Pat's Answer

I'm feeling depressed and have started to self-harm

Your Question

I’ve been feeling a bit depressed lately, and started self harming. How can I get the help I need without talking to my parents? And what are the symptoms of depression, please?


Welcome to Ask Pat, thank you for your questions. 

You say you are depressed and have recently started to self-harm. You are looking to get help without talking to your parents and you are asking us what are the symptoms of depression. 

We are concerned to hear that you may be feeling depressed and that you are self-harming. You are very brave to share your thoughts and feelings with us and we are glad that you contacted us.  

You have the right to be happy and to be heard, which means that you have the right to talk to a trusted adult about what is going on for you. You have the right to avail of the support services that are there for you too, and to get the answers you are looking for. 

You tell us that you would like to get help and support without your parent’s knowledge, and we are wondering why this is? We know that sometimes it might be difficult to share how we are feeling with those nearest to us, but it is important for your mental well-being that you get the help and support that you deserve. You have the right and to talk about your feelings and why you are self-harming with somebody who can support you. Is there another trusted adult in your life that you are comfortable talking to about how you are feeling? This adult could be an aunt or uncleteacher or school counsellor, or your doctor. It is the responsibilities of these adults in your life to make sure that you get help and support when you need it.   

You do not have to go through this alone. There are websites you can look at, organisations which can offer help and support to you. Here are some you might find helpful,;; might also like to read some articles on the Childline website and  

If you feel that you cannot talk to anyone around you just yet, maybe this is something you would like to discuss a little further with us?  Childline would really love to listen to you. You are welcome to talk to Childline by phone on 1800 66 66 66by text to 50101, or through our web chat on Childline is here for you anytime and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The services are free and confidential. We are non-judgemental, and we will not tell you what to do. We can help you explore what options may be available to you.   

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are here to listen, and we are here for you whenever you would like to chat. Please get in touch with us soon. 

Take care of yourself,  


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