Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My Mum

My mums recently been having some health problems, she went blind really suddenly the other day, but luckily she was sent away to hospital to get it fixed, but ever since I've been having really awful nightmares about my mum being killed. I think it's because shes the only one I've got..  have no dad or close family and I think im worried ill lose her as shes an older mum... and the other night i had a graphic nightmare about her being shot, i also depressed and wondering whether this could be linked :/
Ask Sam


Hello there,

I’m so glad you took the time to send me a letter. I can hear that there’s a lot on your mind right now. It’s hard when a parent has health problems. It sounds like having no close family to step in and help is adding to your worries.

Having such awful and graphic dreams sounds really difficult. Sometimes when a person feels anxious or has been through an upsetting event it does affect their dreams. Even when we’re asleep, the brain doesn’t turn off completely. Not only are you worried about mum’s health in general, but it sounds like you had quite a scare when your mum went blind so suddenly.

Perhaps taking a look at our website might help you feel a little less alone with your worries about mum. There is a section in Explore on caring for an ill family member you might find it helpful, you might also like to have a look at our page about depression. You’ve asked me if mum’s health might be linked to you feeling depressed. I can’t say for sure, but I’d like to help you try to make sense of that.

I’d like you to be able to talk to someone about your worries about mum, your concern you might be depressed, and how you might get some support. Sometimes talking about your worries and fears for the future can help to make them more manageable.

Do you think you’d feel able to write some of your thoughts down, and use that to start a conversation with your mum? Or when school restarts, could you tell a teacher about how ill mum’s been and how worried you are? I also wonder if your school has a counsellor you might talk to. For some young people, this sounds like a huge step to take. But it might be a good idea for your school to know about your situation at home. Things like feeling anxious and depressed as well as having sleep interrupted by nightmares can make it harder to get through the school day and cope with schoolwork. Sometimes a little extra understanding from teachers and school can help. But that’s just an idea and you can think about it.

You could also consider talking to one of the ChildLine counsellors about everything you’ve told me? They would really like to support you. You can talk to them for free on 0800 1111, 1-2-1 chat or email. You’ve already taken a big step sending me this letter and Childline is here to give you as much support as you need.

Take care,


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