When a teenager’s life makes no sense

Daisaie asks: I’ve never been so depressed and broken. My parents are always yelling at me because apparently I’m failing to become the daughter they expect and things has gotten worse since last year. The class teacher is also making the matter worse. I try keeping myself motivated but it’s not working anymore. I’ve fell down from being a top student to failing in most subjects now. They never support me rather they end up discouraging me. Their comments have hurt me to the bottom of my heart and I’ll never be able to forget those. I’ve lost interest in everything. I seriously can’t take it anymore! I can’t even get a counselor. I really wanna get out of this mess so help me please.

Hi Daisaie –


Wow is this a sad letter!


You sound to me like you’re in a full-on depression.  That’s not abnormal, especially for a teenager.  In fact, I’ve never known a teenage human to get from ten years old to twenty without getting depressed.  But I know, that doesn’t make it any easier when you’re in the middle of it.


Still, I want to give you some perspective on it.  Being a teenager is, I think, the toughest part of most humans’ lives.  You go from the world making sense in certain ways, as a child, to a whole different existence, as an adult, with no logic or control.  Your school will say you should mature in some way (say, they suddenly start assigning big term papers instead of small essays for homework); your parents want you to mature in others (say, they want you to get a paying job), and your body wants you to mature in yet others (for eleven years, the only hairs you had were on top of your head, but suddenly…!).  And meanwhile, your school wants to keep you from maturing in some ways (no kissing in the halls!), your parents want to keep you from maturing in some ways (“We don’t care if everyone else can go to that party, you need to stay home to visit with your great aunt.”), and your body keeps you from maturing in others (“Nope, every other girl in class has started, but not you yet”).


And in all these, what you want to happen doesn’t seem to matter at all!


Now mix that with the fact that every other teenager is going through the same thing, every teacher and administrator at your school is trying to just keep the place from exploding, and your parents are stuck with wishing both that you could be the adorable five-year-old you once were again, and that you’d become a self-sufficient twenty-five year old overnight, because right now they don’t know what to do with the way you’re feeling, and it all makes you feel even more alienated and confused!


Does some of this sound right?


And does some of it not sound right?  Yep, that’s because no two teenagers are exactly alike, and some of what you’re going through is unique to you.


But there’s one thing I can promise you:  this will NOT last forever!


Don’t get me wrong, there will always be problems in your life.  It just won’t be everything, like it is now.


When you were little, you saw your parents as perfect; all kids do.  Now you’re seeing all their flaws.  After a while, you’ll find they’re more understanding and understandable than you see them now, but no, they’ll never be perfect again.


You’ll have some good teachers and some not-so-good ones, even if you get into the best graduate schools in the world.  But they’ll never own as much of your life as they do now.


And you’ll have friends you can talk with about all these things.  And some of them will be stinkers too, but you’ll get through it.


So what’s my advice to you, for now?  Well, you did the single best thing possible, which was to reach out.  And I’ll be glad to help you with anything I can, any time.  But can you reach out more, to others, who are maybe closer?  Is there someone you like at school who you think would understand your pain?  I know you said you can’t get a counselor, but is there a teacher at your school you could talk with (or, if you’re religious, someone at your place of worship)?


And best of all… do you know any dogs?


Even if your family can’t have one, if you have a friend or relative who has a dog, you could just borrow the pooch for a while, and you wouldn’t believe what great therapists we are.  We’ll tell you how fun life can be, how unimportant things like grades and tests are, and how happy someone can be to lick the tears off your face.


And of course, then there are all the other places to check out – listening to your favorite songs, watching great movies, all these things help at times like this.  You can find answers anywhere.


But please do write me again, and let me know any specific things going on.  I’m here to help, and so glad you wrote.


Big Love,



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