I am 17 years old and have been self harming for over 5 years now.
I cant pin point what exactly happened to start it off, All I remember is that it was 1 single cut on my wrist.
It didnt give me any satisfaction, It just upset me because I did it without thinking, a few friends were there and I felt embarrassed and out of control.
But despite this, for some reason I kept going back to it. Never for nothing, It was only when I was upset or frustrated. And gradually the harming just got worse and worse, to a point where I was cutting my left arm untill I couldnt see my skin colour anymore, or burning myself, and when I got really upset about something I would punch myself in the face untill it swelled up.
Over the last 3 years though my self harming has gotten so out of control. Although I dont self harm as frequently anymore the urges are overwhelming, Like a craving. Like a ciggarette craving to a smoker. Only when im feeling very down. But sometimes I feel down over practically nothing.
I no longer burn or hit myself, but i do still cut myself, usually my side or my legs as they are easier to cover. (There is nothing worse than having to explain an arm covered in scars to your 5 Year old sister and 8 year old brother, and after all that trying to explain to your mother that its not her fault and she wasnt a bad parent...)
The cuts arnt deep, (I have no intentions of killing myself)
I just feel so frustrated sometimes like all my problems roll into one, and when I cut myself I only have 1 thing to worry about... Fixing myself. Cleaning the wounds, making sure they heal properly, making sure no one notices...
This is now March of 2009, and I can proudly say I have not self harmed this year. But I still have the urges, and they are wearing me out, I cant sleep at night because of them. My main concern right now though is that I think I am suffering from depression, I have thought about seeing a GP but I am worried they will tell me im being stupid and im too young to be depressed. But I have reaserched it and I have all the symptoms. I just do not know what to do anymore...
First of all... Congratulation on your 3 months, well done
And well done for coming in here asking for help, I know it takes alot, but having the courage to admit you need help and ask for it, is the first step to recovery... you are a brave person
Talking with your GP is a good idea and if is a good GP, then won't judge or preach you, but will gently encourage you to accept help and refer you to someone who can help you.
Before you are ready to go see your GP (I think you are in UK), whenever you feel down and about to start to cut yourself, pick up the phone and call Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) or if you are not in UK, check now www.befrienders.org and find help near you.
Samaritans and Befrienders are non profit organizations, people who work in there do it voluntarly simply because they want to help people, and you won't find a more dedicated person then a volunteer... give them a try, you'll be amazed at the amount of support they will give you.
One thing that helped me when I was getting close to cut myself, was a puzzle... yeah I know, sounds stupid... but a 1000 or 1500 pieces puzzle helped me focus on something else, on something that needed attention, and most important, on something that I could look at when was done and think... I've done that myself no matter how hard it was.
Another thing you could try, is to take up a sport, or even jogging, swimming, going to the gym... using your energy on something positive like building up a great body, will help alot... if you will decide to take up a team sport, then you'll also have the satisfaction of being part of a team...
Puzzle and sport are great for refocusing... but you need to get to the bottom of what is bugging you, and try to sort that out, and for that, you will need help from you GP or samaritans or befrienders...
And you do need help from your GP for depression...
Keep posting and let us know how you are doing and how you are feeling.
Sparks, Thank you for your reply and advice.
I will be sure to make an appointment asap with a GP.
I agree with the swimming idea, I love swimming! Only problem there is the scars. I wouldnt want to be in a place full of young kids to see them, you know...
But I read in other posts that some creams, like bio oil can fade them a bit so I might invest in some of that.
The depression thing confuses me, because I dont actually have all that of a hard time compared to some, I had a pretty rough upbringing and a few bad things have happened but the good things I have in life make up for it now. I have a great boyfriend and I am getting on with my family a bit better now, but I cant seem to get rid of this demon no matter how great things turn out.
It just never goes away I guess. Most of it is guilt, My gran died a year ago and I still blame myself, I am prone to making mistakes and making others feel bad and people think I am "past the self harming phase" and dont think it affects me when they tell me how selfish and worthless and **** I am.
But I am aware of my faults and to hear others point them out hurts more than just knowing. I know they dont mean to make me feel this bad, and im not blaming others for my condition, but it really doesnt help and i cant exavlty turn round and say "Shut up. I might go cut myself"...
You don't talk rubbish, you express how you feel...
Swimming... you can try to get a full body suit, but before that check with the pool see if is ok to use one, I think if you'll talk with them they'll ok it.
I never used creams, I still have my scars.. nearly 18 years later. I think BioOil might help a bit if used regular.
The depression is not necessary because of a hard time, most of the time is just a chemical imballance in the brain which can be corrected with medication (that's why is a good idea to see a GP, to do the test and see).
If you don't mind me asking... why do you blame yourself for you gran's death?
Nothing and no one is perfect, we all make mistakes... the important thing is to learn from them, try not repeat them, and put it down to life experience.
People who call you worthless are just mean bastards, if are "friends" of yours, I'll sugest finding other friends... a friend is someone who laughs with you, crys with you, helps you when you have a hard time, enjoys good times with you, and kick's your arse when you are out of line.
Take no notice of them... some people are just mean and find pleasure in hurting other people... if anything, you should feel sorry for them, because they are too narrow minded and too mean to realize what they are doing... you will turn your life around and you have a brilliant life ahead of you, but they don't... the highlights of their days will be how to humiliate someone... and that's sad... so take no notice of them
"a few bad thingshave happened"... you wanna talk about them? if you wanna talk in private about it, then send me a private message.
Hang in there, you are doing great .. and keep talking
Oh my goodness what a strong girl you are!!! 3 months without cutting, you are definitly a model of strength and courage on this board.
My name is Kat and I have Cut myself for around 19 - 20 years. I have BiPolar Disorder w/Severe Med. Resistant Suicidal Depression and I started cutting when my father began molesting me as a 9 yr. old child. I have went yrs in betwen cutting periods but never been able to kick it. The last year and a half has been very very bad, since my brain decided to "unlock" it'self and throw all the memories of my past that I had managed to "forget" right in my face. I see a Psychiatrist who manages' my medictions and a Psychologist who does my weekly therapy, and this helps qiute a bit. I know you said you were going to see your GP, but if I make a suggestion, seeing a Psychologist would probably be a great advantage to you, as they can help you work through the depression and cutting, there are many different ways of therapy that helps those of us who self injure are us to "not" do so, to learn alternative coping skills.
My cutting is so bad, 4 trips to Urgent Care for stitches since July, that I now have to take a DBT class/group which will start in April. At the same time my therapist wants to start EMDR therapy between herself and I. So like I said lots of ways to find other ways to release the stress/fear/ansxiety, whatever it is that makes you cut.
I am so glad that you came to our little Board Community, there are very nice supportive people here who offer support, a shouder to cry on, a target to vent to....just about everything you need.
Stick around, we'd love to continue to get to know you, and keep up with how your doing.
Once again CONGRATS on the 3 months, that is so awesome.
I blame myself for my grans death because she had a smoking enduced heart attack.
She smoked for 60 years and was told to stop or she wouldnt see the next year, so she did. But my grandad had alzheimers (cant spell) and she was getting so stressed out and kept shouting and swearing at him, She asked me for a cigarette and I thought I was doing her a favour...
She was in hospital for a week before her death, I wasnt even informed she was ill or in hospital and never had a chance to see her or say what i needed to say. Me and my gran werent exactly on best of terms when she died...
My dad plays mind games with me, he makes me feel **** about absolutely everything i do. Not my friends. I dont blame anyone for my self harm, but if anything, he is the only person who has ever made me really want to hurt myself.
It may not come to your surprise that I ****** everthing up and cut myself a few days ago.
I fail at everything I do, you cant even rely on me to stop hurting myself. How can anyone expect me not to hurt other people.
Its ridiculous. I hate this thing I have become, And its only been about 5 years for me, Some people go their whole lives like this... I dont want to be this forever. I dont want my wedding dress to need long sleeves, I dont want my kids to see me this way.
You shouldn't blame yourself for your gran's death... you gave her the cigarette, you didn't make her smoke it, it was her choice... I think there are big chances that the heart attack was induced by stress not by smoke.
You don't fail at everything you do, this is what your dad made you believe, but is not the truth... seeing you weak and in pieces, makes him feel better about himself (only that shows what a "man" he is)... he sounds like he's a nasty piece of work... but don't give him satisfaction, keep strong... remember, if you give in, he wins - you lose... I certainly want to see you winning
Do you have any place where you can move away from your dad?
Therapy will do you a great deal of good, but you got to move away from your dad otherwise will be useless... whatever you will build up with the therapist, your dad will crumble it when you go back home...
I'm not advising you to run away, you shouldn't do that, you should go to a place where you'll be safe, understood and supported.
Please let me know where you live (not the exact address, but city/country) so I can do some research and find where you can go for help.
Don't give up, you're so not a failure, and you didn't screw up. We all struggle with these urges whether we act on them or not is sometimes not in our control, we just can't get ourselves on top of it. Everytime I've had to go in for stitches, 4 times since July, I've told myself okay, that's it no more cutting.....and usually cut myself the next day because I'm so stressed over having to have stitches. I've been cutting myself for 26 years, this is how I learned to cope with my fathers sexual abuse from the time I was 9 through 13. If your parents aren't there for you and don't teach you the proper way to grow mentally, then your child mind finds it's own way to cope. And it's very hard to "unlearn" a coping mechanism. But you just went 3 months and that is so excellent...don't beat yourself up because you fell off the horse, just dust yourself off and climb back on...you can do it.
And just because you're a Self Harm victim doesn't mean you'll hurt someone else....as a matter of fact Self Harmers are the least group of people to hurt someone else....we know what it's like to inflict pain, but we only do it to ourselves, because we thing everything is our fault and we take everything upon ourselves....we never blame anyone else.
Keep here with us, and vent, or talk, or yell whatever you need to do, 'kay.
First of all, congrats for not self harming this year, its a hard thing to stop doing i know, and never feel like a failure because you still have the urges. I havnt self harmed for over a year but i still sometimes get the urge when things get me down. It IS an addiction after all and in my opinion more difficult to stop than smoking (past experience here!)
The best advice I can give you, as hard as it may sound, is to tell someone you love and trust, if you feel you cant tell a family member then talk 2 your GP... the first step is not only admitting to yourself that you have a problem but also seeking help. And I pomise you help IS out there for you... you dont have to suffer alone love!
As for your worries that you may be too young to be depressed... I promise you you're not. I was put on antidepressants when I was 15 and have only just managed at 22 to wean myself off them. I know it feels a little strange, as though your not normal but there is nothing wrong with admitting that your having a hard time coping with things. Don't be ashamed of how you feel, that starts a vicious cycle... you feel shame that your so unhappy and that makes you more miserable which makes you feel more ashamed etc etc!
I'm not a doctor and everbodys experience with SI and depression is different so I don't know whats best for you.... but please find some help, try different things till you find something that works and never give up on yourself. Your life is the most precious thing you have and although you may not be able to see it now I promise you life gets better!
Good luck love and keep us all informed of the progress I'm sure your going to make. We all understand what your going through... YOU'RE NOT ALONE!!!
First of all, please do not blame yourself for you gran's death. That was not your fault whatsoever. And as for your dad, he certainly does not help you feel good about yourself. He makes you feel horrible. Try not to take it personally. He is taking his crap out on you. For some reason. That is not right for him to treat you like that, however, try not to let him get to you to the point where you want to SI.
When I read your thread, I beleive to me, it seemed like your going through depression, anger, pain sadness, lonliness, and so much more. Can you see a School counselor? Or anyone who can help you? You really need someone you can talk to about how your feeling and what your goign through. You do not have to mention the SI right now, Just that I am worried about all the rest of the other stuff that your having to deal with too. SI is a way to cope. And you have so much to deal with and nobody to turn to.
PLease try and reach out to someone that can help you. I wish you the best.