Every parent should read this.

This e-mail came in response to my last post.  

"I don’t know what that girl was going through that would have pushed her that far, but as a 15 year old I can certainly try to give you all some sort of insight into the mind of a depressed teenager. Of course, you don’t have to read, or care about, my life story. I just figured it might help any worried parents gain some sort of idea about what their teenager might be feeling, and why. So, here goes:

I’ve been feeling depressed for about 2 years, but it’s never been diagnosed by a doctor or anything. I don’t know where it originates and, to be honest, I think trying to find out would be more painful than putting up with not knowing. All I know is that I haven’t been completely happy for many years. I self harm. I know it’s a terrible thing to do and I should stop, but I do it anyway. It helps push the emotional pain away for a while and, when I find myself feeling ‘empty’, it helps me to actually feel something. I often think that the only reason I’m not suicidal is because the thought of death and what comes after it terrifies me.

So, as I said, I’m 15 and depressed. The world becomes real to us at about 13, when people start asking “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and expect a serious answer, and when you have to start thinking about GCSE options. Everything becomes more stressful – with age comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes stress. And what with our parents nagging us about keeping our rooms tidy and doing our homework and everything else, we don’t always feel we can confide in them. I know I haven’t been able to confide in my parents.

If you want them to confide in you then all you have to do is ask. If my parents actually asked me if I was ok, and cared whether I was answering honestly or not, I think I’d be on the path to recovery by now. Or, if they don’t want to confide in you, give them my email address*. Let them read my story and tell them they can tell me anything.

I don’t know whether this will have settled your minds or made you worry more, hopefully not the latter!'"


*She asked me to leave her e-mail address in but I would rather you contacted her by commenting on the blog.