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Amy tells how finding someone she could talk to helped her overcome depression and thoughts of suicide.

This can help if:

  • you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide
  • you’re worried about asking for help
  • you feel that no one understands what you’re going through.
Girl looking at herself in the mirror

When I was seven, my little brother was born. I was so excited! I used to hug and kiss him a lot, but my parents thought I was going overboard. One day, I got in trouble because they thought I 'smothered' him. I was really upset. I wanted to be the perfect older sister that everybody wanted to have – but I’d failed.

All through my primary schooling, I used to wonder why everyone else was happy and I wasn't; why I seemed to be the only kid who didn’t feel wanted at home and who wanted to run away. I felt like an outsider in my own home, as well as at school. I only had a small handful of very good friends, and I didn't have a good relationship with my parents. I felt lonely, neglected, sad and unwanted every day. When I started high school, though, I changed. I became more outgoing and confident, and I made friends. I was happier in high school. No one gave me a hard time, and I felt more independent. Unfortunately, it didn’t last.

In years 9 and 10, I became lonely again and my depression became more noticeable. I started to wonder if my parents would finally care about me if I committed suicide. I retreated more and more into myself and pushed everyone away. It was only last year, in year 11, that I got fed up and started asking myself why I felt so bad all the time. I didn't want to think that I might have depression, but after about three-and-a-half years of suffering, I couldn't stand it any longer.

Finding someone I could talk to

One day at the hairdresser’s, I picked up a business card for a counsellor. I called her a few days later. I was so scared, but she became a huge support. For once I felt like it was okay to feel how I felt, and that someone accepted me for who I was and didn't dismiss me as just a teenager with a bad case of angst. That helped me get my self-esteem back a bit. I’m still seeing the counsellor, and I'm on anti-depressants to combat my occasional anxiety attacks, but the worst is over. I felt like I couldn't talk to my parents. I still can't really talk to them about important or personal things, because I don't think they understand what's going on my head. I always look forward to my counselling sessions, though. They give me a real break from home.

I don't regret being how I was before – sad and lonely – because it’s taught me to look after myself, and I'm very independent as a result. I've also learnt to trust people again, instead of just pushing them away. I think the most important lesson I've learnt is that suicide isn’t a solution to anything, and that help is always available in abundance if you ask for it.

What can I do now?