I think there is something wrong with me!

A few years back, I can still vividly remember my son coming up the stairs to where I was in the kitchen: tears in his eyes, shoulders slumped. “Mom I think there is something wrong with me!” he said.

To say I was taken aback was an understatement. He had just returned from 10 months living in England and travelling Europe on his first year out of high school. Life was good, exciting, adventuresome… so what was all this about?

After a google search of his inner thoughts, my son self diagnosed himself as having a social anxiety and a misfit. Really?!

As parents we took it seriously, and through trial and error we created a plan to help him work through this frightening time for him. My daughter had her own down period while living abroad in New Zealand. She experienced her own personal spiral into feelings of failure, lack of focus, worry about her future.

After years of working with young people I found that this was a fairly common occurrence. I would listen to what I saw as outwardly successful, friendly, spirited adolescents question themselves harshly. Things I heard:

  • Nobody understands me!
  • I have no idea of where I am going in life!
  • People are always talking about me!
  • have these weird thoughts!
  • I wish I was thinner, prettier, smarter, funnier, less klutzy, ………..
  • My teachers/parents hate me!
  • My parents are always telling me what to do, they never listen!

Can you relate? What would you add to the list? Do you feel like there is something wrong with you?

Here’s the deal and I hope it helps you ease up on yourself a bit. Your brain is going through a major upgrade…… chemically, hormonally and physically. So much is going on that it is a bit CRAZY making. Some days you may feel like you are on a roller coaster of feelings like sadness, anger or moodiness. On top of that maybe your parents are on your case because they don’t know how to deal with you.

Here is the big question. Is the stuff you are feeling starting to affect your life negatively?

If it is, find someone you trust to talk to. Preferably an adult you know. Your friends will listen but do they really have any more experience than you to help you sort out your thoughts? Probably not. Chances are you are going through some normal teen challenges but think about how great it would be to get it out of your head so you can get back to living and having fun.

Turn “I think there is something wrong with me!” into “I’m doing okay, even if I am not the same as everyone else”.