Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My mum is dragging me down

Hello.. I suffer from anxiety (OCD, GAD, panic disorder) and depression. I was housebound all through last year, and didn't leave my house once. But now I'm getting treated by medication and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Things have been improving, however I just feel that my mum is just dragging me down and pushing me steps back. I love her and I'm so grateful for everything she's done but she is always so angry and aggressive. It feels like she constantly wants to argue with everyone. She's the only reason I self harm. I find it difficult to talk to my counsellor without my mum, so I can't tell the counsellor about all of this.

Another problem is money, since my Dad died, no one has been working in our house, we're in so much debt and my mum tells me all about it... It really scares me and just makes my anxiety worse.

Another thing is, I have annorexia, I know I have it... but I can't tell my mum because she thinks people with eating disorders are "stupid".

I just can't cope with her ways anymore, she's going to make me kill myself. What can I do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and for telling me how things are for you right now. It sounds like last year was extremely difficult, so difficult that you couldn’t leave the house. I know that can happen and I know it can be very hard to take steps to conquer some of the big anxieties behind that.

It’s good to know things have improved a bit and I’m so impressed you’ve been open to getting some support from professionals, including getting certain problems diagnosed, taking medication and trying cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). 

It could be that your mum has helped you take some of those steps and you say in your letter that you’re grateful for her support. I can see that you’re also feeling there are things about mum that are dragging you down.

Usually any form of therapy would be a way for you to have a safe, private space to talk about all of your thoughts, but it sounds like your mum is in the counselling sessions with you. I realise you may feel you need that support, perhaps because it can be hard to talk face to face.

I’m concerned that you have to edit what you say to your counsellor. Perhaps that is just how it must be for now,  but if you’d like to talk to ChildLine about ideas for how you might be able to speak to your counsellor alone, we’d be happy to try to think about it with you.

You might also find it helpful to take a look at our pages on self-harm and anxiety.

You mentioned eating disorders and I want to let you know that it's not stupid. The counsellors here talk to many young people about eating problems. You might find looking at some of the message boards helpful, since it’s a place where young people post messages to support one another on all kinds of issues, including home and family.

You’ve made a great start with this letter. You can contact a Childline counsellor to talk a bit more by phone, online chat (like messaging) or email. Hopefully you can find a time to talk to us when you are alone and have some privacy.

You’ve been able to leave the house, which is a huge step for you, and you’ve been brave writing to me. ChildLine counsellors would like to keep supporting you, whenever you want, so that you don’t lose the steps forward you’ve taken.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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