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