Ask Sam letter


To Sam

telling my parents about my depression.

I am 12 year old girl. My depression has got to the point where i can not even hide it behind a smile. So i decided to tell my parents. My parents told me that it was just a phase and i should stop being sad and that i should try wearing a smile for once, and that i should stop being such a attention seeker and quit being dramatic. What should i do now?
Ask Sam



I think you’ve been really strong to keep trying to talk about this, especially after how your parents reacted. How you feel is really important and you should be taken seriously.

Depression is an illness, not a phase. Sometimes people may not understand it and say things like ‘smile’ or ‘cheer up’ or ‘stop being so dramatic.’ But this is not helpful. If you’d broken your leg, you couldn’t ignore it and smile, you’d have to get help. And it’s the same with depression.

It’s normal to have times in life where you feel down or unhappy, but if your feelings of sadness start to affect your normal life then it is important to talk to a doctor about it. You can book an appointment by yourself (or take a friend or family member if it helps) and it may help to write down a list of how you feel, how often you feel sad and what help you might like. Doc Ready is another helpful website for getting ready for this.

Parents or family can sometimes find it hard to accept that their children are going through something as difficult as depression. They can try and cover it up or pretend it isn't a problem. Sometimes it can take time or support from other adults for families to accept what you are going through. Your doctor can help you with this or maybe if you talk to a school nurse or teacher, they could help you explain it to your parents with you.

You can talk to one of our counsellors at any time about how you’re feeling. We will always listen to what you say and try our best to understand what you are going through.

Hope this helps.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter