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Mental Illness

Dear Sam,
I'm very positive I have some type of mental illness. I have taken online professional tests, and it shows positive for ADHD and OCD. I believe both. But what scares me is, if I have those things, if ADHD is triggering my OCD swings. Getting to my point, I'm really not sure how to tell my Mom. I'm afraid she'll brush it off like it's nothing or get over concerned or scold me and never trust me again. Please, I can't go much longer hiding it from her, without professional help or an answer. It's beginning to get in the way of school. Who knows how long before it starts to show at home? I think my Math teacher suspects something.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It sounds like the tests you’ve taken online have said you could have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and/or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Perhaps this has added to something that you’ve been worried about for a while now.

These are both complicated conditions that only a doctor can diagnose after learning a lot about you. Online tests like these are often not reliable. They might provide their own ‘diagnosis’, but they don't give you any support or treatment like a medical professional like a doctor would. Find out more about types of mental health problems and visiting your doctor.

When you told me about how you thought your mum would react, it sounded like there were a few things you were scared might happen. You thought she might brush it off as if it’s nothing or tell you off. Often we can't predict how people will react to things we tell them and it can be hard to deal with an unexpected reaction. 

I’m not sure what makes you think your mum wouldn’t trust you anymore. It doesn’t sound like you’ve done anything wrong but sometimes we can't help feeling that we have.

Keeping your worries to yourself can become harder the more we do it. You said that you think your Maths teacher might have noticed something. It might be that your teacher is someone you trust and could talk to. After all, teachers are there to support you and many young people tell me they have found talking to a teacher helpful in the past. You can read more about asking an adult for help. Whether you’re ready to tell to someone yet or not, the counsellors at Childline are there to help you work through any worries you might have. Perhaps you could contact them and talk about what you’d like to do next.

Take care,


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