What do you do if you feel sad?
I’m so glad you wrote to Dear Trevor because your question is so important and one that a lot of people ask themselves. In asking your question, you show what a smart person you are because it's so important to do things to help yourself when you're feeling sad so that it doesn't get worse. Feeling sad can really hurt a lot and is an emotion that everyone feels and that many people struggle to deal with.
There maybe many things that are causing you to feel sad including problems with your parents, difficulties with friends, school problems or things about that you’re upset about. There are a few things that I would suggest to you to do when you are feeling sad. The first thing you can do is talk to someone you feel comfortable with and trust. Sometimes it can be hard to talk about the things that are making us sad, but that’s actually one of the most helpful things to make you feel better. Talking can help to figure out what is the thing or things that are causing you to feel sad and then you can hopefully work on things to help you to feel better. Sometimes it is helpful to talk to a friend or sometimes to a parent. Sometimes it is helpful to talk to someone who you don’t usually talk to about your feelings, like a teacher or a guidance counselor or school social worker. Guidance counselors and social workers learn a special way of talking to people about their feelings that can really help them figure out why they’re so sad and what they can do to feel better.
One thing that people sometimes forget to do when they feel sad is to let themselves feel that way. Pretending that you don’t feel sad can hurt you even more because the feelings can build up and get more intense. Something you might do is to give yourself some time to go somewhere private and cry. It can also help to think about things that have helped you feel better in the past. It may be listening to certain songs, watching a favorite TV show or movie or hanging out with a special friend. Sometimes it is also helpful to do something really active when you’re sad, like running.
Sometimes when people feel sad it can make them want to hurt themselves which is often a signal that you are in a lot of pain and want to get rid of that pain. Of course, not everyone who is sad wants to hurt themselves but if you’ve been thinking about this or feeling like doing it, it is really important that you tell an adult about it right away so that they can keep you safe. If there is no one you feel comfortable telling this to, it’s really important that you immediately call the Trevor Helpline at 1-866-4-Trevor and tell one of the counselors there so that can help to keep you safe. The Helpline is open all day, every day. You can also call the Trevor Helpline if you just want to talk to someone about what is making you feel sad. One of the counselors can help you to make a plan for what you can do to understand your feelings and to feel better.
I’m really proud of you for writing, Krystal. Please know that we care about you and are always here for you at The Trevor Project.