I am in 8th grade, and I am currently in four high school classes. I understand that these are significantly high stakes classes, and I genuinely try my best in each one of them. I am currently holding A's in all of my classes, but I feel terrible about myself. Every time I receive a grade of B or lower, I inflict myself with a mental beating, and when my mom finds out about the grade, I am yelled at. She literally threatens to take away everything that I enjoy, and she has once said "At this rate you are going to end up going to a community college and spend the rest of your life answering phones or flipping burgers." I believe that my own feelings plus this have resulted in me having massive amounts of anxiety and depression. The thing is, my mother refuses to believe this. She is a pediatrician, and all the doctors at her office recognize me as a sweet, happy, little girl. I feel like I would let them down if I really told them how I felt, and that my mom would accuse me of lying. She not only refuses to believe me, but I think she may be the source of it.

Furthermore, I believe that I possess some form of ADHD, mild or severe. I can barely ever seem to stop moving, and I constantly have a song or five stuck in my head. This makes it almost impossible to concentrate, unless it is on something that I genuinely care about. I think that I need to take a test to see if my self-diagnosis is legitimate, but my mom refuses to believe me. Her idea of helping me get the songs out of my head is to stop listening to music. I am a band student who is obsessed with musicals, and I find that as either impossible, or a literal walking nightmare. I can learn almost anything from songs, and they often help me through hard times. Please help me tell my mom that I really am not okay, and please aid me in convincing her to enable me get help.

  • 4
    Does being in 8th grade mean you are around 14 years old? Did you check already, whether consulting a therapist without your parents agreement is allowed in your age and locale? Are there any other adults who might help you (dad, grandparents, school counselor...)?
    – Arsak
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 8:36
  • 5
    Ho do your father, your school counselor/principal, teachers, and your doctor figure into this (I assume your mother isn't your doctor; that's a very much frowned upon practice in the US.) Have you asked your pediatrician for help? ("...if I really told them how I felt, and that my mom would accuse me of lying.") How do you know if you haven't tried? Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 9:08

4 Answers 4


As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety and was finally diagnosed with ADHD in their 30's, I feel your pain on this one.

What can you do to convince your mother you have them? Unfortunately, it sounds like nothing. You've tried that and she doesn't believe you. Whether it's because she doesn't believe that these things exist at all or just flat out refuses to see that her daughter could have such things, I can't say.

You could go to her with the "mom, I have a friend" and describe your symptoms to see what, as a pediatrician, she'd suggest and recommend but only you can gauge how effective that might be.

It does sound like to me with the comment about how you'll end up at community college and flipping burgers (nothing wrong with that by the way, what is often seen as demeaning, your grandparents saw as opportunity), that she has a plan for what she wants you to do with your life. I wonder if you've ever discussed what you want to do with it.

What you can do (as anongoodnurse suggested) is talk to your own pediatrician. I'm not in the USA so don't know how that works but can you make your own appointments, without parental knowledge? If you can, you really should. The sooner you're diagnosed, the sooner any needed treatment can start.

What you can also do is stop beating yourself up. Everyone gets a bad grade. If you tried your hardest then that's all that matters. I would much rather be a hard worker who isn't perfect than a perfect but lazy one.

With the music, there are plenty of good concentration music videos on YouTube. When I really need to focus in and avoid distractions, these are my main choice. They work. You might need to find something else (white noise, whale song) that works for you but filtering out your own thoughts will help you.


You need more information, and you need a supporter.

I know some people. Very close friends and acquaintances. Let's see, between them we've got anxiety of three different types, depression, serious stress, ADHD, Autism, Sensory disorders, and more.

They also represent a freshman in high school, an opera singer, an artist, a writer, a musician, a computer tech, a school teacher, an assistant custodian, and more.

My comments are drawn from the combined experiences with them.

First off, there are a few people who think that because they "went to college" for something or "have a degree" in something, that they somehow "know everything they need to know" which is bull crap, but a very tough and annoying attitude to deal with. Even as an adult, I get irritated at this type of person.

Don't know if your dealing with this, but I'll mention it.

Second, in the USA, you are dealing with legal issues of guardianship and minority. This is challenging because it limits your options. As a minor, you are required to have your legal guardian's permission for anything and everything medically related.

Typically, your legal guardian will be your parent or parents, in most cases. The most common way around this when the parent or parents won't listen, is to find a relative who is willing to be supportive, visit them for the summer or other vacation, and while they are in the temporary guardian role, take care of business. However, this will likely cause relationship issues within your family, so be aware of the potential hardships that may result.

Finding a supporter among your medical personnel is dicey, because in most cases, guardian's will trumps doctor's advice.

Third, Music Therapy is a real thing. Check it out. For example, listening to Baroque music has been proven to aid study habits, and increase knowledge retention, as well as relax people. It had to do with the regular and logical progression of the music, which is a characteristic of Baroque music in particular.

Handel's Water Music has been effective for me when I tried it out. Really works! Don't know if this will help or not, but maybe you can dig up some of the scientific studies on it to cite.

Fourth, as a minor, your parents are legally in control. There is not a while lot of effective options for dealing with this one, not without extreme consequences. It is tough when they get an idea into their head, and refuse to discuss things, and then enforce their ideas onto you.

Waiting a few years will help resolve things (you have more options at eighteen years of age), but while easy to say, it can be hard to endure. Not having a sense of control wears on one. Try to identify what you can control or influence, and focus on those things. Make what choices you can to lighten your burden.

Despite the difficulty, I do recommend continuing to try to talk with your parents. It is ideal to work things out, but it will take effort and time. Let them know that you are burning out. That you feel overwhelmed, and stressed. That you are a different person with unique needs, and that tailor made solutions that work for your parents won't and don't necessarily work for you.

Try to avoid defiance if possible. Not easy as a teenager, I know. But there does come a point where one needs to quietly, but firmly and politely, stand up for one's own needs. Again, patience, because it might take time to get through to them.

May you find success and resolution.


What I am reading is that you have a successful Mother who is putting a lot of pressure on you because she wants you to be successful as well. In her mind, good grades equal good schools/universities. In her mind, if there is something wrong with you (i.e.; anxiety, ADD) then it is her fault. But she's done all the right things and is this impressive Dr., so it doesn't make sense that something would be wrong. It just doesn't fit her picture of her life. So, she is having a hard time accepting that you could have any kind of problem. Meanwhile, you are getting pushed harder and harder to do and be what she wants you to be - all the while, you are struggle under the pressure and need a break.

There. I've said it. You need a break. You need time to be with friends, go to a concert, fart around on an afternoon and just enjoy doing "nothing". Not forever. Just for a day. Just a breather so that everything isn't crashing down around you.

Ask your Mom for some "you and me" time. An afternoon with no schedule so you can hang out together. Think movie and dinner, or a Museum and lunch if she'd be more inclined to agree to that. Ask for some "friends" time. A sleep over, a Saturday to hang at the park. A party even. Or a chance to go to for a run, check out a yoga class, or another physical exercise that you think you might enjoy. Then make it a regular practice - once a week with friends, once a month with her.

It almost sounds like I'm adding more to your schedule, but these kind of activities bring you energy and happiness and help balance out the drain and stress of classwork and putting on a happy show. And that's what you are really missing: Balance.


Unfortunately, people still don't have awareness. We all have ADHD, autism, OCD and the rest in us I believe.

First of all, you need to get diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit disorder). Your mother may not believe you have ADHD (despite being a paediatrician) for reasons related to gender. Why don't you sit down with her at a peaceful time and say about it? Say that just because you get good grades, doesn't mean you have focused very well. Just keep trying to get through to her. Talk. One day, she will accept that you may have some kind of disability.

Second, you need to do something for yourself. What helps your concentration? Meditation and a good diet (non-processed foods) could probably help you very well.

  • Hey, why the downvote?
    – mike1024
    Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 18:25
  • "Your mother may not believe you have ADHD (despite being a paediatrician) for reasons related to gender" huh ? can you justify that with a citation? Both my daughters have ADHD, my step son also. It does not follow gender. I didnt down-vote you btw, and it would be good if those who could explain why so that you can learn. Commented May 30, 2022 at 8:36

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