Trauma: Adam's story

When Adam was struggling with trauma, he turned to Childline for help. He shares his story of coping with depression and anger, and how he could move on.

"just doing it for attention"

"When I was younger I started getting very depressed. I also started to hit out and punch walls. Then I began turning the anger on myself and I started self-harming when I was about 13.

"My mum realised how serious it was and went to the local GP, but he said that I was just a kid and I was probably just doing it for attention.

"I started making suicide attempts too and I was referred to CAMHS. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. I had 4 sessions with a family therapist but then they discharged me because they thought we were coping.

my friendships suffered too – my friends didn't know what I was going through.

"I wasn't going to school, so I missed out on about a year of school altogether. My friendships suffered too – my friends didn't know what I was going through. I felt isolated.

"After I made a serious attempt on my life, I was taken to a local secure residential unit where I had counselling and was able to talk to someone whenever I felt down, day or night.

"I was there for about 7 weeks before being allowed back home for good, although I was allowed home for weekends sometimes. I was given counselling once a week but that wasn't enough. I spoke to my mum about a lot of things but I know it was a lot for her to cope with.

I didn't know what they'd say and whether they'd judge me

"I started to call Childline when I was about 14. I was nervous before I called as I didn't know what they'd say and whether they'd judge me. That was my biggest worry, but I knew I needed support.

"I called them and said 'I think I need help' and then I just broke down. They were really friendly and the more I spoke to them the easier it was.

"If it was urgent and I needed to speak to someone straight away because I was angry or felt like self-harming, then I would call them. They calmed me down and gave me advice on techniques to use to stop me self-harming.

it didn't matter that I spoke to a different person each time as they were all so friendly

"Sometimes I'd send them emails. It really helped writing it all down and knowing that a professional would get back to me and help me. I contacted Childline weekly for about a year. Their website really helped me too.

"It really helped me that I didn't have to meet them face-to-face as that took the pressure off. It didn't matter that I spoke to a different person each time as they were all so friendly and they never rushed me.

"If it wasn't for Childline I might have been sectioned or I might not even be here today. I have recommended Childline to friends and would encourage any young person to contact them if they needed help."

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