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Teenage Problems/I don't know what to do.


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My life is extremely hectic. I basically dealing with anything and everything. I don't know how to deal with it. I've gotten advice of how to deal with bits of my problem but never all of it. I just don't know what to do. I have depression I think, it was going away after stuff happened, not it's coming back. My anxiety was getting out of control when my depression was staring to go away. Not my depression is coming back and anxiety is going back to how it was. I have always been imaginative but sometimes it's just weird like I feel like I'm living in a dream sometimes it's a huge shock when I look in the mirrior. I'm surprised to see that person in the mirrior is actually me. I'm extremely shy, I've been on the out said which doesn't bug me. I keep people's secrets. There not always happy and I just try to forget. I wish I had a differnet life and play clips of movies in my head. Or make something up in my head, like a moving and I'm talking with people from my favorite shows or books. To pretend I guess that I'm living somewhere else, even if bad stuff happens, it always ends happily. I always feel the dread of something bad is going to happen. My sister was the favourite one until just recently. I thought maybe it was because, I made my mom sick when she was pregnant, and I to be born several weeks early, it's the only conclusion I could come up with. Maybe because I was withdrawn I wasn't the cuddly kid. Someone told me the depression was because of the guilt. Maybe it is. A day care is run from my home the kids weren't treated right I didn't figure that out until recently. Maybe I don't see it until now since I was treated the same. It was always hurtful to see them treated so horribly. I always felt better when I was treated like that and not them. They're young and don't understand how you have to be careful and don't do certain things. They don't know how to be careful.
My friend has developed some sort of eating disorder. She's always off with guys. I'm worried she'll get pregnant.
I sometimes am scared to go home. I don't like being yelled at it. But by now you'd think if have gotten used to it. Maybe that's why I don't like loud noises and avoid school dances. I can't do anything right, ever. My dad tries to help when he can but he's not always her. She tells me I can get mad but I can't. I guess I don't see the point. Because she's always right, even when she's dead wrong. She's right. I love her but talking down to people and expecting too much and not giving the time or encouragement  doesn't help people succeed. Sometimes I don't feel safe in my house. The only safe places are under my covers or under the stairs. I belive I'm too mature, if that's possible. But at the same time I feel like a little kid. Maybe it's because  I don't have much of a childhood or maybe I never had a chance to grow up or be myself. I don't have much self esteem, or confidence. I don't take risks unless I know 100 percent I'm right or can do it. I don't know what to do anymore. I try to cope. But that's all I've ever done. My friend made some calls for me and it helped but not enough. I get my mom has issues but she doesn't have to do what she does. She doesn't have to tell and scream, blame. Or throw things or talk down. But she dosent understand. I want her too. I want her to be like how a mom should be I want to tell her stuff I can't. My friend doesn't make good choices and I want to tell someone. But if know if she find out it would be bad. As in if I'd get into so much trouble like I'm the one who did it. My dad says not to tell her. She's getting bad again. I want to help her. She has to learn that you can't do the things she does to the kids she takes care of. You can't smack their mouth or slap their hands. Or put them in the basement because you don't want to deal with them.
I don't know how to deal with this. I can't do it anymore. I can't be afraid to go home and hope I won't be walking into her when she's in one of her moods. I'm 16 just to let you know. Thanks for ready this and hope you can help. Sorry that it's long and not in order. Sorry if it doesn't make sense.

Hi there R,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.

Firstly, let me please apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I usually respond within three days but my offline job has kept me away from a computer and so I have been unable to respond as quickly as I would have liked.

From what you have described it does sound like you are battling with a lot of different emotions that may have stemmed from your upbringing and the on-going situation that you have found yourself. I would like to make one thing clear however, depression is an illness and not something that is caused by any one factor. Feeling guilt for circumstances beyond your control is not productive and may be part of one of the triggers that has started your depression but it is only part of it, linked into your confidence, your self-esteem and anxiety.

People who suffer from depression tend to internalize the negatives in life and externalize the positives which mean that they can never accept responsibility for their own happiness. What this means is that all the negative things that occur in life we put down to ourselves and something that we may have done to bring about this situation. When positive things happen to us, we tend to think of it as being 'luck' and something not likely to happen to us because we deserve or it again. What this means in practice is that depressive people tend to carry the weight of the World on their shoulders blaming themselves for things that are completely out of their control but thinking somehow they should feel guilty for it. This means that any attempt of happiness is weighed down by negative thoughts and associations to the past. Technically, you are putting the burden of your mom's actions onto your shoulders and trying to justify her actions and physical distance by believing that it is something that you did when you were younger that you could have changed. This is not true and you need to relinquish the burden.

Your mom is her own person and has made mistakes in her life that are completely independent of anything that you have done/not done or said/not said. She will have made mistakes before you were born and will continue to make them long after you have grown up, got your own house and a family. You are not to blame for your mom's failings and nor should you believe that you have anything to do with them.

This duality that you speak of, of wanting to be a kid and be lead and knowing that you are mature appears to link into an insecurity around the distance between you and both of your parents. If your mother has been distant and not shown you the 'normal' mothering tendencies, then it is likely that this has led to you developing poor self-esteem and anxiety. We look to our parents to teach us how to live life and be positive people; we look to them for praise and scorn and for the moral compass upon which we build our lives. IF this is missing, we are left to fend for ourselves, making our own decisions and mistakes without the pre-warnings that we may have got from our parents. This means that the responsibility falls upon our own shoulders and we make mistakes (as everyone does) but not because of ill judgement or malice, but because we do not know anything else. When we then make the mistakes without this guidance or acceptance, we then repeatedly beat ourselves up over the choices that we have made because the responsibility for the decision was ours and ours alone. You need to understand however that with or without your mom and dad's interaction, you have your own life to lead and you need to embrace that. You are responsible for your own life and for taking it forward, nobody else. Your past does not dictate your future unless you let it and if you choose to let your depression rule your life and to be fearful of the future, then you will never move forward. You will end up being that scared and confused kid hiding under the stairs or under your blankets and you deserve better than that.

You are 16 years old and have witnessed a lot, experienced a lot but been relatively left by yourself to do so; which does not help. But you have to make a conscious choice to want to get yourself better and make your situation better because nobody else can or will. You have to make a decision, own it and be prepared to see it through regardless of the consequences. Life is about testing the water, making choices that help us to learn and learning that some of the decisions we make may not be in our best interest but we are better for taking them as we have learned something. You need to own your life and start putting your past where it belongs, in the past, and looking to move beyond the next year and the rest of your life. It may be that you may need help to do this and it could be that speaking to a doctor or counselor can help you to change your thoughts and your perceptions to help you move on.

Excuses are used for not wanting to change our of fear, concern or lack of information. They are used to deflect responsibility for having to make our own choices about lives, but you are not that scared little child anymore; you are coming into adulthood. You need to ask yourself one simple question: Right now, right here, are you happy? If the answer is 'no' then you need to put together a plan of action to change the things that you can do, manage the things you cannot and put in place support to make sure that you are happy.

You also need to stop taking on the weight of other people's problems until you have your own sorted otherwise you will be held back from making any productive changes in your life. Whatever is going on with your friend is her own business and she will have her own issues; by taking on the burden of her life as well as your own, you are suffering from twice the stress, twice the pressure and you will feel guilty whenever you feel happy because of her situation. Your friend, like yourself, will have to make her own choices and decisions, all you can do is be there for her but also, do not be afraid to ask her to be there for you too. Sometimes, just talking things over can help to get things from our heads and off our minds which makes us feel a lot better.

Another good technique for being able to look at your mood overall, your life and its direction is to keep a journal of all of your thoughts and feelings. Keep it private and locked away but when you write, do so honestly and openly (no-one should read it). It does not have to make sense or follow a pattern but whenever you feel like your mind is wandering to a negative place, pick up a pen and get writing. Once you have written, read back what you have written and at the end write 'But through all of this I am thankful for...' and list three things that make you greatful to be alive. It can be anything, but doing this continually will help you to realize that you have a lot of positive things in your life which you can use to your advantage.

Another method of easing your anxiety and depression is to take yourself out of the situation and do something energetic. Walk, run, go to the gym, whatever is outside the house. Exercise triggers endorphins which helps us to feel happier and the physical exertion helps us to get rid of aggression and anger within our bodies and minds without hurting anyone.

I would always recommend that a person in your situation seek professional medical help and this is going to be my final bit of advice to you. If, after trying the techniques listed, you still feel the same (or worse) then you need to go and speak to your doctor or counselor as this could be something that they can work with you to overcome and maybe something that you cannot overcome yourself.

You are only 16 and have had a lot going on which can help to explain how you feel but you are not on your own and you should never feel like that. Think about what we have discussed and try the techniques and hopefully, things will become a lot more clearer and positive in the future and you can begin to lead a happy and fulfilling life.  

Teenage Problems

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Daryl Taylor, BSc (Hons) Psychology, PGDip (pending certification)


My expertise covers everything and anything to do with growing up, being a teenager or a young adult or being the parent of one of the pre-described. I can cover issues on identity, sexuality, love, relationships, families, drug/alcohol abuse and anything and everything in between.


I have volunteered for for over ten years now, but even before that I was trying to use my experience to help others by working with, and even Lycos and Ask Jeeves. My experience comes from being a teenager primarily but this lead me to work with young people from the age of 13. I have worked front line, face to face and over the telephone, e-mail and webchat for a government department called Connexions UK (aimed at young people aged 13-19); as well as being student counselor in New York, a Peer Mentor, a student teacher and working for my school, college and University to help raise the aspirations of young people. My life has not been easy and I have been through my fair share of issues; so there is little that I haven't been through in reality opposed to just reading it from a book or from my academic studies. I have been featured as a case study as achieving through adversity for a number of magazines and I have featured in a couple of books on both sides of the Atlantic; even though I am UK based.

The Albert Kennedy Trust

Relationships: Cathy Senker, 2012, Raintree The Dean and Chapter Positive Nation GTEN Television Aim Higher

BSc(Hons) Psychology Post Graduate Diploma in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation Basic Counselling Skills Effective Listening Skills Mental Health First Aid

Awards and Honors
Outstanding Student achievement Adult learner's Award

Past/Present Clients Connexions Direct

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