Self-harm--What Should I Do
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Q:  Self-harm--What Should I Do

My name is Angie, I'm sixteen years old.I have had really hard times and when I get deppresed I cut myself. I tried going to counsling and they don't undertand me. I started cutting myself when I was thirteen It was manly over guys that I liked and broke my heart. Then 2 years ago I lost both of my grandmothers through some sort of cancer. So when I would think about them I would start cutting myself. It's not that I'm trying to kill myself ( it's not a sucide attempt). I haven't really don't it for about a year. But now I started again because to me right now everything is going wrong. I really don't know how to explian it but I'll try. I don't really see my dad that much anymore because he started his own busniess and we use to be really close. So now I feel like I need A guy to tell me everything is going to be alright. So I have been trying to be with many diffrent guys ( I'm not sexually active so I don't just want sex) I just really need someone there to tell me things will get better. I can't really talk to my friends about it because I don't want ot bother them with my problems. I did try talking to one of my friend about everything but all she does is compare her problems t mine and it's not really anything like what shes going through. I really don't know who to talk to about this. I tried telling my mom about my cutting and at first she told me I was stupid for inflicting pain on myself. That only made things worse. then when I told her I thoght that really need a consuler she was there for me. But she thoght I was totally sucidal because the counsler told her about my cutting and how bad it was. So she wouldn't let me near a knife for 3 months because she thought I was going to try to kill myself. I don't know what to do because I don't want to tell my mom about this. I was wondering if you had any Ideas on what I should do?

Dear Angie -- 
Read this site about
self-harm, and ask your counselor for more help on this, as well as on the sense of wanting someone to tell you everything's going to be all right. (By the way, everything's going to be all  right).  (Wouldn't that be nice if you could really get that feeling and have it stick?  That's an issue a lot of folks work on in therapy.  If it isn't getting worked on now, ask your counselor to help you with that.  After a few more months, if you don't feel she/he is able to help you with this, you could ask her/him whether you should look into seeing someone else to target that feeling).  Thank your mother for trying to understand, and know that seeing someone hurting themselves is extremely hard to deal with for almost anyone, most so for parents.  Sounds like if she knows she doesn't have to cope with the self-harm, because someone else is supposed to attend to that, that she might be a good source of support for you.  

Dr. Phelps

Published December, 2001


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