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Thank You's From Teens
From Adults

Below are some of the many thank you letters and notes we have received from teens around the world since we started helping them online in 1998. They have found us from the work of the EQI founder, Steve Hein, who in around 1995 began documenting the storries of teens who self-harmed, felt depressed and suicidal. Some had already attempted suicide or had been in mental hospitals.

Some of the work he has done in these areas can be found on the teen suicide and cutting pages. Steve feels indebted to the teens who have trusted him with the most secret and guarded parts of their lives. His work has been profoundly impacted by their pain, kindness, caring, sensitivity, insight, awareness and intelligence - both intellectual and emotional.

Some of their letters describing their lives and the emotional abuse they have suffered in their homes can be read in this book, Letters from the Unloved, co-edited by EQI.org and WhatDepresses.me

Core Components of EQI.org

Respect | Empathy
Caring | Listening

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Literacy
Invalidation | Hugs
Emotional Abuse |
Feeling Words
Depression | Education
Emotional Intelligence
Parenting | Personal Growth

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This site is the best one I've seen. It shows
how much you care instead of just reeling off a list of info
like all the other sites do.

I wrote this letter to my parents a few days ago but I got
too scared to show them. I'm not exactly sure why I'm
emailing you. I just liked your site and it would be nice
for someone to see how I feel I guess:

It's just nice to think someone out there has read it and
listened for a little while.


This site is the best one I've seen. It shows
how much you care instead of just reeling off a list of info
like all the other sites do.

I wrote this letter to my parents a few days ago but I got
too scared to show them. I'm not exactly sure why I'm
emailing you. I just liked your site and it would be nice
for someone to see how I feel I guess:

It's just nice to think someone out there has read it and
listened for a little while.


Thanks so so much for pointing me to the fourm. :-)  

I was looking at your site and I really REALLY like it. my name is _____, I am fourteen years old.
I have had several encounters with suicide, including thoughts myself. I agree with your reasoning, it seems like for everyone who has been suicidal it starts with how they are treated at home or school.

Another one of my friends talks about killing himself to make everything better. his father and mother are divorced and he lives with his mom, and he can't stand the way she treats him.

I have been depressed myself for 10 months. I have cut. I have thought about killing myself. I never could do that to anyone. I still get the urge to cut, but I know I shouldn't. so I write poems a lot. they help. I don't cry in front of people. and I dont talk about my feelings I keep them inside until I break down. it can get really bad at times. but I always deal somehow.

I know a few other people who have cut, or who have been depressed.

I talk to many kids about it, because they feel like I know what they are talking about, because I do. I fake my smile 95% of the time, they would never know.

I figured out that this is what I want to do when I graduate. I want to be a counselor, but I have your theory. I think the only way adults can help is if they know what happens themselves. not diseases and whatever other stupid excuses they come up with.

Thank you for starting a realistic website. Thank you for understanding! It's kind of nice to find an adult who actually GETS IT:)

Well your site has my full support!

Thanks again,

To be honest, without reading the things on ur site I wasnt gonna e-mail u to start with, but cuz the stories & ur info was in there, I felt, you know, maybe, just maybe there might be someone out there who I can talk to & trust....and I was suprised there was someone out there as awesome as you & then when u introduced me to P_____ who is just as awesome, it was almost like a dream....  
I know that at least 3 people are still alive b/c of your chatroom (I'd say that's pretty amazing).  

First of all don't worry about getting back to me,
I can't imagine how many people must contact you.
I just wanted you to know how truly grateful I am
for you information you supply.
I too hesitate to say I was/am emotionally
abused. I guess its because I am provided
for physically, my mom cooks for us, shops for us
and I know so many people have it so much worse.

To find competent information is rare.
I have read it quite often that those who are
suicidal are weak and attention seekers; that
the depressed are also weak, stupid for not
changing their situation,and cause their
own problems because they are not "choosing"
to be happy. It hurts to read things like this.

So from the bottom of my heart thank you for
your time and energy.

Keep it up. You are a light.

Deep thanks,

Thank you just for being who you are and being willing to help people in trouble  
I'm really glad you listened. I don't think I've ever really communicated with anybody like this before. It really makes me happy to speak to someone else who's aware of thoughts and feelings to such a great extent, an actual human being. It makes me tear tears of joy, actually, even as I type this sentence. It makes me feel more hopeful for our existence and that I myself am capable of being. I feel like a person rather than just some empty vessel sitting about with no thoughts to think and no tears to cry. I can feel it, I can actually feel right now. I feel happy. This discovery of empathy and my own feelings has brought me farther than I have ever been before. Thank you, Steve. You have really helped me, even if we've only had a few posts.

Thank you very much. I hope to speak with you again.

I started talking to Brooke and somebody else on MSN last night and they were lovely. 

Thank you so much for everything,

As I write this I am sitting, as I do everyday, in a crowded computer room, wasting my lunchtime away without food or friends.

But today... something was different.

Today I decided to risk being seen to google up a term which I hate seeing, using, or hearing, because it always seems so accusatory or surreal.


And what did I come across?

A page that made all the sense in the world.

I have no time today to say more, but tomorrow I want to type something out that I want you above anyone else to read.

But before I get chased out into the hell hole they call school, let me just say one thing...

Thank you.


I'm not sure quite why I'm writing this to you, I'm probably going to embarrass myself if you ever do read this, which I somewhat doubt you will. I just wanted to express to you my, truly -- shock -- and appreciation. I don't think gratitude quite covers it this early morning. It just amazes me that an intelligent adult realizes what hell teenagers go through and empathizes. It amazes me that an extremely intelligent adult doesn't cover up and dismiss how messed up their own childhoods were while torturing, I guess, a way to put it is, the next generation hypocritically and without hesitation. That an intelligent adult isn't a hypocrite that looks down on teenagers constantly and makes us feel like the "disease of the nation" when all we're doing is trying to mature and become decent members of society while living our own fulfilling lives. But how can we become decent people when we have a horrible example set before us?

Wow, I kind of blurted that out, but every word was true. I really hope you read this, as stupid as that sounds, just to know that you kept one more frustrated kid from killing themselves. You really are a Godsend, as somewhat ironic as that term is. Though you might not care much and I've already said too much, (oi) I am, of course a teenager, that has been depressed since as long as I can remember, quite literally. I found your site while searching for the term "emotional blackmail", guess why. I've grown to despise my parents, because sadly, I'm one of those few that think of the world around me. I just can't take anything without examining, or questioning, it. I always have a hard time swallowing things quickly as they are handed to me because it's expected of me and that's what a good person would do. (e.g. religion I've been brainwashed into following since toddlerhood whilst watching adults not practice what they preach; my mother's absolute insistence on unconditional respect and love when she goes into a screaming fit of guilt, tears and cursing; among others.)

Thinking is sort of my worst flaw, in a way. I feel no one else understands me and I'm destined to stay frustrated and feel wronged for the rest of my life. What did I do to deserve this, I wonder? I'm still many years from from the legal age to move out of my parent's house, (18 here in the US) and I've more than once found myself literally counting down the days until I'm "free". Your term, "teenage prison," just made me burst into sobs -- oh my God, someone is reading my mind word for word. That's exactly how I feel and I hate that feeling beyond words. I feel so trapped. I feel like this is literally a prison sentence I'm serving for something I may have done wrong in a past life. I can't run away from home to be free to take a deep breath and be me, because then it will just aggravate the problem with my parents once they hire the FBI to haul me back. So for the first time a little while ago I realized suicide is pretty much the only way out. But I hesitate to kill myself, because then I fear the guilt my parents will put on me again even when I'm dead. (They've told me before that they'd "just die if something happened to you [me].") I can't believe that not that long ago have I just realized how messed up a way of thinking that is.

Again, I'd really like to thank you for reaching out to us your site, although that may not truly be your purpose, your site is the most understanding and intelligent material I have ever read, after many Internet searches and even more frustration and guilt. Please accept my gratitude. You're a rare, amazing person for caring enough about other human beings so much and to do so much for them. And again, I really hope you read this! I'm not quite sure what else to say and how much I've probably already weirded you out by now, but I just want to say one more simple thing I hope you'll keep with you:

Thank you.


I wanted to let you know your site is amazing! I haven't even gone through and read all of it. But thanks for putting it out there. I've looked and found many sites but none like yours, none so descriptive.

I've had my times where I wanted to die. Iwanted to end it all so I've have to fight and do the best I can. Soon enough I will have my own life and I can control it and not have to deal with my mom and brothers and dad and family.  

The whole point is to say thanks.

i just wanted to say that your website is amazing. i seem to have needed pretty much every web page on there. it doesn't contain all the generic impersonal information that is on the rest of the internet on similar issues, it really feels you are speaking directly to me.

i would be happy to volunteer if you ever need help, although there's still things 'wrong' with me, as said by my mom and stepdad.

thank you for the website, if i ever need to feel that i'm not so alone and people can understand, and that i'm not such a freak, your website is my first stop.

thanks again,

I'm 14 years old..and I came across ur work and ideas about things..and I just really admire you and am grateful that there are people like you...I've come across most if not all of what you've written in my own life...and I'm glad you work to help people who encounter these things..

I'll try to get a way to get my "parents" to read ur work..somehow lol so they can gain a  bit of intelligence from you..Thanks

A comment about the EQI teen chat:

If i ddnt have you guys and a reason to laugh and lots of hugs and people who get it, i'd be dead in days.

Your site, it made me feel better. Gave me a hope in the world.  

Letter to from one teen to another

Well, when I first started reading EQI.org, it was some of the best stuff I've ever read. It really opened my eyes, and taught me a lot about how much emotions matter and made me realise how many people are so out of touch with their emotions and how many people have unmet emotional needs. I also read stuff on the site like 'feelings aren't debatable' and invalidation, and things like labelling people only makes them feel less understood.

The site shows that they understand why so many teenagers and younger people are depressed because of the way they are invalidated and treated, and how damaging invalidation can be. And I've realised if someone is scared or upset, telling them not to be is just the stupidest thing a person can do. Also I realised things like managing emotions in people, and it completely changed me because ususally in my house, my parents would shout at me from the otherside of the house to ask me a question, and then I realised that to respond, I will need to shout back at them, and I hate shoutin. If you want to ask someone a question, ask them calmly and nicely. If you show respect you will get it. I think this could be called managing emotions in other people and thinking about what emotions you will create by saying something or how you say it.

I've personally changed because im not as materialistic as I used to be. I spend less on clothes, and try and spend more time around people, and I feel better for it. I try and live simply, instead of buying things to make up for my unmet emotional needs.

I've also recognised why I might be so depressed, and identified each emotion and it has really helped. And using something like a 0-10 scale is really useful yet so simple.

I've also learnt the importance of listening, simply listening to someone can make such a difference, and I really feel a change in myself and I literally feel better when I'm helping people more, and when I see drug addicts and other people in a bad situation, we shouldnt always judge them and make presumptions, because they have probably been abused by their parents and never respected by them .

I kept a list of links from some of the best pages and quotes from eqi, and this is one I picked out from the list

...if you dont like teens and you look down on people who are depressed and you expect everyone to be super happy, dont get into a f**ing field where you deal with depressed anxious
crazy people.

And personally what I hate most is when psychologists analyse and dehumanise everything teenagers do as they express their emotions. The main problem is many adults dont understand teenagers, what they do and the way they dress, so when a psychologist tries to help it only makes things worse most of the time. Some adults do understand, like Steve from the site, and Ive read his site for a year now and it keeps getting better.

 thanks a ton, for your site and everything..it helps me a lot

let me say firstly,, i found your website by going onto wikipedia, then depression, which led to me to emotional abuse, then i found a link to your website because i was so depressed and i wanted to be cured really badly or i was going to try and kill myself by smoking and eating unhealthy foods, i have been very depressed, and i think your website is amazing, it deals with so many of the world's problems, it really is fantastic, i could have taken drugs to solve my problems, but instead i read your website.

im not trying to boast because i did the right thing, i just wanted to let you know that your website is so true in what it says when i was depressed and suicidal i would try and eat lots of food, but i know that a hug and to be understood is the most important thing, i am going to email my local youth centre that deals with troubled teenagers and ask them to read your website so that they can use some of the techniques and hopefully they will learn a thing or two on how to help teenagers if they dont already use the information on your website

the main reason for me emailing you is because i learnt that the best way to deal with my problems is to get to the root cause of them, and i can do this by reading your website, there were times when i would just smoke and think of suicide, now the only thing that keeps me going is that if i died then i wouldnt have the chance to tell anyone about your website, so i dont want to kill myself anymore.

i used to read a lot about Freud and self help books to find out why i was depressed and to overcome it, but your website has helped me a lot and the most.

you make me want to help other people because i know what it feels like to be depressed and i dont want others to feel like i did.

i want you to know that your articles are extremely well written and i just wish people, especailly parents and some psychologists would use the advice on them, and epsecially teachers that shout at people, i just wish they realised they would be happier and the students would be happier if they understood people instead of just shouting at them because they want to control people

this emal may come acorss that im arrogant and selfish, however i cant convey in words what i feel about the information on it, its just so true, i try and be as nice as possible and i try so hard to never complain or be miserable about anything, i try and always see people as human beings and not as a religion, i try and realise that we are only human beings and that we all make mistakes, and i try to realise that we are all looking to be understood - epsecially younger people who need it more than other people might - and i try and help others as much as possible and try and smile whenever i can because in the UK we are so lucky compared to people who are a lot poorer than us

all i know is i want to help others be understood and supported and validated because i know this is the most important thing, i am currently living in an emotionally abusive household and your website has really helped a lot, you have made me realise what i need to do so i dont become depressed, i have set it as my goal to make some and friends and have a relationship because i have been so lonely in my teenage years and although im still 17 i know that if i dont make the most of my teenage years i will end up very messed up when im older, i want to be cured of my loneliness and depression now while im 17 before i turn into a serial killer or something when im older because i dont want to develop serious mental health problems later on in my life like i know i will

Note from EQI

The teens who write to us are typically exceptionally kind people. They don't want to be a burden to anyone else. They don't want to hurt anyone else. They are quick to apologize, quick to forgive. They are the kind of people the world needs more of. It pains us greatly to know they are being severely damaged, and the world could easily lose their gifts to suicide one day if they don't get emotional support. Here is just one example of the kinds of things they often say when they write to us:

I'm sorry if this was too long.
I hope I haven't thoroughly depressed you.
I would never want to hurt someone.

Again, these are intelligent, sensitive, compassionate people.

Thank you for reading our site and supporting our work.

Steve Hein

By the way, if you feel moved by these letters would like to support our work, please visit our support page. (We have had to close our teen chat due to lack of resources. With your help, maybe we can get it started again.)