Hard on myself


Hard on myself


your avatar   Sisco, 15-year-old man

I feel like there are so many problems in my life. I have no self-esteem. People always tell me I should stop being so hard on myself. But sometimes, I just hate everything about me. I call myself things like fat-ass, idiot, ugly, disgusting, worthless. And I believe it. I also feel ignored by everyone. It's like I'm not interesting enough for my friends to talk to me. I hide before school, during lunch, and it doesn't help my feeling of being alone, but I'd rather that than face rejection.

My father left before my birth because he didn't want me, and upon my birth my mother handed me over to my grandparents for the same reason - though at least, I see her all the time, and she tried stepping in as somewhat of a mother last summer when she was living at my grandparent's house. I have a problem with love as well, and basically quit relationships some time ago. I feel like no one is interested in me, and that I've just been lead on and lied to.

I often find myself wishing to be someone else. I feel like I'm failing my family, my supposed friends, my teachers, and me. I don't know what I want to do with my life; my family wanted me to be a supreme court judge since kindergarten, but what I'm really interested in is starting a band, even though I feel like I have no real talent. I've tried killing myself before; the last attempt was stopped with the help of my best friend. He frantically called my cell phone in an attempt to talk it out since I refused to listen to him online, and after many times I rejected the calls, he called my house phone, and I was forced to talk to him through my tears, all the while feeling worse for putting him through this. So I had to promise him I wouldn't scare him like that anymore. Everytime I try to be happy, it's like there's something there to stop me.

Really, the only answer I'm looking for is someone to confide these feelings in.


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Sisco,

I would like to suggest an unusual exercise for you. Read your message as if it had been sent by some person you don't know. Then, see what you can deduce about the author. This is my task in answering you. Do this before reading on"

OK. Have you made your list of characteristics about the kid who wrote the message, someone you've never met and never will meet? Have you tried to assess the author's strengths and weaknesses, thought about how realistic his beliefs are, picked up any inconsistencies in his message?

Here is my list of such things:

  • This was written by someone who is highly intelligent, articulate and aware of his emotions.
  • Fact: he left before your birth. And you feel that's because you are unlovable, so of course that's why he left. But that part is an interpretation. You are now 15, and have a fine analytical mind. Examine your interpretation. How much information did he have about you when he left? Did he know you as a person? Was he able to reject you because of the kind of person you were?
  • Fact: she did hand you over when you were born. Interpretation: she did so because she didn't want you. How old was she at the time? Did she have any serious issues such as drug/alcohol abuse, zero income or physical ill health? I am guessing, but my theory is that your mother was still a teenager; perhaps still in school, and maybe your father was too. If this is correct, just think. You're now 15. What if you got some girl pregnant? Are YOU ready to be a parent with all the responsibilities that implies? Are you ready to devote the next 18 years of your life to the welfare of a wife/partner and child? Are you able to materially support them?
  • You believe that you have no friends. And yet, someone was so concerned about you that he saved your life with those phone calls. You made him a promise because you knew that he CARED.

My friend, depression is a monster that tries to kill us, with as much suffering as possible. When you were a tiny child, you made sense of your circumstances by believing that your mom and dad gave you to your grandparents because you had lots of things wrong with you, because they didn't love you - and they didn't love you because nobody could. After making your own analysis of your message, and then reading mine, what do you think? Was this little kid's thinking accurate?

So, are you going to believe the monster, or will you now make up your own mind about the kind of person you are, what your potential is, and how you are going to run your life?

You are an ideal person to engage in "cognitive-behavioral" therapy. Seek it out. There may be a counselor at your school, or find a psychologist. Four to twelve sessions should give you the power to defeat the monster, and take control over your life.

Just one more thing. To have a friend, first be a friend. If you want friendship, stop hiding, go out there and be with people. Use your intelligence to develop the skills to be entertaining, interesting and fun. You can do it.

Have a good life (you can),


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com


By working on your emotional IQ, you'll be better-equipped to handle the challenges life deals to you.
"You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop."
Life always offers you a second chance. It's called "tomorrow".