Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I think my dad is having nervous breakdowns

I think my dad is having a nervous breakdown. I am really scared of him now, It started last year when he and my mum were talking about money issues, and he just started screaming and crying on the floor, then went out into his car saying he couldn't do it anymore. There have been a few more of these occurances since then, and he has started breaking things as well. I spend every day wondering when his next breakdown will be. I just want somebody to talk to, or some help. I just want to have a normal dad. I am scared of him and for me and the rest of my family's safety. I don't get to see any other relatives very often because they live so far away. I am scared. Please help me.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing to us. I can hear that you’re very worried about what‘s been happening with your dad recently. It sounds like your dad is having a hard time at the moment and that is having a big effect on you. I am concerned to hear that you feel so scared of him. If you ever think that your dad is a danger to you, himself or anyone else then the quickest way to get help is to call 999.

I get the sense that you are feeling on your own with this and I am glad you got in touch with me. You are always welcome to contact the ChildLine counsellors too. The counsellors here can support you with how you are feeling and can give you a safe space to get things off your chest.

ChildLine is here to support children and young people, but there is also help available for adults who are having a hard time. One way for your dad to get support would be for him to speak to his doctor. But sometimes it’s hard for people to admit they need help with how they’re feeling, and your dad might not want to speak to anyone about it right now. It’s important to remember that it’s not your fault that your dad is feeling this way and it isn’t your responsibility to solve his problems. It’s also not ok that you are feeling so scared at home, and that needs to change.

You said that you are always wondering when your dad’s next break down will be so it sounds like he seems OK sometimes. I’m wondering what things are like then and what you think it would be like to let him know how scared and worried you are. Another option could be talking to your mum, or even a teacher or another adult at school. You and your family deserve to get the support you need to feel safe at home. However, if you want to stick with talking just with ChildLine for now, that is OK. The counsellors are there to listen and you can call them for free on 0800 1111 or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small.

Write me a letter