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Depression? Anxiety? What is wrong with me?

I wonder what exactly is wrong with me. I know something is wrong with me but going to a therapist is not an option for me. My parents are religious people who would say something similar to "pray the darkness away" or "you're being ungrateful". I do often feel ungrateful but I seriously think I need some type of help. Therapists are simply too expensive to even consider anyway.

I have poor performance in school which started when I entered 5th grade (I think). I also have poor health and have little to no interest in my own hygenie. There are days I do not brush my teeth, brush my hair, or drink water. This may go on for up to 3 days until I have difficulty swallowing and my hair is greasy and knotted. I used to be very active, happy-go-lucky, and terribly curious and bright. I'm now generally inactive and a little overweight. I often binge eat for comfort. I cannot bring myself to enjoy doing things I once loved.
I do not always feel sad but wallow in guilt and feelings of doom. I sometimes have crying spells too. I do not think suicidal thoughts.

My family is not the best nor are they the worst. I have three siblings. I am the middle child. I have a neutral relationship with my younger sibling and am closest to my older sister. my relationship with my oldest brother is pretty rocky. Sometimes I yearn for his attention and sometimes I despise his very being. He was never there for me. Sometimes I don't even consider him family at all (I barely know him at all. What is his favorite color? Does he go to university? What are his dreams and passions? Does he love me?). I think he has depression too. I wouldn't know because he is very closed off and does not live with my family anymore. My father used to be abusive to my mother. After he was put in jail he changed and has never laid a hand on my mother again. I was an infant when he came back from jail. I'm not the closest with him but I do love him. He has always tried to make me laugh and buy me things I want (how am I supposed to feel about him? He abused my mother. She should have left him. Why do I still love him?)

My mother is perhaps the villain in my life. She has grown up in a place where adults should not be treated as authority figures (different from respecting someone as a person). She has been desensitized to abuse because of her mother and other adults in her childhood. She has never made me bleed with her disciplining. She has, frequently, bruised me though. A few weeks ago she had frightened me so badly when she roughly grabbed my hair I hyperventilated. My sisters also became frightened and started crying to see me shaking and cowering. They were 'disciplined' (it wasn't. it was straight up abuse) because they were crying. CRYING. My mother will bruise my side purple and black and then cuddle with me on the couch a day later, saying **** like how she did it out of love. And, for some sick, twisted, hopeless reason, I still love her. I would still die for her.

I rely too much on my older sister. I cling to her in new places, especially in school. School is the worst place for me to be. I have low self-esteem and it seems to lower astronomically when I enter school grounds. I have friends but I say I have no friends because I don't know if they consider me a friend, if that makes sense.
I am 14 and about to enter 9th grade in a month or so.
Do I go to a doctor to confirm and get medication? What if my parents deny me help? How do I tell them? What do I do?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Don't look at medication as some magic pill that will solve all your problems.  You are too young to take meds for mental illness without significant oversight from your provider, and that should probably be a pediatric psychiatrist if that was necessary, not your regular doc, who isn't specially trained in treating mental illness.  Not no training, but no special training.  Treating the mental problems of people as young as you are is different from treating adults usually, as childhood mental problems are quite different than adult ones.  They therefore need to be treated by professionals who know this and have experience treating it.  You say you can't get therapy, but that's where we start when we have the kind of problems you are stating.  Your brain isn't fully developed yet and won't be for several years, and the meds can be harmful because of that.  Some your age definitely need them.  It's best, however, to see if you can't fix things without them (that's usually true of adults as well).  Medication also doesn't cure mental illness, we don't have a pill that does that, it reduces the symptoms so you can function better.  Therapy, when it works, fixes the problem.  Time sometimes also fixes the problem.  I can't say what's really going on with you because modern medicine doesn't have that definitive answer, but from what you describe, you live in an abusive family, your parents are family and you love them because of that but you're also afraid of them with good reason, and so they have created a toxic environment for you.  Religious zealotry if what you say is true and not just something you're projecting on them is also a brick wall to try to reason around.  A therapist would be someone not related to you who will listen to you, let you have your say, and try to work out how you can be less insecure and depressed in a bad situation.  There are ways of getting it that don't cost money, if you don't have it.  But in your situation, you need an adult to advocate for you, and if your parents won't do that -- you don't say if you've discussed this with them or asked them for this kind of help and they refused or you only think they will refuse because you are projecting what you think they'll say without knowing this for sure because you haven't asked for help.  The truth of the world isn't what we're propagandized about, as you've learned young -- family isn't a magic thing.  Some are good, most are mixed, and some are awful.  When you're young you're stuck with them unless you go to court and try to separate yourself from them, and that's hard.  Your Dad seems to have learned a lesson about inflicting pain on loved ones -- have you tried talking to him about your Mom's behavior?  You might not get anywhere, but you're stuck now so trying something is better.  I would advise you to sit down with both your parents and in a nice and level way, without anger, say what's going on with you.  Tell them you think therapy would be of benefit because if this continues you're scared what's going to happen.  If that fails, do you have any other relatives who you trust?  Do any of your friends have parents you admire who might help?  Have you spoken to the school counselor about what's going on?  Frankly, you're post is more articulate than almost every post on here, so I don't think you have an ability problem with school, so the problem would appear to lie elsewhere.  As for siblings, heck, most of us don't get along with at least one of our siblings.  My older brother was not a nice person, he had his own problems, but my sister was a nice person.  It is what it is.  Families aren't different than any other social situation, some of them we like and some of them we don't.  And if you do manage to get into therapy, if your therapist does think you need medication, the therapist will refer you to a psychiatrist.  It's not a decision you have to make by yourself and shouldn't make by yourself.  When you're stuck, you gotta try something different, and when you're young, you have amazing resilience and ability to adapt far beyond what you realize now.  Fix this now, don't let it fester until you're older.  It's easier to fix now.  Peace.
2 Comments
I have more relatives than I can count and none I seriously trust with my issues. Also, I guess I've always seen medication as some type of cure- the fault of misleading tv shows, probably. I don't think I can talk to my dad about my mom. He'd grown in a similar environment as her and has actually bruised me once. I don't think he meant to but I know he meant to hurt me. I also don't remember what I did to deserve it. I think I may try and find a way to get therapy but I've always been a little against it. Or, rather, afraid of it.

My brother had confronted my mother about it after she found pills in his room. I think it was for his depression because the police confirmed it was prescribed to him. All she did was play the victim card and swear she didn't remember all the things she did to him. "It was for your own good" and "maybe if you weren't so difficult". I think she actually believes it herself.

School... well, school has always been a place of nightmares and meltdowns in the bathroom for me. I have never been bullied but it was mostly the staff that made it a place I dread. One teacher had frequently humiliated me. I think it was because whenever she approached me about my grades, my facade of indifference and coldness frustrated her. She tried to use humiliation to make me turn in my work on time. Other than that, I don't really know why I still feel so anxious, lonely, and overwhelmed there. It doesn't make sense to me either. I haven't met any of my school counselors at my high school. I hope they are better. From my experience, which isn't that long, there aren't many adults that I can trust. Currently, I do not trust anyone.
You're painting yourself into a corner.  I think you realize that, which is why you posted here, but you're shooting down everything here.  Your parents are religious and so you can't get help.  Your Dad won't help because of his upbringing, despite you earlier saying he used to be abusive but learned his lesson and has changed.  A teacher humiliated you -- maybe, but maybe the teacher was just being a good teacher and not letting you get away with underperforming, because, seriously, you write way more articulately, as I said, than most humans so you obviously are good at expressing yourself and that's most of school.  From your experience, which is, let's face it, negligible because you're really young and young people really don't interact all that closely with adults -- they pretty much live in parallel worlds most of the time.  You have tons of relatives but not one of them is empathetic?  Come on, you can't blame all your problems on other people.  Everyone has problems.  Everyone has bad things happen to them.  I grant if what you say about abuse is true, and I'm not there, I can only take your word for it, that's not a good thing for a young person to grow up with, but you posted here asking for help and yet you are basically saying you don't trust anyone.  But you have to see at some point that this is a symptom of the disorder you currently seem to have, which is anxiety and depression.  And they won't go away if you don't try unless time fixes them, which given your age they actually might.  Schools are full of mediocrity but also full of adults who do care if you let them know you need help.  As to being afraid of therapy, we all are.  Our parents are, too, because historically parents were blamed for whatever went wrong with us when we get into therapy but that's a myth nowadays.  Mostly they try to find practical way for you to cope.  They pry into the past so they know who you are, but today's therapists have been influenced a lot by something called cognitive behavioral therapy and they will try to help you figure yourself out and try to teach you coping mechanisms.  If your parents are truly abusive, well, that could get complicated, so we'll see about that, but this is to help you and to do that you have to help yourself.  And your opinion of drugs is shared by some of the most vocal people on this forum, so it's not uncommon, medicine is largely marketing.  There truly is no magic perfect pill out there for anything, they all come with downsides, but if you do need them, it's better we have them than when we didn't.  But at your age, again, you need to notice that people change a lot when they're young, and they change fast.  How much are you like you were a couple of years ago?  So a couple years from now this could all be a memory.  Work on getting therapy, and not on making excuses for running place.  As time goes on, it does get harder to fix.  Peace.
973741 tn?1342342773
Boy, your post really breaks my heart.  I am so very sorry it is so hard and you have little support if any from your parents.  I can only offer that perhaps something that is a motivation for you is to do what you can to prepare to get the heck out of there.  My son has been a long time anxiety sufferer and then became clinically depressed.  He actually became suicidal.  Treatment and medication have turned his life around but I am not sure these are options for you at all with what you are saying.  Does your school have anything in place that can help? Some are better than others and I'm not sure where you live and what the rules are. For example, my kids high school has counselors but also a contract with a therapy center that comes to the school and will talk to kids.  It's pretty universal in any large school district to have this with the suicide rates going higher and higher in teens.  It's all free and done by grants.  All you do at our school is make a request.  So, it might be worth asking at school what could be available.  However, I'd fear they tell your parents.  You sound still very vulnerable to whatever their feelings are about right or wrong.  

I want you to know that vulnerability to your parents is for a limited time.  It WILL come to an end.  

I'm going to give you this link to an app that perhaps you can get which is free.  https://apps.apple.com/us/app/youper-self-guided-therapy/id1060691513  They have it on android too.  But it is an interactive therapy app. Free.  I have used it myself.  It's 'something'. Feels like you are talking to someone and it is based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfullness principals.  It's helpful, please give it a try if you can.

One thing we do with my son is work on small goals. When he activates the part of his brain that accomplishes something, even a small thing, it helps him feel better.  What if you tried making a goal of say 2 things (they could be something like "today I will take a shower and I will read for 10 minutes".  Start small like that.  Build on it.  See if that helps you at all.  Keep in touch, I really really feel for you and the position you are in.  This is So hard without any parental support.  
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