Many teens feel like they are alone in their experience. They might feel lonely, lost, confused, afraid, or depressed. And with these feelings, they might consider themselves alone, without support. It’s common for teens to believe that no one understands them and that no one is going to fully get what they’re going through – so how can anyone help?
This might be a common thought among adolescents, but it’s far from the truth. In fact, there are often many teachers, parents, and other adults who want to be supportive. There are many people, if they knew what you are going through, would immediately lend a hand.
Whether your issue is big or small, you don’t have to go through it alone. Many teens attempt to handle their issue privately perhaps by cutting themselves, planning their suicide, or using substances. Rather than hurting yourself with these choices, you can reach out to someone you trust. In fact, you should know that if you have a mental illness (such as anxiety or depression) some of them can worsen over time if they are not treated. Talking to someone about what’s going on may get you the support you need.
If you feel like you’re struggling with an issue, why not make a list of those who are supportive in your life. In fact, why not do it right now? Take a moment and stop reading this article – get out paper and a pen – and go for it.
Who is supportive in your life? Perhaps it’s one or more of the following:
- Your mother
- Your father
- A close adult friend
- A teacher
- School counselor
- Medical doctor
- A relative
- Your neighbor
- An old friend
You might find that you have more than one teacher whom you could talk to. You might even write down your school principal. Make sure your list includes those that support you as well as those whom you can trust and feel comfortable with. Sometimes, you need someone to listen to you and not someone who will immediately direct you into therapy or treatment. You might just need to talk to someone who cares.
Remember too that just by spending time with your friends you might be able to find a different kind of support. It’s not the same as having someone listen to you but it might provide you with some positive feelings. Positive experiences with friends and peers can help build inner strength and resilience.
Once you’ve made your list, perhaps you can consider talking to someone on that list. As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to go through your issue alone. If you can talk to someone you trust, he or she may be able to guide you through the challenge you’re facing.
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Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.