Hi, I am 16 and I have recently starting seeing a psychologist for depression. I have only had 2 appointments so far because she is only able to see me once a month. Well, I have been a 'mild' cutter, i guess you'd say, for about 2 years. My parents do not know about this, and I would rather them not know. I cut myself on my arms, stomach and legs, and there are quite a few scars now. I don't consider the cuts to be too serious... not life threatening, or even bad enough to see a doctor. I am just really scared to tell my psychologist about my cutting. In the first 2 appointments, she asked me if had high risk behavior, suicide or homicide thoughts, and I answered no to all of them. But then she asked me if I ever cut myself, and I said no... twice! I lied to her face about the issue twice now, and I am so scared to tell her the real truth. I don't want to get sent to some hospital like I see on tv, and I dont want a new psychologist because I really like the one I have. How do I tell her that I lied, and if I do tell her, will she send me to some institute, and will she tell my parents??? Please help. Any information will be appreciated. Thanx.
hi, i'm sorry to hear about the problems you're having, but i'm still pretty damn impressed that you are intelligent enough to seek help..
as for the issue with your counsellor it's hard to say.. do you trust her? you said that you liked her.. how do you think she would react, realistically? i don't know her, but i would have to say that on the whole, most counsellors in her position would not react judgementally to you being truthful about this. it is likely that she would respect the courage that it took you to tell her at all.. i don't think she's going to be angry that you weren't entirely honest before.. she has probably experienced similar occurences, and it's understandable, as it is a hard thing to talk about.
as for sending you to an institution.. that could only be done if you were a serious threat to yourself or others.. and cutting is not a suicidal gesture with you, i am assuming you have other reasons? so the only way this could happen would be if you willingly had yourself committed, i think.
telling your parents would be a violation of confidentiality, and could only be done, as i said above, if you she had strong reason to believe you were going to kill yourself. then, of course, your parents would have to know about you being hospitalized.
it's hard to suggest how you could bring this matter up with her, as i don't know you or your counsellor, but if it were me, (and i'm sort of socially anxious and avoidant) i might sort of dance are the topic for awhile to gauge her reactions.. for example, i might start talking about the topic in general and why i think people might possibly do it. then i might just admit that i've done it in the past, and the reason i didn't tell her the truth earlier was that i was afraid of her reaction. she will probably be very understanding about this. you could mention your fears about confidentiality, maybe?
anyways, i hope that it goes well for you.. and i hope my ramblings were not too useless or inaccurate lol.
Remember, cutting is very common, you are not the only one who's done it and your psychologist has most probably treated people with your problem before.
You won't get sent anywhere. People who are at risk for suicide might be admitted to the hospital, not you. She won't tell your parents, everything is confidential.
Psychologist are very good at interpreting people's behavior. She probably noticed your reaction when she mentioned cutting and already suspects this is an issue for you. She'll probably ask you again. If she does, you can say 'No, I don't, but I did a little bit in the past.' Then at least it doesn't look like you lied before. Then at least that will open the discussion up and you can talk about it. She knows how difficult it is for people to talk about it
Dackard is right. You are NOT going to be sent to an institution for cutting. I feel very strongly that you should share the fact that you are cutting with your therapist. It is an indication of how badly you feel. Without that knowledge, she doesn't know how hard of a time you are having. If she knew, she might be able to see you more often than once a month. I doubt that she will be terribly surprised that you didn't trust her enough to share that information with her before - it's not unusual.
I doubt cutting would be grounds to hospitalize you since most people who do it don't do it to kill themselves, but some psychiatrists will tell your parents about it. It may be safest to ask her about her office's confidentiality policy and to define it specifically, although that may just be a dead giveaway that there are things you want to tell her that you're not sure you should.
You should be very proud of yourself for seeking help, not only for your depression but for the questions about therapy.
Generally, therapists do not share confidential information with parents. I have never heard of them doing that, even when asked outright. You can check with the office, though, without having to have a reason. Confidentiality in therapy should be expected. How else could a therapist gain your trust, which is of extreme importance if therapy is going to help.
By all means, feel free to share ANYTHING with your therapist. That is what they are for-to HELP you, not to JUDGE you. Believe me, they have heard it all! You have to trust them for the therapy to help you. I know it is difficult to say these things we are "ashamed" of, just remember, the therapist is there for YOU. You are not there trying to impress the therapist! I will never forget my husband telling his psychiatrist that he didn't hear voices, because he thought that's what the psychiatrist wanted to hear and he didn't want him to think he was crazy! If your therapist doesn't hear you speak the truth, they won't know. Yes, they may suspect anyway, but it's good for you to get it off your chest.
Hang in there. There is help for depression. You don't have to feel that way for the rest of your life! You are taking a big step in the right direction! Please let me hear from you again. It would help me, if I could help you! Love, Gina
hey i used to cut and my mom walked in on me one nite when id drunk a bottle of whiskey and wine in 20 min anyway, she reacted like any 'normal' parent would but eventually she has managed to trust me again and both are very supportive!. maybe telling ur parents may help? also with the psych id tell her because she is trying to help u and unless u be completly truthful with her then any help she gives u wont get the desired effect, i know i wasnt truthful with mine until the 4th meeting and i just blurted out what i did and she was amazing!!! i felt like the whole world had been lifted off my shoulders!! only tell her if u feel comfortable with her tho otherwise dont, because ur only 16 does that mean she will automatically tell ur parents because ur a minor?? does anyone know about that?
anyway good luck with whatever u decide to do and ur not alone !!!
Midnight_Angel: I don't think you need to worry about being sent to a hospital or anything like that...I had to go to emergency for stitches 3 years ago and I was afraid the doctor would admit me to the psychiatric ward, but he didn't. He believed me when I told him it was not a suicide attempt. Just because you cut yourself does not mean you are a high risk for suicide.
I'm proud to say that it has been three years since I cut myself...the trip to emerg scared me badly enough that I haven't done it since.
As for what to tell your therapist, my advice is to be honest with her and tell her that the reason you lied before is because you were afraid of being hospitalized. I don't think she will stop seeing you.
but some psychiatrists will tell your parents about it.
I don't think they are allowed to do that, even for patients who are minors. How can they expect teenagers to be completely honest with them if there is the fear that their parents will be told everything?
They're allowed to do it under the category that cutting yourself is harming yourself. Of course, if they do tell, the relationship they may be trying to build will be completely shattered so it poses probably a bigger risk than the cutting does.
I cut my self and pick at myself till i bleed, and i pick off scabs to make them bleed, it does make me feel better, it is like a release, and i totally understand what you are going through.and im only 23.
i told my psycatrist at the last meeting i had , i finally got up the nerve to do so, because i lied to him at first when he asked me. and well he said ok, and asked me what kind of feeling i got from it and i told him its like a release, and he said ok, and he asked me what part of it made me feel the best, like if it was the actual cut or the bleed or what about the whole process amde me feel better and he said ok, and wrote it down and we went on to another subject for that session, it was not half a bad or hard as i thought it would be, so when your ready tell him, tell him b4 your mom and dad, and i think he has to ask you weither you want him to tell them or not. other than that i say tell someone b4 someone sees the scars and freaks out cuz you didnt tell. keep smileing sweetie, everything will work itself out for the best sooner or later.
When i was 15-16. I was a mild cutter to. I have around 25 scares from it.
Dont worry about not telling her about the cutting. Tell her when you feel ready. And dont worry what she might think when you tell her. She will understand that you were not ready to tell her. Maybe ask her if she tells your parents what you talk about then you will know. But I think if you ask her not to tell your parents I donít think she will. But dont be afraid to tell her, she is there to help. Tell her in your time when you feel ready. I hope this helps.
Just wanting to add my wee bit.. Used to cut myself with anything I could find , have taken several unsuccessful overdoses and been in hospital each time. I was referred to the hospital psychiatrist who had a quick word and sent me on my way! A couple of years later I moved town and MADE myself stop it. It was getting harder to cover up the mess and I didn't want anyone in the new town to think me a freak. If I could just advise you this - if you like your Therapist then stick with her - you wont just feel this way with them all. Tell her EVERYTHING and make the most of the help she can give you. Unfortuneately I never got any proper help and now that I'm married with 3 wee ones I really wish I had sorted it out at the time. I'm so glad I made the decision to stop cutting when I did as I really find it awkward now when the sun's out and I think people are looking at me. Stick your hand in an ice bucket to hurt yourself if you feel you have to do something. Can you join a gym and just walk on the treadmill or something several times a week as this really helps you to feel a bit better about yourself and can also give you more control and more positive feelings about your future. Pound it out in there girl!!
Take control of YOUR life - it's no-one elses and whatever your reasons for cutting - it/they are not going to beat you in this way. It's YOUR body -you don't owe anyone/thing a messed up body - **** them and look after no.1 for a while and treat yourself to a better life. You CAN do it.
PS My guess is your therapist does know already if she has asked you twice about it - just tell her not to tell your parents as it really wouldn't help you and she should abide by your request.