Wednesday 13 May 2015


Reader Amanda has a problem for Summer Tanberry to solve in our weekly agony aunt column…

Amanda says:
I seem to be stuck on a roller-coaster that won't stop for anyone. It started two years ago when I kept wanting to cry and had no idea why; then I stopped talking in school and my 'friends' said that if I didn't start talking again I'd lose them. I tried, I really did, but I couldn't… and sure enough, I lost them. I have new friends now but they often ignore me/leave me out, I suppose because I can't talk a lot. I feel trapped inside my own body, like each time I open my mouth I'm falling deeper and deeper into a pit of sadness. Each lunchtime I hide in the toilets and cry and cry, though if someone comes in I am silent. I don't know why I do this. I have started to self-harm too. I am so lost and I know you will tell me to talk to my mum, but I can't, I really can't. Please help.

Summer says:
I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. It was different for me, but I do understand that sense of feeling lost and so, so sad. I felt a million miles away from all the people who loved me, I could see them but I couldn't reach them… and like you, I had no idea why I felt this way. For me, tackling my eating disorder was not just about learning to eat again but talking about my feelings, digging down into myself and letting things out that were sometimes scary and upsetting. It was therapy, and I think it might help you too… talking to a stranger, someone who understands, is actually much easier than talking to family. Like you, I couldn't talk to anyone close when things went wrong for me, it was as though I had to deny what was happening, hide it… but there a comes a point when you cannot hide anymore. Please talk to a trusted guidance teacher or see your doctor and ask for help. Show them this post; if talking is too difficult, write down the things that you want to say. I can't help wondering if you have stopped speaking because you are afraid of what you might say… that there is something very sad and hurtful at the root of this. It may sound unlikely, but facing the issue, however painful, will feel better than this long period of silent denial that anything is wrong. You can also email ChildLine via their website, or the Samaritans. I don't know you, but I recognise the pain in your original email and I want you to know I care. Please be brave and get some help… and let me know how things go.

Cathy says:
Very good advice from Summer… I agree, Amanda needs outside help and although asking for that will take courage, it is the only way forward. What advice would YOU add? COMMENT BELOW to have your say...


  1. Yes let someone know how you feel by writing or texting dont be emabarassed of what they think because if they mind they as a person won't matter. And if they don't mind what you say then keep that person updated on how you feel x

  2. I struggled to make friends at secondary school because I was shy and didn't talk a lot at all. It is quite easy to feel lost in the world when you are growing up, because every big decision you will ever need to make in life seems to be thrown on you at once.

    It's alright to cry sometimes: it's just your body's way of releasing bottled up emotions. It's a good idea to find a release for everything inside your head, whether you write and blog about it, paint or draw, or keep a diary.

    When times got tough for me when I was in my first year of college, and I felt a lot like you, I asked my then personal tutor and year head for help. There is a lot of help out there, and I know it takes a lot of courage to ask for it. It took me a year and a half before I asked. In the end, I just had to take a deep breath and just went for it. I couldn't tell them how I felt, so I wrote it all down in a notebook and gave them the notebook to read.

    Another thing you could do is talk to a 'buddy'. On twitter, Gabby Frost runs a programme called Project Buddy that matches up users that sign up to the service (it is free), and they help each other through the good and bad times. I'm currently a buddy to five people, and it's something that's helped me to become a stronger and more developed person.

    1. That Project Buddy programme sounds really helpful, could you post a link to the address?


  3. This hit me because I have problems talking too... ever since I was maybe eight I've had an interjectional stammer, and more recently its developed to blocking and repetition also. I went to a speech therapist for a while last year and it got better for a while, so she said that I could come back if it got worse again. It did, but she's on maternity leave. I can hear people sigh when I talk, and sometimes snicker, so I decided to talk less. But I'm naturally a talkative person, so this is hard, and now when I talk I think to myself that I shouldnt talk... Méabh

  4. Hi I or bullied for a while it's still happening but I learned too get over it I used to be scared to do anything wrong at all in case she got cross at me and if I said the wrong things so I was scared to talk for a while but I got over it I still get fhisically bullied verbally bullied

  5. But if your scared to talk to ur mom then text her what's happend your still not talking to her but your still telling her

  6. Hi please don't worry cause it's gonna be ok sooner or later



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...