Ask Sam letter


To Sam

mental health


I have OCD and I need to get it sorted out. I am becoming paranoid about everything and I dont want to sound pathetic but I mean everything. I cant do anything with out worring about what its effects or how other people will veiw me. Im scared to touch things or do things out of order because Im scared of bad things happening. It never used to be a problem but now it is a major problem. I would tell my parents but they are both doctors and just think i am being teenagery or messing about. my friends have begun to notice which just makes things worse because i dont know who to trust. i have never really trused anyone other than my parents and i dont know how to get in contact with a school nurse and i dont want anyone to think im mad. i don't know weather being paranoid is seperate to the ocd but they are both a problem.

thank you for you time

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. It sounds like this problem has got to the point where it is having a big impact on your life and you want to get some help. I’m glad you decided to write to me.

Unfortunately I’m not a medical expert so I can’t say for certain if you have OCD or not. Young people with OCD often talk about having obsessions with things and of having to follow repetitive urges in order to feel better. They also may have horrible thoughts of bad things happening by not following these urges. This does sound similar to what you are describing and I’m wondering if the paranoia you are experiencing is part of the anxiety and horrible thoughts which can come with OCD.

I think you are right in saying that you should get this problem sorted out. Talking to somebody would be a good way to try and get yourself some help and advice. I notice that you have said that your parents are the only people you have ever trusted. You have also said that your parents are both doctors. It sounds to me like they might be in an excellent position to help you. With their experience of being doctors they may have come across OCD before and will know about the best ways to get help with it. It also sounds like you have a good relationship with your parents.

I can hear that you are worried that your parents may think you are just being “teenagery” or messing about. However, you have done such a good job in helping me to understand your situation, so I imagine that you would be able you get your concerns across in person even better. A lot of young people do tell me that they find talking with parents face-to-face about worries can be tough. If this is the case, perhaps you could try writing a letter to your parents just like the one that you wrote to me.

If you feel that you are unable to speak with your parents you could always try speaking with your own doctor. Your GP is usually the best way to try and access help for any physical or mental health problems. I understand that you might feel this is difficult for you as both your parents are doctors, but everybody (including young people) has a right to confidentiality at the GP. This means your doctor should keep what you tell them private. Usually, they will only pass information onto your parents with your permission. Perhaps you could have a look at the DocReady website. This gives useful info on speaking with the doctor about mental health worries and confidentiality.

It sounds like you have been thinking about speaking with a school nurse about your worries but you aren’t sure how to contact them. You can find out about this at school. If you were able to speak with a teacher who you trust and are close with, they would be able to arrange for you to see the school nurse.

I hope this letter has been helpful in giving you ideas about how to get some help. If you would like some more information on OCD and getting help you could look at our pages about mental health or visit YoungMinds website.

If you would like some further support and advice you can speak with a ChildLine counsellor by calling 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or sending an email.

Take care,

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