More threads by Cheyenne


Hello, I'm new here, I would've posted in introductions but this is more spur of the moment so I'll just go straight into it before I change my mind - otherwise I wouldn't have posted at all.

I'm not suicidal, and I don't think I'm depressed, I just hurt myself and can't figure out why. I'm an oddly outgoing girl, I dress in boys clothes, and am somewhat athletic making it a usual of getting hurt just by being the stupid teenager I am, though about half my injuries are caused on purpose. I don't do it when I'm sad or upset, which I rarely am. I do it when I'm happy or bored, and I don't go out just to do it(I don't do it in my house, no knives, no razors, just outdoor environmental factors.) I'm always doing something else at the time, such as riding my bike, walking my dog(I do so for atleast a hour a day, sometimes 2 or 3), or even just chilling out on the bridge - a really relaxing place once you get over the occassional semi-truck passing by, I just happen to be a person who finds it most relaxing on the opposite side of the railing, and injuring myself is just another spur of the moment thing, I don't regret doing it and I don't feel any pain if I do it to my legs, the most common place, just a rush. I'm not a very social person, I have my friends at school but teachers and people outside of school I avoid talking to to the best of my abilities, I could have the bone sticking out of my arm and I'd still grin and say "I'm fine." to get them to leave me alone with the only exception being Police Officers(I love to talk with cops when I get the chance.) I always lie about self-caused injuries if people ask what happened, no one ever disbelieves me, they all know that I AM stupid enough to trip over a crack in the sidewalk. I don't go around slicing my self everyday, every time one turns to scar and fades I cause another unless there's an injury caused by accident. I would go as far as saying I like being hurt, but I hate when people notice or ask me about it. I did it today, it's no big deal to me; I didn't bother going home and cleaning it up, waste of daylight, I just kept riding my bike. I get home at 3pm and the sun sets by 6pm this time of year, why would I spend time doing something I could do after the sun sets instead of doing something fun that can only be done when the sun is up? I use this same logic with my eating habits, eating is more a waste of valuable time than it's worth to me, if I have something better to do such as sleeping, homework, or being on the computer I just won't eat, possibly for days at a time. No one seems to understand my logic.

But back to the self-injury topic, I just want to figure out why I do this, there's no real value of it to me and really doesn't effect me in the slightest. Such as the time I was in a mostly playful confrontation with a student, another student interrupted and without thinking I made a swift kick towards their leg but they moved it and I hit the desk instead - I'm not sure if the lump and scar-like purple mark across it will ever go away. My anger got the best of me, I feel that if I can figure out why I injure myself I will never get out of control with it and cause permanent damage.
Counseling is completely out of the question, which is why I brought my question here, I've been surfing through the forums for a while, a few weeks maybe.

I apologize for the long length, I wasn't sure exactly what to post so I posted ....everything....

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
In the one incident you described, it seems that the injury to you was unintentional and triggered by anger. Is anger a common thread for you?


No, I get angry once or twice a month, I'm a very calm person unless I'm just not thinking, or thinking too much. And being stupid and getting hurt because of anger is about a once a year thing.
I gave the example of kicking the desk as letting something get out of control and causing, possibly, permanent damage. Like something I don't want purposely injuring myself to become - out of control and causing permanent damage. Beyond scars, I mean.



When I first started doing it a few years ago the reason was because I wasn't considered "socially acceptable" for the way I dressed and was bullied for the most part, I lost all hope and didn't bother trying with things, I stuck to myself, was very negative, and I picked up the habit because of that. No confidence and it always seemed like nothing would get better, so much negative that now, looking back on it, wasn't even that bad. Two good, trustworthy friends, but none beyond that because I had little trust in people.

But now, everything's fine I still have the same two good friends from before with a lot of other people I see and talk to in school, no one messes with me and I'm happy - but I never dropped the habit and can't figure out why now, now that everything is fine, why I still do this. Now I do it when I'm in the area where I've always injured myself when I have an injury from last time faded and I'm happy or bored. And that's where my question of why I do it lays.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
So is this a way of punishing yourself? or toughening yourself up so other people can't hurt you? or just feeling safe with the old and familiar?


Just a way to make myself tougher I guess. I feel very little physical pain, especially in my legs, something severe has to happen to effect me at all. Same goes for emotional pain, unless something horribly bad happens everything's okay. And even if something does happen I don't hurt myself because of it, infact, when I'm "down and out" is really the only time I don't do it now.

By the way, could you maybe provide a link on how to just "get over" something big that happened?
At the beginning of the month there was a big incident, not to me per se but I was there, I put it aside before because we were having suicide prevention classes and I didn't want something they said to trigger me to start crying or something in the middle of class, but now it's come back to bite me and has really put me down for the past week or so and people are starting to notice.


there's a few things that stuck out while reading your posts... I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like you're trying to say that everything is "okay" and that you're happy w/ being "odd" as you call it, yet you're confused about why you enjoy hurting yourself- which I think anyone would be; self-injury is very confusing in that sense. It is one thing to be eccentric or different from the norm, unique so to say, but I wouldn't necessarily call someone odd for enjoying adventures, excitement, sports... you're not a "stupid teenager"- teenage years can be tough w/ all the changes going on and new responsibilities. Also, if you were bullied before and had lost all hope and confidence it would be challenging to walk away from that with a lot of trust in people. I have seen how bullying can affect people and I think it can leave scars for a long time, but it is not inevitable that this is how life will always be like- those two friends that stuck with you are proof of that. You said you are outgoing but not social beyond the scope of school- are you invovolved in any extracurricular activities? clubs? hobbies that you do w/ other people? Also, how are things at home- you didn't mention anything about that and it made me wonder.

It does seem though that you get SOMETHING out of being in dangerous situations or situations where you could potentially get (physically) hurt. You said you don't THINK you're depressed- so is there a part of you that's not so sure about that? I understand that you don't hurt yourself for attention, yet that it gives you some kind of rush- it fulfills a purpose so to say. What is that feeling that you get out of hurting yourself? If it really has "no value" for you and if it doesn't affect you- then why do you do it? What I'm saying is, that it must have some relevance, even if you don't know exactly what that is- and it DOES affect you, otherwise you wouldn't be thinking about all of this, right? One thing you have to realize is that self-injury in itself can be an attempt to be in control, and figuring out WHY you do it is definitely important in learning new ways to cope, but just by figuring out the "why" you can't say that it won't get out of control- the goal shouldn't be to control the effects of si but to control si so that you can stop using it for whatever purpose it serves you. Does hurting yourself ever decrease any anxiety about school, friends, home etc? or to deal w/ frustration, negative thoughts, responsibilities & expectations? You said you're generally calm unless you find yourself thinking too little or too much- how common is this for you? Would this be a situation where'd you be more likely to hurt yourself either to escape the numbness or to decrease your rapid flow of thoughts? Some people do have a naturally higher pain tolerance but SI decreases the amount of pain you feel as endorphins ("happy emotions") are released in your brain- which conditions you to SI again to get the same result the next time. I know you said you do it when you're happy or bored- but there's something else... some people do SI when they're happy, it sort of becomes a habit to deal with ANY emotions, but I would argue that if EVERYTHING truly were FINE and HAPPY then you wouldn't need si in the first place. As David suggested, maybe this is a way from protecting yourself from getting hurt again or failing at something... and in the end it's something familiar, a habit that is difficult to break just like other habits but not at all impossible... but I do think that talking to someone would help you w/ that. Why is counselling completely out of the question?

Just like you can't just "get over" self-injury, you also can't just "get over" something bad that happened... if you try to just stuff it away or ignore the fact that it ever happened/ that it affected you, it will inevitably come back and catch up with you- as it has now. Even if what happened didn't happen to you, it affected you somehow and by not wanting to "crack" or cry, sort of a toughening up attitude, you ARE stuffing away those feelings and NOT COPING with the situation. The reason why this is "still" affecting you is b/c it was never dealt with in the 1st place and it will keep on doing so until you confront it. I do have one question that I want you to think about: you said all of this toughening up- even though you were clearly upset- happened during a suicide prevention class. Why do you think this upset you so much particularly in relation to the topic of suicide? Do you think you would have felt the same way if it would have been a presentation about friendships, bullying, substance abuse per say?

Please try to talk to a counsellor- that's what they're there for. They will listen to you, they won't judge you, and they will be able to help you work through all of this. If you don't like the idea of a counsellor, maybe there is a teacher you trust or you could consider a friend's parents if you don't want to talk to your own- or a helpline that you could call. I really do think that you need someone to listen to you hun. Also, check out this link- it might help you identify & cope w/ some of your feelings and avoid SI as a means of coping:


I live several miles from the school, stores, and most houses, besides the two neighborhoods by the one I live in. I have no way of getting to/from people?s houses, games involved in sports or anything else. Outside of school I have little to no contact with any people. Two friends live by me, one of which I?m not particularly good friends with and the other, due to some things that happened, is forbidden from seeing/talking to anyone that lives in the same neighborhood as her - including me, unfortunately the one banned from seeing me was one of my best friends. Home life is fine, but I have no contact with my parents on weekdays, and very little contact, if any, with them on weekends. Both work, on weekdays I wake up at 5:30am, take a shower, get ready, leave for the bus at 6:30, get home from school at 3:00pm, leave to walk the dog at 3:05pm, get home at 5 or 5:30pm, then I go to sleep and do it all over again. If my parents were home I wouldn?t even notice, and definitely not see or talk to them.

As far as not being sure about not being depressed, I?m almost positive I?m not, but people from school that know me would openly argue that and that doesn?t really help convince me any. I guess I get a rush out of doing it, and that would effect me. The goal is to control it because I don?t mind it, I?ve never had any problems with it, I?m stuck in the state of mind that there is no REASON to stop. Don't get me wrong, I WANT to stop, but I'm a person that constantly needs a reason to do something that involves a complete change of behavior, and I just can't find one for stopping. No, the SI does not do anything to reduce anxiety about school, friends, home or to deal with frustration, negative thoughts, responsibilities and expectations. I rarely think too much, only when it seems like the world is collapsing, which is very rare, and I?m over it within three days tops. Thinking too little, well, that?s not entirely uncommon, acting on impulse is something I?m known for. I did feel the need for SI before, but now things are good and it?s more habit than anything, but it only comes up when I?m happy or bored.

Counseling is completely out of the question because my parents know nothing of it, and I like it that way, so a counselor outside of school would not work. And at school, there are four counselors, I have extreme dislike for the one I?m assigned and two of the others, and the only one that I don?t completely dislike is not my counselor, and my own anti-social tendencies towards most adults make it impossible for me to say anything to her, even when she asks me if I?m okay or something I can?t speak, just nod.

As far as the ?toughening up? involving the suicide prevention class, it wasn?t regarding the topic of suicide itself, but they were giving reasons people may want to commit suicide, and when they mentioned Child Abuse it just killed me because that was what the big situation I was involved in recently was centered around. They welcomed people to leave if they were having problems at any time during the presentation, and normally I would?ve asked, but the counselor mentioned above was supervising, and the people conducting the presentation said that they would follow you out if you needed to leave. It was a no - win situation, and I did what I could, it just didn?t work out. So any other presentation like the ones you mentioned wouldn?t affect me as long as it didn?t mention child abuse. But, unfortunately I managed to put dealing with the whole situation aside again.

Talking to a teacher wouldn?t work, I dislike all my teachers, and I have no friend which?s parents I even know, and I can?t call a help line - my parents get the phone bill. I realize it?s all excuses, but, yeah?
I?ll check out the link.


how long is your friend banned from seeing you & everyone else- is she grounded or actually banned from everyone? I understand that your parents work and that you're in school during the weekdays but what about the weekend? maybe if you could do something w/ them, sort of "get to know them" again, it might be easier to talk to them as well? do they ever try to do anything w/ you? even if they don't maybe you could try suggesting something, I think it might help you feel a little more connected to people... see the thing is, the only person that can make you stop hurting yourself is you, so if you don't see a problem w/ it it doesn't matter what anyone else says or thinks... having a reason to stop would definitely get you to that point of wanting to stop and making changes to get to that point... what about just wanting to be happy and not having to do this to get a "kick" out of it? what if you could find other ways to get the same feelings?? b/c I think you do know deep down that hurting yourself isn't necessarily the best way to cope w/ feeling happy or bored etc. If now, you're only doing it b/c it's become a habit, in a way that's a good thing b/c that means SI doesn't serve the same purpose anymore... it's only the habit that you still need to break. and that I think you could need some help w/. You want to stop. You are worth so much more than having to hurt yourself just out of "habit" even if you don't see that. There are better and healthier ways to deal w/ your emotions or boredom and the fact that those exist are reasons to stop SI b/c you don't need si to get the same outcome anymore.. if you're bored for example there are tons of things you could do instead. It's important that you learn to recognize when you're feeling impulsive and bored, and then try to do something else instead of hurting yourself.

The reason why schools have several counsellors is to be able to manage the # of students in some organized fashion, but I highly doubt that if you were to go up to that one counsellor who isn't assigned to you, that she couldn't "see" you- you even said that she's asked you a couple of times if you were okay... I certainly remember being in high school and seeing a different counsellor than the one you were assigned to was possible. If you can't tell her what's going on, maybe you could write it down on a piece of paper and give it to her instead? or just go there and say you want to talk and then just see how things go... it can take a while to open up to people & that's perfectly normal. Also, maybe you could ask them for some referral #'s for other counsellors, they may have some at community centres etc where it'd be okay for you to go w/out your parents knowing...

you mentioned child abuse- I don't know what exactly happened besides that you were "involved" in some way, but I think if you know of someone being abused or having been abused you REALLY need to tell someone or get that person to tell someone. abuse is wrong and it's not okay no matter what. at the very minimum, I think you should also be able to voive your feelings about this- clearly, it's been on your mind. what's interesting is that you described the situation during the presentation as a "no- win" situation. What do you think you would have "lost" or what was it that you would have been risking and feared? I think it would have been a very scarry situation to be in and it IS difficult to let people know how you're feeling, but it can be a huge load off your shoulders to get that chance to just talk to someone, someone who is willing to listen to you, be non-judgmental and may very well have some great advice for you in situations that you feel helpless with.

I found you a link for a child abuse hotline that serves the US & CA and a few other places..
Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline

1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) then push 1 to talk to a counselor, 24/7

The call is free and anonymous. (The hotline counselors don't know who you are and you don't have to tell them.) There won't be a charge for the call on your telephone bill if you use a regular phone or a pay phone. If you use a mobile phone or cell phone, there may be a charge and it may show up on the telephone bill. Don't use a mobile or cell phone if you want to be sure your call is a secret.

also, Canada:
Kid's Help Phone: 1.800.668.6868
Child Abuse Hotline:1.800.387.KIDS (5437)

they have many more #'s listed by country and "problem" so just go there and you'll find more for both the States and CA and other places...

this is another really good resource site if you want hotlines:
you can search by where you live

it's a start Cheyenne...


My friend?s banned until she moves to Denver, which may be this summer or next year or really any time, then it doesn?t really matter. Well, on the weekends my mom still works, and when not working she?s sleeping, and my dad goes on trips for work all the time, so I don?t think he?s ever here on weekends, but I?m not sure. I usually leave and spend every daylight hour walking my dog, riding my bike, or just walking around. My parents bought me a BB pistol for my birthday, my dad and I were shooting it behind the house for about ten minutes, then he had to pack for a trip to some other state. No talking. Although, I was being silly with the BB gun and took a ?questionable? picture, which is really not helping anyone around me think I?m stable. I?m not worried about that as much as I am about the fact I?m wondering about how much damage that thing could do if I was shot in the leg with it.

The thing is, the SI doesn?t do anything to block happiness, that belongs completely to other factors, it does nothing and I pretty sure I do it out of habit. I have a reason for everything I do, I came here because my grades were dropping considerably, well one of them was, and I wanted to figure out what the problem was. I know most people would consider wanting, and truly needing to stop, a good enough reason, but does SI really cause any problems? Besides the scars? Even if I had another way to cope with my problems, if I?m still just doing it out of habit, since I obviously haven?t been dealing with my problems at all lately just setting them aside, then what good what it really do as to stopping me from doing it? Typically I?m impulsive and bored at the same time, usually when I?m first starting, or just finishing walking my dog or riding my bike, where I pass by sharp plants, drop-offs, a bridge, hills purely of rocks, and barb-wire fences. When I?m impulsive I?m just not thinking about anything other than my dogs safety, so stopping myself from doing something I didn?t even realize I was going to do is difficult. How would I know when I?m going to do something stupid and stop myself from doing it?

You?re right, here, if you or the counselor request it you can see one that?s different than the one assigned to you. I may try to write a note, but I feel like I?d just be wasting her time with my petty problems. Like right now I honestly feel like I?m wasting your time because I?m really not getting anywhere with this.

The problem is that we DID tell someone, but that night when another friend?s mom called the police and had them come out and check out the four and seven year old that were bruised up because of their step-dad, apparently it wasn?t enough for anything to happen, and my best friend who lived there is not allowed to see me because I was there when the step-dad showed - I wasn?t going to know that the police were coming and just leave my extremely distraught friend alone, especially since I?m good with cops and she?s not. But I got kicked out by the step-dad (the police didn?t mind me being there) and I haven?t seen my friend since, it?s MY fault that she?s on lockdown. It?s my fault she?s now miserable. This was the first week of February, and the day of the suicide prevention class I?ve mentioned was the day directly after this happened, before I even knew what happened after I got kicked out. More happened, but I don?t want to go into more details.

I considered it a no win situation because if I just put it aside then I?d end up with just more problems, which is what I did, and if I?d ask to leave the counselor would?ve followed me out and asked me what was going on, I?m terrified to talk to her, and I knew that if asked what happened I would just crack, start crying, right there, in the hallway, in front of someone I have an unreasonably extreme fear of talking to. I lost because now I just have a reacurring problem, but I feel I would have lost more if I would?ve talked to the counselor.


I could be wrong, but it sounds like people are worried about you hun- asking you if you're okay, questioning your actions/excuses... pretending like everything is just fine only works for so long. also, you spend a lot of time away from your home, it sort of seems like you're purposely trying to avoid being there, to the extent where you don't even know who's at home. It is not your fault by any means that your parents are so busy or that it's difficult for you to interact w/ other people by sheer geography of where you're living, but something definitely isn't quite right if you spend every minute outside, trying to be by yourself so that even if there were an opportunity to spend w/ your parents- you wouldn't be home.

does SI really cause any problems? Besides the scars?... I haven?t been dealing with my problems at all lately just setting them aside
this is exactly what SI does NOT do- fix problems, so sure, you can keep on doing the same things but SI helps you to not deal w/ your problems and set them aside, stopping SI would be to confront your problems and actually get a fair chance at solving them or at least learning ways to cope w/ them. you're not giving yourself or other coping mechanisms a fair chance as long as you're si'ing. I'm not saying that you can consciously stop yourself to hurt yourself every time but I am saying that there must be certain triggers that make it more likely to happen and realizing what those triggers are are the key... even if it IS just being out w/ your dog and you "happen" to see rocks or fences w/ sharp edges- those are triggers and you have just identifed them. that's the 1st step.

I feel like I?d just be wasting her time with my petty problems. Like right now I honestly feel like I?m wasting your time because I?m really not getting anywhere with this
hun, you would not be wasting her time- she cares, she offered to listen to you, and it's her job. I think writing things down allows people to say all those things they would have a hard time saying to someone, and you can also take your time and write what you want and how you want it, instead of being "put on the spot" when you talk to someone. also, you are not wasting my time or anyone else's on here. I think you are getting somewhere- you're thinking about this and that's all that anyone could really ask think therefore you are! :)

It's really too bad what happened at your friend's house- the law and what's morally right don't always go hand in hand... but it's important for you to realize that none of what happened was your fault, and you had no control over your friend not being allowed to see you anymore. You were trying to do the right thing and be a good friend- nothing that you did or didn't do made her be banned from seeing you or anyone else- that was her step-father's decision. You are NOT at fault for your friend being upset about this just as you are not responsible for other people's feelings in general, but you are responsible for your own. It's understandable that you were and are upset about this- that's not something to argue or have to justify- it just is. I really still think that if you were to talk to that one counsellor that she could help you out and maybe even your friend.... the more people who speak up the more power to change things. or consider calling that hotline I gave you. I'm not saying any of this is easy and it must be scarry to have to deal w/ these things, but I dont' think that you will lose in the end, you can only gain things by opening up to the right person and getting help for yourself (and your friend). But again, you're not responsible for how she feels nor are you at fault for anything. You seem so certain that you would just break down and cry if you were to talk to the counsellor, it's difficult to then pretend everything is fine and that there is no problem. keep that in mind.

Here's some more links that might help you w/ reasons for why and how people stop SI and how it can become a habit:

Why Should I Stop Hurting Myself?
Before you decide whether or not to stop hurting yourself there are several questions you need to ask yourself. The first one is, Why do I want to give up self-injury? This question may seem like it would have a simple answer, but it usually does not. You may be able to think of several reason why you want to stop hurting yourself, or you may not be able to identify any reasons. "Your answers to this question will affect whether you try to eliminate your SI behaviors and how successful you will be if and when you do."

To Escape Pressure from Other People
You may want to stop hurting yourself because loved ones are urging or demanding that you do so. A spouse, family member, friend, therapist, or partner may pressure you about your SI behaviors. Sometimes therapists and other mental health professionals may demand that self-injurious behaviors stop during treatment. And it is likely that your spouse, partner, or friends will ask you to not hurt yourself. "While these people may sincerely care about you, and they may truly believe that they are helping you by insisting that you control your self-injurious behavior, this pressure may not be especially helpful. Support is more helpful than demands, suggestions, or coaxing. You need to determine your actions on your own accord." You need to decide to stop hurting yourself because you want to, and not because other people want you to. If you decide to stop hurting yourself because of pressure from others it will most likely end in failure.

To Reduce Shame, Embarrassment, or Secrecy
You may want to stop self-injuring because of the shame or embarrassment you feel about hurting yourself. Shame is an important part of self-injury. To lessen your feelings of shame and embarrassment you try to keep your behavior secret by not telling anyone and hiding your scars and fresh injuries. Reducing this embarrassment may be a motive you have for ending your self-injurious behavior.

By stopping your self-injurious behavior you may be able to be more open and honest with friends and family- "not that you are dishonest when you omit information that could be linked to self-injury." It just that hiding things from your loved ones makes it hard to feel close to them. It can be very difficult to tell another person that you self-injure, because of the possible reactions of disbelief, shock, or disgust. Ending self-injurous behavior would alleviate a lot of the shame and embarrassment that is connected with SI.

Because Self-Injury Does Not Work Like It Used To
Another reason that some people use to decide that they want to stop hurting themselves is "that it does not provide a permanent solution to deal with problems or overwhelming feelings and is no longer even an effective short-term coping mechanism." People will rarely give up a thought, feeling, or behavior that is pleasing or gratifying. But the gratification that may come with self-injury decreases with repetition. At first, SI is very effective at lessening negative feelings and emotions; which is probably the reason you did it in the first place. But after many episodes of SI it may become more and more difficult for SI to produce the same effect. Self-injury may not have the same effectiveness, so you may decide to stop hurting yourself because of this.

When you decide to stop hurting yourself because it doesn't work like it used to, you have the risk of falling into another harmful method of coping that could be even more dangerous than self-injury. "It is not uncommon for [self-injurious behavior] to be exchanged for something with equal or greater potential harm, such as drugs or alcohol." Alternate coping mechanisms such as excessive eating, shopping, sexual activity, reckless driving, gambling, and other similar behaviors all have "a great potential for harm."

If your reason for discontinuing self-injurious behavior is its ineffectiveness, then it is "essential that you identify and try out as many possible positive alternative methods of coping as you can. You will probably be able to find a new method of coping that is nondetrimental and helpful to you."

To Improve Psychological and Physical Health
A more positive reason for deciding to end self-injurious behavior is a desire to be healthier, both physically and psychologically. At one time SI may have been a coping-mechanism and a way of survival for you, but it is no longer neccessary. At this time you have a "greater capacity for enduring difficult situations and taking care of yourself" than you did at an earlier time in your life. "Out of this added strength can emerge a desire to end [self-injury] in order to improve your well-being."

Self-injury may help lessen feelings of depression, isolation, alienation, and frustration, but you probably have found that it can also increase the same negative feelings over time. "Over time, the shame, embarrassment, guilt, and physical consequences of [SI] take their toll." You may decide to end this vicious cyle and promote healthier psychological feelings, as well as a healther physical existence. By ending your self-injurious behavior you are more likely to lessen your desire for other's support, decrease your isolation and alienation, and feel better physically. "(Repeated damage to the body- no matter how small the trauma- can have serious physical and emotional consequences.)" Also you may gain a feeling of pride because you abstain from hurting yourself. Ending self-injury can "produce feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction and give you a healthier outlook on life."

Helpguide: Self-Injury...
How does self-injury become addictive?
A person who becomes a habitual self-injurer usually follows a common progression:
  • the first incident may occur by accident, or after seeing or hearing of others who engage in self-injury
  • the person has strong feelings such as anger, fear, anxiety, or dread before an injuring event
  • these feelings build, and the person has no way to express or address them directly
  • cutting or other self-injury provides a sense of relief, a release of the mounting tension
  • a feeling of guilt and shame usually follows the event
  • the person hides the tools used to injure, and covers up the evidence, often by wearing long sleeves
  • the next time a similar strong feeling arises, the person has been ?conditioned? to seek relief in the same way
  • the feelings of shame paradoxically lead to continued self-injurious behavior
  • the person feels compelled to repeat self-harm, which is likely to increase in frequency and degree

How can a self-injuring person stop this behavior?
Self-injury is a behavior that becomes compulsive and addictive. Like any other addiction, even though other people think the person should stop, most addicts have a hard time just saying no to their behavior ? even while realizing it is unhealthy.
There are several things to do to help yourself:
  • acknowledge that this IS a problem, that you are hurting on the inside, and that you need professional assistance to stop injuring yourself.
  • realize that this is not about being bad or stupid ? this is about recognizing that a behavior that somehow was helping you handle your feelings has become as big a problem as the one it was trying to solve in the first place.
  • find one person you trust ? maybe a friend, teacher, minister, counselor, or relative ? and say that you need to talk about something serious that is bothering you
  • get help in identifying what ?triggers? your self-harming behaviors and ask for help in developing ways to either avoid or address those triggers
  • recognize that self-injury is an attempt to self-sooth, and that you need to develop other, better ways to calm and sooth yourself
  • try some substitute activities when you feel like hurting yourself ? (examples listed on website, click on link above)


Yeah, people are worried about me, but that?s exactly what I don?t like - people caring about me. I have one friend I consider my ?feel good? partly because he never asks me what?s wrong or anything like that, I don?t think about my problems, I don?t have to lie, it?s all good. Currently about twenty people think I?m suicidal and openly ask about it, it?s got to be the most annoying thing because if a teacher or discipline official over hear, I?m done for, any talk of it is not taken lightly here. And that?s alongside the teachers, discipline officials, people I don?t know, friends, and the counselor I mentioned asking me if I?m alright.

My parents and I, we don?t get along, when I get in trouble for something my parents threaten the safety of my pets. I live to serve my pets, when I?m upset to the point I?m in a delusion of thinking suicide may be a solution, my pets bring me back to earth. If someone on the street threatened my pets I would no doubt flip out on them, I don?t want to be at home with my parents in case I do something they don?t like they?ll threaten my pets. So, I stay away, if neither me or my pets (my dog for the most part) are there to anger my parents, nothing will happen.

The thing is, I can?t avoid the things that trigger it, in fact I see them every day, but I only do it again after the old injury has faded, so how will just knowing they trigger it help stop it?

I did it today, and when doing it caused an accidental second injury that was more serious than the first, that settled it. I?ve started writing a letter to the counselor I mentioned, but I won?t be able to give it to her probably until Friday due to half days and state tests, but I?m definitely going to do it. Especially after reading the article-thing you posted and some other things on the website. I really don?t see fixing, or at least lessening the blow of my problems any other way. Whether or not she will contact me after I give it to her I don?t know.

Still, I?m just not sure, I think it?s just me. I always think I?m wasting people?s time.

The reasonable part of me realizes that I was not at fault for what happened, but just being there and seeing my friend the way she was, having been there and talked with Officer Miller, I can?t help but feel that somewhere in the tangled mess of details I did something that caused the entire thing. I plan to talk to the counselor, I?m not sure if it will do any good, but it?s worth a try. Before this whole situation came along I hadn?t cried in years, and I haven?t talked to anybody about this because I know it?s a touchy subject for me and I know it makes me upset just thinking about it. And that?s the last thing I want - to cry in front of this counselor, yet I know I will if I talk about this particular incident. And that?s why I think it?s really difficult for me to tell this counselor I want/need to talk to her, even in a note.

I?d just like to take this time to thank you for your help. Thanks for caring enough to help.


I'm sorry your parents and you don't get along... and that they threaten your pet's safety. Pets are such a blessing. They understand the meaning of unconditional love. :) It's good to know that you have a reason to hold on when things get really bad, anything that brings you back to "reality" is a good thing to have. It doesn't sound like things are really "fine", which is what I was alluding to in my earlier post in response to you trying to spend every minute away from your house. Has it always been like this or just lately? What do you do when the weather is really bad?! In any case, you shouldn't have to run away from your own home- that's supposed to be a safety net, and it's really sad when it's not. I think that's another reason why talking to someone is going to help you a lot, maybe you can find that safety net somewhere else or through another activity/person... the other thing is, you may be able to avoid them physically but one, it doesn't solve your problems and two, you can only avoid them for so long. how old did you say you were again? maybe they're just overworked and super stressed and tend to take that out on you & your pets when they see you, but that's not an excuse for their behaviour- it could however be a possible explanation.

You may not be able to avoid the trigger, and that's not necessarily what I meant, but if you know what the trigger is, you have already learned something about why you hurt yourself... but more importantly, if you can identify the trigger you may be able to learn to cope with it better. it'll take time, but it's sort of like preparing yourself to be ready to try your best to deal w/ it differently when it comes up... so maybe that means being extra careful when you "encounter" one of these triggers, maybe you can try to go around them or go by really quickly, or you could try to focus on something else instead of the urge to hurt yourself. distractions work for some people. also, try to figure out what you're actually feeling in those moments, and focus on those emotions. again, if you can find out more about what emotions trigger this, then that gives you a clue about your thoughts and actions. or maybe start w/ your thoughts firs- what's going through your mind when you're out there and encounter one of the triggering areas? they're all interconnected. In a way, you do seem to be very aware of when you do it and why- you wait until the old injury has faded, so what keeps you from doing anything before? how do you cope until then? it really does sound like a habit, you know when you will do it and justify it w/ "it's faded", sometimes those thought patterns can lead to self-fulfilling prophesies, b/c you have logically justifed why it's okay to do it after some time has passed since the last time. I know you can't just stop once you know the trigger, but learning other ways to deal w/ them is key here.

I am so glad to hear you're writing that letter to the counselor. And I agree, I think at this point you're at a place where you're stuck in the cycle so to say- and without asking for help it's like being in a labyrinth. Write whatever feels right, you can always go into more details later if you want to or you can lay it all out there- it's up to you- but it might be easier for you to at least get the basic ideas down there. What happened at your friend's house sounds like it affected you in more than one way and for more than one reason- and I will say this again: none of that was your fault. I can say it a million times, but you have to start believing that yourself when you're ready. You are really brave for wanting to speak up and for realizing you're going to need some help w/ all of this, please don't think you're weak even if you cry. Crying can feel really good sometimes after stuffing away all those feelings for a very long time.

Again, you're not wasting anyone's time. And you are very welcome. I've been there myself (SI) and I know it's an ongoing struggle, but if there is one thing I can tell you, some people can just stop, but others can't- and why wait to figure that out? if you have options right here and now and people are willing to help you w/ this and everything else that is going on, why not take them up on it? you deserve their help, no matter what some people might tell you.


It?s been this way ever since my brother moved out, I figured he just needed anger management, but now I really think that he was the ?worst child? at the time, so my parents hassled him. Now that he?s gone and out of high school they switched to hassling me and my pets. When the weather is bad I still walk my dog for hours, if I don?t she?ll be obnoxious and possibly destructive. I?m very cold-tolerant, so even when the temperature is in the negatives it?s not a problem, rain?s not a problem, and depending on the size of it hail isn?t either. Only once has that caused any problem, I almost got stuck in a hailing, pouring rain, extremely windy, tornado-warning storm but a firefighter invited both me and my dogs into his home until the storm calmed. The only thing I do avoid is temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, because it?s a health hazard for both me and my dog. I?m fifteen years. Not very old.

I?m around these triggers for most of the time I?m gone, about two hours usually, most of the time I?m occupied with playing and running with my dog, only in the fifteen minutes on the way there and fifteen minutes on the way back do I have nothing to do. And about 95% of the times I do SI is during the first ten minutes leaving the area, before I put my dog?s leash on near the road, but often I continue to walk for another hour along a different road. When I?m in a triggering area I?m not really thinking at all, I?m in a very content mood, I like being out with my dog it?s fun for me, all I?m thinking about is keeping her close and away from the road. That?s one thing I just can?t figure out. I?m really just completely hypocritical, I care about my dog?s safety ten times more than my own, and when a friend started SI I helped convince her out of it by telling her that she shouldn?t do that stuff and that she was better than that and she didn?t do it since. Yet the whole time I was doing the same thing in a different way.
The whole thing about waiting ?til it?s faded I THINK is a way to keep suspicion off me, no one knows about this, it?s my secret, if I get hurt all the time and use the same excuse all the time people would start thinking things, but with time in between they forget the one before ever happened and no one ever knows. If I try to do it a few times and am unsuccessful to the severity I expected I?ll give up as to avoid suspicion. If people do think I do SI, they sure don?t show it. I just don?t cope I guess, I never do anything different; it?s always the same thing everyday. Pass the same houses, the same cars, wave at the same bus driver, walk my dog in the same place, always the same. It?s like I?m on a schedule when I do it, at least twice a month, always the same way, always done the same location, always after the old one has faded, always the same, month after month. Though if I get hurt by accident through something totally unrelated I still don?t do it until the accidental injury has faded. Like I always have to have AN injury, how it got caused is what matters.

I plan to finish the note today, and keep it just to the basics, I don?t really see going into everything in a note. If she?s there tomorrow I?ll drop it off at the counseling center before school starts or during one of the two breaks, if she?s not, I?ll drop it off Friday or the next day she?s there. I wasn?t sure before but now I?m pretty convinced that this is what I need partly by what all of you have told me, the facts, and partly because I know that she is very nice and I?ll assume she actually cares, though I guess you?d have to be nice at least to a certain degree to be a counselor or similar anywhere, let alone in a high school.


I got pulled out of my first hour class less than half-way into it, to the counseling center to meet with the counselor. We talked for a while and she had me look straight into her eyes (I?d been staring at the wall for the most part.) when she asked me if I was suicidal, I said no and nothing was said of it afterwards. But after we had talked she apologized to me and said that she had to break the confidentiality. She said that she could not keep the confidentiality if people were at risk of harming themselves or others. She also said that even had I not told her anything at all that she would have to call my parents just by what was in the note. She said that she?d understand if I didn?t want to talk to her again, but that she HAD to call my parents. She called my dad and gave him a general idea of the situation. At first I was mad, but my parents don?t even believe her, they don?t think I?d do that and didn?t ask me, so I didn?t have to lie. My mom actually told me I should?ve cursed at her. She also said that she couldn?t help me with the SI thing, that I would have to see the social worker that happened to be there at the time I got there, but that she would have to tell my parents of that (Before she had called them). When she called him, she told my dad that the social worker could help me, so as long as that wouldn?t mean ANOTHER phone call to my parents I wouldn?t mind at least meeting the social worker. She offered to let me meet the social worker at the time but I was nervous to the point I was shaking, and a little angry that she was going to call my parents so I refused. If she doesn?t pull me out of class Monday I will see her on Tuesday due to an assembly, I can talk to her then, before it starts or after it?s over. I feel the need to apologize for getting noticeably upset when she said she was going to call my parents. She was really nice and I think that if I talk to her again everything will be fine, I won?t be so nervous and out of focus - a few of my answers to her questions were "I don't know" or just a shoulder shrug.

?Can someone tell me exactly what a social worker does?

Though I did regret it at the time, once I learned that she had to call my parents, I don?t regret it now, and I think it was a wise decision. It wasn?t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And I missed over half of both first and second hour, just a bonus. I didn't tell anyone about seeing the counselor, let alone that I'd contacted the counselor myself, and I doubt I'm going to at least not for a while.
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