Phrases Kids Said That Were Code for “I Need Help”

Members of The Mighty’s mental health community share things they said as kids that were actually code for, “I need help.”


Phrases Kids Said That Were Code For “I Need Help’’

I’m Tired.

“Code for: ‘I’m tired of feeling this way.’”

I’m Bored.

“‘I’m bored’ really meant, ‘I need to get these mumbled thoughts out of my head, please help me find something else to focus on.’”

I Don’t Feel Well.

“My anxiety and depression manifested itself into physical pain. I was always sick as a child.”

I Feel Like I’m in a Dream.

“It took nearly 25 years to realize I live with depersonalization disorder, anxiety and depression.”


I Don’t Know.

“I was always afraid to give the wrong answer and felt judged for most of what I said.”

I’m Scared.

“Even I didn’t understand why I was scared, as soon I said that, I started to cry.”

I Want to Go Home.

“Even when I was at home, I would stare at myself in the mirror and repeat this over and over to myself.”



I Can’t Think Right Now.

“My homework and school triggered my anxiety so badly until I felt like I couldn’t think.”

I’m Sorry.

“I used to apologize for everything and be overly sensitive… I felt hurt if I did the slightest thing wrong.”

My Heart Hurts.

“It was anxiety and I was having a panic attack, something I didn’t realize until my teens.”

There are a lot of reasons a child might use “code words” that really mean “I need help.”

It’s important to talk about what kinds of phrases to look out for.

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifelife by calling (800)-273-8255.
You can also reach the Criris Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741-741.

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