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Self harm

Hello, for a few years now I have self harmed. I also have depression, anxiety and also suffer from panic attacks. I started self harming when I was 12 and at first it wasn't really that bad. After a while, I was able to stop and it really helped with my confidence. However, about 6 months ago I started self harming again. I used it as a way to take my anger and fustration out. For a while now, everything that has happened in my family, has always been blamed on me. Because of this, I have adpated to blaming myself for every incident that has ever happened in my life.
Now, my mum and I don't exactly have the best mother- daughter relationship, we constantly argue and it just seems that we are never going to be able to be civil. I try my best to stay positive but whatever I do, I always get shouted at for. A few months ago, I told my mum that I self harmed. I almost wanted her to know that I am fighting this by myself and that I really need someone to be there for me. However, she ended up telling me I only did it for attention and that I was weird and should get help. So, this is why I am writing to you, because I need to tell someone my problems, as I know it is not good to bottle up my emotions.I just don't know what to do, and I really need some guidance.
E*
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Sam

Hello E*,

Thank you for writing to me about this.

It sounds as though you’re feeling unsure about who else you can talk to and I agree that telling someone is a good way to avoid bottling up your emotions. Many young people have told me that talking to someone they trust really helps.

It’s really good that you're looking for ways to cope. You could try letting out your feelings by writing a diary, or trying other creative activities like painting or playing music. Some people also find exercise is a good way to release tense feelings, while others use a hobby or interest to help them.

I understand that people self-harm for different reasons and that it can be hard to stop. You have done really well managing to stop self-harming in the past. Try to think about what used to help you cope at times when you felt like hurting yourself in the past. It may be useful to read our page about self-harm for ideas about other ways to cope. If there is anyone who helps you cope with depression and anxiety, you could think about letting them know that you have been feeling the urge to self-harm more often recently. You can also read about more ways to cope with anxiety.

It sounds like your mum’s reaction when you told her you self-harmed was disappointing for you. It’s understandable that you hoped she would be there for you. If you’re finding your relationship with your mum stressful you could post a message on the Home and Family message board to ask other young people how they have coped with arguments at home. You can also read more about family relationships here.

It sounds like you realise that you sometimes blame yourself for things that are not your fault – if you would like to talk more about anything that is happening at home, you can talk to a ChildLine counsellor online or on the phone at any time.

Take care,

Sam

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