Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I think I have PTSD. What should I do?"

Dear Carol,
I’m 14. A lot of my friends have been through depression—even cutting their wrists and talking about suicide. It has been really hard to go through all this with them. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough and it made me sad to see them struggle. These days, at the very mention of depression, cutting or suicide, I can completely change. Memories haunt me, and I can go through a week, crying, feeling guilty and worthless. But the next week, I can be smiling and feel happy. I looked up post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) online. I may have it, but how do I tell my mom?

Dear Disorder,
It’s normal to feel moody, and I’m sorry your mood swings are so extreme and that so many of your friends are struggling with negative feelings. But I caution you against giving yourself a diagnosis. Rather than tell your mom you have PTSD, say, “Mom, there are some things that have been haunting me and I wonder if talking to a counselor might help.” While it’s good to be there for friends, I hope you can find a way to have a happy and relaxing summer.

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by Joy Cato | 7/11/2018
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