Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

Self harm and how it affects me

I saw that you were talking about self harm so i wanted to talk about how it affects me daily

I live in fear thwt people will see. And occasionally people will see and i will habe to lie and say cat scratches which is not the most believable lie in the world beacuse i domt have a cat

My friends dont know. Howi would tell them, god knows

It is addiction. I want to stip but i cant , every time i get depressed i can literally see it in my head, cutting myself . I know i shouldn't but i dont know how to not do it.

I need help and i dont know what to do, i imagine most peoples self harm stories are also very similar but with lots of differences as well

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

People begin to harm themselves for lots of different reasons. Everyone's experience is individual to them. But that doesn't mean people who self-harm won't have similar experiences and feelings. It can help to know you're not the only person feeling this way. You can speak to other young people who've found ways to cope with self-harm or are in recovery on our message boards.

I hear from lots of young people who harm themselves. The reasons people self-harm can be linked to the way they feel about themselves, or they may be linked to something that has happened to them. They may also be struggling with feelings and thoughts that are difficult to deal with. There’s no right or wrong reason to harm yourself. But it’s important to remember that there are ways to cope – you just need to find what works best for you.

Some people feel like they don't have a choice when it comes to self-harm. They may feel addicted and like they're unable to stop. These people may be harming themselves long after the reason they began has gone away. For them, self-harm is a problem in itself.

Self-harm can start as something small before it starts to take over everything. It can be something you think about all the time - especially when trying to hide things like scars or injuries. It can be exhausting having your day revolving around it.

A good piece of advice for anyone who wants to stop self-harming is to talk to an adult you trust, like a parent or carer, teacher or nurse. This can often seem hard because our instincts can tell us to hide what's happening. But it can also be the first step towards stopping as it means you don't have to cope with everything on your own. Speaking to a Childline counsellor can be a good place to begin a conversation about self-harm. Whatever's going on, our counsellors will never judge you.

I'm really glad you chose to send this letter to me, as well as everyone else who sends letters about self-harm that I don't get to answer. Even writing a letter about it can be the first step in finding ways to cope.

Take care,

Sam

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