Trigger warning: Mental health discussions generally can be triggering, but today we're talking about Self-Harm. If this is a triggering topic for you, we recommend skipping this blog post.
Today we're in discussion with Betty, 21 years old, about her experiences with self-harm. Betty has a dog called Billy and a cat called Bruce, and she spends most of her time walking dogs and grooming them too.
What are the reasons you self-harmed?
A release of all the anger inside of me. When I felt I had let people down. Being upset from getting bullied or people not treating me with respect/being nice. To have a little bit of control. To make sure that when I did wrong, or I felt I did, I would have taken responsibility. In a weird way when I didn’t feel anything, and would just sit there for hours, I also did it just to feel something.
When did you start self-harming?
When I was in year 8, so aged 12/13.
What do you wish you had known about self harm?
That is doesn’t help in the long run, it isn’t worth it and the scars wont go! You've gotta think long term when doing this. Talking about problems may be embarrassing but having to explain to 5 year-olds why you have scars all over your body is so much worse.
What would you want to tell someone who is in the same place as you were then?
It gets better, cliché but its true. You need to take a step back and realise all the good things in your life rather than allowing yourself to be swamped by everything that doesn’t make you happy.
What helped you towards your recovery?
Finishing school and my sister actually realising to the extent I was at and taking me seriously. I also cut out all the stuff in my life that was upsetting me. I spent a lot of time with my mother and my Oma, not because they understood because I still to this day don't think they did, but because when I am with them they don't treat me any differently and they make me feel like I'm valued and they want to spend time with me! We also got a dog and he helped me all through my depression and self harm. He makes me so happy and I’ve now started a career with dogs because of him and my love for animals!
What advice would you give to people who are self-harming?
Just don’t do it. If they do though they should tell someone every time. That way they will hopefully use talking as the release rather than the self harming!
What about for the friends or family of people who are self-harming?
Don’t condone what they are doing but try to support them through the hard times.
Did you see a doctor or mental health professional about self-harming?
I saw a doctor who was amazing and he told me about if I do self harm how to deal with it afterwards so it would be healthier/safer for me. I also saw a therapist once a week and she was really great. She helped me set goals in my life and see a future I was actually excited for!
Hello Me, it's You
Welcome to the Hello Me, it’s You blog! We are launching this blog with weekly content from different contributors, giving their opinions and experiences on all things Mental Health.