I’ve had many young people reach out to me for help because their parents dismiss their depression, anxiety, eating disorder or any other form of mental illness as a “teenage phase”. These teens are literally suffering and them asking for help from their parents to see a psychologist or any other mental health professional is the scariest and bravest thing they can do. Some have considered or even tired self-harm, drugs and suicide as a way of coping with their emotions. You as a parent have no idea the harm you are doing to your child by dismissing or minimizing what they are going through. It sickens me the taboo behind being mentally sick… when are we going to stop the stigma? When will it be okay to talk about feelings?
If your child is asking for help, please listen. It might be a temporary situation that is causing some stress or it can be a more drastic. In the end it’s your child’s well being.
I just watched a video that talked to teenagers as if saying stuff like “I hate you” and “I want to die” are normal things to say. It took forever for said vid to address mental illness, but mostly spent the runtime of the vid guilt-tripping teens for making their parents worry.
It’s a parent’s job to worry about their kids. If they didn’t, it would mean they didn’t love you. So, teenagers who have two loving parents? Count yourselves fortunate, and don’t be afraid to open up to them about your troubles. You’d be surprised how much your parents can understand.
And parents? Instead of reprimanding your teenager for “saying such things,” LISTEN to what they’re trying to say. If they say school sucks, they’re obviously having trouble there (be it academically or socially) and need to vent. If they say they hate you, it’s because they’re angry and hurt by something shitty you said or did. If they say they want to die, take them to the hospital so they can get the help they obviously need.
Communication is a two-way street. If you want your teen to open up to you, be willing to listen instead of grading their speaking ability.