I just turned 20 and have been seeing a counselor and taking an antidepressant for a year. During my initial evaluation by my doctor and counselor I denied ever having been abused. The truth is that I was lying. I don't think I can feel better completely or have the medication and therapy work the best without working through those experiences. I don't know how to tell either of them though. Mostly I'm reluctant to tell because I don't want them to report it (to the police or anyone else). I honestly don't know if the person who abused me is even still alive, but I never, ever want my parents to find out because they really liked him. I guess my question is how do I bring this up with my doctor or counselor (both of whom I trust a lot) and do they have to report the person if I do tell them?
TeenHealthFX is glad that you have gotten to the point where you feel safe sharing your past history of abuse. It is not unusual for abuse victims to be in therapy for awhile before they feel comfortable or have the trust to talk about something so painful. You are right, dealing with the trauma is necessary as you continue on the road to healing.
Since you are 20 years old it is not mandatory for either your counselor or doctor to report the abuse. If you were a minor they would have a legal obligation to report the abuse to your parents and in some cases the authorities. If the abuse happened when you were a minor the counselor or doctor are still not mandated to report the abuse. Since you are considered an adult there is no one who has a legal responsibility for your welfare such as a parent or legal guardian.
Once you have disclosed that you have been abused it is up to you how you want to proceed. As you work through the issue with your therapist you may change your thoughts about letting your parent’s know but for now you need to do what makes you feel most at ease and safe.
70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition 6
33% of adolescents in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse. 18
Nearly two in five 12th graders report using some kind of vaping device in the past year. 7
1 in 4 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease every year. 11
In 2017, persons aged 15–24 years represented 62.6% of all chlamydia cases. 10
More than 130 Americans die everyday from an opioid overdose. 9
In the next 24 hours, 1,439 teens will attempt suicide. 14
In the next 24 hours, 2,795 teenage girls will become pregnant 12
Only 50.6% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 with a mental health disorder received treatment in the last year. 8
90% of daily tobacco users begin by age 18 13
Many teens reported feeling overwhelmed (31%) and depressed or sad (30%) as a result of stress. 16
37.3 percent of 12th graders reported vaping in the past 12 months 15
Two-thirds of those who developed alcohol or substance use disorders have had a mental health disorder. 17
In 2016, 56 percent of deaths among passenger vehicle occupants ages 16-19 were drivers 22
21% of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. are among people aged 13-24 years old, most of those being 20-24. 19
59% of all students in grades 9 to 12 indicated that they had not yet had sex. 21
1 in 3 young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship 23
50% of young people who experience rape or physical or sexual abuse will attempt to commit suicide 24
There was a 78% increase in e-cigarette use between 2017 and 2018. 2
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. 1
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 12-18. 3
Young people aged 15–24 years acquire half of all new STDs 4
In 2017, 5455 teenagers died from an overdose 5
44.88% of teens feel stressed “all the time.” 25
59% of U.S. teens have personally experienced at least one type of abusive online behaviors. 26
In 2017 2,734 teenagers (ages 13-19) died in the United States from crash injuries. 27
Roughly 40% of teenagers will try drugs at least once, which means 60% will not. 28
The average 12th grader spends approximately 2 hours per day texting. 29