The Mighty Logo

10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Self-Harming

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I started self-harming in seventh grade. I found out about it online and from friends. It was something that turned my world upside down, and not in a good way. Here are some things I wish someone told me before hurt myself for the first time.

1. People glamorize it. I found that people online make it seem like it’s something wonderful. Like it’s a golden ticket out of our feelings. But in reality it was something really dangerous.

2. It doesn’t help with emotional pain. It pushes away emotions, which only makes them harder to deal with and delays what is inevitable.

3. Always take thoughts about self-injurious behavior seriously. It’s something I wish I was able to get help for sooner. It escalated so quickly.

4It’s an addictive behavior. I had moments when I wished I could stop, but I just couldn’t. The behavior became something I liked so quickly.

5. It’s so isolating. I pushed my family and friends away. I didn’t want them to know my secret. At one point the only friends I had were online and I never left my bedroom.

6. I felt a lot of shame. I felt so much embarrassment and guilt after I self-harmed. It was something I didn’t want anyone to know about, especially the people closest to me.

7. It’s dangerous. It can cause infections or other serious medical issues that require trips to the ER. Because it can be an addictive behavior, the degree to which you hurt yourself can get worse each time.

8. What I was feeling was valid. In the heat of the moment, I didn’t feel like I deserved to feel the way I did. Which usually came in forms of anger, sadness and disappointment.

9. The moment will pass. My feelings were valid and they, like everything else, will pass. Just because it’s how I’m feeling now doesn’t mean I’ll always feel that way.

10. It can be a symptom of a larger problem. Like depression, anxiety and even borderline personality disorder

If you’re thinking about using self-harm to cope with what you’re going through, please don’t. It’s something I wish I never started. Instead read a book, listen to music, talk to a friend. Those things helped me through some of my toughest times. Another thing you should do is reach out and see a therapist, counselor or someone who can help you cope with what you’re going through.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: December 19, 2016
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