I have been self harming for 3 years what should I do

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I’m only 14 and I have been self harming for 3 years. Lately it has been getting a lot worse. My mum found some razor blades and I told her I cut but I said it was just an experimental thing and she believed me. I don’t know what to do as I feel I can’t talk to anyone in my family about this. I rlly my close friends and my boyfriend know but they don’t know how to help. I don’t want to speak to a professional. Is there anything I can do myself to calm it down or stop?

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Dear Love,

     I feel like you need to be totally honest with your mother and seek out professional psychiatric help… I have been to many psychiatrists it’s no big deal but they’ll be able to help you with this serious condition you have… Your mom needs to know! Sometimes there are medications that affect the part of your brain which is causing you to hurt yourself.

     With cutting I believe it’s a lot like being a drug addict it’s a way of numbing your pain.  Something in your past or what you’re dealing with right now is causing you to want to numb out… Many people do this! I was in a treatment  facility and my roommate was “Miss America”

    She had a cutting  problem as well

     So it transcends all boundaries all ethnic groups… You need to get professional help again by first being honest with your Mum!!!

     Because I care, 

     Prodigious 

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    • Posted

      Hello,

      Thank you for your reply and that is a very interesting fact about miss America! 

      I think I will tell my mum but it will just take some time. One time I wrote a letter explaining everything but I got scared and ripped it up. I need to take time to mentally prepare myself because I know that telling my mum is such an important thing, and it would probably make us closer as well.

      Anyway thank you so much and I’m sorry to hear about your story x

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    • Posted

      Dear Charlotte 

      I say this with the deepest compassion for you...There will never be a right time 

      I remember when being on drugs I would say to my husband “I am waiting for the right time to prepare myself”

      We were driving to the store and he took a U  Turn and immediately took me to a treatment facility.. He too said “Be brave, there will never be a right time!”

      Charlotte my life just began during treatment...I was with others that had similar problems with mine 

      My new life began!

      Because I care

      Prodigious 

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I think I knew that it’s just an excuse not to do anything isn’t it... 

      I’m going to talk to my mum in a few weeks once she’s in a better place because at the moment she’s upset about unrelated things

      Thank you so much for your help 

      X

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  • Posted

    Hey there! I’m glad you’re asking about how to get help. I started cutting when I was about 11 or 12. I’m .....well....old now. It went away for several years as I shoved all my baggage into the basement and refused to think about it for decades. Unfortunately, it all came back up later in life like a volcano and when it did, everything fell apart. The cutting returned. I had tried a counselor once in high school. Didn’t last. Again after HS. Still didn’t last. No one understood PTSD and trauma then.

    Today there are so many more resources for you to check into. 

    I know that almost everyone will tell you to tell your Mom. In most situations, that is indeed the right thing to do and I do encourage you to try at least once and give her the chance to respond and help you. That said, I also fully understand that some kids’ home lives are a huge contributor to why they cut in the first place. In a few cases it may actually not be the best idea. (If your parent(s) is abusive and you can rightly not just imagine that they will make the situation worse, but you have real experience of how they treat you to know that it would make things worse!)

    In that case....here are a couple of suggestions: 1. Tell a school counselor if you trust them and tell them outright that you do not want your parent to know. You would have to be able to promise them and convince them that you are NOT suicidal though. Most people who cut are really not. In fact, they may cut to keep from doing something worse because they don’t want to die! 2. Go to your closest Community Mental Health clinic (find anyone you think you can trust to give you a ride. County transportation? A cousin? Older friend? Coach? Teacher?) and ask to speak w a therapist who normally treats teens, esp. with self harming issues. You may need to wait, or even make an appointment to return. 

    You can even give a false name just for that initial appointment scheduling to get your foot in the door. They will understand that you are a minor and so not (at least yet) want to give your real name and risk a call to your parent. 

    Again though, assure you are not suicidal. Thing about that is...while professionals are not required by law to contact a parent, they ARE required to call law enforcement to make sure you get to an emergency room to prevent your suicide. Once there, a social worker etc. would later call a parent.

    If your situation is one of abuse or neglect so bad that you cannot trust a parent at all, then there is a big underlying issue that also needs to be dealt with. 

    Take the risks. At least one of my later suggestions, if not approaching your Mom first. Community Mental health therapists, social workers or a school counselor could be with you when you talk to your Mom for the first time. At least you wouldn’t be alone. 

    And you’re not. 

    The answer to what to do really is....WHATEVER it takes. Because you are worth it! Find those professionals and friends who know that. 

    It took a while but I did find a therapist I could trust and have been going for 6 yrs now. I rarely self harm anymore.

    You can get better, find support and work through the underlying causes of your self harm!  Never give up on yourself! 

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    • Posted

      Hello, I’m so sorry to hear about your history of self harming it’s very sad to hear that but I’m happy that you’re well on your way now! 

      Thank you for the advice it really does help to get other people’s opinions and you completely sound like you understand my struggles. 

      The thing is, my boyfriends mum is actually quite good at these things and single handedly got my boyfriend through depression, anxiety and self harm. I am quite comfortable with her so I think I might confide in her and see what happens.

      One of my friends was going through the same sort of thing last year and she told the school and the school then emailed the parents saying their worries which I thought was quite unprofessional. Although they did help her in the end and now she’s better again, I don’t want to risk talking to my mum. 

      She’s not horrible or abusive or any of that but me-and both of my parents actually- aren’t actually close at all and i would just never dream of talking to either especially my mum about anything personal to me, to be honest, however much I want to.

      Anyway thanks for your help you truly are an inspiration! 

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  • Posted

    Charlotte, first of all there is a reason you cut. People don't do it for no reason. Perhaps you get anxious or depressed? My daughter suffers from anxiety and depression and in the past when her feelings overwhelm her she has cut herself. Sometimes it can be a compulsive thing like in OCD (obsessive complusive disorder). You can't go on doing this to yourself Charlotte, because apart from the scarring, you are putting yourself at risk of infection.

    Try telling your mum again and be honest with her this time. If she can't help then perhaps speak to a guidance teacher or other teacher at school. It is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. You would be surprised how common this is. If you are in the UK you could also make an appointment yourself to see your GP. You don't have to take a parent, but they might encourage you to tell your parents you have been. Also, in the UK the GP won't inform any authorities unless they believe you are at risk of taking your own life. They won't judge you - like I said this type of thing is very common. 

    I know you don't want to see a professional, but like I said, there is a reason you are self-harming, so a professional is best placed to help you.

    Best wishes Charlotte x

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    • Posted

      Hello,

      Thank you for your reply and I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. 

      I really do want to talk to my mum but we don’t have that sort of relationship and I wouldn’t feel comfortable if you know what I mean.

      Since posting this discussion I have realised that I need to tell someone professional, like you said, however because of the situations I’m in I would rather take small steps and lead up to the professionals, and also to see what works best!

      Again thank you for your help x

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    • Posted

      Hi Charlotte, yes, do whatever you feel most comfortable with but try to take that first step sooner rather than later. My daughter didn't want to tell anyone but once it was out in the open she actually felt relieved. Let the adults help you Charlotte - that's what we are here for.

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  • Posted

    Charlotte- I understand more of your relationship w your parents now. I would just say that, taking risks in relationships, sharing more of yourself, giving your parents (or anyone) an opportunity to know you and help you, is exactly the thing that could strengthen your relationship and bring you closer. Just a thought.

    I’m very glad that at least you have your boyfriends Mom to talk to for a start!

    Very best wishes!  

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  • Posted

    I'm not sure why you said "only" 14. Do you think you are too young for this? That is what the message implies. 

    If you cut, have a boyfriend, etc., 14 is not so young. You are on your way to being a young adult soon and should address this now. Believe me, there are other things to do when you want to cut. Think about it and every time you want to cut, do something else. Force yourself (crossword puzzles, relaxing shower, go out for a run - whatever will work for you). Write it down, make a list, force yourself to do something on the list. By the time you are done, you may not want to cut anymore.

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  • Posted

    Hi charlotte,

    I did the same thing many years ago....it's also a cry for help. I agree with every word Prodigious said. Get

    help before you do serious harm to yourself or can't stop. If you can't be honest with your mother you'll find

    it harder to be honest with yourself as time goes on. Talk to us anytime kiddo!

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