I'm new to the boards, so I thought I'd introduce myself as well as ask for opinions. I'm 23 years old, and suffer from depression, anxiety and a few "other things". I am also a "cutter". I'm not sure exactly what to do to reduce the tendencies of cutting. I've done it on and off for probably 6 years. I lost my medical insurance about a week ago, so I can't see a therapist or receive medication, so I'm lost on what to do for help. I don't feel as if I can talk to any of my friends about it, cause no one truly understands unless their in the same situation. I don't discuss anything with my mom either, cause she too wouldn't understand. I'm embarrassed at times during the summer, because you can see a lot of my cuts. Or when it gets really cold, they all turn a purple color. I'm not sure who to turn to for help. So my question is, what can I do to prevent this "habit"?
Well normally when a new person comes to one of the boards that I frequent I say welcome, but that never fits here, because this is not a board that any of us want to be at. Sorry about your insurance situation, but I'm sure there are free clinics where you live, especially if it's Cleveland Ohio. You could call your county health department to enquire who you would contact for free or reduced psychiatric care, there is bound to be many places to go. Also drug companies will work with you based on your income and provide reduced price meds or at times free meds. Okay, so that takes care of the financial part. As for who to talk to, yes it is very hard to talk to friends or family about this particular problem, because they don't understand and most of the time they react with horror, or disgust, or just the, "why don't you just stop doing it" line. They have no idea of the compulsion that drives a person to self harm. And by the way, never say you're cutter, it's not who you are, it does not define you, you cut yourself as a coping mechanism that you learned, that's it, it's not the only thing that you are. So the best thing to do is talk to a professional or those of us who do the same things and know how you feel. Self harm is a learned coping mechanism that people develop to handle stess, pain, anger, anxiety, hurt, etc. It is not a good coping skill, but sometimes it's all we know how to do. There are several great websites that you can go to that offer alternative coping skills that you can do instead of cutting or self harm, unfortunately we're not allowed to list them on this board. If you go to the thread that Beachchick started called "Started Again" post #4 from me has a few of the alternate copin skills that I've gotten from my Psychiatrist. So now that I've written you a book, I hope some of this helps. If you need anything else, or just to vent or yell...just let us know, we're around.
Just remember this doesn't define you, you are a great person.
I don`t know whether to say welcome or not I suppose it islike anything in life you either see positives or negatives. I like to think this is a positive because you know you are sh and you want to seek help so that has to be a positive and your first step. I have to agree with what Kat says although I am not from America so I can`t comment on how your medical system works and how to get the best from it.
Talking to friends and family is a difficult thing and not always the best move until you know exactly what you want to achieve from it as it does change the dynamics of the relationship.
One way to start coping I think is to air or vent out here we are all of the same ilk so no one will point, judge, demean, only give support and sometimes advice, what you do with that will be down to you as Kat and I know only to well, so try and see. I hope all goes well and we are here for you and it is not just a line or throw away comment we are. Take care and hope all gets better for you.
Thanks, to both of you. I appreciate it. I agree with the whole situation when "people tell you just to stop". My one friend knows about my habits, but she doesn't seem to be bother really at all. She pretty much just bashes me saying "I'm uncontrollable" and "I don't understand you" and all that sort of thing. It's hard, and hurts more knowing she'd degrade me at just about every chance.
I'll have to look into various websites that offer coping skills. Thanks again.
Not a problem Candace, we're glad to help. If I can help anyone not go through the 26 odd years of this hell that I have, then I'll do what I can. Just remember never set an unobtainable goal, don't try to stop all at once, take it one day at a time, if that's too big, take it a couple hours at a time. Keep talking to us, and let us know how you're doing, 'kay?