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Sara - Interview 17

Age at interview: 20
Brief Outline: Sara is 20 and fulltime university student. She's been experiencing mental health difficulties over the past eight years but more so after she started university. She sees a counsellor weekly which has helped her, and she also says having a few different coping strategies, like keeping a diary or doing exercise helps her. It's been difficult for Sara to talk about her problems with her family as she says the 'concept of mental health doesn't exist in South Asian culture'. (Pakistani).
Background: See 'Brief outline'

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Sara is 20 and a fulltime university student. Over the past eight years or so Sara’s been experiencing mental health difficulties, mainly depression and low moods. She’s also experienced eating problems and self harming which she says have stemmed from her depression. Sara says her doctors weren’t very helpful and suggested her moods were just to do with being a teenager and hormonal imbalances at that age.
 
Sara says that for years it was difficult to know what was wrong, or if something was wrong; she just felt that “things weren’t really working” for her. She felt constantly low and useless and she started self harming and also developed an eating problem. For her, not eating used to be a form of self harm. Sara says she got so used to feeling low or depressed that she doesn’t know anymore what life would feel like without.
 
Sara says she “didn’t have the courage” to address her problems until the first year at university. At that time she felt like it was all getting too much and she’d also gained more independence from her family to be able to access services more freely. Sara went to see a school counsellor and since then she’s had weekly sessions which have helped her a lot. Counselling has particularly focussed on helping her change her negative thought patterns and finding coping strategies that work for her.
 
Sara is of Pakistani origin and says in South Asian culture there is “no concept of mental health” and that it’s a “quiet taboo”. This has made it really hard for her to be heard and taken seriously at home' “because if it doesn’t exist you can’t talk about it”. She says this played a major part in her not seeking help earlier, and feeling apprehensive about going to see a psychiatrist. Sara says if she’d gotten help with depression earlier on, it might’ve not led to self harm or other problems. She says changing cultural understandings of mental health is very hard, regardless of which culture people come from.
 
For Sara, having a few different ways of coping with her feelings and thoughts has been the best way; if one strategy stops being efficient, she has something else to try. Keeping a diary, doing exercise and just trying to keep her mind occupied has been helpful for her. Sara says she’s a really independent person and often prefers doing things on her own. She also says she over analyses everything and for her, it’ a big challenge to try to learn to think less.
 

Sara grew up in a busy household where she felt left out. (Read by an actor).

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Sara grew up in a busy household where she felt left out. (Read by an actor).

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I didn’t have like a terribly unhappy childhood, you know my parents were like great to me, I didn’t, I got on well with my sisters, it wasn’t hugely difficult, but I definitely, you know, talking to the counsellor it’s kind of made me realise that in my house because we always had a lot of guests, like my parents’ relatives coming to stay, or you know, just generally there was a lot of coming and going in the house, and it’s not a very big house, so we tend to be quite, you know, chucked in the corner, like not chucked, but it was kind of just pushed aside, you know, make room for the guests, and I grew up, I didn’t have, you know maybe when I was about 5 that really started happening quite regularly, so from the age of 5 onwards, I always felt kind of, I didn’t feel it so much as then probably, but I didn’t, I felt quite left out and neglected, and I was quite a quiet child anyway, just by nature, but that kind of made me withdraw even more.
 

Sara says she’s good at “acting confident” and hiding her real feelings. She says she’s “better...

Sara says she’s good at “acting confident” and hiding her real feelings. She says she’s “better...

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When college started, university, everyone’s just known me to be a confident person, because once I left my old school behind it was just easy to move on and pretend like I’ve always been confident. But obviously it was kind of you know it was, it was actually worse than it was before, I wasn’t just feeling bad, it was I was doing things, to, make you know actually damaging me, so it was, it, yeah I got more confident I suppose in a way, but, I still even now I prefer doing things on my own.
              
But you know, I know when I was younger as well I was quite quiet, I am naturally a quiet person, I get, I like acting confident but the majority of the time I don’t feel very confident. So, you know I’ve become quite a good liar, it’s just not a great thin, I mean, I mean it’s not a great thing to admit, but I’m good at hiding like my real feelings. ‘Cos you know I can’t lie, really I’m a terrible liar, I couldn’t possibly steal something and then pretend like I hadn’t done it. I definitely, you know I’m definitely better at not being the real me, I can definitely hide the real me more now. So as a child I was probably quite quiet, and I was probably quite, I wore my heart on my sleeve, like if I was upset everyone would know it. And now it never happens like I wouldn’t, you know people, if they catch me on a really bad day I might be sitting there quite quietly going, “Go away, I just want to sit here on my own.” And I might, you know, that might be as far as it gets, but generally I’m not gonna, I don’t want to push my low mood onto everyone else ‘cos I know it’s quite contagious sometimes, if someone’s feeling sad I mean, they’ll make someone else feel sad, and it’s kind of, I don’t want to be the person that sets off a bit of a sob fest like sitting amongst a circle of friends, everyone started crying, and I was going, “No it’s okay.”  
 

Sara’s eating disorder started off as a “coping strategy”. (Read by an actor).

Sara’s eating disorder started off as a “coping strategy”. (Read by an actor).

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By not eating you know I, it was to me it was self harm when I started off, by not eating it was self harm and it was, and then by throwing up it was self harm, it was, that was what I was doing but then I got so sucked into the fact, that oh wow I’m losing weight, it just got, suddenly I wanted to lose weight and it was, it was just it just kind of took over so although it was self harm it was, it just became it’s own thing as well. And it became my new kind of coping strategy for everything. And so definitely I think for the last year of sixth form it was, because both of them were going pretty strong it was very intense then. I lost a lot of weight, not too much, but I lost a lot, I mean, I was very big, I did lose a lot of weight and I do still struggle with eating, but not too much.
 
I mean I do still struggle, but that is my main issue that I talk to counsellors about because it’s kind of, you know, my self harming coping mechanism was taken away from me, my eating disorder although my Mum found out about it it’s much easier to hide.
 

The counselling is helping Sara with her confidence and low self-esteem. (Read by an actor).

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The counselling is helping Sara with her confidence and low self-esteem. (Read by an actor).

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The counsellor’s trying to help me with the depression, you know it’s kind of more of a self confidence and you know low mood issue, than it is about the weight. Because my kind of, the my goal weight is constantly changing like, you obviously don’t have a goal weight in mind, you obviously, you know you’re just aiming for something that you’re going to be happy with, and I’m like, that’s true because it is a self esteem thing because constantly feeling low just makes, just leaves you feeling so useless and pointless and empty. You’re just trying to find something to feel good about. And you know to me it became kind of, it didn’t even matter what I looked like, it was just about how much I weighed. It was just a number, I just wanted to be a low number, and it was just, yeah, so. I’m trying, and I’m getting but it’s kind of, it’s, I can, you have days when you just don’t want to hear what the counsellor has to say.
 
Because it’s kind of, you know it’s my problem, no-one else knows what I’m going through. And I do try and say that to people but other people might feel, other people with depression, other people with an eating disorder, they will understand, you know they’ll understand parts of what you feel like, but it’s a very personal thing.
 
Everyone’s situation is different in some way, so even if there’s someone else who’s had exactly the same upbringing as me, has the same problems as me at the same point, you know, at the same point in time, but there will be some difference somewhere which kind of will make them feel slightly different from me.
 

Sara’s mum got upset and angry about her wanting to see a psychiatrist so Sara decided not to...

Sara’s mum got upset and angry about her wanting to see a psychiatrist so Sara decided not to...

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When I was having the anxiety attacks, ‘cos I was blacking out quite a lot, and my Mum took me to the doctor and he just kind of shrugged it off as growing up. And I got very angry in for that ‘cos I was like, “No, no, no blacking out is not part of growing up.” But I just left it and then last year when I started seeing the counsellor she, she said that I should try and see a psychiatrist about it. So I did, I went to the doctor and made an appointment and got an appointment with the psychiatrist but my Mum found the letter and she got very angry with it, so it was quite, I wanted to go on my own but she went with me. And for the whole bus journey there she was saying, you know you don’t need this, why are you being silly blah blah, so when I did have the interview with the psychiatrist, I just, I told them everything and he says, “What do you want from this?” And I said, “You know what, for now just leave it”. So I just left it, and I really regret doing that, and I did wanna go back, but I’m just worried about my Mum finding out about it, so I’m going to leave it until I absolutely have to have it, but I don’t think it’s a great idea to leave it, it’s like if I could take it without my Mum being angry then I would.
 

Sara says that without a formal diagnosis, she won’t be able to get the medication she would want...

Sara says that without a formal diagnosis, she won’t be able to get the medication she would want...

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I don’t think having a diagnosis makes a difference because if you’re suffering from something, you’re suffering from something whether or not it’s kind of accepted. But the only thing I’d say with diagnosis is because I think medication does make a difference I think with a formal diagnosis that would’ve been an option.
 
But because I haven’t had a formal diagnosis and until I see a psychiatrist and get one, it’s, medication is kind of not going to happen. So that’s the only kind, only kind of benefit, but I wouldn’t say medication’s the only way out, you’d have to have like, medication would be just on of the things. So it’s, it doesn’t matter as much. But it, I think it does make a bit of a difference because, just because then your doctors and your family and, because if someone else says you’ve got a problem then other people are more likely to listen. If you say you’ve, you personally have got a problem they’re just gonna, kind of brush it away. If someone else says, “Oh this person has actually got a problem.” Then people are more, it just seems people are more likely to listen.
 

Sara explains why she is wary of contacting support aimed for Muslim young people. (Read by an...

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Sara explains why she is wary of contacting support aimed for Muslim young people. (Read by an...

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I do know there options that are open, and there is something called, I think for like Muslims, there’s something called the Muslim Youth Help Line. Which is kind of like a Muslim based help line a bit like the Samaritans. But for example there’s kind of, my view of religion is very different from what I think everyone else thinks, and it’s quite, for example just one example, like sexuality, I don’t think there’s any problem with any kind of sexuality but the majority of Muslim I know won’t say that. And if you phoned up these help lines and you said you’ve got, they, they will just convince you that you, they will try to convince you that you’re wrong.
 
And I don’t like, actually that’s why I don’t like phoning up those places ‘cos I don’t feel like they actually will understand as much as they say they will. Like if you wanna bring up a problem, I mean I’m sure they won’t, definitely something like an eating disorder which is completely unrelated, they could probably help you, but I don’t feel comfortable phoning up places where I think they are close minded.
 
And kind of for the same reasons like I don’t like telling my friends because much as I might know them really well, there might be one thing that they’re very close minded about, and it might just happen to be something like eating disorders or self harm or, so I just don’t want to bring it up.
 

Going out is sometimes so much effort for Sara that she often just leaves it. (Read by an actor).

Going out is sometimes so much effort for Sara that she often just leaves it. (Read by an actor).

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I like going out with my best friends, I mean, I like going out with even people who I’m not so close with, but I get quite, I don’t, I don’t like it, I don’t know why I don’t like it so much, it’s quite, I know definitely if we went out to a restaurant, I know it’s because of the eating thing just drops in, like just ruins my day for me, but , even if it’s just for example like we’re going bowling or something, you know something’s that’s completely, it doesn’t require much of kind of anything, apart from just lifting the ball and chucking it down, but it’s quite, it’s, when you’re feeling low on the inside it’s really hard to not look it, like it’s really hard to just be happy. And if everyone’s happy you don’t want to ruin the, you don’t want to be like the one person who ruins it by like sitting in, in the corner all like upset.
 
So I don’t like doing this because as much as I can put up a front I don’t like having to put up such a huge front like, if you’re just talking to a couple of people it’s not too bad, but if you’re going out, if you’re gonna go bowling for example and you’re going with a group of 10 people, and it’s happened to me sometimes, even if you go with a huge group of people and everyone’s really excitable, and everyone’s really like having fun and everything, and it’s kind of, you feel so like limp, you just don’t, you feel quite, you feel physically and mentally drained and you don’t want it to show. And it takes even more out of you, ‘cos you don’t want it to show, so like sometimes you just, you just don’t go because it’s like, you just tell your friends you’re tired, and or you, you’ve got work to do, whatever. But it’s just because you don’t want to be surrounded by so much, you don’t have to make such an effort for just that little amount of time.
 
And, because the thing is you have to make the effort because if you don’t look happy you just, you’re going to end up ruining everyone’s day. And it’s kind of, you, you don’t want to ruin everyone’s day by being upset, but you don’t want to kind of completely drain yourself by being happy so you just end up leaving it.
 

Sara describes how she overanalyses the smallest things all the time. (Read by an actor).

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Sara describes how she overanalyses the smallest things all the time. (Read by an actor).

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I think ‘cos with the, with the depression part it’s quite, you over think it, but in a very, with a very pessimistic point of view. And over thinking kind of, if, if you over think about like you know, “Should I got to,” if you’re trying to decide between like last week, bowling and ice skating, and my friends were saying, “Which one should we go to?” Only people were like, oh ice skating’s fun and it’s near the restaurant. Bowling's fun but and it’s cheaper,” like, people you know, they just, and you can look at it. But with me it’s kind of like, “I actually hate ice skating because I’m scared the ice will break.” But that’s just a constant, that’s just me, but , it’s kind of, I actually hate ice skating because like you know I don’t like this, I don’t like this and I don’t like this, and that will mean this, and it’s always a negative point of view, it’s never kind of, um, bowling and ice skating, oh bowling’s cheaper and ice skating’s nearer the restaurant; those are two kind of good things, whereas with me it’ll be like, “Oh I hate ice skating ‘cos I don’t want the ice to break. And I don’t want to go bowling because like everyone gets really kind of happy and oh no,” I don’t know, so it’s quite, it’s quite, you end up doing a lot of negative thinking, and if, I always think like I do just constantly it’s unbelievable it’s ever more like.
 
You know it’s like; it can be something as random as like, “Should I walk or should I take the bus?” And it’s kind of, “I’m tired, but I need to lose the weight, and I need to lose the weight so I can feel happy, so I should walk,” and then half way through your walking, “Oh I’m so stupid, why don’t I just get the bus?” And it’s, it’s just constant, that you, it’s just constant like pessimistic like, “Oh I’ve just done it wrong.” Or, “This will go wrong.” Or, it’s never like a good thing so...
 

Sara has gotten through a lot of her experiences by 'trying not to think about it' but says it...

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Sara has gotten through a lot of her experiences by 'trying not to think about it' but says it...

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The way I’ve gotten through it is by the trying not to think about it which probably isn’t great but you just, you know you try not to think about it, and I’m not saying becoming a fake person is the best option, but some you know I have heard that you know faking confidence can make you a more confident person and it’s true, if you fake it, no-one’s gonna know that you’re not confident.
 
But then the only danger with that is your problems don’t get fixed because no-one’s ever gonna think you have any problems.
 

Sara says pressures at university can set off her low moods and make everything more stressful....

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Sara says pressures at university can set off her low moods and make everything more stressful....

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I’d say it [depression] is triggered because it’s, university is just so, even college, but education is just stressful and stress, it just makes everything worse. So you know you’ll be worrying about your essays, anything to be worried or upset about will just make it worse. So, it’s kind of, inevitably you will feel upset about some things, you know you’re not gonna succeed in everything but you know it will just set it off, if you don’t have a great exam, or you don’t have a great homework, you know, just one homework that you didn’t do too well on but it will just trigger you up for like a month and you’ll be upset.
 
It’s just, and it’s quite, I don’t know, I’m not a huge perfectionist, I wouldn’t say I was a perfectionist so it’s quite, it doesn’t affect me that way, that you know I must do well, but, doing well makes you feel better, and when you don’t do well you feel bad so it’s kind of quite black and white, it’s quite hard to get over something if you haven’t done well in it, and if you’re feeling low anywhere it will just feel even worse. So, definitely studying would be so much easier if there wasn’t like a constant bad mood in your mind like.
 
Even when you do well you want to have done better [laughs]. It’s like, most people do, most people do wish they could do better, but it’s kind of, sometimes you just feel I haven’t done well, Oh my God why haven’t I done well? Like, most people just let it go, you know you’ve got an A, it was great, but other people, like sometimes I’ll be like, you know I got an A, but it was such a crap A, it was such a bad A, what on earth? Like it was, it’s just because you’re constantly, there’s no kind of self confidence, self esteem, it’s low mood so you just always just think it’s not right. Even when something’s going right you just don’t think it’s right. You know you can’t really see the good in anything, even if you try.
 

It took Sara years to pick up the courage to seek help for her long term mental health problems...

It took Sara years to pick up the courage to seek help for her long term mental health problems...

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Well I say over the last maybe 10, not 10, 8 years or so, I was having kind of problems which I suppose you cold definitely say were mental health problems. But my parents, especially culturally, they don’t really believe that, it’s kind of a quiet taboo anyway and then just generally they personally don’t believe you could have mental health problems, they thought it’s just someone being a bit silly so it was quite, I didn’t really have the courage to make an effort to do anything about it. But last year during university it kind of hit me that it was, it was kind of, everything seemed to be taking over my life and I wasn’t really studying properly because it was, you know I might have done well in my A-levels and got into a top university, but it wasn’t really… like suddenly I had this huge impact of my life, on my life and just everything was just falling apart of coming together or, however you wanna say it but it wasn’t really working well anymore. So I decided to start like seeing the school counsellor and stuff. And although I’ve never been formally diagnosed by a doctor, I mean I asked my doctor once or twice to se a psychiatrist but my parents didn’t really like that so I didn’t really have a formal diagnosis.
 

Anxiety is draining and makes Sara feel physically drained as her brain is constantly on ...

Anxiety is draining and makes Sara feel physically drained as her brain is constantly on ...

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The actual kind of feelings, they, physically you just feel so tired all the time. Like it, I think it drains your energy a lot, it might be a mental problem but it definitely physically drains you. Because constantly, well my anxiety level is constantly worrying about things, it just kind of, your brain’s running on, like overdrive all the time. And with depression it’s kind of yeah your brain is running on overdrive, but thinking about what you said like, you know, it’s, you know,“I hate my life, this is so bad, I hate this, I hate everything, I hate,” you know it’s just constantly, “I don’t like this, I’m tired,” it’s just constantly, it’s a bit like endless clockwork it just keeps going.
 
It does like physically drain you, so if you, if you don’t keep yourself busy and you just sit there, and you just feel so tired. It, it you know you don’t feel like, especially when you’re having a low mood, if you can’t get yourself out of it you can’t do anything that day, it’s just, you know I can’t, yet sometimes I want to sit in the library and study and if I’m having a bad day I’ll just start feeling sleepy, I’ll, you just, you just wanna go to sleep, you don’t feel you want to do anything, you just wanna sleep. 
 
 

Sara's mum was upset when she found out about her self-harming and Sara tried a lot of self-help...

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Sara's mum was upset when she found out about her self-harming and Sara tried a lot of self-help...

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Cutting didn’t start until I was about 15 although I do remember times in between that were occasionally maybe a scratch or two, or, purposely doing something which I know really hurt. So the cutting didn’t really get regular till I was doing my GCSEs when I was getting really stressed. And it was just, it was it was very regular like, it definitely started off first of all as a coping mechanism because it just became it’s own thing, I was just doing it for the sake of doing it, and then when I got upset I did it even more, so it was kind of at least a couple of times a week I’d cut, the majority of the time it was because I was upset, because I was upset all the time, but if there wasn’t, anything major then it was maybe you know maybe a couple more than usual, and that went on through the whole of GCSE’s and sixth form college. And then because my Mum find out, found out it was quite, you know it was quite, she was upset, it was, you know, “Stop it. Don’t do it anymore.” And I did stop but I did kind of, I stopped cutting my arms, it would just moved it onto like shoulders or legs but it wouldn’t be so obvious, but then when she found that out as well it was kind of, “You know you have to stop this now,” because you know threats of, you know you’re gonna kill us all mentally or whatever, it’s kind of, I just had to, because, and because my parents didn’t like the concept of me going to see a doctor about it, especially Mum, she was like, “You know you’re clever enough to sort it out yourself, just sort it out.”
 
And, “You know, you’re kind of intelligent enough, you’re, you’re mature enough,” ‘cos I’m the elder sister, then like, “You’re old enough. You, you can do this, just fix it yourself. Like I don’t want to have to worry about this problem with you.” And it’s kind of, “Okay.”
 
So I, you know I did what I could, I did read about self help things and it was kind of you know so I started writing in a journal, it, it worked but it didn’t work. And even now, if, you know, it take, it might be like six months in between, like the time of one cut and another, but it’s kind of, it’s not, I personally don’t feel like it’s ever gonna go away completely. 
 

Sara has found it difficult to talk to her parents about her problems because she says in South...

Sara has found it difficult to talk to her parents about her problems because she says in South...

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I think just generally anyway mental health is quite a taboo, a lot of people doesn’t matter what culture they’re from don’t really want to talk about. But it’s definitely within South Asian culture it’s kind of, it doesn’t even exist, there isn’t actually a kind of a concept of mental health, it really doesn’t exist. You’re either actually mad, and like you need to be in a mental home, or you’re just being silly. And it’s kind of, that’s definitely why like when I saw the opportunity to say something I was like good, because I know there’s a lot, it’s quite common apparently amongst so like Asian or like for example Muslim children, and like teenagers and even adults, but no-one talks about it because it’s, it’s quite because if it doesn’t exist you can’t talk about it if it doesn’t exist. And like I know a lot of parents will just kind of brush it aside so you’re just being a teenager, or you’re just being you, you know you’re being silly, everyone feels sad occasionally.
 
You can’t, because you can’t explain to them what it is, and you can’t get them to see what it, they just, they’re not willing to kind of change their view on it, it’s really hard to, you can’t ever talk about it with your parents because they don’t believe it exists. And it’s kind of, it’s hard to talk about something they don’t believe something exists. And then even if you do manage to convince them that you do have a problem, they will just you know it’s kind of like, “Okay, so you want to see a psychiatrist, what if someone finds out you’re seeing a psychiatrist? It’s going to be a bad, it’s gonna be like, it shows that we’re not great parents.”
 
And it’s kind of like, “It’s nothing to do you with you not being good parents,” it’s, you know, I have respect for my parents, and I don’t think that they ever did anything wrong in bringing me up, in the way they brought me up, but it’s kind of, it is a personal thing like, some people in my situation might never have been upset about it. My Dad grew up in a very busy household but he’s, I as far as, you know he’s rarely ever sad and it’s not because he’s faking it, he’s actually just, you know he, he loves having people round, he loved coming from a busy household, I didn’t like it because I was a really quiet kid anyway, and they kind of, they don’t really realise that people do have different kind of personalities and one situation will affect different people in different ways, and it, you know even if they don’t accept mental health as a topic, they really don’t understand low moods in general.
 

Sara says she won't go to see a psychiatrist 'out of respect' for her parents. (Read by an actor).

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Sara says she won't go to see a psychiatrist 'out of respect' for her parents. (Read by an actor).

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It’s quite, that kind of thing, they [South Asian culture] are quite close minded about it, they’re not, because they’re don’t believe it exists they’re not even open to the possibility that it might exist so it’s quite, yeah. I’m not sure but you know from my parents reactions if for example someone found out I was going to see psychiatrist, they’d, I know it probably would spread like wildfire amongst our local community that you know, “Oh, so and so’s daughter’s going to see a psychiatrist with mental health problems,” so it’s kind of, it’s kind of out of respect for my parents that I’m not doing it. So, just to save the hassle really. ‘Cos to me it’s just hassle.
 
 

Sara explains how her whole family found out she was self-harming. (Read by an actor).

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Sara explains how her whole family found out she was self-harming. (Read by an actor).

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Finding about the self harming’s quite, it was quite scary ‘cos I was quite young and was kind of, I was still at that age where I really want, did not want to get in trouble. And it was just it was , I think it was because, when she found out about it I said I’d stop because she got upset, I said I’d stop. But then because I never actually stopped she found out about it again, she didn’t like it, and then when I had I think my first, well one of the anxiety attacks that I had, ‘cos I passed out, and it wasn’t that I wasn’t conscious, I was conscious but I couldn’t, I was actually just blacked out. There is a medical term for it, I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s when you kind of, your mind switches off completely but you can still hear things. You can’t physically move, but you can still hear things. And it’s, and I remember that they went to check my blood pressure and like my Dad was, and there was quite a few family members in the room and they saw my arm and it was just like, my Mum had thought I’d stopped but I hadn’t and then my Dad found then as well and a lot of family members found out, it was quite horrible when that happened. Because I could hear them and I couldn’t move, it was just, when I did come round I just hid my face, it was just horrible. Then because my Dad got much more involved as well like.
 

Sara doesn't socialise much because she doesn't want to be 'a bother'. (Read by an actor).

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Sara doesn't socialise much because she doesn't want to be 'a bother'. (Read by an actor).

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Definitely I spend a lot of time with my best friends but even with them I sometimes can’t be bothered ‘cos it’s quite like, because my best friends will talk to me about their problems and I’ll be sitting there listening to their problems, and I don’t mind listening to their problems, and I do, yeah I give advice and stuff, but sometimes I’ll be sitting there thinking, “you know I’ve got other stuff to worry about right now.”
 
I know I have to, I, and you don’t wanna, if they’re already upset, or if they’re already happy you don’t want to change it, you don’t want to do anything, you know. They’re your best friends, you kind of want them to be happy, you want them to have their rant, they need to get out, so you just leave it and like, and I suppose it’s just me ‘cos I try I don’t want to bother anyone, so it’s quite, I won’t really socialise, even with my best friends I won’t do it because I don’t want to be a bother, so it’s quite, and instead of being a bother it’s better to just not go so.
 

Don’t give up trying to talk to them. They will talk when they are ready. (Read by an actor).

Don’t give up trying to talk to them. They will talk when they are ready. (Read by an actor).

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It depends on what day you catch them. If my Mum will catch me on a day when I just, I just close down, I don’t wanna anything, I don’t wanna say it, so it’s kind of sometimes you have to keep trying. Like you know, like Monday to Saturday they might not want to talk about it, but maybe on Sunday around the dinner table they’ll say something, so it’s, you just have to try and I think parents should try.
 
And , and it’s not that they don’t care but sometimes I think they don’t know what to do so they get quite, they just leave it, the kid to it and it’s probably not the best option, as much as it might seem like they can cope with it, if you think you can’t cope with it then they probably can’t cope with it, so, it’s probably just, at least offer help and if they don’t take it then try and build up the trust so that the next time you offer it they can take it.
 

You need an open relationship with your children so that they feel they can trust to tell you...

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You need an open relationship with your children so that they feel they can trust to tell you...

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It’s definitely you need a much more open relationship with your kids so that if you’re having a bad day, or if they’re having a bad day, someone can say it, it doesn’t have to be kind of just like suppressed.
 
Or they don’t, if they don’t feel that they can say it.
 
It’s as long as you kind of show that you concerned and you care and you want them to get help, and you’re willing to help them get that help that they need, then, I think that if a problem gets terrible, like if a kids just starting a problem, then they should be able, they should feel that they can go and speak to their parents about, but if you’ve done all that and you just still feel that they might not tell you then the best thing to do is just confront, because if you’ve already built up the point, if you’ve built up the kind of, “You can trust me, we have this communication,” even if they don’t take the initiative and start that conversation, then you can go in and do it, and it won’t just come out of the blue if you’ve always put that in place.
 

Accepting depression is not saying you aren't good parents. (Read by an actor).

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Accepting depression is not saying you aren't good parents. (Read by an actor).

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And it’s kind of, if someone’s like self harm or eating, or obsessive behaviours kind of become apparent, then it’s probably much more of a problem than you think it is because it’s, you know, if my parents had kind of, I think if they’d accepted that there was a problem, and, it’s sometimes it’s hard to accept it because it’s kind of, it’s not saying anything bad about parenting skills, it’s not saying that you’re not a good parent, but I think parents are scared of accepting it because it kind of, they don’t want people to think they weren’t good parents, and sometimes it’s nothing to do with the parents, so parents…
 
I think they need to, kind of you know you accept that your kid likes or doesn’t like something, you know they, they like music, they don’t like music, they like English, they don’t like English, they like Maths, they don’t like Maths. It’s kind of you should accept if you if your, if a kids like suffering from depression, they either are or aren’t, and if they are you need to support them. And it’s kind of, you can’t just say that they, oh they’re not, they’re not, they’re okay. Because it’s kind of, it can get worse, like if you do like if someone starts to cope through self harm or eating disorders or you know drugs or alcohol, whatever, it will just become another problem.
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