Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Medical Dad

Hello Sam,
Thankyou for reading this. I am sorry if I sound mean in it or blunt, at anytime.
I have been seeing people, and having 'episodes' of being scared someone will kill me. It lasts for hours sometimes, and I end up staying where I am and not moving, or running as fast as I can into the bathroom where I can lock the door, then I sit and stay still. I don't like being so scared all the time. Every night I have to do the same thing to get to sleep, and quite a lot of the time it doesn't work. I am fed up. It has been gradually getting worse over 2 years, I think. Should go to the doctor.
I spoke to my dad about part of it (just that I can't get to sleep because I get scared), he is a doctor and usually when I say there is someone wrong he dismisses it, but with this he said I should go to the doc. However, if I tell apthe doctor all of that, I don't want anyone else to know, however as my dad is a doctor, he can access anyone's notes. So he could see mine. I am scared of seeing the doctor because it will be called a phase, and /or my parents will find out...they can't find out.
My mum would say I'm stupid and should just grow up, and my dad would be shocked and ashamed. I am so confused, fed up, and tired. I don't know what to do, and I keep forgetting everything. It is so infuriating. Please help.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. It sounds like these ‘episodes’ have become a real problem for you and I can hear how difficult it makes things being scared so much. Even if you don’t feel this way all the time, it sounds like not being able to predict when the episodes happen means it affects all different parts of your life. It sounds like you feel your family would be shocked and ashamed – it’s important that you know these feelings are not something you need to feel embarrassed about.

Talking to a doctor would be a good place to start if you’d like to get to the bottom of this, though I can hear that you feel this is a risky thing to do in case your dad finds out.

Without knowing where in the UK you live (e.g. England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland), I wasn’t sure about exactly what the NHS policy was on this as it can vary from place to place. It might be helpful for to take a look at the information on the NHS website. 

The NHS has guidelines on the confidentiality of young people and they say that anyone under the age of 16, who can understand their treatment, has the right to confidentiality, unless their life is in danger. If you are over 16, the NHS treats you as an adult and you are entitled to make your own decisions about medical treatment.

That is a lot of information to take in and I can’t say anything for certain but it seems like you may at least be able to ask your GP yourself and see what they say about confidentiality without having to tell them what’s wrong straight away.

I hope that helps you to decide what to do but if you’d like to talk to someone about it then you could talk to one of our counsellors either online through 1-2-1 chat or by calling free on 0800 1111. We would be happy to hear from you.

Take care,


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