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Dear Momma, I Am Overwhelmed: Dealing With Anxiety and Depression

When I was 15, I wrote this letter to my mother. It represents how I felt at that time. Overwhelmed. Panicked. Lost.

Dear Momma,

I know it has been hard on you knowing that your kid has to deal with anxiety and depression, but it is just as hard for me knowing that your support is very limited. I am suffering so much. Between panic attacks and cutting, I also have crazy suicidal thoughts. And I dissociate from my body, which makes everything feel flat and two dimensional. I feel like I am in focus in the picture, but everything around me is a big blur.

Sometimes I just need you to distract me from the thoughts in my head. I want you to make me laugh. I wish you could be sweet with me when I am sad or feel depressed or scared.

High school has been extremely difficult for me. I am so shy and have difficulty interacting with my peers and my teachers. When I tell you I am afraid to talk to my teachers, you get so mad at me, which then makes me feel scared of telling you my feelings. It has felt to me that the more I needed you, the further away you have moved. It does not help me that you tell me over and over that you are sorry that I am sad or anxious. Please stop apologizing and then going on about your day like I don’t exist. You have been consumed with your boyfriend’s needs, not mine.

Mother, I’m aware that teenagers don’t know much. But I do know I’ve tried so hard to feel better and I don’t. I am asking you once again if I could get some help. You see, Mom, I want to go to college and have a good job. I don’t want to stay in the house and hide anymore. I know you are afraid to admit that your kid has issues, but I do and I am SCREAMING for help!

My mother responded positively to my letter and she found a counselor for me. I have been in counseling from ages 15-17, which I highly recommend for any teenager struggling with anxiety and/or depression. Therapy has been such a positive experience for me.

The therapy office feels like an escape, like a sanctuary.

I have enjoyed having someone I can really talk do who doesn’t judge me. Mostly, I appreciate that my therapist never pushed me to talk or do something I did not want to do. When I open up, it feels like I’m letting go of anxiety. And now I have many healthy ways to cope with my anxiety and depression. After hard work, I’m not self destructive any more, and I feel strong enough to tackle my problems. Through therapy, I have become a better listener and speaker. And I don’t feel so alone anymore.

Lucky me, I actually like myself.

I just graduated from high school and I am beginning college. I am really glad, but also so scared and excited all at the same time!