums here at Psych Central. People from all over the world who have similar struggles talk to each other and support each other with advice and caring.
You can also help yourself by purchasing some self-help workbooks on anxiety and self-esteem. Give yourself an hour a day to do your own “counseling” by disciplining yourself to work through the activities in such books. To help you keep such a commitment to yourself, it might be helpful to schedule a certain hour a day that is your personal “counseling appointment”.
It may also be possible for you to find a counselor on line. More and more therapists are making such a service available, especially since the pandemic has made it difficult to impossible for people to get to their offices. You found us – which shows me that you are internet savvy. See who you can find who is willing to do chats or video calls.
Your parents are who they are. If you continue to blame them for your problems, you are wasting your energy. They are unlikely to change. But that doesn’t mean that you are stuck with their evaluation of you. You can relate to your parents politely and respectfully but not take in their criticisms of you.
Your letter shows you to be intelligent and help-seeking. I hope you will reach deep inside and find the helper within you. You can do the reading. You can reach out to others who can help you. You can create a process for your own healing. You deserve to feel better.
I wish you well.