March 1, 2013

HopeI first decided it was time to talk to someone about the way I felt just after I turned 16. I’d had depression and had been self-harming since I was 14 and it was getting worse and worse.

So I turned to a pastoral support teacher at school. I had spoken to her before so knew that she was lovely. However, once I was sat down with her I found myself completely unable to talk to her.

In the end I just rolled up my sleeve and showed her. I regret doing things that way now as I don’t think it was fair on her. Fortunately, though, she was ok despite being shocked. At first I felt like she was angry at me for doing it, she got me to see the school counsellor and I didn’t speak to her for a while, until I bumped into her outside of school one day and she asked why I hadn’t been coming to see her.

The school counsellor helped me a lot by just listening

I had kind of assumed that she didn’t want me to anymore but after that I started to speak to her again and she helped me out a lot just by listening and being comforting. At the time I didn’t exactly realise that depression was my problem, I blamed my self-harming on my dad being ill, so I guess, although that possibly wasn’t helping me, I wasn’t entirely honest.

Sadly this particular lady left our school. We stayed in touch a little though which is great. Once she left the school things got worse as, shortly after, the counsellor who also helped me left too. This meant that I was made to talk to a community school nurse who didn’t react so well to what was going on. She was a little bit too pitying of me and often made it seem like I was doing something wrong, which isn’t what anyone with mental illness needs.

The school nurse told my parents

In the end my school broke my trust severely. They had warned me that if I were to say something to make them extremely worried they would have to tell my parents. I was ok with that because I knew I wouldn’t say anything to worry them. Then, just before the Easter holidays the school nurse came to talk to me, she said she was telling my parents.

I couldn’t believe it. I was terrified and furious at the same time. I had given her no reason to tell them and when I asked her why she said that it was because I would have no one to talk to over the 2 week holidays and it wasn’t safe. I was so angry. That wasn’t a reason she had mentioned before and I felt totally betrayed.

I didn't know what to tell my parents

I got home the night that my parents had been told and my mum was very upset. I didn’t know what to do and so I lied. I told them that I had only ever self-harmed once and that it was ages ago. They believed me and we never really mentioned it again after that day. Things got much worse from that point. I started to self-harm more and more and I was totally alone for a long time as I had lost trust in everyone. I thought of suicide every single day and objects around my house stopped being just ‘objects’ and started being things I could use to harm myself. I still feel like words cannot justify how dark and awful that time of my life was.

A few months later I spoke to an adult friend. It was so hard and I was so scared my trust would be broken again but I am so glad now that I told her. It turned out that she had been through very similar experiences when she was younger. She convinced me to go to the doctors and came with me… twice.

Things were tough for a while but my friend was there for me

Things were still very tough for a while after that as I was waiting for counselling for a while, although my friend was there for me a lot, but after a while in counselling things did start to improve for me. I went for a year in total and for about a year now I have been feeling so much better. I feel strong now. I can’t say that I never slip up or have days where I find life overwhelming but those are just bad days now and don’t have the dark depressed feeling that used to hang over me all the time.

I am 18 now and am back at college (after dropping out the previous year due to depression) and I am happy! I truly think that talking to anyone can help a mentally ill person so much; I don’t like to think about where I would be now if it wasn’t for my friend, I feel she saved me.

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Comments

Mixed Experience

Great post! My experience has been mixed too. I self harmed from age 14-25. I thought I was past it & began wearing short sleeves despite obvious scars. I didn't let people know about my "past" but I'm sure many guessed & let me be. At 31, things changed. I was moved to a PRU at the College I taught at, having taught NEETS for 2 years. I found there was no support as well as routine contract violations. I was medicated after 2 months. Then my manager called me in. There'd been a complaint by a colleague to my Director about me "flaunting" my scars. His approach was to out me as a self harmer & tell me I'd have to cover my arms at work to prevent distress to students. I got the viewpoint, but I was destroyed. I began self harming again. The situation came to a head when I refused to continue a really difficult lesson & was forced to discuss my "issues" in a Kangaroo court. I ended up walking out and smashing a window. I was signed off for 2 months & had a meeting with an OH Doctor, who said that with support I might teach again. I was told a teaching role was there, at first, but was moved to a support role (with pay protected for 6 months) to "help me cope". Luckily for my finances & health, they made me redundant at the end of the year. Since I've had ups & downs. I'm still medicated but I haven't self harmed since. I've had tattoos done to hide scars & I'm loving work. I still wonder if my self harm might've been prevented but I'm feeling positive.

Still struggling

I am 52 and have been self harming since I was little. It comes and goes but at the moment I am Struggling with deep depression and feel that s/h is my coping mechanism. I feel very alone. I would like to contact others of my age who also turn to harming themselves to cope with life. I see lots of sites on the web aimed at younger people but so far have not found anything for folk my own age. I found Jennifer's blog heart warming and wish her well.

Hi Jenbags, you could try

<p>Hi Jenbags, you could try <a href="http://www.rethink.org/talk/">Rethink Talk</a> or <a href="http://elefriends.org.uk/">Mind's Elefriends</a>. Both of these offer safe places to share experiences and advice with other people.</p>

my depression

i am 12 and terning 13 in october and i have been going through some hard times the past 3 months with depression, my parents are getting devorced and i am thinking about telling my counciler tomorrow. i came to this post to find things that i should say because i am very nervous about talking to adults about myself. i have decided to go and tell them because i am losing friends, at the start of the year at school i had arround 15 and now i only have 2 and one of those gets bullyed by almost everyone in my year, also i am losing focus in lessons and frecuently cry in silence. i hope it helps me recover from this hell hole of sadness. -Archie

Support

Hi Archie, Thank you for sharing/commenting, sounds like you've been going through a difficult time. It sounds like you are making a decision to talk to adults who could help you with what you are going through. Perhaps you can take some confidence from the fact you have managed to share your experiences here, to do the same with your counsellor or other adults also. Perhaps you could show them some of what you have written here if that helps you to start the conversation. Remember that childline are always there to listen too. Take care, Crystal at Time to Change

Ik this comment is a year

Ik this comment is a year old but I just came across it and i can relate 100% because it sounds like what u went through at that age. Hope it got slightly better -G

My Experience

Hi... I'm 12 and have self harmed for about a year and a half. My mum saw my scars about an hour ago for the first time. She looked at me like I was an idiot and then called me one. She made me swear to stop, but she doesn't understand that it's not that easy. There has been one person to help me through this... And I only told her yesterday (so really I've been on my own) My pastoral is a complete... Um... Let's say "nob" and doesn't understand anything. She forces students to go places, blames them for things and her nickname is Cabbage. So, yeah... My mum accused me of doing it because it's 'fashionable' to do. No. Just. No. To any parents who are reading this, rule number one; Never blame your child or say it is fashionable. We do this to let outside emotions or, as I my case, to punish ourselves because of blame, other people's anger at us or because we hate ourselves. It is extremely hard to stand up and admit to people that you cut or self harm in another way. We don't want your pity, we don't want to hug you afterwards, as mostly we will want to curl up in a ball and cry! However, this friend of mine (the one I mentioned before) went through an extremely painful time, has attempted suicide twice and cuts (as I found out about two or three weeks ago) and she helped me immensely after in a phone call. That's all it took to cheer me up. A single phone call. So tell someone and make sure you can have that phone call after somebody find out that you didn't want to know. I hope this helps in some way :) xxx

Self harm

Im in year 9 now at school and I've been self harming for at least a year now. One of my friends knows that I do this but so does she (my friend) and school found out that she did and now she's seeing a councellor at school. I made her promise not to tell anyone but she says that she's worried about me but I tell her not to be . i do it because I'm tired of being treated like everyone else is better than me , im constantly getting picked on and people keep calling me gay even though I'm not . I just want some one to help. Even though self harm is my only escape I can't do this forever but the fear of dying does not scare me infact I'll be glad to welcome death to get away form my miserable life . my parents can't find out it would just make things worse , if I told the school that I self harmed would they be able to promise not to tell my parents ? I need to know before I make one of the biggest mistakes of my life ? How will it affect my school life if I do tell them ? Will they promise not to tell my parents ,?

It's OK

Hi Max, firstly I wanted to say to you there is always hope - it may not feel like it now, but things will get better. Being open about how you are feeling is really important - the school, your parents - they all want you to be happy, and well. If you want to talk to someone outside of school first, Childline are really good - you can call them on 0800 1111. They are free and confidential. Take care, Crystal at Time to Change

I know....

My counselor has no idea how to help anyone. She's old and doesn't understand. I have nobody else to talk to, and I can't talk to her. I do SH and suffer from moderate to dangerous depression. I can't talk to my parents because they would farce out. I don't know anymore.

Self Harm

I'm currently 13-years-old about to turn 14. I started cutted at a very young age because of personal issues. I am about a year and a half clean from SH. The damage is very visible so I wear long sleeves everyday. I'm sick and tired of hiding what I've done to myself in the past (and plus it's really hot where I live). I want to tell my school counselor but I'm afraid of what'll happen since I go to a very strict school. I'm not sure if she'll help but I don't want to keep wearing long sleeves everyday. What should I do?

Want help but am to afraid to get it...

Hi I am 11 and I have been self harming for a little while but have been depressed for about 2 years I really want to get help but I also suffer from anxiety and keep talking myself out of it and overthinking it. As you know I am young so I am not sure if my Guidance Counciler will understand (I am guessing) I am afraid of change and if I tell someone I am afraid there will be too much change going on and I will break even more. My parents got divorced a year ago after I had started developing depression that summer (I refused to leave my room) so it kept growing and growing. I had to go to a therapist to 'talk about my feelings' or something (at least that is what she told me though it was probably because I hate my dad and was 'acting up') and yeah that did nothing but fule my anger. I really hate talking and do it as little as possible so I think when I am going to tell my G.C I am going to write her a note? I have no idea if it will work. Any suggestions?

Support

Hi there, I'm really sorry to hear that you've been struggling at the moment. I know how hard that can be. Yes, it’s a good idea to reach out to your Guidance Counsellor, and a note would be fine if that’s the way you feel comfortable doing it – because you deserve support going through this. Have you spoken with a doctor about your mental health recently? That's the first step to getting professional help usually. And please remember you can get in touch with Childline – they offer support via email and or a 1-2-1 counsellor chat online (so no talking is required): https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/contacting-childline/. I hope this is helpful to you and I wish you all the best. Take care of yourself, Tim at Time to Change

I know how you feel...

My friend broke our friendship by telling our math teacher about my problem after we got into a fight. I'm sure he was very shocked... But he ended up telling the school nurse. He came over to my room and told me I needed to go to the nurse. I asked him why and he stopped breathing for a second before he said that he "didn't" know why. I was pretty happy that day too, so I grabbed my stuff and got a pass to the nurse's office and thought to myself, "couldn't they just call my teacher? Why did he get a call? Did she want to check on my tailbone?"(I fell a few days earlier)I went into her room and waited. She called me back and said, "I have a question. Do... you cut yourself?" The happiness dripped out of my soul. I broke into tears. I asked who told her. She lied and said she heard people talking about it, when really my friend told them. I was afraid it would spread across the school. All my other friends thought it was her, so I was able to find out. They were super mad about it. The teacher refuses to say she did do it, but I already know she did. I went online for help that night and I met my best friend. He is always there for me, and I'm always there for him. I'm happiest with him. And he keeps me alive. All I want to say is I know that feel, and you'll get through it.

I used to self harm about two

I used to self harm about two years ago and my parents found out so I had to go to therapy for it. I hated therapy, and I don't want to have to go back to that therapist again. Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed and I want to start self harming again. Before, my parents believed that I had only self harmed for 2 weeks, but it was longer, I'm struggling and I have tried using the rubber band a lot but it just isn't enough. I'm considering going to see my counselor because I can't talk to my parents about this stuff. However badly I want to, I just don't want to see them cry. How can I get help for self harm and suicidal thoughts without my parents knowing or making them cry? I hate it when I do that and so far the only thing I can think of is a hotline. Not sure if I have the bravery to call a hotline, so I guess I'm just stuck in a rut. Any ideas?

How are you doing?

Hi Grace, sorry to hear you were struggling - apologies for the delayed reply.How are you doing at the moment? I hope you found some help in the end. Best wishes, Dom at Time to Change

Depression and self harm

This is the best counseling method that can prevent you from depression and anxiety. Thanks for sharing these tips with us.

What do i do?

A friend of mine found out recently that i self harm (i dont tell anyone) she go so worried and shd started crying and in the end i had to comfort her. She basically pushed me to see my school councillor even though i am sure she wont help and i dont trust her to not say anything to my parents. My parents do not believe in mental health but rather think its a rough patch, that its your choice to be happy. They don’t understand and they are very old fashioned and im not ready to tell them about anything in my life. My appointment is tomorrow and i wanna get out of it, but if they don’t find me they contact my parents. So in other words, what do i say to her in order not to get her worried and call my parents? I do want help and i do wanna stop but i don’t trust anyone...

Thanks for your comment

Hi Amanda, thanks for reaching out. That sounds like a really difficult situation. Perhaps you could go to the counselling appointment and see if it helps? Unless there is a risk to yourself or someone else, counsellors should respect confidentiality and not share what you spoke about. Best of luck, Dom at Time to Change

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