Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Self harm and the way I look

Lately I have been changing and people have been bugging me about it am putting me down abou it. Lets say I have been labeled as goth. People have been taking the mick and I have just had enough. I have been self harming for about 2 years now and I have never really had the urge to stop but soon I'm going up I upper school and that's when everything changes and I need to change aswell. Also I wanted to ask you can you give me advise on how to stop because I'm scared that its going to get out of control.
Many thanks
Ask Sam


Hello and thank you for your letter,

Other people’s comments about how we look and who they think we are can be very hurtful and have a big impact on us. This is bullying and no one has the right to make you feel bad about yourself. Bullying is never okay and being bugged about how you're changing sounds really frustrating.

Change is normal and you will probably keep changing throughout your life. Being happy with yourself and who you are is very important but when other people put us down and label us it can make us question who we are. Try to be confident in your choices and decisions – they are yours to make.

Change can be hard but it can also be exciting too. Moving to upper school may give you the opportunity to meet new people who are more like you and appreciate you for who you are.  

A lot of young people self-harm as a way of coping with difficult feelings but when things get out of control it’s important to get some help. Stopping a self-harm habit is a very individual choice and what works is different for everyone, depending on their situation.

A good place to start is to think about why self-harm helps you at the moment – is it the pain that helps? The feeling of control or looking after wounds? Knowing what self-harm is giving you helps to know how to replace that if you stopped. You can find out more about self-harm coping techniques here.

Talking about what is going on can be a positive way of managing your feelings. It may seem scary to tell someone how you're feeling and what you are doing but it’s easier if you’re telling someone in your life who you can trust.  This could be an adult that you get on well with, who will not judge you and will listen, like a parent, a teacher you get on with at school, or another relative. 

Talking to other young people about their own experiences is also a good way to get ideas of how to stop. The people on our message boards are very helpful and you may even feel that you want to post a message of your own.

ChildLine wants to support - you don’t have to do this on your own, we are always here for you. You could always talk through your feelings with one of our counsellors. 

I hope this has been helpful.

Need help straight away?

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

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