Depression and suicidal thoughts


Depression and suicidal thoughts


your avatar   Ella, 12-year-old girl

I have self-injured, I have horrid, suicidal thoughts, a violent environment, and have been bullied.

Hi, I'm 12. I don't think it's normal that I get suicidal thoughts and that I self harm, but on top of that, I get thoughts of killing my family (my mum specifically). It's not that bad. It's only when I get angry or upset. I'm now home schooled and I have no friends. Not even one that I can talk to.

My mum tells me that she wishes I was dead, and that I was a mistake at birth. She wishes I was never born. I recently contacted child-line about what I'm feeling, and they told me that my mum was in fact breaking the law and that this was emotional abuse.

I have an autistic brother called Shane. I don't really know what's wrong with him anymore, I know that he's violent. I can remember from when I was around 8-9 years old that I was in my room with my other brother, (I have 3 brothers) and he was on the other side with a pair of scissors banging on the door trying to get in. He was trying to kill Robert (brother). He walks past me and always touches me, and he sometimes slaps me on the leg. He may not realize it but sometimes when he "thinks" we're play fighting, he actually hurts me.

My mum doesn't get me. At all. I struggle with learning and I stay in bed all day. She calls me lazy. The only reason why I can stay asleep all day (and I mean all day), is because I know what I have to wake up to. And I purposely stay awake at night. It's 2:13 AM now. There's more, lots more, but I don't know how this message will turn out if I carry on.

I live in a "violent" household you could say. My family is always arguing, so I'm always in my room. I have no social life whatsoever. I left school on my 12th birthday because I was getting bullied badly. And my "best friends" were planning to egg me on the way home.

I'm just looking for answers on what to do. The suicidal thoughts and the self harming started when I walked in on Shane (brother) with headphones wrapped around his neck because he'd had enough of doctors not helping him. He went into a mental hospital, then attempted it a second time when I wasn't there.

Just, please tell me what I should do, because I feel like I'm about to fall off a cliff and then one day it'll just be it. I will have hit the bottom and eventually I will be dead. Please, please help me!


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Ella my dear,

If I was in your situation, I would feel exactly like you do. You live in a dysfunctional, toxic household. Your best course of action is to seek official help.

From your email I can see that, despite your interrupted education, you are intelligent and have good understanding. Click here and read about how you can access child protection. A social worker will come and investigate the situation you and your brothers are in. You can ask this person to organize foster care.

You don't mention a father, only your mother, three brothers and yourself. One of your brothers is autistic, and one has attempted suicide. So, if I were in your mother's situation, I also would feel pretty terrible. Rather than judging her, I can see that she is probably also way past her breaking point. Perhaps if you can see her like that too, it will be easier for you to put up with her hurtful words and behaviour.

Sometimes you have thoughts you obviously disapprove of: hurting yourself, killing your mother, committing suicide. These thoughts are understandable, it is OK to have these thoughts. You didn't ask for them, they came. The trouble is that you believe them. If you could manage to not believe them, they would be only noise.

"OK, I just had a thought that I want to blow up this whole building so we can all die! I had that thought, so what, it's only noise. Even if I had a bomb, of course I wouldn't do it."

As long as you ACT in a way you approve of, you are a good person. When you have a thought, it may be justified. It may be true. But the real test is, if someone else did it, would you think that person to be decent? If not, the thought is only noise.

Because you have suffered, because you are intelligent and thoughtful, you have the potential to do great things with your life. That new life starts NOW. Get official help, for yourself, your brothers and your mother, and make it your goal to become the best Ella you can be.



This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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