Ask Jigsaw: Not sure if I am depressed

Hi there.

I am wondering what to do about my current mental health. I am not sure if I’m depressed or overthinking – I no longer enjoy hobbies I used to love, I want to spend all my time alone and find it so hard to get out of bed, because I can’t look forward to anything. I feel guilty for being less involved and kind to my family, and also guilty that if I am not actually depressed I am undermining those who are actually struggling, wasting time of others and opening up to family only to find out I don’t need help.

I cannot remember the last time I was happy. I can’t concentrate at school and keep zoning out, even though I usually do well. I keep feeling like a burden and feel down even when my closest friends text me because I have to put effort into replying. I keep people pleasing but avoiding social interaction when I can.

I can’t really remember when all this started but I don’t know if this is normal for young people, if I should wait to see if it continues, tell my family or go see a doctor. I was hoping this could help me figure out what to do next.



Hi giantflowercat,

Thanks for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear you are going through a tough time. You sound like a considerate person for not wanting to waste people’s time or undermine people who are struggling, but that’s not the case at all. Life can be hard and you deserve to get support just as much as anyone else. We do hear from a lot of young people who describe feeling this way, so know that you’re not alone.

Dealing with unemployment

Most of us expect that after being a student at school or college we will get a job and embark on a career.

Lots of young people work to help finance their studies. However, particularly in the current climate, many are finding it difficult to find a job or a career. When facing the uncertainty around employment it is vital to pay attention to our mental health.

Ask Jigsaw: Suffering from PTSD since getting Covid

I have been suffering from PTSD since getting Covid and having to stay in the hospital. Almost every night I have the horrific nightmares. I am on medication and sleeping tablets because without them I just lie awake. When I sit down to lectures the dreams keep flashing across my mind while I try to focus, or the memories of being hooked up to machines while all these doctors came and went.

When I came home from isolation after the hospital, everyone treated me like a plagued dog. It was March when I got sick, so in fairness people were scared. People wouldn’t come near me even though I wasn’t sick anymore, so I burrowed myself away from them and everyone else.

I haven’t felt clean since coming back from the hospital. I feel like everything I touch has been contaminated by me. I don’t want to touch people

My psychiatrist is the only person that stands in my corner and I love her to bits, but I’m 270km away from her while attending college. I’m about to sit some exams and my head is completely fogged by either wretched memories of nightmares that mix with real memories, paralysing fear strong enough to make me vomit and shake. While I sit at my chair and hyperventilate, smashing my palm into the corner of my desk so that my mind will stop flashing these images, I’m trying to force-feed myself a lecture I’ve watched 5 times but nothing will go in. I’m alone, swimming in assignments due and covered in bruises from trying to beat myself into submission.


Hi there,

Thank you for being so open and honest in your email and for reaching out for support. It is not always easy and takes real courage and strength.

It sounds like you are dealing with a lot right now. It is not your fault that you got Covid. The fact that you had Covid does not change the fact that you deserve respect, compassion and kindness, just like everyone else.

Ask Jigsaw: Feeling anxious going to bed


I just wanted to know if it was normal to have anxiety before sleeping at night as multiple times during the past few weeks I’ve been feeling anxious going to bed and I’m not quite sure what is causing it. 

– gracex06

Hi gracex06,

Feeling anxious before sleeping at night is common and you are not alone experiencing this. Often when we are feeling stressed these feelings can surface at night making it difficult to sleep. This can be frustrating especially if you are unsure where this anxiety is coming from.

Ask Jigsaw: How would I be tested for ADHD?

 How would I be tested for ADHD without going to a doctor? Where would you recommend going?


Hi Caitlin,

Thank you for reaching out today. Unfortunately, there is no way to get a diagnosis for ADHD without going to see your GP and/or a specialist. This is because mental health conditions such as ADHD are complex. It takes time and training to assess each person’s individual symptoms and experience.


Ask Jigsaw: I can’t figure out if I’m lesbian or bi

I don’t feel like myself anymore, like I’m stuck in a looking glass trying to break free. I can’t talk to anyone and I feel alone. I hate the fact that I know if I try to talk to anyone it will be around school the next day. I want to tell people who I really am that I don’t want to be in a perfect ken and barbie marriage when I’m older I just want barbie. The bad part is I can’t figure out if I’m lesbian or bi I’m so confused I feel like no one will accept me. I don’t know what to do and I need some advice?


Hi Silver123,

I know how lonely and isolating it can feel when we feel like we have no one to turn to. I am really glad you reached out for support today.

Ask Jigsaw: How do I know if I have a mental disorder?

How do I know if I have actually have mental disorder? I don’t know what is real and what is not. Is it anxiety or am I just oversensitive about everything? Do I have depression even though I don’t have all the symptoms? How is a diagnosis given?


Hi there,

It’s healthy to feel a wide range of emotions in response to things that happen in your life. For example, you might feel sad after a bereavement, or anxious during exams. This does not mean that you have a problem with your mental health.

Racism and mental health

Although Ireland is known for being friendly and welcoming, racism does happen here.

Too often in Jigsaw we hear from young people about the negative impact racism has on their mental health. We hear of experiences ranging from discrimination to physical violence. It’s important that we are aware of the impact of this and act to challenge racism when we can.

Jigsaw is part of the Irish Network Against Racism. We are committed to challenging racism and supporting young people who are affected by it.