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Warning to parents on teenage depression

PUBLISHED: 09:51 04 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:30 06 July 2010

THE heartbroken family of a north Suffolk girl who believed their daughter took her own life have warned of the dangers of teenage depression.

Adele Sale, 18, was found dead at her home in Rigbourne Hill, Beccles, having apparently taken an overdose of sleeping tablets.

THE heartbroken family of a north Suffolk girl who believed their daughter took her own life have warned of the dangers of teenage depression.

Adele Sale, 18, was found dead at her home in Rigbourne Hill, Beccles, having apparently taken an overdose of sleeping tablets.

The former Sir John Leman High School pupil had been diagnosed with depression and an eating disorder 18 months ago, which were triggered by insecurities about the way she looked.

Her family believe that it was these problems that led to the tragedy.

Adele was found dead by her mother, Alison Sale, on the afternoon of Sunday, November 22.

Mrs Sale said that her daughter might have been depressed for years before she was diagnosed, and warned other parents that it could be hard to identify mental health problems in a teenager.

“She always looked perfect in her dress but she was suffering so much behind her clothes and her face,” she said. “She had a very good mask. She could be really happy one day and then anything could trigger it off.

“Her depression started when she went to school but I didn't even know it. It was when she became more conscious of her figure and looks, but I just thought it was a teenage thing. You don't know what's in their minds. She'd eat tea and then go up and have a shower and be sick. We were really close but that's something she couldn't tell me.”

She added that it was important to listen to your child if they wanted to talk. “Just be there for them, listen to them, and don't shrug them off when they really really do need to talk to you,” she said. “Cherish your children because you never know when they're going to go.”

Adele's devastated grandfather, Ken Sale, is a Waveney district councillor and portfolio holder for the environment. He warned other young people not to try and replicate media images of the “perfect body.”

“So many youngsters go in for this slimming, or think that's how they should be,” he said. “I'd like to send the message out for youngsters not to be so silly and worried about how they look.

“There were times when she was a happy-go-lucky girl. You don't see the signs. She had a hell of a lot of friends.”

Adele lived in Beccles, but worked in the office of Duff Morgan car dealership in Norwich. She was an animal lover, and was a keen horse rider. She also worked voluntarily for the Horse Rescue Fund in Toft Monks.

Her brother Marcus is a member of the Beccles Rugby Club, and the team held a one-minute silence at their game last week.

Lindsey Plant, 22, of Southwold, had known Adele for 12 years and said she was like her sister. She said: “She loved going out with her friends and just having wicked nights out with all her mates. She liked singing along to songs at the top of her voice.

“I can't think of the words, she was always the one with the words. She was forever writing letters to all of us.”

An inquest into Adele's death was opened on November 24 and has been adjourned to a date to be fixed.


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