Thursday 25 September 2014


Reader Maryam asks Summer Tanberry for advice… because she doesn't know who else to turn to...

Maryam says:
Please help. Ever since the start of the summer I have been feeling weird, not quite myself. There was no real reason for it, but I found myself spending a lot more time on my own and making excuses not to see my friends because I knew I wouldn't be able to pretend everything was all right if I was with them. Now that school has started again, it's worse. Some days I don't want to get out of bed, and every night I lie awake crying although my logical mind knows that there's nothing to cry about. My friends know something is wrong, but I can't talk to them because they'd just tell me to cheer up or get a grip. I think they will stop wanting to hang out with me; I don't blame them. I don't seem to care about anything anymore. This week I have missed four days of school because I pretended I had a bug, but I'm not sure Mum believes me. She is a single mum and works hard for us so I tell her how I feel - it's the last thing she needs.

Summer says:
Oh Maryam, this sounds so like the way I felt last year. It's was a bit different for me, because there was an eating disorder involved as well and people did notice that, but I had the same sense of 'switching off' from what was going on around me. I think you'd call it depression. You might think that your friends won't understand, but try them - they care about you, so talk to them and let them support you. They may even come along with you to talk to a guidance teacher - or, if you don't have one, choose a teacher you like and trust and ask to speak to them privately after class. Teachers often seem busy but they DO care about what's going on with their pupils and they will try to help. You also need to talk to your Mum. Keeping quiet so as not to worry her is NOT an option… this won't go away on its own. You need help and support, and your Mum can help you sort that.

My mum was also a single mum for a few years so I totally get the anxiety of not wanting to add to her worries, but you MUST talk to her. She can arrange for you to see a doctor. Depression is just as serious as any physical illness… and help is available. You feel like hiding away but TALKING and asking for help is the most important thing of all… it's your only way to change things, to make life better again. It may feel impossible right now, but I too felt very lost and very hopeless not so long ago. Things CAN be different. You've found the courage to talk to me… now take it further and tell your friends, teachers, Mum, doctor. I wish you all the luck in the world.

Call ChildLine on 0800 1111
Young Minds:

Cathy says:
Summer is right… Maryam needs to speak out about how she is feeling before things get any worse. Do YOU have any advice for Maryam? COMMENT BELOW to share your suggestions...


  1. Stay Strong Maryam, Hamdi:)xxx

  2. A mother and a daughter have a special connection that know one else haves.
    If you open up to her it may make that connection stronger. Stop trying to hide your feelings it feels better to tell someone who you know will listen. Your mum will feel glad that you've told her so she knows that you trust her. All the best Rosie xxx

  3. How do u send ur problem so that the tanberry sisters can answer it? Can Ur name be kept anonymous? Thnx x

  4. You can do this, Maryam! My older cousin used to describe this to me over email, she had the exact same problem as you. Her parents had divorced, and her mother was struggling to manage the family. My cousin felt like everything thing in her life was just going down, but it did get better for her, and now she's so cheerful, I can't believe it! It'll get better, trust me. :)



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