THE SOURCE: IT'S OK TO ASK

Why should I care?

WHY SHOULD I CARE?

Being a teenager is a unique experience. There can be a lot of instructions given and opinions expressed to you. There are also a lot of decisions to make.

Other times, it may feel like no one cares: your parents, your teachers or your friends. So, why should you care?

Before you can answer that question, there are some other important questions to consider …

What is it that you don’t care about?

Can you put into words why you don’t care? Writing it down or taking some time to talk to a friend or trusted adult can help you better understand what it is. Our thoughts and feelings influence each other. Make sure your thoughts are based on fact, not assumptions.

Who else doesn’t seem to care about it?

What reasons do they have? We may not realize how much someone else’s opinion is influencing our own. Sometimes that’s helpful and other times it can get in the way.

Who does seem to care about it?

What reasons do they give for caring? The opinion of people we respect or care about is important to consider. It may be helpful to list out the pros and cons of the situation, opinion or decision.

Is there something else going on that’s making it hard to care?

There could be something else that is taking up a lot of your time, thought and emotion. Perhaps you are worried about a friend or your family is not getting along. Maybe you have decided it’s more important to focus on a different priority.

Is it hurting you in some way to not care?

This is the bottom line.

If it is hurting you in some way to not care about whatever it is, that’s when it’s time to make changes. For some, this could be a mental health challenge that needs some attention. One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by age 24 (Kessler, R.C, et al., 2005). So if this is the case for you, you are not alone.

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, mental health may be a concern for you if you:

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Often feel anxious or worried

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Have very frequent outbursts or are intensely irritable much of the time

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Have frequent stomach aches or headaches with no physical explanation

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Are in constant motion, can’t sit quietly for any length of time

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Have trouble sleeping or frequent nightmares

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Lose interest in things you used to enjoy

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Avoid spending time with friends

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Have trouble doing well in school or your grades decline

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Fear gaining weight, exercise or diet obsessively

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Have low or no energy

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Have spells of intense, inexhaustible activity

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Harm yourself, such as cutting or burning your skin

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Engage in risky, destructive behavior

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Harm yourself or others

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Smoke, drink or use drugs

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Have thoughts of suicide

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Think your mind is controlled or out of control, hear voices

Whatever the reason (or reasons) you don’t care, by figuring out the “why”, you can move forward with problem-solving and making changes.

Who to ask for help

It’s not easy to ask for help. It can be difficult or uncomfortable to share our thoughts and feelings but try to find one person that you can be open and honest with. Life can come at us fast and we have to know when to ask for help.

  1. If you are thinking about or have plans to hurt yourself or others, reach out for immediate help. You can go to your nearest emergency room, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the word ‘Help’ to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
  2. There are more suggestions at suicidepreventionlifeline.org
  3. Talk with a trusted adult about what is going on. This may be a teacher, guidance counselor, school social worker, coach, church pastor, youth leader, parent, grandparent or someone else that makes you feel safe and can help you find the support that you need.
  4. Our city has a lot of programs that can help, too. Other teens feel the same way you do. Here a list of programs that you can call for help.
  5. Read about other teens who have reached out for help.

And remember, IT’S OK TO ASK!

The Source • Youth Mental Health Network

MORE RESOURCES

There are a lot of places in your city that can help, too. 
Here is a list of some community resources
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IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY CALL 911 or GO TO NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM

For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 1-800-273-8255 or text the word ‘home’ to 741741 for Crisis Text Line.

IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY CALL 911 or GO TO NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM

For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 1-800-273-8255 or text the word ‘home’ to 741741 for Crisis Text Line.

CONTACT US

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We do not monitor these messages 24/7, so if this is an emergency and you need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

If you need someone to talk to, text “Help” to 741741, or call 1-800-273-8255.