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Angry And Depressed 19 Year Old Boy

by Kaylin
(South Africa)

When I am angry I cannot seem to get over it very easily. I go into a blind rage to the extent that my head pains and I can virtually break a door with my bare hands. I think I am exactly like my dad. We cannot seem to get over and move on when someone disappoints us or hurt us. At the moment we don't speak to each other for a full year already. If we cannot have things our way, then we get extremely angry and neither of us wants to budge.

I am always depressed and irritable. I struggle to learn and focus on my school work. I have no motivation to excel in my academic career even though it is my desire to do so. My mother struggles to get me to do things on time like making my bed, doing the dishes and my homework.

I have a girlfriend who I refuse to leave just because my father thinks I am too young to have a serious relationship. This relationship is important to me. I am doing my matriculation over 2 years because I cannot cope with too may subjects in one year. I suffer from ADHD according to the tests which my mother did when I was at primary school.

Can you please sort my life out for me. My mother already exhausted her medical aid with psychiatric fees and still no results.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Kaylin, and thank you for asking for help on this site. You are smart and healthy, which is why you want to do better with your anger and your life. You ask me if I can sort your life out for you. My answer is that I have an even better plan--I will help you sort out your own life. As a matter of fact, you are the only one who can do that, and nobody can or will do it for you.

You have good reasons to be angry. From what you've said, it seems to be mostly coming from your father, who in your words is "just like you." You don't want to be limited by your dad's limitations, and I'm sure he wouldn't want you to be either. So, here is what I recommend:

1) Write down all of the ways in which you are like your dad. Look at that list and ask yourself if there's any of those qualities or behaviors you want to keep. In other words, choose what you like from the list, and we're going to help you let go of the part you don't like.

2) Then write down all of the ways you are different from your dad. These are the things that make you unique as an individual. Look at this list, and choose what you like from it.

3) Make a third list, that includes only those things you like from the above two lists.

Now repeat that entire process with your mom, and combine the two lists of the things you like and choose for yourself.

Next, picture both of your parents in front of you. Thank them both for all of the good things they've done for you, leaving nothing out. Then tell them both about the things you didn't like. Get it all out, and write it down--but picture their faces while you're writing. Now tell them, "I'm not your little boy any more. It is time for me to take charge of my life and make my own decisions."

I do not suggest you say these things directly to your parents. This is just for you. I realize you still live at home under their authority, but you can begin the process of becoming independent emotionally and psychologically even now. And it would be good if you could get out on your own as soon as possible, and become financially independent.

You are a man, Kaylin. This is your time to step into adulthood and decide the kind of man you want to be. Write out a full, detailed description of the man you choose to become, and look at that every day, adding to it when you think of something else.

To deal with your anger:

Read this web page, which is designed for young people like you to help you develop healthy anger.

I also want you to do a journaling process, to help you deal with your anger. Here is a web page that describes all of the benefits and techniques of journaling.

1) Begin writing from your anger on a daily basis. Let your anger "speak" and don't hold back. This is for nobody's eyes but yours, so don't worry about what you're saying or how it might sound to somebody else. Make sure no one else reads it.

2) Write about what you like and appreciate about yourself, your family, your friends and your life in general. Keep a daily journal of what you're grateful for from the past, what you appreciate about the present, and what you're looking forward to in the future.

3) Also write about any painful or traumatic experiences from your past, just to get them out and sort things out in your mind. You will also learn more about this on this page.

Once you get some of these negative emotions out, it will be easier for you to start taking charge of your behavior and your motivation.

You are responsible for your own life. Make up your mind what kind of person you want to be, and start planning for how you're going to become that. What are your dreams? What would you like to do?

Never, ever give up on yourself or your dreams.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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