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Bereavement and Cutting

Q: need help when i was 13 my mom died and i was okay for the first year and now it seems like im always depressed and hurting inside. my dad and two brothers are always fighting and im always in the middle because afterwords he wont talk with my brothers and then they are saying how mean he is and how much they hate him and i always feel like im being pushed and pulled. i try to soo hard to keep the peace in my family and i end up getting really stressed out and overwhelmed, i get so overwhemled that i started cutting, i know i need help, i dont want to remeber my teenage years as being depressed and cutting myself. thanks

Bereavement and Cutting

A: First let me start by expressing my condolences for losing your mother. Losing an important person in your life, especially one who offers support and love is very difficult. It sounds as though you are sad for at least 2 reasons: 1) you no longer have your mother in your life, and 2) the rest of your family are fighting. It seems like your home life became more stressful, and at a time when you probably needed extra support. Stress can make people more irritable, which makes me wonder whether the arguments between your father and your brothers reflects their own difficulty with moving on. In any case, I completely understand your concern. I think there are at least two options to consider. First, you can seek individual counseling or treatment yourself. This might help you learn more effective coping strategies, and would also provide an opportunity to feel understood and supported. The other option is family counseling. When a family sees a mental health professional together, they can discuss and resolve their issues in a more contained and calming environment. The mental health worker can also provide objective feedback and offer advice. Of course, you would have to speak with your family first about this possibility.

In terms of trying to find a mental health worker, try visiting the Canadian Mental Health Association at their website, and you could even send an email or phone with questions. You can find the site here. Also, visit the Where To Call page for more resources.

You may also consider speaking with your family doctor, who may know of local referral options.

In terms of your cutting, please refer to my previous answer on this topic. This is another issue that could be examined with a professional. Best of luck, and thank you for your question.

Dr. Roger