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Teen Issues, Pot and Is He Gay?

answered 10:47 PM EST, Mon May 20, 2013
anonymous anonymous
He is 16 and he is struggling and he is smoking a lot of pot. Some days he is happy and some days he seems really depressed and he cries in his room. I do not really understand what is going on with him. We are very supportive of him as a family but we aren’t with him most of the time as he grows up. The issue is we are almost sure he is gay (like 99.9% sure) but he has not come out to us and we have asked him about it he has denied it. I wish he could just come out with it so we could help him deal but since he won’t admit it I feel like we’re stuck in a holding pattern. Can you offer us some advice on how to help him accept himself?

E W Says...

Wow - so much in one question!  I'm not sure if you are a parent or other relative, but teen issues such as these are tough ones.  Without further information, I can only give general thoughts, but here goes.

Depression - does he acknowledge feeling depressed?  Have you offered to help him find a counselor?  Or a support group for teens?  Is there a trusted adult with whom he might be willing to discuss treatment options, such as counseling or other venues?  It is good to hear you are supportive, but "support" can mean different things to the giver and receiver.  Discussing what assistance he might be open to and what his parents/loved ones believe is necessary may be useful.  Don't let it go - too many young lives end far too soon.  

Pot smoking - Drug use is often a method of "self-medicating" to escape unhappy feelings.  This is often very unhealthy, however, especially for a teen with a still-developing mind and body.  Are there "house rules"?  Are there other substances being used?  Again, seek help sooner rather than later.  

Is he gay?  At this age, he may not have all the answers for himself, so even if you end up being "right" it is irrelevant.  Whatever his struggle is with his sexual identity is not for you to determine.  Being supportive is usually good, but whatever happens should be on his timeline, and with his understanding of his own self in place.  Counseling, self-help groups, support groups, books, camps...  there are many resources to support teenagers,  You may want to go see a counselor on your own first.  Discuss the issues and seek assistance in finding resources for your teenager.  Discuss ways that you can help - or avoid hurting - him.  Education will help you to offer him more.

Contact your local crisis hotline for further information about resources available to you and him.  Express your support, love and caring.  Help him locate any help he may need.  Best wishes to you.


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Page last updated May 21, 2013

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