Sullen and Sad

4 Dec

Letterbalm Sad Teenage BoyDear LetterBalm: My family makes me so unhappy that I stay in my room as much as I possibly can. I’m there after school, doing homework and playing video games. I emerge for meals and whatever I can’t get out of during the weekends. Most of the time, I’m on my own. I’m much happier with my friends at school and after-school stuff. My parents try to get me to talk to them, but they’re so lame, I just try to ignore them. I don’t want to tell them how I feel – I think it would be useless anyway. How can I get them to leave me alone?

–Do Not Enter

Here it is, son. You can’t go through life silent, unhappy and alone. Ms. L.B. is very concerned. You need to talk to an adult, whether a counselor at school, an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, an older cousin, a friend’s parent – somebody with whom you feel comfortable and safe. Everyone goes through periods of gloom, but if you don’t talk it out, your mood can be worrisome (and, your parents may be more worried about you than you think). Please, please seek out someone you trust, and understand that you may have to give them permission to tell your parents that you need to talk to a therapist. But first steps first. Start by saying something like this, and remember, it does get better if you talk about it:

Aunt Aliya, I have something serious I need to talk to you about, and I need you not to say anything to anyone right now. For a long time, I’ve been feeling sad and pretty worthless. I don’t want to talk to my parents about it because I don’t think they’ll take me seriously or understand what I’m feeling. My father wants me to tough it out, and my mother doesn’t have a clue. They’ve tried to get me to talk, but I just don’t want to deal with it with them. I think I need help.       

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