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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Self Harm for First Time - February 16th 2014, 07:03 PM

I just cut myself today after getting upset with my parents. I have horrible self esteem issues that I cannot get over and honestly I don't think anything in my life has happened that is so bad that it would lead to self harm. I just don't like myself, in fact I hate myself and today when I cut myself I felt as if I was suddenly free. Like me cutting myself was the only thing in life that I could fully control. My parents can be very over bearing and protective but they don't understand me. I have no friends in school and nobody really talks to me. I met a guy online a month ago and he was really nice but he just suddenly stopped talking to me. I know I need to get over it but I just can't. I'm 17 now and I'm going to college soon and I need help but I'm not going to tell my parents. They wouldn't understand. I also try to stop myself from eating and I previously tried to throw up after eating but it never worked out.. I feel like I'm fat and people tell me I'm not but it doesn't help. I just end up feeling worse. Its all my fault though, I know. I need to get over myself. There are people worse off than me. All in all, I just have self esteem issues and I'm keeping all my feeling bottled up and cutting was the only way for me to let it out. It was my first time cutting but I think I'll do it again. Is it all my fault? Am I just doing all of this out of self pity? I need advice.
   
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Re: Self Harm for First Time - February 16th 2014, 07:31 PM

I'm really sorry that you're feeling so insecure. I know what it's like... I struggle with a lot of insecurities of my own. I used to self harm as well, and it was mainly for the same reasons you mentioned. I felt like I wasn't in control of my emotions and cutting myself made me feel like I was regaining control. It seemed like it was the only thing I had control over, but the more I did it the more I realized I really wasn't in control. Because I wanted to stop but I had convinced myself it was the only way to feel better and didn't know how to let it go. So right now cutting yourself might make you feel like you've finally found something you can control, but over time it will only cause more problems and make you feel out of control instead.

I think you need to start taking control of your life in other ways. You said that you have no friends at school. But I bet you can change that. When I was in school I used to think that I had no friends because no one was interested in getting to know me. But in reality I hadn't made any effort to get to know anybody else. I kept to myself and rarely talked to anyone, so even if they did want to get to know me I wasn't giving them the chance. Try to be a little bit more outgoing. Say hi to people and try to make conversation. Maybe you could join some activities or clubs at school to meet some new people. It's really not that hard to make friends with people, you just have to put yourself out there.

You said that your parents don't understand, but I think talking to them would be worth a try. They might surprise you and be more understanding than you think. If you don't feel comfortable discussing your problems with them maybe you could ask them about making an appointment to see a therapist. I know therapy doesn't sound like too much fun, but it can be really helpful and might help you work through a lot of the insecurity you're feeling. You shouldn't have to face your problems alone and talking to someone about them could be really beneficial to you.

I think you should find some kind of coping mechanism that helps you let out some of your emotions. Cutting might seem like it's helping you to cope, but there are a lot of other alternatives that can be an outlet for your emotions without causing you even more problems. There's actually a list of some here.

You shouldn't feel guilty for feeling the way that you do. Everyone has problems, no matter how great their lives might look to others. And a lot of people struggle with finding ways to cope with those problems. It's a completely normal thing to go through. I think almost everyone has chosen a negative way to cope with things at least once in their lives. None of us are perfect. We all have to go through things like this and learn how to cope with things more positively. I'm confident that you'll get through this and that in doing so you will find a better way to handle these kinds of problems in the future.

If you ever need somebody to talk to feel free to send me a message anytime I'll try my best to help. Hang in there


   
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Re: Self Harm for First Time - February 16th 2014, 07:45 PM

Hey there,

It's not your fault that you are self harming and I don't think you are doing it out of self pity. You are probably using it as a way to cope with what's going on, but I can tell you that it really isn't a good way to cope. You may think you are in control, and maybe you are for the moment, but eventually the urges take over and it becomes more than what you think. The urges happen when you may not want them to, or they just get too strong to bear, or the self harm may get worse. Besides that, self harm causes other problems such as the risk of infection, or having to worry about hiding it from those you don't want to know. Also, the problems you are facing just come back because you aren't really doing anything to solve them. These are healthier, safer ways to cope.

You said your parents don't understand you, but have you ever tried speaking to them about what you feel? Maybe you can at least compromise with them. For example, if one thing they are protective over is you going out of the house, you can tell them that you'll call them when you get there, or that they will be the ones to drop you off, or that you'll have a curfew. Let them know that you are almost an adult and almost going off to college, and you really would like the opportunity to get some life experiences and learn on your own before you head off.

As far as friends, sometimes you do have to put yourself out there, even if it is difficult. You may have to make the first move but that doesn't mean nobody wants to be your friend. You can join clubs, social groups, and sports teams in school and around town so you can meet people with common interests. The common interest can be a good conversation starter for you so you can befriend someone.

I'm really sorry about the guy that stopped talking to you, though. I think that I'd be pretty hurt about that too! Remember that time does heal all wounds and this is something that is fresh in your mind still. Try and focus on other things for now, such as hobbies or other interests, so you can get your mind off of him. You can meet other friends online as well. TeenHelp is a really great place to do so. Maybe you can check out the Chat Room!

Starving yourself or purging aren't good ways to cope either, because they can lead to more health problems. You need the nutrients from food in order to stay healthy, and without the nutrients, you will feel weak and not really have the energy to go about your day. Making yourself throw up can also cause other problems such as esophageal problems and dental problems. If you truly need to lose weight, it's best to do it through healthy means such as changing what, and how much you eat, as well as incorporating exercise into your routine. If you need help with that, you can always ask a doctor or nutritionist, who will be able to tell you what you can do to stay healthy.

It may help to work on your self esteem, too. For example, if the thought "I am fat" comes to mind, replace it with a positive thought. For instance, if you like your eyes, you can even say "I have nice eyes" when a thought about your weight comes up, or a good thing about your personality. List all of the things you and your friends like about you, physically and personality wise, as a reminder that you ARE wonderful. Write down any accomplishments you make (even getting out of bed on a day when you really don't want to) as a reminder that you can achieve anything. Write down or print out encouraging quotes and pictures to remind yourself you CAN do it.

Just because other people have problems, though, doesn't mean that yours are any less valid and deserve any less support. It shouldn't be about whose problems are "worse," it should be about "these issues are important to me, and they deserve recognition." You deserve support through this.

Maybe you can speak with a teacher, guidance counselor, school nurse, therapist, doctor, coach or club adviser, religious leader, other family member like an aunt/uncle or grandparent, or other adult you trust about this. There will be people out there that will be willing to help you cope with everything that is going on in better ways, and even help you improve some of the things going on such as your self esteem. It is worth getting support about.

Keep your head held high, stay strong, and keep fighting. The bad things won't last forever, remember. There is always something that makes this all worthwhile.

-Dez


   
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