Newest Review: ... rarely the case. Most self harmers' will hide their injuries, and go to great lengths to do so. If someone wants attention then why wou... more
A commonly misunderstood symptom of something much worse
Member Name: kiss_me_now9
Advantages: Can be a coping method
Disadvantages: Pretty much everything.
As with all the other reviews on this topic, please be careful reading this is as it can affect you to read about self harm. Be sensible and just close the page if you think you might be affected!
Self harm can come in many forms, but is typically associated with cutting or burning. It can also be classified as taking too many pills, not eating and generally doing anything deliberately with the purpose of hurting yourself. For me, it's been in the form of cutting and not eating. Many people - especially people my age - are quick to brand self harmers as 'attention seekers' and 'emos'. I and many other self harmers are neither and the labels are quite offensive. Just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean you need to throw names around.
I first remember self harming when I was 16, after an argument with my mum. I have no idea why, but after throwing myself around the living room and then stomping off upstairs, the only thing I could think of to calm myself down was to scrape lines into my skin with a pin. I still don't really understand why I did it, and I didn't do it again until about a year later, when I hit a rock bottom point with my AS levels and school in general. At this time I was harming about four times a week; which is quite a lot when you think about it. In the end I managed to get into uni and went away with the idea that I could, and would, get better.
Unfortunately this didn't happen and I soon fell into a cycle of self loathing and hatred. I didn't eat, I slept all the time, I went to about two lectures a week and wandered the night drunk and suicidal. Just before Christmas I ended up in the on campus nurses office at 3am and they sent me to the GP - who I saw once and then never again. Skip to me dropping out of uni and coming home to live for months and I saw an instant reduction in my self harm - but it was always there, under the surface. Over the three years between dropping out and now, I've self harmed countless times, tried to kill myself about 5 and ended up in hospital for other destructive reasons a few times as well. Now it's written down it seems a lot worse somehow :o
I was lucky when I was younger, I got away without a massive amount of scarring. However since returning to uni my self harm habits have also returned and this time my skin isn't taking it lying down. Swimming is an ordeal for me as I have scars on my arms and thighs, and a few on the rest of my body that genuinely aren't self inflicted but still look as if they are because my skin doesn't heal properly any more. I have horrible raised scars from when I tried to kill my self that will *never* go away. I've got used to people staring at me in the supermarket when my scars aren't covered up now. I am very lucky as my scars are localised to areas that generally don't get put on show, but I know other people who have scars up and down their arms and one girl I know has scars all over the backs of her hands.
I've been self harm free since the 13th of March, which is the longest time since I started (bar the year between the initial act and when it really picked up) and it's probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I've had physical fights with people because all I've wanted is a blade and they - quite thankfully - won't let at it. And there are some nights, like yesterday night, when all I can do is turn in early and go to sleep hoping that in the morning I won't want to claw my skin off. I have no doubts that I will relapse at some point but hey, we're all allowed to and once as a coping mechanism is not a problem in my eyes. Anything can trigger me off, but largely it's reading/seeing pictures or people who have self harmed. I find my eyes drawn to sharp objects even now and I can probably tell you where everything in this room that I could self harm with is. Maybe that's my super talent?!
However, on a serious note, if you're suffering from self harm, then see a doctor and get some help. You can get through this, I believe that you can.
Summary: If you're suffering from self harm - get help. You can do it x
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