Silent Damage- my life with self-harm

My name is Amy and I self-harm. Luckily I do it a lot less than I used to… you are not alone if you self-harm and the worst possible thing is to stay silent about it. I am writing this to give a voice to those people who suffer in silence and have no idea how to get help. This is my life…

If you are wanting to hurt yourself right now, please seek help with a professional. I am not a professional.

It began when I was 13 with scratching, I did it after a friend told me it would help with my sadness. Within months I was also burning myself, before long I was taking supplies to school with me to cut in the girls’ room. I found myself doing it over a dozen times a day. I got busted by my mom many times but it never did any good. I didn’t tell a mental health professional until I was an adult.

I wish I had told someone earlier because I had accidents. I never meant to cut that deep, but I had to have stitches more than once… I thought I was being careful. If you think that you are being careful and it won’t happen to you, you are wrong.

There are so many dangers involved in self-harm besides just scarring. Infection, stitches, and blood loss are just a few. I have also spent many weeks suffering from the residual pain of a bad second degree burn.

These days I am still not 100% stopped from self-harm. It has happened about twice in the past few months. I have found talking about it to my therapist is always best, she helps teach me how to distract myself from obsessing over hurting myself. Maybe it was peer pressure, or my addictive personality or even my borderline personality disorder.

Why do I self-harm? In short, it make me feel better. Unfortunately that feeling never ever lasts. And no, I don’t do it for attention and it may seem like a cry for help but that is not the intention. There is a chemical released when someone self-harms (I don’t remember what it is called) and it gives you a “rush” which is kind of addictive. Sometimes people do it to see the blood to realize they are still alive. I don’t know why. I just know it goes on.

I am hoping that by sharing my experience I will help someone else share their own with a mental health professional. If I had not gotten help I don’t know where I would be at this point.

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