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Recent questions

I’m so worried that my bf will find out that I had sex with his best friend 12 times…

I’m so worried that my bf will find out that I had sex with his best friend 12 times in the same month. If he finds out he will probably beat me again. This could be bad be coz he is suspicious.

Sometimes people seek sex in mistake for love and you need to think about why you are having sex with both people. You should think about what the risks and benefits to you are to this situation. Do you think you are being used and/or coerced into having sex? You should only ever have sex if you want to and it is right for you.

Do you have a good friend you can confide in and get support from as you must be feeling worried and anxious about the possible repercussions of this situation? It is never right for a person to be on the receiving end of violence and abuse in a relationship. You do not have to put up with it. Often once people get into this situation it can become a pattern of behaviour which they accept as ‘normal’ and they do not get help until this pattern has been repeated many times.

Please do not let this continue, you need to get some help, support and courage to move away from this situation. It would also be a good idea, when you feel safer, to have sexual health check-up especially if you have not been using condoms,  you can see your GP/practice nurse or make an appointment at the GUM clinic. Please get some help before the situation gets any worse for you.

Good luck and be brave!

Where can I get a drugs test from? Mum doesn’t believe I don’t do drugs anymore.

Where can I get a drugs test from? Mum doesn’t believe I don’t do drugs anymore.

I understand why you would immediately want to prove to your mum that you no longer use drugs:  it can be difficult to regain the trust of loved ones when there has been a breakdown in that trust. It sounds as if your mum is worried about you so it might be worthwhile trying to have a conversation with her to help reduce her concerns.

Drug testing can have a place but do you want to end up basing your relationship on whether or not you pass a test? It sounds like you need your mum to trust you, but the flipside of that is that she needs to trust you.  Sit down and find out how you can help her trust you more: it might be as simple as letting her know where you are and who you are with, or coming home on time.

Drug testing kits can be easily purchased online, but you might want to think about whether or not you are going to be able to be tested every time there is a concern about your behaviour.  Having your mum act like the police is probably not going to be good for either of you.

Both you and your mum might find it helpful to speak to a professional were concerns and questions can be discussed confidentially, both Motiv8 and DASHare places that provide this kind of service.

Hope this helps and good luck.

My girlfriend is depressed and suicidal from time to time. She won’t seek help…

My girlfriend is depressed and suicidal from time to time. She won’t seek help although I have tried to convince her to. It scares me a lot that she feels this way and I’m powerless to help. I don’t know how to proceed.

Thank you for writing to me. It can be very frightening and distressing if someone you are close to is depressed and low and thinks about taking their own life.

I see that you are feeling powerless and unsure how to best help your girlfriend. One of the most important things to do if someone is feeling depressed or suicidal is to talk to them about how they feel and be there to listen; you are doing this.

It is important for your girlfriend to know that depression is one of the most common mental health problems and it is treatable. The first step towards getting help is for your girlfriend to recognise that there might be a problem. The second step is for her to talk to someone she trusts. I know that she is talking to you but I think that she also needs to talk to a professional, like her GP, as they can help her deal with the underlying issues behind her depression and her suicidal thoughts.

Often young people who have depression are worried about seeking help. Many young people feel worried about how others will react and can feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed for feeling the way they do. GPs regularly support people of all ages who are experiencing symptoms of depression; and they have the experience and knowledge to help your girlfriend identify what support and treatment will help her with her recovery. Her GP may make suggestions on steps she can take to try to lift her mood and manage her symptoms. Her GP may suggest that she see a counsellor or arrange a referral to the local mental health service.

Having thoughts about wanting to end your life can be extremely frightening and difficult to talk about. Sometimes people who feel suicidal may not necessarily want to die; they may just be unable to see any other way of coping with life and want time-out from it. I know that you have tried to convince your girlfriend to get help please continue to encourage her to ask someone for help as it is important for her to explore every possible options and source of support she could use. It’s important for her to know that she is not beyond help and is not alone and that there may be some things that she – and other people - can do to make things better for her.

It may be useful to ask your girlfriend if she knows what may help her and how you can help. For example, she may go to a GP appointment if you go with her or you could both look at identifying what sources of support are available, such as what the Samaritans offer.

There are several telephone helplines that can be called at any time of the day or night. People can speak to someone who understands how they are feeling and can help them through the immediate crisis. The Samaritans offer confidential advice and support and can be contacted on 01624 663399, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

On the Isle of Man we have a Crisis Response and Home Treatment Team. This team will assess and support people who are experiencing significant deterioration in their mental health and/or are experiencing crisis in how they feel and that an urgent response it needed .Their telephone number is: 01624 642860.

If your girlfriend is suicidal in the future and feel that there is an immediate danger , make sure that she is not left on her own. In the first instance contact her GP for an emergency appointment or the out of hours service. If it is out of hours and your girlfriend agrees contact the Crisis Response Team for an urgent response. You could also go to the Emergency Department or ring 999.

It can be very emotionally draining and upsetting knowing someone you care about is having suicidal feelings and thoughts. It is important that you look after you own mental wellbeing and physical health. It can be helpful for you to talk to someone you trust about how you feel, this could be a family member or friend.

Helplines and support groups

  • Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you are feeling, or if you are worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number will not show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation that supports teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

I feel extremely stressed at the moment. I am soon turning 18…

I feel extremely stressed at the moment. I am soon turning 18 and I have no support apart from 3 friends and my partners parents. I get a lot of pressure but on me and it affects me mentally and physically, it really put a strain on me but I have so many commitments I have to keep its hard to feel okay sometimes. I don’t think I’m depressed although I get times often and its wierd. I don’t feel much confidence in any of my docked as I’ve had physic problems for years and they’ve been useless pretty much. And they always seem to fob you off as quick as, not sure what to do I don’t have much family and I know no one who can help me and not just say they will help me and only help me for a little bit or make false promises.

Reading your question, it isn’t immediately clear what the problems are that are causing you to feel this way but you’re right and it sounds very much as if you may be exposed to a lot of stress which in its turn is making you feel very anxious.

I have noticed that you said you will be turning eighteen soon and that this may have some sort of significance regarding the support you receive now and the support you may receive in the future?  It’s good though that you have your friends and your partner’s parents to talk too. If you are currently involved with children’s services then try confiding in them. If not then you can speak to the Samaritans in complete confidence at any time of the day or night on 08457 90 90 90. If you prefer to write down how you are feeling, you can email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

You also mentioned that you have a lot of pressure on you and that you have too many commitments which put a strain on you physically and mentally. You said that you don’t think you are depressed but that you feel weird sometimes.

Whatever is going on, it sounds very much that you that you may be suffering from a high level of anxiety at times which is making you feel panicky and physically unwell as if you need to throw up? If that is the case you may find this page on stress, anxiety and depression helpful.

You may not think that your doctor is listening but perhaps you need to be more specific about what exactly is making you feel this way. This will help the doctor decide if it is possible to refer you somewhere else for help.

 

I’m in need of some advice, I constantly feel myself down and find myself often bursting into tears.

I’m in need of some advice, I constantly feel myself down and find myself often bursting into tears, I try to think why but don’t have an explanation, it feels very much like all frustration. I’m not to sure what I expect back from yous. All’s I need is a pick me up bit of advice… i think.

We can all experience ups and downs in our lives and can feel unhappy, low in mood, stressed or anxious during difficult times. These periods of low mood tend to improve after a short time; however, you say that you constantly feel down. A low mood that doesn’t go away can be a sign of depression. Symptoms of depression can include the following:

  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
  • feeling anxious or worried
  • You say that you often burst into tears but don’t know why, although you think it may be connected to frustration. This could suggest that you are experiencing stress or anxiety or symptoms of depression. Whatever the cause of your feelings, if these negative feelings persist, are too much for you to cope with or get in the way of everyday life, it’s time to seek help.

    Please talk to your GP who will be able to discuss your symptoms with you and make a diagnosis. GPs regularly support people of all ages who are experiencing symptoms of low mood and tearfulness: they have the experience and knowledge to help you identify what support and treatment will help you with your recovery. Your GP may make suggestions on steps you can take to try to lift your mood and manage your symptoms. They may also suggest that you see a counsellor or arrange a referral to the local child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) or Community Mental Health Team for adults.

    For more advice on getting help for depression and for information on different kinds of treatment, visit Young Minds. Just remember, you don’t have to be on your own and there are people out there who can help.

... me and my boyfriend had unprotected anal sex… red itchy marks have come up around my vagina…

Over a month ago me and my boyfriend had unprotected anal sex. We are both sti free. Recently red itchy marks have come up around my vagina along with random tingly sensations. Could I have an sti and if so which one?

It is difficult to know whether the recent unprotected anal sex has had anything to do with your symptoms but I can understand your concern. You say you and your boyfriend are STI free so I guess you have both been checked out. Unfortunately, there are some infections which can’t be detected unless you have symptoms when you are tested e.g. genital warts, genital herpes. But there are also many other conditions that can affect the genital area and not all are sexually transmitted. Without an experienced health professional examination, it is difficult to guess what may be causing your symptoms.

I would advise that you go see your GP/practice nurse or make an appointment at the GUM clinic as they are very experienced in dealing with all kinds of problems that can affect the genital skin area and don’t just deal with STIs. You can find out contact details and clinic opening times here.

You could look at the following information on genital herpes and genital warts but with caution as you really do need to get a professional diagnosis. I would say don’t delay getting checked out as you are obviously very worried. Good luck.

 

I used this cream because I had a few small bumps around the edge of my vagina & now it has swollen

I recently used this cream from ebay as recommended by my friend because I had a few small bumps around the edge of my vagina and now it has swollen up a bit and gone white/pale pinkish. I’m not sure if this is because I put too much on or I shouldn’t have used it? I’m concerned, do you have any advice? :(

Glad you got in touch for help as there are a couple of things that need to be considered here. It’s great that your friend wants to help you but unless your friend is medically qualified and experienced in this line of medicine and knows what they’re doing it can be quite dangerous. You and your friend might not have the same problem, but have something that looks similar and need different treatments.

I would never recommend buying medicines like this from the internet as the quality cannot be guaranteed and you could buy something that is either a cheap copy of something else or a complete rip-off.

I would really recommend stopping the treatment until you have been checked and contacting either your GP/practice nurse for a check-up. If you don’t want to see them then the people at the GUM clinic will be able to help – they won’t judge you. You can find out more about the clinic and what to expect here. Whoever you do decide to see, please take the cream along that you have used so they can have a look at it and make sure there’s nothing harmful in it.

Good luck getting this checked out.

 

I really just want to end my life right now: my life just keeps getting worse… What can I do?

I really just want to end my life right now, my life just keeps getting worse and worse, most of the people I held the closest to me have abandoned me and I think I have depression. My life will never get better and I want to end it all right now if it weren’t for one of the only friends I trust who would be lost without me and probably end her life too, I don’t want that for her. What can I do to make the pain stop :/

Thank you for writing to me. I know that you may be feeling helpless and that things will not get better but I am glad that you have been able to tell me how you feel. Having thoughts about wanting to end your life can be extremely frightening and difficult to talk about. If you feel suicidal you may not necessarily want to die: you may just be unable to see any other way of coping with life and want time-out from it. Please try to ask someone for help. At the moment you seem to feel abandoned, alone and you say that you think you are depressed. Talking to someone can help you get the support you need. Whilst you may feel that that you have no control over your life, it’s important to know you are not beyond help, that you are not alone and that there may be some things that you – and other people - can do to make it better. There are people who really do want to help you: you may know them already, like your friends or family, or they may be professionals who you have not met yet.

I know you have this friend who you trust: have you told her how you feel? If you don’t feel able to talk to her there are other people you can talk to who will listen and support you with getting help. You could talk to a member of your family or someone else you trust such as a teacher, college welfare officer, the family of a close friend, a minister, priest or other type of religious leader. I would recommend that you see your GP. They can advise you about appropriate treatment if they think you have a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. They can also help you to get additional support, perhaps from a local mental health team.

There are several telephone helplines you can call at any time of the day or night. You can speak to someone who understands how you are feeling and can help you through the immediate crisis. I really recommend talking to someone face-to-face, but if you feel you can’t speak to someone you know then the Samaritans offer confidential advice and support and can be contacted on 663399 or via email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

On the Isle of Man, we have a Crisis Response and Home Treatment Team. They assess and support people who are experiencing significant deterioration in their mental health and/or are experiencing crisis in how they feel and feel that an urgent response it needed. Their telephone number is 642860.

Helplines and support groups

  • Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you are feeling, or if you are worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number will not show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation that supports teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It does not have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • You may also find this page on feeling overwhelmed useful.
  • I hope that this information is useful. The important thing to remember is that there is support available which has already helped a lot of people who have experienced suicidal thoughts – you just need to seek this support that is available to help come through this.

     

I am worried that I might have HPV: I’ve had some of the ‘symptoms’ such as a small rash of warts

I am worried that I might have HPV, I’ve had some of the ‘symptoms’ such as a small rash of warts on my right leg and every so often I get spots around my genital area. I am not sure that it is possible as I have never had sex or done anything even remotely sexual, plus I had the vaccine when I was 12. I’m fretting over it frequently and feel very stupid and clueless, so I hope you could please help me out.

Firstly I am so sorry to hear you have been worrying about this problem, but I am so glad you have plucked up courage to ask for help as that is a very positive and brave move.  It sounds unlikely that these spots are genital warts (which are caused by the HPV) but without a trained healthcare professional having a look at them it is difficult to tell you exactly what they are. They sound like they could be a very common skin virus called Molluscum Contagiosum (which sounds very serious but isn’t!). This virus is very common in children and young adults and usually the spots go away on their own.

You could look at patient.co.uk which gives some information and pictures about molluscum, but please remember this is only a guess based on the most common infections in your age group.

Please make an appointment for your own peace of mind and get checked out as there are lots of conditions which can cause skin rashes and you need to find out what is causing your symptoms. You can go to your GP or to the GUM Clinic for this and they will be able to give you a definite diagnosis and hopefully the reassurance and any treatment you may need. It can be scary when you don’t know what is wrong with you and most people would feel ‘clueless’ like you so don’t feel bad, that’s normal!

I hope you get your problem sorted soon to help you stop worrying.

 

I have self-harmed for quite a while now… I feel addicted to it.

I have self-harmed for quite a while now, and I know I should stop. But I can’t, I feel addicted to it. I really want to tell my mum this but I’m afraid that she won’t be happy…

Thank you for e-mailing me. It seems that you’d really like some support, but you’re worried about how to speak to your mum and how to stop self-harming.

Self-harm is used to manage negative feelings and emotions. It’s sometimes someone punishing themselves or trying to regain control when they think they don’t have any.  Because it’s often used as a coping mechanism, self-harm can be viewed as positive by those who do it, at least initially. This can set up a type of repetitive behaviour where the desire to self-harm becomes difficult to control and to stop, and the act of self-harm continues even though there are many good reasons not to do so.

You say that you feel addicted to self-harming. Some people believe you can become physically addicted to self-harm and there is some evidence to show that chemicals, called ‘endogenous opioids’ are released when the body is injured in any way. These opioids can make us less sensitive to pain and can be pleasurable in the short term, however, self-harm is not simply about obtaining physical relief: it has to be understood as what it means to the person who does it. Many people who self-harm don’t find it addictive in a physical sense but may become dependent on it emotionally. People self-harm for all sorts of reasons and each person’s reason will differ. Some people self-harm to manage negative feelings and emotions, using it as a coping strategy to help them manage how they feel. Others may self-harm as a distraction, to stop unwanted feelings. Harming may become a habit and part of a routine to cope with feelings or to reduce the risk of unwanted feelings popping up in the first place.

It then becomes something you rely on and for many people, the thought of giving up self-arming can be frightening as they are worried about how they will cope without it. However, you can learn new more appropriate and less damaging coping strategies. I know it’s difficult to speak about, but it sounds like you need to talk to someone about your thoughts and feelings to explore why you feel this way.  Talking about your self-harming and how you feel can be the first step in you getting support to address the underlying issues that may have caused you to self-harm in the first place. It seems like you’ve reached the point where you want to tell your mum and for things to be different.

I know that the thought of telling your mum may be scary as you are worried about how she will react. She may be shocked, confused, upset or even angry at first, but after the initial shock and upset many parents realise that they need to put their own feelings to one side and concentrate on supporting and helping their child. Remember, it can be a huge relief to finally let someone know and share what you’re going through. If you find it hard to tell your mum face to face, could you write her a letter? Sometimes it is easier to do this. youngminds.org is a site that your mum may find useful, with information about self-harm especially for parents.

If you are really worried about how your mum will react then you could approach your GP to start with, who will listen to you and not judge you. If you get referred on for further treatment you can then talk to a trained professional who will be able to help you talk through thoughts and feelings and suggest ways in which you can manage these in a way that doesn’t hurt or frighten you. If a GP isn’t available and you feel you need help straight away, contact the Samaritans who run a service with confidential non judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair. The phone number for the Isle of Man branch is 663399 and the website is samaritans.org.

There are also specialist websites where you can go to for more information and guidance, offering support and information on alternative coping strategies as well as distraction techniques which you may find work for you. See selfharm.co.uk and thesite.org

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