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Asking is just the first step

For this troubled teen, even though help has been offered it’s still hard to accept. 

Therapy isn’t for the weak, says our elder, but you do have to be ready.

Dear EWC:

Hello to whoever is reading this letter. I have a suspicion that I have a personality disorder and I do not know how to ask for help from my parents. Of course I understand that online tests are not always accurate but I have asked my friends, taken multiple personality disorder tests (and scoring very high for avoidant personality disorder), and now I feel the need to ask for help.

I feel like a burden doing so even though every time my mother has offered to take me to a psychologist, I deny the request in fear of being judged or ridiculed. I do not think that therapy is something for the weak, but I feel that I do not need it at times. I can help myself, but it bothers me that I cannot stop thinking about asking for it. I may be a young teenager, but I do suspect that I need help. I am very uncomfortable with my surroundings, very much do not like to talk to new people (even if they are nice because I fear judgment and ridicule), and tend to avoid social gatherings. If I cannot avoid it I try to draw the least amount of attention towards me as possible.

Is this normal for a teenager? Do I need help? How do I ask my parents for it after all of the times I have been in the state of denial? Please help me through this confusion!

Folk replies:

Just because you get anxious in large groups and try to avoid them doesn’t mean you have a personality disorder. Most people, both adults and teens, feel exactly the same way you do. Most of us are uncomfortable about meeting new people, being judged, and getting made fun of. So, if a therapist can help you become more relaxed in social situations so that you can enjoy them more, and your mom has offered to take you to one, why not take advantage of the opportunity?

Your social anxiety may improve as you get older even if you do not treat it, but there’s also the possibility that it may get worse. If you do not get help now, avoiding social situations and avoiding doing anything to draw attention to yourself could become a habit. If you allow this to happen, you could wind up missing out on a lot of good times and experiences. Therapy isn’t for the weak; it’s for anyone who wants to live a fuller, richer life.

If you decide to take your parents up on their offer, all you have to do is talk to them and tell them so. It’s OK that you didn’t feel ready to take this step before; the important thing is that you’re ready NOW. Your parents love you and want you to be happy, so trust me: they will not consider your request a “burden.”

They want to help you to be a better you, so my advice is to go ahead and let them.

Self-Improvement 

#468541

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