This is what a teen might say to you about his or her self-talk:
“I’m mad. I don’t know why. Sometimes I wake up mad; other days it creeps up on me. I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel good. I wish I wasn’t so mad, but I am. I can’t help it.
“Every day is a prison, trapped inside this changing body, repeating the same day over and over. My whole life is made up of things I have to do, not things I want to do. Tests, quizzes, reading assignments, papers, group projects — I spend the entire day with people I am forced to be with: teenagers who feel just as messed up as me.
“Sometimes my feelings get hurt at school — by teachers, deans, counselors, but mostly by other students. I don’t tell you this, because I’m ashamed to feel hurt. I don’t want you to know how hurt I feel all the time.
“My whole life has become ‘I don’t want to…’ I don’t want to wake up. I don’t want to go to bed. I don’t want to go to school. I don’t want to…I don’t want to…I don’t want to.
“I can’t think of a single thing that I want to do — except sleep. It’s the only time I’m not stressing, the only time I’m not worried, the only time I’m not upset.
“Sometimes I hide in my room and binge watch Netflix, YouTube, or mindless videos over and over, because I can’t stand to be with my own thoughts. I’m distracting myself from me. Does that sound crazy?
“And, yes, I know that my room is a mess. I like it that way: It looks how I feel inside. And please don’t ask me what’s wrong, because I don’t know. I don’t know where these feelings came from. more