I’ve been getting really lonely lately and I can’t seem to enjoy the things I loved to do in the past few years. I feel like I’m being smothered. I’m suffocating and falling apart.
I’m sitting for SPM this year and with all the homework, tuition classes, music lessons and studies, I don’t seem to have time to rest. My mother lectures me every time she doesn’t see me studying, even when I’m having a break.
I also feel like my school teachers don’t, or even try to, understand the students. They don’t care that we don’t have time. They just lecture us on and on, and give homework as though their class is the only ones we have. They make me want to bang my head against the wall.
I feel like I don’t have anyone to talk to. My dad scolds me for crying because he says “crying doesn’t solve anything”. It might not but it does help me with the overwhelming emotions.
I want to die. I’m numb and feel empty most of the time. When I’m not, I’m angry and anxious. I’ve been feeling suicidal the past four to five years but recently, it has gotten worse.
I’ve always had anger management issues but never have I ever wanted to kill someone until late last year; on several occasions, I’ve felt that way. I struggle greatly to calm myself down.
The only person whom I feel I can trust doesn’t have his phone with him; his parents confiscated his phone. I have another friend whom I could talk to but I can’t seem to be as open with her.
I know I need help. I’m just terrified at the thought of my parents, and everyone else, finding out.
I’m supposed to be one of the top scorers in my class and school, yet I struggle to find a reason to stay on.
I have become resentful towards adults due to their perception (mainly my dad’s) that teenagers can’t feel stressed out.
When a student mentions that he or she is tired or stressed, most teachers would simply brush it aside, saying, “I’m more stressed out than you. I have to do this, that and the other … .” It’s just so frustrating to hear that because it makes me feel like no one cares, like I’m alone and there’s no way out.
I’ve been getting more mental breakdowns this year. I hurt myself a lot when I was 13 but stopped when I was 14. I relapsed the night before my mid-year exams last year, and again early this year.
I don’t want to live. I want to be listened to. I want someone to care about me. I do write in a diary but it doesn’t give me the relief I need.
I’m also paranoid that my parents will find it and read it despite it being in a drawer. I don’t want them to see my thoughts. They’d be so ashamed of me if they did.
They would scream and yell at me for being “ungrateful” and say I should just focus on my studies.
But I need a life too, right?
Now I just wind up punching walls and throwing things across the room. At night, I would cry and try my level best to hide any evidence of my crying. I just want to curl up into a ball and sleep forever.
I don’t want to live. I’d rather die than go to school, at this rate. I’m not good enough for anyone. My grades aren’t good enough for my parents. They are not even satisfied with As. They want me to get straight A+s for my exams.
I think I’m going mad. I tried calling the Befrienders helpline several times but I couldn’t get through. I need to know that someone cares and that someone will listen. Please help me.
Oh, my dear! I am absolutely steaming mad as I read this; shame on your parents and teachers!
What you describe is suicidal depression with self-harm. This is extremely serious. I have put the contacts for services below.
Please call them NOW. Tell them exactly what you told me. If you have a family doctor you trust, go and see them IMMEDIATELY.
Also, do try to think of at least one sensible adult in your life who will listen to you and advocate for you.
It is not your fault that you can’t cope. You are a child and it is the responsibility of your parents and teachers to make sure that you are in a healthy environment with appropriate challenges.
Your parents and teachers are doing a lousy job. Unfortunately, this seems to be increasingly normal.
The incidence of child depression, self-harm, eating disorders and suicide is soaring in teens and young adults, precisely because of the relentless bullying you describe in your letter.
Please don’t hurt yourself and don’t despair. This is a dark period of your life, but it will pass.
Now, I’m going to talk about stress, so that you can get some insight, which will hopefully help you a little.
We all have a personal limit to how much stress we can cope with. Interestingly, it changes over time.
So, it may be that at one part of your life you can cope with all kinds of difficulties, and at another time, the slightest issue seems a mountain.
When you have an overload of stress and you’re not able to cope, you feel out of control, scared, and overwhelmed.
That’s when you start seeing reactions.You might get physical symptoms like rashes, an upset stomach, headaches, breathlessness and more.
Emotional reactions include anger, sadness, anxiety, lack of energy, trouble with sleep, trouble with concentration, loss of interest, changes in appetite, tearfulness and more.
Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia as well as self-harm are not well understood. However, it appears that they are also linked to stress. Self-harm, for example, may be a physical way for people to release mental pain. It’s a scary thing but there’s good news; because it’s a learned behaviour, you can unlearn it.
So, don’t panic, OK? A professional will help you get past this.
I’m simplifying here but basically you need to see a mental health professional who will help you through these steps.
First, you figure out your personal response to stress, for example, anger at mild stress and self-harm in a crisis.
Second, you see what exactly triggers your stress response, for example, feeling helpless, feeling as if you have no time etc.
Third, you learn healthier coping methods, like talking to your friends or taking up kickboxing.
And finally, you also look at ways to eliminate stress from your life, for example, not doing so much tuition.
Please, phone for help, do some reading and accept it’s not your fault. Don’t be ashamed!
Also. do know this: As are very nice but they aren’t as important as some people think.
You’re clever, you will get a job and your bosses and colleagues will value you for your honesty, common sense, enthusiasm and willingness to learn. You will be a success.
Please, get help as soon as possible.
Here are some resources: Talian Kanak Kanak (Childline) tel: 15999 (Available 24 hours a day), or go to http://mmha.org.my/resources/directory-of-counselling-services.