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To Sam

Is this normal?

I have been feeling low since about Christmas. I thought at one point that I had Seasonal Affective Disorder, but now I'm not so sure. I either feel really awful or I feel really happy. It's never inbetween. I started mildly selfharming but I stopped for a bit, and now I've started again, but worse. I'm not always feeling sad though, it's weird. What's up with me?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your message,

You have done really well letting me know about how you have been feeling this year. That is a long time to be coping with these feelings and it’s understandable that you may be questioning why your feelings and moods have changed in this time. It can take time to work through the things that are making you feel low.

Perhaps you could think about keeping a diary of how you are feeling as this could help you understand more about situations that make you feel happy or sad. Talking to someone you trust may also help as bottling up these feelings can make you feel more confused.

You have mentioned that you have started self-harming again. Some young people tell ChildLine that self-harming is their way of coping with things that are happening in their life. If self-harming helps you to cope then it’s important that you take care of yourself when you do self-harm by looking after any wounds you may have and getting medical attention if you don’t feel you can care for the wounds yourself. There is information in Explore about self-harm which you may find useful.

ChildLine can also talk to you about other coping methods for when you are feeling low or need to self-harm. This may be doing something you enjoy like cooking, reading a book, watching your favourite DVD or listening to music, whatever works best for you.

I'm wondering if there is a friend or a trusted adult in your life who you might feel able to talk to, as they may be able to offer you some more support and advice.

There is some useful information in explore about depression and feeling sad. There are also message boards where you can read stories from other young people who have had similar feelings  as well as maybe getting some advice.

If you would like to talk some more about how you feel you are welcome to send an email, log in for a 1-2-1 chat or contact ChildLine’s helpline on 0800 1111. We would really like to hear from you again.

I hope this helps.

Take care,


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