Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I couldn't really decide which topic to put this under. It's kind of family but its emotions as well.
I look after my Mum because she suffers from depression and my big brother who's disabled mentally. Im doing my gcse's now and Im getting stressed out about that because I don't have all the time to get work done and things.
I am in a young carers project but theres not a lot of funding and stuff so I don't want to take more than my fair share of help.
Im worrying that I might be depressed. I just feel so sad. I started to self harm last year and I feel as if I should just die because it'd be easier. I don't want to do that though and I wont. I know I wont, it wouldn't be fair.
My Mum has other stuff as well as being depressed. Im worried that I might have those things too. I can't talk to her about it because she gets really upset and tearful. If she's sick then I might be sick too. I don't want to be sick.
What should I do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter telling us about how things are for you.

It sounds like you have a lot going on with looking after your mum and big brother and you are working towards your GCSE’s. It can be difficult to fit everything in when you are a young carer, especially when you are caring for more than one person.

It sounds like you want some additional support, there is an organisation called Young Carers that provide mainly web support for young carers. It could be helpful to tell your school about your worries and the pressure you are under because they might have a support system in place to help young carers, like extending deadlines for homework for example.

I think you are really brave to write to me asking for help. I want you to know ChildLine are here to support you. Talking to a counsellor can help to get things out into the open and they can explore different options with you.

In your letter you talked about self harming. Self harm is used as a coping mechanism and there is a section on Self Harm in Explore. Talking to one of our counsellors about self harm and the feelings you are having can help you to explore other ways of dealing with how you feel.

It sounds like you feel worried you may be suffering from something your mum has but you don’t feel talking to her will be helpful because she will get upset. When you are worried about your health you should speak to someone who is medically trained like your doctor. It can be difficult to know what to say or how to say something when you speak to a doctor or nurse, you can speak to a ChildLine counsellor to talk about what you could say and plan when you can do this.

The ChildLine counsellors are there to support you with how you are feeling. You can have a chat on the phone and online. If you find writing things down easier you might want to send a private email to ChildLine and get a personal reply.

Take care,


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