Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I cant stop.

I cant stop cutting. I've been struggling with depression for over 10months, and i just cant stop cutting. i cut regualry. not because im upset, although i am, but because im bored.Its like, it seems like an addiction or something. I mean im 13. I never thought this would like take place, im happy when im around friends but then i always feel lonely,i have been crying everyday atleast once for the past 10 months. I feel lonely all the time, i feel sad. my progress in school has gone down. everything has gone so complicated and hard for me, i struggle with everything. is there any possible thing i could do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your message and telling me about your worries about you self-harm and how this has changed over time. Self-harm can sometimes change from being a way to cope with a difficult situation to becoming a habit that is used to avoid any difficult emotions and it sounds like you feel this is happening for you.

You tell me that it is like an addiction - other young people have told me that they feel this way about it too. Remember an addiction can be broken with the right help and support. It’s good that you know which part helps you as that can be a starting point for finding other safer ways to cope and to try and reduce your self-harm, if you feel it is becoming a habit. Some young people tell me a good alternative to harming is drawing on their skin in red pen, you can find more alternatives on the Self-harm page in Explore or you can find out how other young people cope on the message boards.  

Often with self-harm there is an underlying cause that leads someone to start self-harming and this reason will be different for everyone. In order to address the self-harm it can be helpful to try and discover what that underlying reason is. It sounds like for you this may be your feelings of depression and loneliness and I can hear that you feel most things are a struggle right now. Some young people go to see a medical professional like a doctor or nurse about feelings of depression. They are the best people to diagnose and to help you find the right treatment.

You tell me that you don’t feel this way all the time so it may be useful to keep a feelings diary, where you can write down how you are feeling and what is going on at that time. This might help you to identify any patterns in your mood, for example certain events or times that leave you feeling a certain way.

When things feel overwhelming it’s important to try and get some support this could be from a friend, a family member or a trusted adult like a teacher, school nurse or school counsellor. You can always come and talk to one of our counsellors at ChildLine too, they are here to listen to you and support you and they will not judge you.

Take care,


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