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To Sam

Bullied by my brother and self harm

I am only 15 years old , my brother is 19 and he bullies me . He has repetedly said "Why was i born?" "I'm a disgraceto my family" "My face insults him" . He thretens to punch me and he spits on me and this has been going on for as long as i rember i can't recall a single happy moment with him , i am scared to be in the same room as him , he makes me panic . i am so anti social its unreal , but he is home i can't be in teh same room as him , and he has driven me to self harm , i have told my family they don't notice , tryed to move out impossible , please tell me what i should do !!!!!! i also think  i may have depression i have looked up all the sympots i have nearly all !!!!!!

Yours Faithfully ,


Ask Sam


Hi there N,

You’ve done so well to let me know about what you’re going through. I’m really concerned that your brother is bullying you like this and it’s very wrong of him to do. It’s not your fault that this is happening. Nobody has the right to put you down, threaten you, spit on you or try to make you afraid and the things you’ve described your brother doing sound like emotional abuse. If you’d like to find out more about that, you can take a look at the information about it on the Emotional abuse page in Explore.

From what you’ve explained, you can’t remember ever being happy when he’s around but your family don’t notice what’s happening. It can be really important to let people know again because sometimes people think that if you’re not mentioning it, that maybe it’s stopped. It’s a good idea to choose a family member you trust so that you can make them aware of how your brother is acting. It can also help to keep a record (like a diary) of the things that have been happening so that you can show it to somebody to help them understand how serious it’s become.

I’m concerned that you’ve been self-harming and it seems like you do that as a way of coping with what your brother is doing and how he’s making you feel. If you’d like to talk some more about what’s happening and about keeping yourself safer if you decide to self-harm again, you can speak to a ChildLine counsellor at any time. If you hurt yourself and you’re worried about your injuries, remember that you can get emergency help by calling 999 or going to your nearest hospital or medical centre. It is important for you to know what help is available should you need it.

You said that you seem to have all of the symptoms of depression. Having depression can be very difficult to cope with alone and it’s useful to get medical advice as there are lots of things that doctors and other health professionals can suggest to help, for example having counselling. There are a lot of internet sites that can give information about depression but only a trained health professional can say for sure whether you have it. They could then help you to look at ways of getting help and treating depression.

You seem to be going through a lot right now and you deserve support with this. I think that there might be a lot of other young people going through similar things - you will have helped them to feel less alone by reading your letter. Writing this letter has been really brave of you. Remember you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor about what is going on for you and can contact them on 0800 1111 for free or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Hope you get the help you need.

Take care,


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