Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Mothers Depression

I am having serouis problems with my mum coming towards christmas she has Depression BIPOLAR DISORDER. It is really hard for me to cope with everything going on, making sure she's dressed , made sure shes taken her medcation and dinner is ready on the table. Its extremly stressful and its getting to me alot. I have severe headaches and i just cannot sleep at night on top of all that im studying for my GCSE'S which are comming up! It's so hard to revise and find a quiet place at home to work where i wont get disturbed from my mum. I need some advice and just somebody to talk to get it off my mind. It is just so much going on. Please sam i really need your help thanks
Ask Sam



I’m sorry to hear how stressful and difficult it has been for you caring for your mum, and trying to deal with your own life as well. From your letter, a number of things are very clear. Your mum has an illness which makes it very difficult for her to look after herself, and you have been trying your best to help, but that has meant that you are now worried about how you can manage your own life. From what you’ve told me, it’s not surprising that you are beginning to experience stress as you try to manage everything yourself.

I can hear that you want to try to help mum as much as you can, but it’s important to remember that you have to look after yourself too. Your needs and feelings are just as important as your mum’s. You should to be able to access some help and support when you want it. You deserve to be able to have some space for yourself, either to concentrate on your own work, or to simply relax or do something that you enjoy.

Perhaps you’re in a situation where you feel that there is no one else around to offer you practical help and support. It may be that you can get extra help from outside your family, from someone like social services, because you are a “young carer” for your mum. The Young Carers website has a lot of advice and information for young carers, including contact details of local projects. You may find that there is a group in your area where you can meet other young carers, and get some practical help with managing your own situation at home.

There is also some information you might find helpful on the ChildLine website. There is a page on Mental Health in the Explore section which includes looking after a family member who suffers from mental illness. There are also some useful tips on managing stress on the Anxiety page. There is also a message board for Young Carers where you can read what other young people are saying, and also post your own message.

If you want to talk any of this through in confidence, you are very welcome to contact the counsellors at ChildLine. You can ring 0800 1111 which is a free call from most landlines and mobiles in the UK, or log on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,


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