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Im a minor (16, nearly 17) and have previously seen a psychiatrist on two occasions. I am bulimic, depressed and suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion. My problem is that, as a minor, my mother had to be in the room on both occasions. My parents don't know about any of my mental health problems because I feel incredibly ashamed and that it would be a burden that they don't deserve. Because of this I wasn't able to be completely honest to the degree of my anxiety and depression when speaking to my psych. She ended up prescribing me lexapro which only made me feel foggy and unable to sleep. I stopped taking it after three months. My psychiatrist wanted me to see a therapist as well but after one visit I decided it wasn't worth the time since I couldn't be open with out risk of her telling my parents. At this point I'm having anxiety about the circumstances of my next attack and they always seem to happen at school which makes it so much worse. I suppose my question is: how to I approach my psychiatrist again (it's been several months since my last visit) in a way where she'll take my anxiety seriously (and hopefully prescribe me something for the attacks) with out her feeling like I'm fishing for pills or something. Also, I don't want to burst into tears in front of my mother while trying to explain my situation to my psychiatrist. I'm already terrified of speaking to people older than me simply because I think they'll treat me as a child or not take me seriously. Im stuck and don't know what to do. Sorry this is so long :/

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You may be a minor, but you deserve a chance to be open and honest with your physicians. You can ask your parents to not accompany you into the room with the psychiatrist. Does your mother still come into the room with you when you see other doctors? This is one way that you can broach the subject with her. If she still does, suggest that perhaps the time has come that you have outgrown the need for her to be there.

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why cant you be honest in front of your mother? Im sure she loves you very much and only wants the best for you. Talk to her honestly and openly with the therapist present if you feel safe doing so. If not see if you can have a private conversation with your therapist on the phone and be sure to ask about your privacy rights even as a minor. Do not be ashamed of having mental problems, but do be proactive on treating them. Best of luck.

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Crazycatgal, not everyone has a good or healthy relationship with their mother. I am glad that you do, and I hope that the OP does as well. But mental illnesses run in families, and that can make intra-family relationships destructive and/or fraught. Mother/daughter relationships can be dangerous. Do not to assume that everyone's mother is supportive and nurturing.

Frankly, it is bizarre that her mother is sitting in on psychiatric appointments with her teenaged daughter. I am surprised that her pdoc allows it.

Your therapist is legally bound to keep everything you say to him or her in confidence, except if you are threatening to harm a specific person. S/he cannot tell your mother anything unless you give permission, and you can limit what is divulged. The same thing goes for your psychiatrist.

Is your mother insisting on being in the room, or are you afraid to assert yourself and ask her to leave? I am not trying to condemn you in either situation, I am just trying to suss out what is going on.

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I hope this is not too much of an invasion into your privacy, but what country are you in?

I ask because here in the UK you are medically considered an adult from the age of 16. That means that from that point your parents can only sit in on your appointments if you give them permission to, and your doctors cannot disclose any information to them without your permission. I assume that there are similar laws protecting confidentiality of minors in other countries.

Also, regardless of you age, your therapist cannot disclose any information about you to anyone. That's completely illegal. The only exception is if they think that you're at serious risk of harming yourself or someone else. Apart from that, if you therapist is giving information to you parents then s/he is breaking the law.

I'm not sure from your post if your therapist actually disclosed information or if you were just scared that s/he would. As already said, the former is illegal. If you are really worried about it, then confidentiality would be a good thing to discuss in your first session. I know that that's something which I discussed when I started therapy.

I think you need to get another appointment with your Pdoc. How did you get the last one? That would be a good place to start. And then you also need to ahve a serious discussion with your mother, and let her know that you don't want her in there with you. Hopefully she will honour your wishes. Perhaps you can explain to her that you feel that you are old enough/mature enough/responsible enough to be able to conduct your own session with your doctor, and that you would rather that you be able to speak to your doctor in private.

Also, from the symptoms you've described, I really don't think that a Pdoc isn't going to take your seriously. You exhibit symptoms that should be taken seriously, and it would be unprofessional of a Pdoc to ignore those.

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You deserve to be taken seriously regardless of your age. I'm almost 21 and feel like I'm sometimes not taken very seriously, and I know of people far older than I am who feel similiarly. Like it has already been stated, it would be unprofessional and dangerous for a pdoc to ignore your symptoms.

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I also feel that you should be taken seriously. I wasn't taken seriously for a long time (2008/9 was when it was at its worst), and as a result I was not able to get the treatment I needed until last year.

If your parents being in the room is making you feel that you need to hold back from being honest, then is there any way you can ask both your pdoc and your parents if you can go into the appointment alone. Because being honest is what you need to do when you see your pdoc.

I hope you are able to get the help you need.

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I agree with crtclms. I had a terrible relationship with my mom, still do. I was forced by my mother to go to a pdoc and a therapist at 15. I hated every minute of it. I did have sessions alone...and what little i did say to them I think they kept it confidincial. But I also was forced to do "family" sessions.

I think if you ask the doc or therapist to talk to you alone they should have to respect that. And if your parents want you to get the help you need they should also respect that. But I know some parents just can't understand that and let go of the control.

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My Dad sent me to see a psychologist when I was 16 or so and getting bad grades. The pdoc was my Dad's friend and I had never heard of medical confidentiality -- I figured that anything I said would go strait to my Dad. So what did I do? I sat totally silent for three sessions, then Dad stopped sending me. It probably would have been helpful if I had talked to him.

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I didn't talk during my therapy sessions. And if I did talk it was yes or no one word answers. I was so angry all the time. I was seething. I would cry hysterically driving to and from these appointments and fantasize how I could just drive my car off the road and punish my mother and her boyfriend for making me feel so alone and treating me the way they did. I look back now and it makes me so sad how lonely and lost i was and I'm sad that my relationship with my mother has remained a source of anger and bitterness.

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When i was 15 I went to a mental health counselor for depression, and they did not require my parents to be in there with me... that would've been counter productive.

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