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I love my parents very much and I'm extremely grateful for everything they've done for me. Sadly, there's some things that mess with my head. I'm only a freshman in highschool (USA), and I've been diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression, and I'm fairly certain I also have ADHD.

The problem is that my parents don't believe in any of that stuff, and say "It's all in my head". When they found out I was cutting myself, they got angry with me and took my phone. They told me I wasn't actually feeling that way, and that I got it from some girl in school. When I went to the doctor for a checkup, and I got diagnosed with severe depression and ended up telling them about my suicide attempts, they got mad at me for filling out the questions truthfully, because the doctors are just going to try and "put me on medication".

I looked it up and it looks like the things (mainly my dad) does are "emotionally abusive". I try to talk to them but they always say, "again, what we're doing wrong?" "you're so selfish" "can't you look past your ego?" "Its always 'memememe'". I'm just so done.

My mother was the only one who supported me when I came out as Pan. My dad just ignores it. It could be a lot worse and I'm grateful that it's not. What I find especially annoying is that my dad will do something like push me over for forgetting to recycle the cereal box. Then a few weeks later when he accidentally hits me in the head with a door, and I take offense to that, he's all "Why would I do that on purpose? I love you, why would I hurt you?"

I'm not saying it's horrible or anything. It's like I don't have a voice. I'm only on here because I figured out that I could open an Incognito window on my laptop during school (in which I get straight A's and am in the Gifted program). I'm not allowed to breathe without being monitored. The only thing stopping me right now from ending it is my grandparents, because I know they'd be heartbroken. Please help, I don't know what to do.

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    Are there any adults you can trust? With or without their help you should try to get professional help. You might want to contact child protective services. And, whenever you feel like "ending it" get help from doctors or a suicide helpline. Mar 1 at 20:37
  • Thanks for taking the time to respond! I cant call doctors or a suicide helpline because I dont have my phone. Its a good suggestion though :) Mar 1 at 20:44
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    Then, maybe there are teachers that you trust? Or someone outside school? A parent of a friend? Someone at church, if you're religious? Obviously, trust is essential here ... Or do you have a friend who may land you their phone for a call? Mar 1 at 20:49
  • There are but i dunno if this is particularly serious, and if it is i don't want to get in trouble with my parents or get my parents into trouble. I really appreciate the advice though, is there any advice you could give me on just getting through the next 4 years? I feel like It'll be better once I'm away from them :) Mar 1 at 21:21
  • To someone without a background in psychological problems I'd say: It's only four years of dozens you've still to live. Anyway, you can use those years to plan ahead. How do you want to live? Where? How do you get your money (work/scholarships/still your parents)? But, I know this can be unachievable with a depression. Don't blame yourself if you're not able to plan in this way. Mar 1 at 21:30
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You need to develop a support system

First of all, I want to start off with the standard stuff about the perils of suicidal ideation and to encourage you to seek out help, even if that help is calling 911 if you think you're going to willingly hurt yourself. I won't promise that doing this is going to result in something that's not a massive mess, but I will tell you that in the long-term you will be better for it. I am not a doctor, but I can tell you from a lot of experience that depression and anxiety are very common comorbidities with ADHD.

Ok, with that said, I can empathize quite well with much of what you're going through. My father was physically and emotionally abusive growing up and my mother struggled with depression in a manner that was never really dealt with, thus leaving me to figure my own way through my teenage years. Additionally, I'm bisexual plus have ADHD and anxiety, neither of which were diagnosed until I went through a bunch of hurdles in the last few years to get this done; for the record, I'm now 37 and my life has gotten a lot better since engaging in things like therapy and medication for these conditions.

From what you've shared, I'm seeing two major issues that you will need to address and unfortunately, you will need to do so without the support of your parents. Because you believe you have ADHD, I'm going to break this into a bulleted list because smaller tasks is going to improve your ability to engage with the executive functions that ADHD loves to impede.

Develop a social support system - Short Term Solution

1. Connect with your friends often and if you can, speak with them candidly about how you feel. This isn't as good as therapy, but it's way better than nothing.

  • Playing video games online.
  • Meet in a park or whatever else you can do safely while we get through the pandemic (which I'm guessing has probably only exacerbated your anxiety).
  • Chat with each other using a messenger app as much as you can.

2. Connect with your grandparents and speak with them candidly. If they are open and accepting of your true self, they may be able to put indirect pressure on your parents.

  • If you're not calling grandma on Sundays, that's a thing you do now. Got a calendar, put it on there. Set a reminder. Set 2 reminders.
  • Does Pop Pop like fishing, you like fishing too now. Get him to take you out on the boat and again, speak candidly.

3. Join a school club if you can. Theater's a good choice especially if you're trying to find other people who might be pan. I am not exaggerating when I say that the theater kids were so gay all the time, it was obnoxious. But they were also so honest and comfortable with themselves.

4. Keep on your doctor.

  • Don't lie on the form, if you're struggling with suicidal thoughts lying about it won't help. Doesn't matter what your parents say.
  • Furthermore, this creates a clear pattern of behavior through which other adults may be able to get involved and connect you with help.

5. Learn about your conditions.

  • I've found that sometimes it is very helpful to learn about my ADHD. Other times it's a pain in the neck. I've found How to ADHD's YouTube channel to be very helpful sometimes.

6. Make a glitter jar. Ok stop laughing. I get it, you're a teenager, why would you have something like that. Well I'm 37 and find them super helpful to calm myself down when I'm paralyzed with indecision.

Get your own help - Long Term Solution

As I stated above, getting help for things like ADHD is a huge pain in the ass. If your parents don't want you on stimulant medication or in therapy, there's probably nothing you can do about that until you turn 18 and have your own form of income.

When you're at that point, these are the steps you're probably going to have to go through (and I apologize in advance because this sucks to do when you have ADHD):

  1. Talk to your primary care physician (PCP) about why you think you have ADHD. Sometimes your PCP will prescribe meds on a trial basis to see if it helps.
  2. You're going to need a formal diagnosis from someone qualified to make that diagnosis (mine is from a psychiatric nurse practitioner).
  3. You should also try to see a therapist with some regularity to assist you with developing coping mechanisms and techniques so that you can make your ADHD work for you and learn how to keep it from impeding you.
  4. Sometimes setting up other appointments is really hard when you have executive dysfunction, ask your PCP if there's a way to help. My PCP gave me a referral to this thing called Quartet, you call them up, tell them your info and they go out and find you a provider that works with your insurance. This worked pretty well for me.

You are not alone and it does get better.

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    You have no idea how much this helped, I'm so grateful you took the time to respond :)) I know this seems like exaggeration, but I seriously cannot properly express how much this means to me- I'll be sure to do all of these things (except for maybe the 911 thing). You're literally an amazing person, thank you for responding!!! Mar 11 at 2:30
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    @YourClassicSlytherin don't mention it, I'm glad sharing my experience helped. The feelings and frustrations you're feeling are super real, don't make the mistakes I did and wait until you're in your 30s to decide that your mental health is important. Good luck! Mar 11 at 14:58
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thanks for sharing. I'm glad that you were able to express what's going on in your life. It's interesting how the most safe and confidential place nowadays is broadcasting on public forums like this one. Anytime you feeling like ending it again, I hope you will find a way to share what you're going through. Even if it's in a journal or into the night air. I believe that you have a valuable soul and that even in sharing your struggle, you've already helped others who have read this. And remember your grandparents. My heart goes out to you!

Just so you know, I "love" the lady doing the "How to ADHD" channel on YouTube. It's here that I learned that I'm neuro-divergent. "Hello brains!" she'll start off every video. This is a much healthier term than having a disorder or mental health issue. We simply process and synthesize information differently that neuro-typical persons. We're awesome!

When I was diagnosed with Bipolar, my Korean parents really couldn't accept it either. From their cultural background, mental illness was just not in their worldview. I don't want to give you a hope that one day your parents will all of a sudden get it and be supportive. I'm fortunate that my parents did and sometimes they may be a too quick to chalk something up to my bipolar flaring up. But even then, as an adult, it takes a lot of work to "deal" with them. So whether you're a teenager living at a home or have a spouse, job, mortgage and kids, there will always be benefit to learning skills to deal with them.

The first skill would be radical acceptance. This is to accept, that your parents will never change. They will never get it. They are just not capable. By accepting this, it may help to be free from trying to doing something that might be impossible to accomplish and certainly out of your control. If you're parents are going to change, it's going to be their decision. Also, despite your best intentions to educate your parents, you being the source of education is something they will not be able to accept. For me, I stood a better chance of getting something published in the Korean newspaper for them to read and inform them than share with them my information. Man, if I only I could get the Korean newspapers to tell parents to give money for straight As and gifted and talented program, it would have made my high school days easier.

One more skill before I go. You can learn more about DBT skills. D.E.A.R. M.A.N. - it's how to ask for something while maintaining a good relationship. Here's a shortened version, and I would recommend that your ask be to find a therapist for yourself. Describe. State some objective facts. Express. Give your opinion. Ask or assert. Ask for what you want. Reinforce. Let them know what's in it for them.

That's the skill, and here's an example:

Describe. I received a diagnosis of Anxiety and Depression from a medical doctor [3] months ago.

Express. I believe this is a very serious diagnosis, but treatable with the right help.

Ask. I would like to start individual therapy sessions once a week.

Reinforce. If you allow me to see a therapist weekly, I think we'll have less arguments over this issue.

I'm really into DBT Therapist, but if you can't find one that accepts your parents insurance, someone trained in cognitive-behavior therapy is also very good. If your parents want to control you, than taking away therapy is something they might threatened to take a way down the line. Remember if they try to do that, you can find other ways to get support and let trusted adults in your life know that they are trying to prevent you from seeking help and support yourself. Everyone should feel free to seek out the resources and support they need. I'm grateful that you reached out here.

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  • Thank you this was really helpful :) Ive never heard of D.E.A.R. M.A.N. but I'll be sure to use it in the future! As for the therapist thing... have you read the book "Educated"? My parents aren't that extreme, but rest assured that they'd rather try and do the therapy themselves, before letting me even try therapy. Not that they're licensed therapists smh. But this was very helpful, and it made me feel way better. Thanks for the advice, and taking the time to respond! Mar 3 at 18:42
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My straightforward answer to you would be... do as they say.

I know, it's easier said than done, but that's the answer I come up with after reading what you have to say mixed with my life experience. Passivity is often the best path to obtaining something you want, so I'd walk that one in your stead.

Life pro tip: NEVER self-diagnose, let your doctors do that part.

Try to understand your parent's reactions:

For cutting, most parents will react to your distress in the same way one should react to a 3yo child hitting their head on the floor for attention. Society reacts that way to negative attention, it's pretty much human nature.

Same goes for your sexuality, it might be new and shiny to your age group, but for most adults (25+) it's old news and if you're not going to tap that, the care cup is pretty much empty <|_/ (empty care cup ascii art). Anyways, other than a "That's nice dear", what are you expecting as a response?

It seems like your parents just don't know what to do. So perhaps try to see their perspective and how scary it must be for them to see you go and not knowing what to do; that their only viable reaction is to shut down and hope for the best.

As a conversation starter about that with them, have you tried telling your parents that maybe certain types of illnesses are classified as "mental illnesses" for the very specific reason that it literally is all happening in your head and that you simply need help? That it's a different type of headache and Advils can't fix it?

The idea here would be to literally tell them they are right about something so they can feel like they're capable of being helpful and thus might be more inclined to help. Worth a shot, with your experience, you should be able to manipulate the conversation into a corner where their usual responses are rendered inane. I'm not a sociopath nor a narcissist, I promise!

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  • Thanks for taking the time to respond! I'm not self-diagnosing, I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety by a medical professional, although you're right about that. And the ADHD- I obviously can't diagnose myself I'm simply saying that I exhibit the symptoms. Anyways, I can't go to the doctor for that, because I already got in trouble for "letting them diagnose me with depression". And the sexuality thing just is not ok, because I didn't get a "thats nice dear" I was told there was something wrong with me. I was simply implying that my mothers stopped shaming me for it. Thanks though :) Mar 3 at 18:50
  • Well, you didn't say they were actively stopping you from seeing a doctor, that changes a lot of things. Them stopping you from seeing a medical expert is grounds for a child abuse complaint. I urge you to contact your local Child Protection Services.
    – Jack M.
    Mar 3 at 19:02
  • Thanks but I don't really want to get them in trouble, they're not horrible people. Again, I appreciate the help :) Mar 3 at 21:22
  • That's a stretch, considering they're denying you access to medical care. Then again, in the end, it's really up to you. So long as you know the option is there, it's good enough.
    – Jack M.
    Mar 3 at 22:09
  • thanks, I agree. Mar 3 at 23:07
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I think the only good answer I can give you is that whatever problem you're facing right now is temporary. Highschool passes really fast, and once you look back at it in some years you'll probably miss the times when you were a teenager.

I've had many of the thoughts you described on the first post, and I know how you feel. I've also taken some very strong medication a few years ago when my life became sort of a rollercoaster. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety too. But nowadays I don't take any of the medicines anymore. Try and talk to your parents that medication is something temporary.

Maybe, just maybe, your parents don't understand why you need medication because they are afraid and don't know what to do to help you. Maybe they freaked out when you cut yourself because they felt helpless about it, too... Here I am assuming they are good people.

But hey! I've had many bad relatives during my preteens and early adulthood, and you know what? Once you grow up, and the more independent you become, the more you can distance yourself from the people who harm you. And by distancing I don't mean cutting any contact for good , but maybe just have a much contact as you're comfortable with.

As an adult, you'll be able to live your life according to your own rules.

For now, when you feel overwhelmed try doing something you really enjoy like listening to music, playing videogames. Do whatever you like that will make you feel better.

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  • Hello, thanks for taking the time to reply! That's good advice I'll keep it in mind. I can't listen to music because they took my phone (they take it for like everything and keep it for months at a time- even in quarantine- so idk)- but I'll just try and focus on positive things, and maybe I'll make it to then? I really appreciate your reply, and I hope you're doing well- thank you :) Mar 5 at 19:29

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