I'm 16, how do I get help?

Posted , 3 users are following.

My mum realised I was "feeling down" about two years ago.

I probably shouldn't self diagnose, but I think it's safe to say I've been suffering from depression for most of my life. It started either when I was 8 years old, or in my first years of primary school. It's hard to say, since I don't remember a time when I didn't feel like this. But I was heavily bullied at primary school and when I was 8, about two months apart my parents split up and my great nana died. So I can see those being potential causes.

Anyways. About two years ago, I wasn't leaving my room much, staying in bed most of the time. My mum realised something was wrong.

So she put me in a fitness programme called Get Going. And then she realised this wasn't helping me.

I've always been overweight, and while I'm self conscious of my appearance, I don't beleive this is the cause of my "low mood". (My mum refuses to accept it as an actual problem, which kind of makes it worse. She has told me repeatedly that feeling this way is just a part of life and something I have to deal with and just move on.)

So we went to the doctors. No help.

I have now seen 5 or 6 different doctors and 2 different counsellors. All the doctors were kind of evasive and talked about conselling referrals but never actually referred me. (The consellors I saw were due to m mum's work connections). The last doctor I saw actually said that there wasn't anything she could do. She seemed to have a similar view to my mum in that I have to be stronger and deal with it. She said that it's basically down to me to help myself. She said that she couldn't refer me to CAMHS because I don't have behavioural issues and that I had to go to school for help.

Only, my school don't really help with this. I've talked to a few staff members and they haven't done anything. And I finish in June anyway.

I was thinking of changing which doctors I go to (as in the surgery). But I don't know how that works. And I don't know if that would effect the perscription of pain relief I'm getting (I fell down the stairs and injured my coccyx).

At this point, I kind of feel like I've exhausted my options. Everyone keeps saying it's down to me and I don't know how to help myself. I feel so helpless and I don't know how I'm going to do my exams in this state. I don't want it to impact my grades as much as it has been, I used to do really well in school and now have targets of As and A*s, but since this has been getting worse I'm only just scraping Cs. I just really need a hand to get out of this rut I've been stuck in for so long. This only seem to get worse and I don't know how to fix it. There doesn't seem to be much help out there for adolescents. My sister also suffers from depression (though hers is less severe and we think it's seasonal) and she's suddenly able to get help now that she's 18. I just feel like people think it's going to get better unless you're an adult. Like, as soon as you're an adult it's a legitimate problem.

Any advice? I don't think I can handle feeling like this for another two years when it has already been at least 8.

2 likes, 10 replies

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lucee,

    you definitely shouldn't have to deal with this alone. I am apalled you have seemingly been dismissed by those around you - unfortunately there is still this perception that feeling down is a normal part of being a teenager and that means adolescents sometimes get really poor service. It is very unfair.

    First of all - does your school have any official support for students, like a counselling service? Considering that you have always done well before and now is struggling for your exams should be something that is picked up on, so please try again to tell someone at school how much this worries you. If your school has good support for students (which they should, but I know this varies greatly) you may be able to get the help you need from there.

    Since you are 16 you shouldn't have a problem changing GP surgeries (you don't need your parents' permission), and if you can, try to find one that has a special youth clinic or service attached to it. This may however take a bit of work on your part (e.g. calling surgeries to check whether they have anyone specialising in adolescent health), and you may or may not feel up to that.

    Finally, you can get much more help and advice from Young Minds; a mental health charity for young people. If none of the above works then I suggest contacting them - you definitely shouldn't have to deal with this alone.

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your advice!

      My school is a bit wishy-washy when it comes to support. Teachers are supportive, but you often get passed around because no one is quite sure what to do and there is very little communication between the staff (my mum has actually complained about this and she can't wait until I finish school for this reason). However, I have a friend who was recently referred to CAMHS through school, so I'll try reaching out again. I might talk to one of my old teachers who opened up in a lesson about his experience with mental health (it might be easier for him to understand than a teacher who hasn't been through it).

      I was thinking of getting my sister to go with me if I do change doctors since I struggle talking to people and I know she'll get me to go through with it. I am really scared about seeing doctors on my own though, since my mum has been with me in the past and usually speaks for me (which is sometimes an issue because she doesn't fully understand what's going on in my head).

      I'll have a look into Young Minds too. Again, thank you so much for your reply

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  • Posted

    If you feeling in a low mood your studies are likely to suffer so As may not be what to expect.  Just do your best to get a result hopefully a good one.  You have had a lot of trauma as a child, try and grow from it and be stronger.  You can always talk to your sister about depression to find out more and I am sure that you already have done so.  Medication is a last resort so if you can survive without well done, if you can't you may well have to try various drugs until you hit the right one for you.( Medication that is not recreational drugs!)


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    • Posted

      I just don't know what to do. I feel stuck. I've felt like this for so long and it feels like it's stopping me from living properly. I don't think I can keep doing this on my own, but everytime I ask for help I seem to be dissmissed. I know growing from pain is something that people do, and maybe one day it'll be like that, but right now I feel so restricted by my own thoughts and feelings. I feel like it should be something I can just push away and stop thinking about, but it doesn't seem to work
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    • Posted

      Pushing thoughts and feelings away rarely works, at least not in the long term. You have every right to receive help with this. Hopefully your sister can help you find a GP that is more responsive!

      Have you looked into self-help for depression? It's not enough on it's own, but it can be helpful to find some strategies to use. There is a lot of stuff out there which can be overwhelming, but if there is anything that resonates with you just try it out. I've found that breathing techniques help with my anxiety for example (may not be relevant to you; just an example).

      Whether medication is right or not for you is best decided together with a doctor, but it would be good for you to talk to someone. Do some searching to see if there are any charities providing counselling for young people in your area. Relate also do counselling for children and young people and are nationwide; try contacting them!

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  • Posted

    That is really shocking I know the NHS is going down hill but they are always banging on about young peoples mental health and how they are combating it!!!!

    Try some therapy again Im sorry thats all Ive got.

    Stay Strongcool

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    • Posted

      It is shocking, isn't it? Words and policy does not unfortunately translate into services; I work connected to this area so I know how appalling young people's services are in the UK. It makes me very sad and angry.
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    • Posted

      It is unreal I was just watching a special on our local news a few weeks ago and they were banging on about how  young peoples mental health treatment was getting better and how much more money they were throwing at it!!!! its a joke
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