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To Sam

I'm ashamed of self harm scars.

Hi Sam, I'm confused about my gender and my sexuality and all the stress builds up and eventually leads to me self harming. I don't think there's a part of my body without at less a handful of scars. It's getting upwards summer and it's hot but I can't take off my school jumper or hoodies at home because I'm ashame of scars. Fresh cuts usually heal quite quickly on my arms because I don't go deep by I go deeper on my legs and stomach. I just don't know how to cope with the heat :(
Ask Sam



Thanks for writing to me.

It seems that things are difficult for you at the moment and I imagine there are lots of different emotions going on for you. It can be normal to have feelings of confusion around your sexuality. I want you to know that you don't have to label yourself - some people know their sexuality, for others it changes and there are people who explore their gender and sexual identity without labelling it.

I understand that it can be confusing but it's important to take your time to find what is best for you. From what you have said it seems that this is one of your triggers when self-harming. You don't say if anyone knows how you are feeling but it might be worth thinking about getting some support. This could be from a trusted adult or friend. You could talk about how you are feeling around your gender and sexuality. Talking to someone can help stop stress from building up.

Sometimes people use self-harm as a way to cope when stress builds up inside, but one of the side effects of self-harming is that it can leave permanent scars. I know that the summer months can be stressful because it gets harder to hide scars so it could be that now is the time to think about safer ways to cope.

For some people self-harm is addictive. It's not always easy to just stop. Our pages about self-harming have some ideas about coping with the urges. There's also useful information on There are lots of things that could help you to stop self-harming and find ways to cope. We are all different so it is important that you find something that works for you.

While your scars are still healing it could be worth thinking about lightweight clothing as the weather starts to get warmer, such as long sleeved t-shirts rather than a hoody so that you can cope with the heat.

Maybe you could think about talking to one of our counsellors on a 1-2-1 chat or by calling free on 0800 1111. We can talk about ways that you can keep safe and also work together to think of things that could help you to cope better.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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