The Mighty Logo

Men Struggle With Self-Harm Too

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

I thought I knew what self harm looked like. I thought it was streams of tears, running mascara and rage. I thought it was teenage angst turned sour. I thought it was for people visibly falling apart, for people hitting rock bottom.

I didn’t think I would struggle with self-harm as a 33-year-old man. Third time father, happily married with a decent job. I didn’t think it was calm, borderline emotionless, with an almost scientific curiousness.

But it is. Or rather, it can be. Because it’s me. I am not an “attention-seeking 15-year-old” or any of the other painful generalizations there are. I’m an adult. I’m a man. Aren’t I?

I’ve been dealing with the effects of depression and anxiety for a year now. And through my therapy, I’m learning that I’ve been dealing with them and their “family” of self-esteem, negative evaluations and such for most of my life.

I’ve been working hard at my therapy and “progressing” well. I’m on antidepressants and have anxiety meds. I’ve been to some dark places, but I’m here, right now. I am not at rock bottom, I’m still fighting. I’m trying to remember those wise words of Rocky Balboa, “It’s not how hard you can hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forwards.” And at that I work — constantly.

And yet there’s this bizarre ritual of self-inflicted pain, a pain I’m almost grateful for. And as I write I know it’s just another trick of depression, because depression tells you lies and it plays games, mimicking your true self and convincing you that to cut yourself is a good idea.

But it’s not and it never is. Whomever you are and wherever you are, fight to remember that.

You are enough.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Randy Jacob

Originally published: February 3, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home