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Please pay for my therapy!

I’m depressed and I want to have therapy — but I’m scared my parents won’t want to pay.

Don’t panic, says our elder. There is always help out there.

Dear EWC

I think I want to see a therapist. I’ve been feeling down, stressed, and hopeless. I’ve also been experiencing lack of sleep, inability to concentrate, fidgeting, and anxiety attacks. I’m really scared because I know this is what I think I need to feel better — but I’m worried about my parents’ reaction. I’m still dependent on them (student); they are helping me pay for my schooling, and my little sister needs braces, and they love their luxuries and are unwilling to part with them (such as golfing and multiple vacations per year). Also, I saw a therapist for a period of time and I thought I was better. My parents are the types of people that are, “You screw up once or need help once we will help you and after that, you are on your own”. I know I can’t afford to get help without their help, and I’ve exhausted the classic self-help methods. I don’t think I can handle it if they say no and just tell me to suck it up. Please help me.

Mrs.G replies

It’s bad enough to feel anxious and depressed but then to feel helpless on top of it all can make matters worse. I can understand your fear but I want you to slow down your mind for a minute and try not to panic. You are in an unhappy state of mind right now, agreed, but you are making things worse by feeling you have no one to turn to. There is always help out there — you just have to find it.

First of all, since you are in school, have you talked to a school counselor? If not, I strongly suggest you contact one. These professionals are there to help students such as yourself so there is no need to be afraid of talking to them. You are at the age when it is not uncommon to experience anxiety, depression, etc. as there is a lot going on with your studies and preparation for the future.

Secondly, since money is an issue, have you thought of contacting your local mental health agency? Free services can be available for the asking. Perhaps you could google your local county to see what is available. Or what about contacting your personal physician, assuming you have one? A doctor can check you over to ensure you’re in good health and offer referrals.
Thirdly, you could try to talk with a religious pastor, if you are so inclined. I have no idea your belief system, but, here again, these ministers are there to help people — especially young people such as yourself.

Finally, tell your parents how you are feeling. Let them know you need their love and support even if you think they will dole out condemnation. I’m guessing their approach with you is to make you strong, make you “tough things out” yourself so that you’ll be able to handle whatever life can throw your way. This, actually, is a form of love — not a case that they don’t want to be bothered with you. And when talking to them, tell them you are not asking for money for a therapist but that you are trying to get help elsewhere.

You know, my dear, many parents don’t always feel the same way as their children do, and this might apply in your case. Maybe your mom and dad have never experienced anxiety or hopelessness so they just don’t know what it’s like to be depressed. This can explain why they may not seem supportive. Or, some parents can become frightened themselves when they see their child not coping well and having problems. There can be a lot going on in their minds so you need to take the risk of reaching out to them again while letting them know you are trying to solve this yourself.

In the meantime, as I said — slow down your thinking and don’t panic. And don’t give up hope of feeling better. You will find your answers if you continue to try. I believe you have it within you to do so. Be good to yourself now and continue to reach out to others.

Letter #: 418538
Category: Self-Improvement

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