Do I need help?

Hi, I'm 16 years old and for the past year or two I have been at an all time low. I've self harmed on and off for five years but the last two years, especially the past year, it has become more regular as a reliever and also to punish myself. I've always had suicidal thoughts since I was young, but this too has become increasingly worse and now an everyday occurrence. My moods have caused so many arguments with my boyfriend of over a year (who suspects I have depression) which only makes things worse as I then fear things will end. I cry for no reason and completely isolate myself from my friends and family. I have no motivation to do anything anymore which has affected my school results greatly. I don't know if I'm depressed as I can be happy sometimes, like when I'm out with people, but I thought depression was all the time? But it isn't normal, I can't continue like this anymore! I don't know where to go for help (my parents don't know and won't understand, I tried to tell my mum but she laughed,blamed the shitty english weather) I'm stuck, I don't know what to do or who to see and how to go about it. Please help- Jade

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18 Replies

  • This does sound like depression, and self-harm needs support. It must be hard when your parents don't understand. Is there a teacher at school to whom you could talk? I'm not sure of the position about contacting your GP at your age. On you will find a lot of information on self-harm.

    Do take care. As the old advert would say - "You're worth it!" And that applies whether we feel it or not.


  • Thank you for your response, Ann. If I told a teacher they would tell the school nurse and/or student support teacher who will tell my parents so I cannot seek help inside school. I am not sure how to book an appointment at the doctors, although I think I'm able to at 16, not sure. I will check out the link you sent, thanks very much for your help!

  • Hi Jade,

    I agree with Ann, it sounds very much like depression, and self-harm does need support. As you're 16, you are an adult as far as the law is concerned and you should have complete patient confidentiality with your GP the same as any adult does - ran a quick google search, and certainly this page (, although obviously not about depression, says that at 16 you have the same rights to confidentiality as an adult. Maybe you can ring your practice and just ask them what the confidentiality situation is for 16 year olds without mentioning any specifics, they should know. If you do have confidentiality rights, then I'd say that's definitely your first step - get an appointment as soon as you can to see a GP. Should be able to book an appointment over the phone on the general contact number for your practice, it's a while since I booked one but I don't think they will ask you what it's for. Some practices also have online booking facilities I think, but not all of them. If and when you get to see a GP, tell them everything you've put above, don't spare any details, it is important they know everything so they can get you the right treatment.

    Sorry to hear your parents aren't understanding and it's causing problems with your boyfriend - I've been where you are in terms of depressive feelings causing problems in a relationship, I know how horrible it is. I'm sure he's just worried about you and wants to help - as difficult as I know it is to talk about, I think it will help you both if he understands as much as possible what you're going through, if you feel able to tell him.

    Good luck and take care of yourself, and remember you aren't alone.


  • Hi Will, thank you for taking your time to respond! Well now I've had a few responses agreeing there might be something wrong I shall certainly try to seek help. I'm going to try to book an appointment online rather than over the phone so I cannot be overheard, although the website is rather confusing.

    Thank you, it's nice to know someone else understands! I'm sorry that you had to go through it too. I have spoken to him about what I'm going through but we are planning to sit down and talk about everything properly, but he has been brilliant so far despite the arguing.

    Thanks again!


  • Hi Jade I can't really add anything to what's been said. I agree that you are considered an adult now and you are entitled to complete confidentially. No medical professional would break that law. It would be more than their job's worth.

    It does sound like depression but you need to be diagnosed properly. I have that and I can be happy sometimes, specially when out with friends. See your doctor asap please. Write down your feelings and take them with you. Not all doctors are very sympathetic with mental health problems so if the first one you see isn't see someone else. But make that appointment now!

    Let us know how you get on Jade. You are among friends here.

    Bev xx

  • Hi Bev, thanks for your help, as mentioned in my previous response, I will try to seek help, although I may face problems getting there without my parents knowing (I live three/four miles out of town). Again, it's nice to know someone else is affected in the same way as me and thank you for your supportive words!

    Jade xx

  • Hi

    Your symptoms have existed for some time so are not a passing phase and I agree with the other replies that now you are an adult you are entitled to confidentiality. You are also entitled to use adult mental health services and ask to be referred to them. I would ask your GP to refer you to a service that specialises in self-harm. They may tell you to go first through primary care and CBT etc but you can argue against that and insist you are referred direct to a psychiatrist who can then refer you to the self-harm clinic. It's important that you have the correct help at this stage of life because it gets harder to treat self-harming the longer it goes on.


  • Hi Sue, thank you for your help. I am less worried about the self-harm, I have not done anything serious yet and do not intend to do so, it's just a way of coping and relieving all the pain, I am sure once I have dealed with everything else and these symptoms are lessened that I will feel less need to use self harm to cope, but thanks for your concern, I will take your advice to argue against CBT as I have been once to accompany my autistic brother and it was the most useless thing ever! Thanks again,

    Jade xx

  • Hi Jade

    Oh I'm glad you haven't seriously hurt yourself, but it sounds as though the depression's been around for a time and has had an element of self-harm to it as a way of coping so why not ask your GP to refer you directly to the nearest psychotherapy service. GPs often like everyone to go through the primary care CBT approach first it seems for financial reasons but making things sound bad so you get to a psychiatrist can by-pass that and enable you to get the right help more easily!


  • Hi Sue, I think you are correct there, I will take your advice when it comes to it, thank you so much!


  • Hi Jade

    Good luck, I hope it works out well for you. Please don't blame me if it doesn't, services are different in different areas and it's a matter of finding out what your local services are and how they operate. I googled the local town name and mental health services, that way I read all about the system where I live and that was helpful to know before I sought help. In the end I found that locally our NHS services make everyone go through the PMHT and have six weeks CBT at least once before they consider anything else, but if you feel desperate and say you feel a need to see a psychiatrist because you feel very ill then they may refer you. It's a question of balancing how much frustration you can take as you try to go through the services - at least that's my experience. Things used to be very different but sadly the recession has made local health authorities try to find a simple route and make everybody fit into it.

    Let us know how you get on and use the website for support in the meantime, everyone here is friendly and we've all had problems coping and finding help.


  • Hi Sue, I won't blame you as I have heard so many stories from several programs on mental health about how shocking our NHS is with helping those with mental illnesses.

    Thank you for your further advice, I'll be sure to keep you all updated.


  • Hi jade

    People seem to be very negative about CBT but it can be really helpful and certainly isn’t worth just discounting straight away. I work for an IAPT (improving access to psychological therapies) service and have seen CBT change the lives of many people suffering with depression. The benefit of Primary Care services are that they have significantly lower waiting times (in our area about 6 weeks compared to about 12 months for psychology) and talking therapies such as CBT and Counselling really can help some people. Its not for everyone but being open minded and giving it a go (especially if you have never tried it before). These talking therapies aren’t for everyone but they do really work for some people.

    Like everyone else said make sure your GP is aware as they can help you access support and make sure you're safe. If you don’t know where to begin with this try calling NHS direct (111), they can help you make an appointment and give you some advice about other useful services in your area.

    I really hope you manage to get some support and overcome this Jade. Here is another helpful website:

    All the best for the future,


  • Hi Tom, I understand what you say about CBT being helpful to some people and not to others and that I should give it a try before dismissing it straight away. Thanks for your help on where to begin with seeking help as that's where I was stuck!

    Thanks again for your help.


  • Hormone levels are all over the place at this age, which can trigger depression. So if you make an appointment with your gp, and you dont feel supported or your not happy,, please find another one,,,

    Yes you do sound like your suffering from depression, I have dip in counselling and suggest the school could be a strong port of call, to getting more help. ( self harming is serious) they might have the funding to support you, as an emergancy. Or your doctor could offer emergancy counselling. Either way,, you need to talk to someone who you feel comfortable with. Its one of those things that it doesnt matter if your parents dont understand, it might be one of those things that you have to have had it to understand. We lot are hear to listen ,,, but you really need professional, help of what i have suggested. Take better care. x


  • Hi Linda, I will take on board everything you said and the suggestion about getting help through the school, however this would have to wait until September and I might be moving schools which is inconvenient. But thanks for the support and advice! Jade

  • Just a quick update, I have told my sister my concerns, and she is going to book me an appointment at the doctors. Thank you for your support that enabled me to tell her, means a lot!

    Jade xx

  • Hi

    If you haven't tried CBT then I think it's great that you are seeing the GP and may be referred as it can be really helpful.

    Do let us all know how you get on, and I hope it goes well. I'm glad you were able to talk to your sister, well done!


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