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a bit of a problem


star_foam
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This post has been flagged with warnings, as follows: Mental Illness

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So, I've suffered with mental illness for about 5 years now, since I was11. I've worked out strategies to manage it, but I have never felt comfortable or safe telling my parents the entire truth because I've tried to breach the topic with them and all I get is a "stop pretending to get attention" or "this will work" when they actually take away the things that help me so I can "focus". Three things have helped me: my writing, some of my extracurriculars, and my interests in varying fields of science. However, my parents feel like these are distracting me, and my mum in particular is beginning to take away these. I've been made to stop most of my activities, cutting off interaction with the few friends I had, she criticises my interests as useless, and hates me bringing up writing. I feel like I've been wearing a mask for so long and now that I'm letting it slip and actually taking steps towards healing, she doesn't like it because it reveals that I'm not the perfect daughter. I'm terrified of talking to my parents, my brother is younger than me and loves taking out his anger on me, and I have very few to no friends to confide in. I've been able to cope through writing and was actually getting on pretty well, but now she's really destroying the progress I have made and it's beginning to affect me mentally. Telling my parents is not an option because it'll further their notion that I'm "damaged" or "useless". I have relatives and a few friends but I'm not sure whether it's worth telling them. I don't know how to go forward from here but this is really messing up my life. I'm not in physical danger though. I'm at the point where they're blaming on the internet and the fact that they'se losing their grip on me, but being able to express this has helped a little.I've worked on building good friendships but they always seem to dislike it when I start liking anything too much-they tell me people only like me because I'm smart or I'll mess up like I always do or I'm being too nice to people. I've tried everything to reason with them. Nothing's working.I'd really appreciate any advice. Thank you.

Edited by Daisie
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  • Digital Mentor

Hey @star_foam

 

Thanks for reaching out to us for support. I'm glad to hear that you're not in physical danger. It sounds like you're having a tough time with them at the moment and I'm sorry to hear about that. Being able to do the things you enjoy and have a good support network is so important at any time, especially when you're struggling with your mental health. I can see why you feel terrified talking to them because it sounds like they aren't hearing you and seeing your suffering at the moment which is what you need to help get you through. However, it sounds like they are struggling to accept what's going on for you rather than not wanting to help you. This might be because they think it's their fault.

 

I think that it would definitely be worth telling your friends and relatives. It could be helpful to explain what's going on to your relative and then maybe ask them to have a chat with your parents about the situation, what support you need, and how it's important to keep up your interests and contact with friends. Also, it might be a good idea to speak to a professional about how you're feeling as they could work with you and your parents too. What do you think?

 

Speak soon,

-Monsoon

 

P.S. I'd love to hear about the strategies that work for you :)

Edited by Monsoon

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Thank you for replying! I've tried to talk to them before this but they always brush me off and I don't really want to trouble them either. They don't really know that I have mental health problems, and I think I'm scared to tell them because when we've watched stuff about mental illness before, they blame the children for "looking for attention" or "trying to be cool" and I think I'm afraid they'll think the same of me. I don't really have a great relationship with my parents in the sense that they think they know me but they don't, and I don't really feel comfortable talking to them because emotions aren't something we're encouraged to discuss at home because they feel uncomfortable dealing with them and resort to yelling at me till I feel embarassed for asking for help in the first place. I've gotten used to working around it, but sometimes I have everything under control and sometimes it's just a mess. The first time I was ill, I didn't really get what was happening, but I more or less handled it till the end of last year or so. I think it's getting harder because my parents really want me to do well in my OLs next year and they want me to value academic success over everything else, and the stress makes me panic which gets me into this cycle of not studying because they tell me I'll fail anyway, then cramming, then panicking when I take tests and blaming myself for anything less than an A+. I let them say what they want because I know all they want is for me to get good results, but sometimes I really wish they looked at me as a teenager and not a person who needs to worry about money and jobs and is not allowed to write or watch TV or movies or hang out with friends. I'm not really sure whether I have close enough relationships with my relatives and friends to feel comfortable reaching out to them, but I'm really not sure what to do. Some days I can function OK, and then some days are just really hard to get through. I'm not sure about speaking to a professional, because for one I don't want to bother my parents with paying that sort of money and also because I looked up mental health services for where I live and there are very few. Is there any way to deal with this without admitting the whole truth to my parents (telling them I think I am mentally ill?)

Also, the coping stragies I use are writing, dancing, debating and running. I've made a schedule to make time for these that was working fine right up to the point where my mother decided to scold me daily for "not caring about my work, being lazy and egotistic, and about to fail my exams". I'm trying to get back on the schedule, but being scolded sometimes really makes me wonder if it's worth it. I think I disassociate at times-I do have this sort of "imaginary friend" who's helped me through really tough times, sort of like an alter.

Again,thank you so much for responding. This is the first time I've ever told anyone about this, and it really helps.

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Hello @star_foam

 

I'm Remi, and i'm one of the support mentors along with Monsoon.

 

It sounds to be like you are putting a long of pressure on yourself and then you are under a lot of stress. With school and from your parents as well. I know your parents probably just want the best for you, but you also need time to do the things that you love and that help you cope. I'm glad to hear you have so many enriching hobbies.

 

I think that speaking to someone at your school could help, even if it is the summer holidays there is usually a pastoral manager that is there to offer guidance. They may be able to coordinate for you to seek some professional help. Having alters can sometimes be a sign of emotional burnout or other more complex mental health problems - and we think you would benefit from speaking to a professional about this. Do you feel like you could do this?

 

Some organisations also have professionals that you can self-refer into for free counselling if you're under 18.

 

We're really glad you felt able to come to us here, when are your exams? https://www.ditchthelabel.org/scared...ome-that-fear/here is an article to help with exam stress.

 

Keep up all of your curricular is you can they are what will balance out some of the stress. Let your family know that stress is proven to affect your exams negatively, ultimately they will just want the best for you.

 

So many of us experience mental. health issues in our life, more do than don't. This doesn't mean that you are mentally ill, our mental health is just like our physical health and it's important we maintain it just as we do our physical health.

 

Keep letting us know how you are getting on, if you let us know what area you are in, we will try and link you to local services.

 

Sending lots of positivity your way.

 

Remi

This Digital Mentor Account is no longer active.

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Thank you so much for the reply. I already looked into the resources my school has, and we don't have a counsellor or anything of the sort. I feel I could speak to someone else but I really don't want my parents to get involved, and I don't feel comfortable telling them about it. I live in Sri Lanka, and I've checked local services but there are very few. My OLs are next May, but I struggled with term exams this time around because I was under pressure from my family.I think this happened because I didn't meet their standards in an online tournament I took part in a few weeks earlier, had to stop most of my leisure activities, and this kind of triggered a recurrence of the mental health issue that I had faced before. I think I have a problem with this, in the sense that sometimes I feel like I'm able to cope, but one thing comes along and it's enough for me to get the cold shoulder from my parents, so to speak. Right now, I'm just looking at options because I really don't want my mental health to suddenly take a turn for the worst in the middle of a tense situation.

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Hey Star_Foam

 

I'm glad to hear that you could speak to someone else and I understand why you don't want to get your parents involved. Although there are few services in your area, would you still be able to get support from them? It might be worth looking into :)

 

I'm sorry to hear that you struggled with your term exams this time and that it triggered mental health difficulties. I think this is a completely understandable reaction considering how much pressure you're under. If we feel like we cannot meet the expectations of others in such a high pressure environment, we start to get worried, and if we then don't meet the expectations, this can be even more unsettling for us. Although you have been struggling recently, it sounds like you're still doing really well. To prevent your mental health from suddenly taking a turn for the worst, what do you think you need right now? You spoke about some of your coping strategies in a recent post - maybe you could aim to do at least one of these a day? This could help you to get through. Let me know what you think.

 

Hang in there, Star_Foam, you're doing great. Speak soon!

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I wasn't really able to speak to anyone, I just started doing some of coping strategies daily like you suggested, but in spite of that there are still times where it comes back and I can't do anything about it. I was on a record of eight days with no illness and then my parents scolded me about wasting my time on those activities, and my health went downwards from there. I think right now I need to speak to someone who's more familiar with the illness than I am and get it sorted out. I've already looked into the service available here, and it's a very small support clinic with a few members-I'm not sure this would be the best option. Are there any self-therapy options you could recommend, or anything along those lines? I think I want to act on it before I lose my nerve to talk about it and do something stupid, because during the past few years there have been times at the beginning of an episode where I'd consider asking for help, not feel it was worth bothering anyone, and keep spiralling until I was at the end of my tolerance, where I was really scared about whether I would get better again. Any suggestions? Again, thank you for taking the time to reply to all this.

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Hey @star_foam

 

I'm glad to hear that you've been doing some of the strategies. Have you found them helpful? It's important to remember that recovering from mental health difficulties isn't always straight forward e.g. instead of getting better and better, many people will be doing really well at one point, then the next, feel like they've gone back and lost all of their progress. Just know that this is normal as mental health recovery isn't usually a straight path.

 

With the clinic, I know that this doesn't seem like the best option to you, but it's better than nothing. I think it would be good for you to go for it. Can I ask why you don't think the clinic is a good idea? Also, yes, we have many emotional support options. Have you seen our mental health hub? https://www.ditchthelabel.org/mental...h-support-hub/. You could have a look through that - there are loads of support articles on things you can do to improve your mental health. Let me know what you think :)

 

Just know that you're doing all the right things to help yourself through this. You know what's going on for you, you're speaking to others, and more importantly, you want to get help. They are all very good things :). You are strong and you will move forward with this. Take care and speak soon,

-Monsoon

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