Ask Sam letter


To Sam


i've just started secondary school. im really shy so i find it hard to make friends. i've tried to make friends but they've all got their own groups. im feeling depressed. im always sad and want to burst out crying.i feel really tired all the time and only sleep for 3 hours. i starve myself and even tried to cut myself, but dont worry i stopped myself. i tried to talk to the school cousellor but the teachers wont let me. your the only one i can talk to. please help. i want to be happy again
Ask Sam



Thanks for writing to me about the way you are feeling.

It seems like you are going through a tough time. Moving to secondary school is a really big change to your school routine and making friends when you are shy sounds difficult. Perhaps it might be good to join a school club or activity and see if you can make friends that way I can hear that it seems like everyone has already found their “group”, but I’m guessing you are actually not the only one who is feeling a bit lost at the moment. Approaching a big chatty group of people can feel intimidating, so perhaps you could try waiting until people are on their own, and try getting to know people individually a bit better. You could also check out how other people are coping in a similar situation by having a look at the message boards on the ChildLine website.

It sounds really hard to be feeling depressed, sad and tired all the time. I imagine only being able to sleep for 3 hours a night doesn’t help things feel any easier to deal with. It sounds like feeling left out at school at the moment has really knocked your confidence. From what you say, it seems like you are trying to cope by starving yourself and thinking about self-harm. You’ve done really well to stop yourself from cutting yourself. Starving and cutting yourself could both do a lot of harm to your physical and mental health, and it’s so important to look after yourself when you’re having a tough time.

It’s really good that you are trying to get some help for yourself through the school counselling service. That was a positive thing to do and a good way to work on trying to feel happy again. It feels really disappointing that your teachers stopped you from seeing the counsellors at school. Did they give you a good explanation for why that was? How about talking to another adult you trust, like a family member. Perhaps an adult could support you to ask the teachers again about school counsellor. You could also talk to your GP about how you are feeling and the problems with your sleep. A GP might also be able to refer you for counselling if you can’t get it in school. It’s also worth thinking about having a look in Explore for ideas on how you can build up your own confidence and self-esteem.

If you would like to talk some more, you could talk to a counsellor at ChildLine. They would be able to talk with you about your feelings and explore things in more detail.

Take care,


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