Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I'm 12 and I'm worried about telling my mum about depression because I feel like she won't understand me . Do you have any ways I can tell her ?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be really difficult talking to family about things that matter to us. Especially if you’re worried they might not understand or will react badly. You might want to look at our advice on asking an adult for help.

It sounds like you want to talk to your mum about how you're feeling. It might be good to start writing down how you feel each day in a diary. You can record when you feel sad or low, how the feelings affect you and how you’ve been coping so far. This will help to back up what you’re saying when you speak to mum about it, and if she asks any questions you’ll have examples which you can explain to her.

When you feel anxious, upset or overwhelmed, sometimes your words don’t come out the way you’d planned or your mind becomes blank and you’re not able to say it at all. One way around this is to write down in advance what you want to say and to spend some time working on it until you feel that what you are saying explains everything that’s going on for you. Then you have a few options. You could let someone read it for themselves, you could read it to them yourself or you could use it for notes if you prefer to speak it in your own words. A starting point might be to just try writing it all down in a letter and see how you feel.

If you wanted to practise talking about your feelings more before you speak to mum, you can always talk to a counsellor. If you use 1-2-1 chat or email, you could send a copy of what you have written down for mum and the counsellor could talk it through with you. You might also like to check out the message boards to see how other people have coped in a similar situation.

Take care for now,

Need help straight away?

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

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