Suicide Prevention/Bullying


To start off I was bullied allot in school. My high school years were me being shunned. I had no friends my week ends and nights were always spent alone. I was told that people hated me because I talked allot. It's now a year after high school and I hate my self, I am always depressed and I have suicidal thoughts. I have anxiety around everyone because am scared there going to tell me to shut up or there just going to ignore me like am a ghost. I have an amazing boyfriend and he does everything to help me but am still sad. Very very sad. I have a best friend now in my new town but I can't even call her when am sad because I feel that am not important even though she tells me to all the time. I also suffer from chronic pain because of osteoporosis at the age of 18. Life seems to be hopeless. I have the lowest self esteem, I was told that I was ugly and fat through out high school and junior high. Which is ridiculous because am a model but I just believed it and now I can't even look at pictures of my self with out thinking that am ugly. So what I need to know is will this stop will I feel better one day? Or will I always be sad? What can I do?


Sorry for bothering you

We all need friends!
We all need friends!  
Dear Josee,

Please don't apologize for 'bothering' me, you are not! it is an honor and a privilege for me to feel that you are entrusting me with your innermost thoughts and feelings, at a time when you are clearly feeling very vulnerable and low. I suspect that your best friend would also feel honored and pleased for you to share your concerns with her, and open up about your private thoughts. Not only would she feel privileged to have your trust in this way, it is likely that she may feel quite hurt if you she sensed you didn't feel you could lean on her in times of trouble.

What effect do you suppose it would likely have on her when in the future she is faced with problems of her own? Do you think she would feel comfortable about sharing her own private thoughts, concerns, fears, about problems that she is faced with, if you couldn't do so with her?

Josee it is often in times of trouble and strife that the best friendships are forged. By opening up and talking about what's troubling you, you are creating intimacy within your friendship. You are trusting your friend to listen and to help you resolve difficult issues. If doesn't know what's bothering you, she can't help you. By denying her the chance to be a support to you, you're giving her the message that you don't need her, when she has made it clear that she is there for you and would like to help.

The problems that you face are remarkably common. You might be surprised at just how many people struggle with the issues of low self esteem and depression. For some it's as a direct response to a specific trigger, such as losing their job and then feeling inadequate and not good enough, or being left by their partner (ie, the woman whose husband deserts her to be with his younger secretary.) For others it's due to a traumatic experience, such as a car accident that leaves them crippled and scarred. Sadly low self esteem can arise from poor parenting. A child who is neglected and never praised, often criticised, is at huge risk of poor self image later in life.

Regardless of the reasons for your low self esteem, it is VERY important that you seem help in treating the problem. Please make an appointment with your doctor and ask for a referral to a good psychologist. It's important that you tell your doctor what is going on for you. If you have difficulty talking about it, perhaps you could print out and show him or her your letter, as you have articulated it beautifully, and your doctor will know what type of professional will be best able to help you with your specific needs. Please don't be afraid to do this.. it is a good, strong step in the right direction, and you are brave to have recognised this and taken action by writing to me. You are young, and there is every reason to expect that with the right help (including your lovely best friend) you can look forward to a happy future, one in which you can reach your full potential. Learning to love and accept yourself is a central to future happiness. Only when you love and respect yourself can you be your best self. Only when you love and respect yourself can you maintain healthy relationships with others. When you hear sad reports of domestic violence and abusive relationships, you can be sure that the person being abused and victimised lacks self love and confidence and esteem.

So, Josie, Good for you for taking this step. Now you need to write a 'To Do' list, for example the one I've written here ;-) and follow it faithfully!
* Make an appointment with my doctor to discuss:
      - my depression and feelings of low self worth (you should be given a referal)
      - discuss my pain concerns. Perhaps there is a pain clinic my doctor could refer me to.
* Phone my best friend and make a time to meet for coffee or lunch. Pledge to speak with her openly and honestly. Then take the time to listen to whatever she has to say. I will not dismiss her opinion. She knows me better than most other people do, and she cares about me. I will let her know that I appreciate and value her, and by my actions and words she will know that she has a friend in me, and that I'm there for her in just the same way.
* Begin to keep a journal if I don't already. Write EVERY day. Even if it's just a paragraph. (This is a great way to begin to know yourself, what you believe, what your thoughts are, who you are!)

Josee, I will finish by saying that I think you sound like a very intelligent, wonderful young woman with a promising life ahead of you. I don't know what has caused your depression and feelings of low worth, but I do know you can beat them. The mind is a truly wonderful thing, and more powerful than we know. Once you have turned your thoughts around with the help of professionals, and the support of friends and family, anything is possible for you! You have every reason to look forward to a bright and happy future!

Will you please update me on how you are doing? If you need to talk further, please get in touch.

Sending you a big hug (((Josee)))

:-) Rachel  

Suicide Prevention

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Rachel Hurst


All questions sent to me will receive a warm and caring response. I'll do my utmost to address a persons particular problem, but in most cases will also attempt to supply that individual with additional resources which might be of further benefit. There are many helpful online support groups where readers can benefit from the ongoing support of others who have suffered similar problems. These groups offer invaluable peer support from others who have 'been there'. As well as responding to your initial letter, I'll attempt to provide ongoing encouragement when this is needed. Advice will be focused on addressing the writers individual needs, and providing related information and resources. I would try to ensure that any person seeking advice has accurate and up-to-date information on the signs and symptoms of depression, and importantly, is made aware that help is available through many different avenues. Where I feel that it's relative and helpful I would mention my own life experiences with depression and coping with a loved one's suicide (however, only in context.) I would be on the lookout for warning signs that the person is in crisis and may require immediate intervention. As such I would arm myself with as much information as possible in order to refer them to the help they need. In cases where I believed the persons life to be in imminent danger I would contact authorities in their area, or if unknown, I would call the emergency services in my area in order for the person to be located through tracking.


I am by no means a trained professional. My knowledge comes mainly through life experience, having endured the devastating loss of my best friend through suicide, as well as my own subsequent battle with depression following his death. I found that my own experience of losing a loved one to suicide put me in a strong position to help others, due to my ability to empathize (as opposed to sympathizing). I became knowledgeable on the topic of grief, and the extensive repertoire of depressive illnesses, signs, symptoms, and treatment options available to people in crisis.

S.O.L.O.S. Survivors of Loved Ones Suicide - Active member since 2003.

'Marie Claire' Australian, 'Cleo' (Australian), Online discussion forums (in which my submissions have stimulated discussion and generated much feedback).

I am a professional writer. I was trained in journalism. Please see my profile in Linked In. I have studied related subjects during training as a registered nurse. Both of my parents are mental health professionals. However most of reading widely and life experience has been my greatest teacher.

Past/Present Clients
I have helped a number of individuals who have sought my take on a particular problem, or whom I have felt concern for, for various reasons.

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