To My Parents: Let Me Explain My Mental Illness

Originally published on The Mighty


Dear mom and dad,

First off, I’d like to say I am a teenager diagnosed with major depression (with psychotic symptoms and a potential eating disorder). I also experience severe anxiety. I want you both, as well as parents and guardians of other teenagers dealing with mental illness, to see things from my perspective for a moment.

I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t mean to scare you or make you feel sorry for me. What’s happening with me is not your fault, but it isn’t mine either. I want to get better. Really, I do. Unfortunately, recovery is hard.

I used to self-harm and am finally more than a year clean. Yet, sometimes, I still think about doing it. I will try to talk to you about it, but it can be hard. I need you to check up on me when I am sad but not be too overbearing. I need you to help and love me but give me some space. Sometimes, I feel guilty for what happened. I want to make you feel better, and I feel bad about hurting you. I especially feel bad about the way I hurt you. I want to make things right.


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