Ask Sam letter


To Sam

What will happen if I go to my GP??

I have been self harming for a while but I am getting worse. I don't know why I do it at all. I really need help from my GP but I don't know what he will say to me. It is really scary because I have these thoughts going round my head saying that I'm not worth living. Please help me and if you know what the GP will say.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing in to me. It seems that you’d really like some support, but you’re worried about how to speak to your GP.

It can be very scary having negative thoughts going around in your head. Sometimes people use self-harm as a way to cope with feeling overwhelmed by their thoughts. I wonder if that’s the case for you right now. I can hear that your negative thoughts are making you feel you don’t deserve support. It must be incredibly painful to think that you’re not worth living and I want you to know that you absolutely do deserve to live. I’d really like to help you get the support you need to stay safe and feel more comfortable with yourself.

It can be really hard to tell someone else when you’re feeling really low, but it seems like you’ve reached the point where you want things to be different. The best way to make that happen is to talk about what’s happening so you don’t have to deal with it on your own. Speaking to your GP about it sounds like a great place to start.

It sounds like you’re feeling anxious about what the appointment with your GP might be like. I don’t know exactly what your GP will say, because all doctors work slightly differently. What I do know is that he or she should ask you about your thoughts and feelings and find out more about your self-harm. Once your GP has understood what things are like for you, they should discuss what support is available.

GPs will all be very used to people asking them about mental health issues, but some GPs are better than others at knowing about the best help. Some GPs are also more confident at working with young people. I hope you find the support you need from the doctor straight away. But if you’re not happy with the response you get from your first GP, then it’s absolutely okay to see a different GP in the same practice or clinic. There’s a brilliant new website called Doc Ready designed to help young people get the most out of speaking to their GP about mental health. It might be worth having a look, as it could help you feel more prepared for your appointment.

I just want to let you know that if you wanted to talk about what is going on, you can always speak to a counsellor at Childline on a 1-2-1 chat, for free on 0800 1111 or by email. Our counsellors are there for you and would like to support you. It might also be worth having a look at our message boards to see what other young people have said about similar experiences.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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