Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Too scared to see a Doctor

I'm a 17 year old girl, and I don't want to sound like I'm jumping to conclusions, but I think I could be bipolar. I have a lot of symptoms, and my behaviour is getting more extreme as I get older (I started having symptoms of depression at 12) and I'm really scared I could do something crazy, like overdose on drugs, because I lose control when I feel 'high'. I've already gone over 200 miles away from home on a whim. I want to go to the doctors, but I'm scared because I don't know what I'd say to my doctor. I'm thinking of asking for mood stabilizers but would that make me sound ridiculous? But I think I need them because I can go between suicidal and feeling like superwoman in a few hours. I dont know what to do and it's scaring me =/
Ask Sam


Hi there,

First of all I’m really glad you decided to send me a message. Five years sounds like an exhausting amount of time to have cope with feeling so unsettled, especially as you feel your symptoms started when you were only 12. It sounds like you feel your symptoms are starting to overwhelm you now. I wonder if it would help to write down a list of ways that you have coped in the past, reading back over those ideas might be an encouragement for you.

Moving between feeling suicidal to feeling like superwoman sounds really unnerving. If you ever feel you are not able to keep yourself from harm you can ring 999 or go to A&E. The emergency services are there to keep you safe.

I can hear how scared and nervous you are about seeing a doctor. That is understandable, as it would be a big and important step to take. However, I do think getting more support is a good idea and I would like you to remember doctors are there to help you with physical as well as emotional problems.

Seeing a doctor can also be a daunting task, often people get into the room and feel unsure what to say, and how to start. To help you feel more prepared perhaps it would help to write down the main parts of how you’ve been feeling, and the aspects of your behaviour that are concerning you. You could then refer to the list when you are talking to your doctor, to help you make sure everything gets covered.

I wonder if you’ve consider taking a family member or friend with you to the doctor for more support? Sometimes doctors give lots of information. If you have someone is there they can help make sure you remember the main points.

You could also start a new thread on the depression message board, to ask other people how they coped when they spoke to a doctor.

It might help to have a look at the Young Minds website for tips on looking after your mental health. Their site also talks about the support available for you if you are diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

I’m really glad you’ve been able to share some of what’s being happening for you. If you’d like to talk in more detail about what life is like for you, you can contact ChildLine by phone on 0800 1111, log in for a 1-2-1 chat, or send an email. ChildLine is a safe place to share those thoughts and feelings and the counsellors are here to help you through those difficult times. ChildLine would only tell someone what you shared if they thought someone was in a life threatening situation, or you wanted them to tell someone.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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