Anonymous asked in HealthMental Health · 6 years ago

Should I speak to a psychiatrist?

I was physically abused throughout my childhood.

My mom was a drug addict and an alcoholic, she shoplifted, forged checks, prostituted, cheated on my dad, they would fight and be physically violent to one another as well as myself. She died when I was 6. My dad's still alive though I now live with my uncle.

Throughout this time I never had any friends, I've always been too shy to approach people, and too shy to respond when people approach me.

It was the worst was from age 9-12, I couldn't speak at all. I used a handheld whiteboard that a teacher had given me to communicate.

Whenever anyone asked my dad what was wrong with me, he would say "Oh, she's just shy." and people believed him.

Something was obviously wrong with my life - no child gets like that without a reason, and yet everyone, even teachers, never attempted to help me.

Last year I was suicidal.

I do have a friend. But even with him I can only say a few words at a time. He's usually the only one talking. I would like to be able to speak more but I can't. And I'm worried that I never will.

I read in another question someone else, who talked about being in similar situations, had asked and the answer they got was "You should speak to a psychiatrist."

I'm wondering if that would help me, how would just talking about it help? I'm not sure if I would be willing to take any medications unless they were my only option to heal my heartache. Advice?

3 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You've obviously dealt with a lot of difficult situations and emotions, including at such a young age. My sincere condolences in the loss of your mother. Please do ask your uncle to make an appointment with a licensed mental health professional to talk about your past and current issues. There is *no* shame in asking for help, and it even shows a strength and courageousness in the individual :)

    I would also recommend looking into getting tested by the school's Child Study Team (cst). The cst usually includes a school social worker, learning disabilities teacher-consultant (LDT-C) and school psychologist. The school will need your uncle's (your current guardian) permission before testing begins. The goal of the testing is to help determine if the student has a learning or emotional disorder. If so, the student may qualify for support services, including classroom accommodations. For instance, the student may be permitted to get longer time on tests and/or a separate room for exams (usually with a test proctor).

    The school itself, however, does *not* usually provide intensive therapy, however, they might refer the student (and/or family) to an outside mental health professional (and/or provide other resources).

    Please be aware that even if the student is "classified" (as having a learning or emotional disorder) by the cst, the student doesn't necessarily have to get placed in remedial (slower-paced) or "special needs" classes. It's still an option, though.

    Should you do get tested by the cst, please keep the paperwork in case needing to ask for "reasonable accommodations" in the workplace (and/or classroom setting, such as at college), according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Just an fyi that "reasonable accommodations" may include getting additional work breaks, though, with the proper medical documentation.

    This website may have some local counseling agencies, too: and can type one's zip code or state of residence into search.

    I'm not sure if you'd be interested in an Alateen meeting, which is for teens whose parent(s) has addiction problems, but there may be a local Alateen support group. (Just an fyi that for those whose parent/s doesn't have a drinking problem, there may be an "open" Alateen meeting. However, should there be no local "open" Alateen meetings, the group leader may allow the teen to attend the "closed" Alateen meeting.) It's *not* in place of counseling, and I realize that you're not currently in that type of environment or having to deal with those issues. However, perhaps a therapist may advise you to sit in on at least a couple of groups just to feel less alone, know what I mean.

    Here is the website for Alateen (and Al-Anon, which is for adults):

    Someone mentioned cognitive-behavioral therapy (cbt), which therapists believe is a good technique, especially for those with anxiety and/or depression. Cbt deals with how one's thoughts affect behavior. (It's *not* a cure-all/panacea, though :) It's my understanding that medication is *not* usually the first treatment for teens with mental health issues, however, if it's recommended by a reputable board-certified psychiatrist, it's good to not be resistant to it, if even as an adjunct while in therapy as well. Just an fyi that each person's brain chemistry is different and may respond to medication differently than the next individual.

    For anyone who is feeling suicidal, here is a toll-free 24/7 helpline to call:

    1-800-273-TALK (8255).

  • Alex
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    Cognitive behavioral therapy is an awesome idea, as others have suggested. If you're willing to give it a shot, it can work very well for you, I'm sure.

    If you want to try CBT first before pursuing medication, that's quite alright. But if you still find that you're having issues, medication is a great option as well. Normally, people will be on medication while undergoing CBT at the same time. Medication is not a cure-all, but it can really help you to function better in your daily life and to relieve some symptoms of what you're experiencing.

    Please don't listen to people who'll try to tell you that medication does nothing but hurt you, because that is not true in the slightest. I've been on many different medications since I was 15, and they've helped me tremendously over the years. Everyone reacts differently to different meds. What might work for one person could be terrible for another. It's not wise to discount use of all medication just because some people have bad experiences with it. If you have a bad experience with a medication, you stop taking it and move on to a new one. Simple as that. Because once you hit that sweet spot and find the right med and dose, you can start really focusing on the therapy and applying new coping skills to your life while feeling a bit better at the same time.

    Both of these things are definitely worth looking into. Good luck.

    Source(s): mentally ill, personally familiar with and knowledgeable of psychotherapy and medication
  • teri
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (cbt) can be very effective. I agree you should stay off the drugs. They have bad side effects and simply change your brain chemistry. The way to heal is NOT to turn into a robot but to learn to rethink. Warning!!! Psychiatrists prefer the drug route as they get paid for writing a script. Don't let them push you. This may mean you have to go through a few before you find the right one.

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