“Will my therapist tell my parents?” is a common concern among anxiety and depression sufferers. When I was young, it never occurred to me that my therapist may tell my parents. My therapist and I always worked with my parents. My parents were a special part of my life.
Now as an adult, I find it difficult to imagine living life without my parents. However, I know other depressed teens who are in relationships with their parents, and I also have been in relationships with my parents (although they were not depressed). It is hard to imagine living life without them. It is also hard to imagine that one can be in a relationship with the person that raised them. So, if my therapist asks me if my parents will know what is going on, I feel slightly uncomfortable about it.
At the same time, I know that some people get anxious when friends or relatives leave them. I feel even more anxious when my therapist asks me if my parents will know what’s going on in my life. I am concerned that my therapist might tell my parents something that they don’t want to hear. In order to control my anxiety, I usually ask if the therapist will make a call on me. If he says he will, then I know I will not be shocked at what he says because I know my therapist will not tell my parents anything that I do not want to hear.
Unfortunately, my parents are divorced and my father is bipolar. He has very bad mood swings and has had serious depression for years. He does not talk to my mom or dad about his feelings. Because my depression and anxiety are so severe, I thought I should tell my parents what was going on so they could help me.
My first question to my therapist was, “Will my parents know if I tell them I have depression and anxiety? Will they find out about it when they come for a visit?” I felt extremely anxious about this because I did not want them to learn about my problems.
My second question to my therapist was, “Is there any way to tell my parents that I have anxiety and/or depression?” My therapist responded by telling me that he would consider “softer” approaches to informing my parents. He suggested that I tell them what was going on, especially if they were not aware that I was seeing a therapist. I was relieved that my parents did not have to learn about my problem when they came to visit me.
Unfortunately, this same therapist suggested that I tell my parents “everything” about my disorder. I was shocked by this response. I told him that I could not imagine telling anyone “anything” about my disorder unless it was really necessary. I then asked him why he thought I should tell my parents if I didn’t have to.
The therapist responded by suggesting that he would sit down with me and we would work through the problem together. I was not surprised by this response because the therapist was a very understanding person. I then asked him, “What exactly would constitute ‘needed information’ from a therapist who would not prescribe medications for my problem?” My therapist replied by explaining that he saw the need for regular sessions with his patients to ensure that they received all of the help they needed. My parents decided that this was the best way to get help for me.
My parents decided to go to another therapist. This time, they chose a different one. Unfortunately, this particular therapist was not as understanding as the previous therapist. He seemed to think that my disorder was my fault and that there was nothing that could be done about it. This made it even more important that I tell him “everything” about my disorder. I wanted him to see that I was a problem and that I needed help.
My parents decided that this new therapist was the therapist that they would continue to see. They decided to make an appointment for the following week. On the day that my parents and the therapist met, the new therapist came and spoke with them and explained that he could not work with our children due to a prior case that he had worked on. He also mentioned that if my parents wanted to continue to work with him he could refer them to another therapist.
The following morning, my parents and I were talking when I suddenly felt a twinge in my stomach. I noticed that my back was hurting. I then told my father, who took it well and asked what was wrong.