Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve been busy this last week with Blog Hops and Book Fairs, but I’m back with another teen issue. The issue I’m talking about is Cutting or Self Harm.
According to my research, cutting is on the rise. In fact, the number of children and teenagers who have asked for help after considering hurting themselves with knives or drugs has gone up by two thirds in a year.
Read more from this article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2243369/Worrying-teenage-trend-self-harming-sparks-sharp-increase-calls-Childline.html
I read about this and I wonder how does this happen? How do teens spiral down into this web of hurting themselves to feel better? So, what I did is, I spoke with someone who’s been in that predicament. Please welcome Julia Blakeney. She’s here to share her story on Self Harm.
First a little bit of information. Julia is nineteen years old and a sophomore in college. She’s hoping to transfer to LSU for the next academic year.
Julia how did this all start?
It started in high school. I was feeling depressed and my mother, who was in health care at the time, took me to the doctor. He prescribed an anti-depressant (Prozac) and had me speak with a social worker. That worked for a while.
Then the summer after my junior year in high school my brother and my best friend went to boot camp. My brother, who is two years older than me, went into the army. And my best friend, who is one year older than me, went into the Navy. I felt totally alone and I didn’t have anyone to talk to.
So would you say your brother and your friend leaving was a trigger to the cutting behavior?
Yes. I would have to say that. I became angry and felt like I was screwing up all the time. My parents always seemed mad and so did my sister. And I couldn’t talk to my mother when she was angry with me.
Is this when you started cutting yourself?
Yes. It made me feel better to cut myself. It seemed to relieve the pressure. Please understand the cutting is not to get attention like so many people think. I tried to hide it. I would wear bracelets to hide the scars.
Why do you think you started cutting yourself?
I felt angry. Angry at being left behind by my friend and my brother. I also repressed a lot of anger and sadness. I wouldn’t let myself be sad or cry over missing my friend and brother.
Why do you think cutting made you feel better?
I’m not sure why cutting made me feel better. Maybe it was because of the adrenaline or it could be about control. You know, controlling the pain.
Did your Social Worker know?
I stopped going to her at the end of my junior year, so I don’t think so.
How did you stop?
I finally told my mom. And she was really cool. She didn’t yell or scream at me, but she did take away all the sharp objects that I could use to cut myself. I didn’t want to ask for help. My mom had me go back to my therapist and I switched medication. I dropped Prozac and started taking Zoloft. That’s when I stopped cutting.
However, I became anti-social during my senior year. I wasn’t feeling well emotionally and I didn’t want to be around people. I stayed in my room a lot.
Wow. Sounds like you were going through a lot. Can you tell us the warning signs that we should look out for?
Yes. My behavior changed radically. I was happy and outgoing and then I became withdrawn. I was sleeping a lot and that worried my mother. She took me to the doctor because she thought I had Mono.
I was crying a lot and then I shut down my emotions because no one wanted to hear about it. That’s when I started cutting.
Thanks Julia for being brave and sharing your story with us!
Cutting or Self Harm is a sign of emotional distress that young teens can’t articulate into words. According to http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8006_self-harm young women are more likely to engage in this type of behavior. For more information on self-harm please click on this link. http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8006_self-harm
Thanks Julia for being here today and sharing your story. If you suspect someone you know is engaging in this type of behavior please let an authority figure know, so they can take steps to intervene before it’s too late. Because self harm is the first step toward suicide. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts. If you have a question, speak up and we’ll try and answer it for you! 🙂
Thanks for reading my post today! 🙂