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To Sam

How to talk about depression?

I am 17 years old and I have been feeling depressed for nearly 4 years. I have done some stupid things and in the past few months I have been feeling even worse and am struggling to cope with everyday life. I am going to the doctors about another matter and I am going to tell them about it then. But I am finding it hard to talk and I know that when I get in there I will freeze and not be able to say it. I am also worried that they will tell my parents and I do not want them knowing. They cannot tell them without my consent can they? Thanks
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be really hard when life is a struggle and you’ve been depressed for a long time. It’s really good that you’ve decided to speak to your doctor about what you’re going through. They can let you know what support and treatment is available for you. Sometimes it can feel very difficult to share how you feel. If you’re feeling nervous at your appointment, important things you wanted to say can suddenly slip your mind. 

It can help to write down everything you’d like to say and any questions you’d like to ask your doctor so that you get the most from your appointment. There’s actually a really useful website to help with this called DocReady which lets you build a checklist of everything you want to say. Perhaps you could take a look at it.

As you are 17, a doctor can usually offer you full patient confidentiality. If you’re worried about this, how about asking your doctor about confidentiality levels before speaking to him or her? That way, you know where you stand and can choose which things you want to share. 

You’ve done well to start speaking about this and I hope that you get the help you need. Please remember that Childline counsellors can be part of your support too and you can speak to them any time.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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