Doggie paddling

Hi 👋 .. lol I almost typed my name. As you can most likely tell, I'm new to this. I am a female, currently 16, going on to 17 years old. I've been struggling with depression, well I can't give you an exact time frame, but I knew I was depressed at the age of 14. Before hand... well let's just say even if the events in my life didn't play out the way they had I still think I could/ would have gotten depressed, due to some emotional dips I had that I never noticed until I experienced major depression. I've been struggling with major depression since. There was a very dark period in between that time and now where I didn't want to be here and I once tried to leave. I am not in that dark of place but I still think of it( not wanting to do it nessisarily just a passing, fluttering thought daily) for the last 2 1/2 ish years I've been struggling with self harm and recently received help from an online friend. I've been clean for 2 weeks and 4 days and I feel like slipping back. It like I can't grasp on to a reason to stop anymore. Anyway after the depression came the anxiety . The first time I had a panic attack was in the middle of practice. The next day I had 6 panic attacks, one practically every period, for the whole period. 3 of them were so bad I had to leave the class for most of the period, while the other three I just sat in class shaking, gripping my pencil or desk trying not to let anyone hear me hyperventilating. Since I've been talking to this online friend, I'm not in a constant feeling of depression but I have ups and downs so fast. It's like he helps me and triggers me at the same time sometimes. And it really irritating and infuriating to me on how insecure I've become. Especially about what he thinks, even though he has never put me down. lol I almost feel he turned my depression into bipolar disorder. I originally started talking to him because I could just vent, Vent to a random stranger then I could leave. Now that I care about him and what he thinks, when I want to open up to him I trigger myself, saying I'm just a nucence and a burden no matter how much he protests. How can someone saying the same thing over and over not be? Sorry this was way more than I wanted to post, especially for the first post, but it helped me not give in to the itch and the imidiate moment.

4 Replies

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  • Even though I am more familiar with anxiety, I was recently diagnosed with depression. We are young and we can beat this! You have so much in store for you in your life. Congrats on being clean because the more that you are clean, hopefully the more that urge will go away! Have you ever tried therapy? Sometimes just talking it out can help temporarily. It is an awful feeling, and I've only been dealing with it for the past few months, I can't imagine what you have been going through all of this time. I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this :( You have to remember to be stronger than the awful feelings and don't ever let them get the best of you

  • Dewdropsxx, I am so sorry you are going through this. I got depressed when I was 19. I am much older now, 60 and I want to tell you it is temporary. Even if you feel it isn't . You have a therapist ? If you don't you really need to. The thoughts are scary I know. Slow down and put one foot in front of the other. This is a great site, very responsive. Do you take meds? Tell us about you more. You are so young and there is much you can do to get better. I have OCD which comes with its own fun package! But write back and good you have someone to vent to. God Bless

    LD

  • My story is very long, or maybe I just feel like it is. I do not take meds( I do for my ADHD), in fact until a week ago know one knew anything, except for my online friend. I have been alone for these years, isolating myself from all my friends. Recently I opened up to one of my friends and I told a few people I know about the cutting. I have had bad experiences with a therapist and social workers. The therapist was horrible! Telling me I'm doing things wrong and making me feel dumb and worthless, and she didn't even know I was depressed, self harmer, or suicidal! But I don't hold it agains therapist in general, I wouldn't mind having one. The only problem is, my mother doesn't know and what was happened hit her pretty had so I'm the shoulder the family cries on. I'm also their emotional punching bag. My brother and Mom are just so angry at the world and what has happened and they just vent there angers on me, not realizing I'm not unfazed like they think. It's not even the fact my life got turned upside down, but the stress of it all and all the little insicirities that come with it.

  • Hi there,

    Firstly a big hug to and for you and a warm welcome to the forum. You are not alone. Everyone on the forum here are good listeners, care and here for you, as they are for everyone else.

    Some or many on the forum may not understand about self harming. I hope that I'm able to convey what self harming is. Self harming is when the level of emotional pressure becomes too high it acts as a safety valve – a way of relieving the tension. Cutting makes the blood take away the bad feelings. Pain can make you feel more alive when feeling numb or dead inside. Punishing oneself in response to feelings of shame or guilt.

    A panic attack is an exaggeration of your body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement. It is the rapid build-up of overwhelming physical sensations, such as:

    a pounding heartbeat

    feeling faint

    sweating

    nausea (feeling sick)

    chest pains

    feeling unable to breathe

    shaky limbs, or feeling like your legs are turning to jelly

    feeling like you’re not connected to your body.

    During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that:

    you’re losing control

    you’re going to faint

    you’re having a heart attack

    you’re going to die.

    Panic attacks can also come in the night while you’re asleep, and wake you up. This can happen if your brain is very alert (due to anxiety), and interprets small changes in your body as a sign of danger.

    Experiencing a panic attack during the night can be particularly frightening, as you may feel confused about what’s happening, and are helpless to do anything to spot it coming.

    Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. They can come on very quickly, and your symptoms will usually peak within 10 minutes.

    Sometimes you might experience symptoms of a panic attack which last for up to an hour. If this happens you are probably experiencing one attack after another, or a high level of anxiety after the initial panic attack.

    If you experience anxiety or panic attacks there are many things you can do to help yourself cope.

    E.g. Talking to someone you trust,

    breathing exercises,

    shifting your focus,

    listening to music

    reassuring thoughts,

    physical exercise,

    keeping a diary,

    eating a healthy diet,

    complementary therapies,

    joining a support group.

    Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life.

    In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.

    Experiencing depression can make it hard to find the energy to look after yourself. But taking an active role in your treatment, and taking steps to help yourself cope with your experiences, can make a big difference to how you feel.

    Here are some things you can try:

    look after yourself - Get good sleep. For lots of people who experience depression, sleeping too little or too much can be a daily problem. Getting good sleep can help to improve your mood and increase your energy levels. Get enough rest and also exercise (even if its a short walk).

    practise self-care - Eat well. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you feel well, think clearly and increase your energy levels. Look after your hygiene. When you're experiencing depression, it's easy for hygiene to not feel like a priority. But small things, like taking a shower and getting fully dressed whether or not you're going out of the house, can make a big difference to how you feel.

    Work out what makes you happy. Try making a list of activities, people and places that make you happy or feel good. Then make a list of what you do every day. It probably won't be possible to include all the things that make you happy but try to find ways to bring those things into your daily routine.

    Avoid drugs and alcohol. While you might want to use drugs or alcohol to cope with any difficult feelings, in the long run they can make you feel a lot worse.

    keep active - Many people find exercise a challenge but gentle activities like yoga, swimming or walking can be a big boost to your mood.challenge your low mood

    reward yourself - Treat yourself. When you're feeling down, it can be hard to feel good about yourself. Try to do at least one positive thing for yourself every day. This could be taking the time for a long bath, spending time with a pet or reading your favourite book.

    Be kind to yourself. None of us achieve all our goals. Don't beat yourself up if you don't do something you planned to, or find yourself feeling worse again. Try to treat yourself as you would treat a friend, and be kind to yourself.

    connect with people - Join a group. This could be anything from a community project or a sports team to a hobby group. The important thing is to find an activity you enjoy, or perhaps something you've always wanted to try, to help you feel motivated.

    Try new things. Trying something new, like starting a new hobby, learning something new or even trying new food, can help boost your mood and break unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour.

    Try volunteering. Volunteering (or just offering to help someone out) can make you feel better about yourself and less alone. Volunteering England, Volunteering Wales and Do-It can help match you with a volunteering opportunity in your area.

    Keep a mood diary. This can help you keep track of any changes in your mood, and you might find that you have more good days than you think. It can also help you notice if any activities, places or people make you feel better or worse.

    Challenge your thinking.

    Set realistic goals. Try to set yourself achievable goals, like getting dressed every day or cooking yourself a meal. Acheiving your goals can help you feel good and boost your self-confidence, and help you move on to bigger ones.

    Keep in touch. If you don't feel up to seeing people in person, or talking, send a text or email to keep in touch with friends and family.

    Keep talking. It might feel hard to start talking to your friends and family about what you're feeling, but many people find that just sharing their experiences can help them feel better.

    ________________________

    Reading what you had written in regard to self harming yourself (or discovering that a friend or relative self-harms) can be extremely upsetting. It can be hard to understand why a person would deliberately hurt themselves, and people often go through a range of emotions, like feeling shocked, angry, saddened, confused or guilty.

    For those trying to understand those who self harm, It is important to take self-harming seriously. A person who self-harms will describe their behaviour as a way of coping with overwhelming feelings associated with difficult or painful experiences. For some it becomes addictive, a way of feeling better and re-establishing control over their emotions. It is rarely used as 'attention seeking', most self-harmers try to keep it a secret and feel very ashamed.

    I look at you as an individual

    " not the harm. Look beyond the scars. Scars are not important. "The person that did them is important."

    It can be very difficult for you to stop self harming, and it may take them a long time to do so. The important thing here is that you will need to find a different way of getting the emotions out, address your depression and reduce the anxiety.

    I'd like you to know that I want to listen to you, want to understand what you are going through, even if i cant fully understand it and hear how you are feeling when you feel ready and able to talk. I understand that it is a long and hard journey to stop self-harming.

    Because your self-harming is often an expression of something going on internally, how are you feeling now, today? Its understandable that you may find it uncomfortable to talk , but I and others are here to listen and offer support along with ensuring you can know of other places you can go to get support.

    I'd like to suggest emotional management options. Helping you develop more emotional awareness and coping techniques that don’t involve self-harm can help minimize self-injurious behaviours.

    This could be something as simple as maintaining a journal that is dedicated to expressing and processing emotions, or something more complex, like going to psychotherapy sessions to learn about processing emotions.[

    Practicing mindfulness through meditation or yoga may help you be in touch with and process your emotions in a calmer, healthier way, additionally, the discipline and strength required to achieve advanced yoga positions may help some people experience a release similar to that felt during self-injury.

    Help identify triggers. You likely have specific triggers: events, situations, or emotions that cause you to feel the need to self-harm. If you become aware of those triggers, you can develop more strategies for coping, avoiding the triggers, or making the conscious choice to engage in an alternate activity.

    There are other alternatives to self-harm that may help you find something that works for you.

    1. Those who self-harms to deal with emotions may feel a similar release through moderate to vigorous exercise, making loud noises, destroying something (such as ripping paper or breaking sticks in half).

    Scream as loud as you can

    • HIT a cushion / punch bag / throw a cushion against a wall

    • Smash a water melon

    • Kick a football against a wall

    • Squeeze ice really hard

    • Squeeze a stress ball

    • Tear up a newspaper/phone directory

    • Play loud music and dance energetically – be as wild as you like

    • Draw on the place you want to cut with red marker pen, fake blood or watered down food

    colouring

    • Write words on yourself with a red marker pen

    • Spend some energy - go for a walk/swim/go to the gym/ride a bike/go running, write or read poetry or play or sing songs, or get and write a journal (about your emotions and feelings)

    2. Those who self-harm to calm down may be able to substitute the self-harm with self-care in the form of luxurious baths, massages, spending time with beloved pets, listen to favourite music, reading a book, watching a film or cuddling in a soft, warm blanket.

    3. Those who self-harm from a feeling of numbness may be able to reach out to friends to feel more connected. He or She may also be able to feel less numb by replacing the self-injury with less harmful behaviours such as eating foods with very intense flavours, holding an ice cube tightly until it melts, or even taking a cool/cold shower.

    Try to work out how you’re feeling.

    Ask yourself “Do I feel ANGRY?’ ‘Do I feel anxious?’ ‘What about?’

    Ask yourself ‘What would the razor blade say if it could talk to me?’

    Write a letter to someone you’re angry with (hurt by etc.) saying how you feel (No need to

    send it.)

    Write a list of your achievements

    Write a letter to yourself saying ‘I love YOU because….’

    Make a list of things you’re thankful for

    Make a wish list

    Talk to a friend or and talk to us here on the forum.

    Call the Samaritans or other helpline such as MIND

    Allow yourself to cry (if you can)

    There are places you can find emotional help. Counselling, or psychotherapy, can help you identify and manage underlying issues resulting in self-injuring behaviours. There are several types of therapy that can be helpful, such as:

    Cognitive behavioural therapy. This helps identify negative beliefs and behaviours, and replace them with healthy, positive coping strategies. People create plans to better identify and react to their triggers, tolerate distress, and identify safe people and places to go to when they have the urge to self-injure

    Psychodynamic psychotherapy. This focuses on identifying past experiences, traumatic memories, or interpersonal issues to get at the root of emotional problems

    Mindfulness-based therapies. These help individuals learn to live in the present and understand intentions, to reduce anxiety and depression, and improve general well-being

    Family therapy. This is a group-based therapy which may be recommended in some cases, particularly for young individuals who self-injure.

    Physical activity and relaxation techniques can help with anxiety, depression, and general wellness. Plus, you’ll have fun together.

    Encourage expansion of social networks.

    Many people who self-injure feel lonely, isolated, and disconnected.Some self-inflicted wounds may require medical treatment. Have you an emergency contact if you have or get an urge to self-injure, that can take you to medical appointments or clinics as necessary?

    Take care of yourself, too. Take time to be good to yourself and enjoy your hobbies. If you don't have hobbies or things to enjoy, think about what you would like to do and enjoy and do it.

    Focus on doing something you like and enjoy.

    Examples:

    Draw / paint / collage / paper mache / finger paint / sculpt in clay - to express what you

    want to do or what you are feeling.

    Write a poem / story / song / joke / autobiography / parody / musical.

    Write a DIARY / journal or read old diaries (unless there might be triggers)

    Go to myspace.com and write an online journal'

    Scribble a word again and again to say how you’re feeling e.g. ‘lonely’, ‘angry’

    Deface a magazine (preferably your own)

    Paint with red paint using your fingers

    Draw yourself in Microsoft office

    Write a message in a self-harm forum or newsgroup on the internet

    Take some photos

    Play an instrument / Sing to music as LOUD as you can.

    Put on music which expresses how you are feeling.

    Write out the soundtrack to your life if it were a film.

    Imagine a colour which expresses your feelings then change it in your mind to another

    colour.

    Make a memory box / scrapbook.

    Write an alternative ending to a story. You can read a story and change it to an ending you feel changes it.

    Watch a foreign language channel and make up your own interpretations

    Create your own cartoon characters / legend.

    COMFORTING YOURSELF

    Examples:

    Have a bath or shower

    • Stay in bed

    • Use aromatherapy oils

    • Eat chocolate (or whatever)

    • Have an ‘emergency box’ with whatever helps you cope

    • Buy something special

    • Massage your hands / arms / feet (or the area you want to harm)

    • Stroke a pet / cuddle a teddy

    • Ask a friend to hold you

    • Paint your nails / Have your hair done

    • Play around with make up. Have a cup of tea

    • Rock / hug yourself

    • Mediate or learn or do Yoga

    DISTRACTING YOURSELF:

    EXAMPLES

    Watch television / video / DVD

    • Play on a computer

    • Go on the internet

    • Learn a new skill (juggling / making balloon animals)

    • Do puzzles / play chess / make your own puzzles

    • Origami / Scobidous / make jewellery

    • Sew / knit

    • Go through a photo album

    • Design a dream house

    • Have a debate

    • Build a card house

    • Make a paper chain of the days its been since you last cut (add a new one every

    day)

    • Find out how to put 8 queens on a chessboard without any of them being able to kill

    each other (There are 92 possible ways). Play Snap with cards. Paint a T-shirt

    • Look for pictures in the clouds.

    GETTING OUT AND ABOUT:

    EXAMPLES:

    Sweep the path

    2. Wash your car/bike

    3. Do some gardening

    4. Go for a drive

    5. Go to an arcade or playground

    6. Make a kite/fly a kite

    7. Get on a train and go to the sea. 8.Look at the night sky and look at constellations.

    BEING PRODUCTIVE:

    Catch up on DIY / housework

    2. Cook/bake something

    3. Have a clear out – give your old stuff to charity or and browse around charity shops.

    4. Re-arrange your room/decorate

    5. Read/study

    6. Give your pets a bath

    7. Volunteer somewhere

    8. Join a class

    9. Think about what you’d like to change about your life and make a plan.

    REASONING WITH YOURSELF:

    'When you’re not feeling like self-harming, write a list of reasons to avoid self-harm. The list will

    be different for each person - it's whatever makes sense to you. Look at the list when you feel

    like harming yourself.

    It could include things like:

    œ “I’ve managed for two weeks without harming.

    I don’t want to start again”

    œ

    “Once I start it’s difficult to stop”

    œ

    “I’ll regret the damage afterwards”

    œ

    “It doesn’t help in the long run.

    I can harm now but I’ll need to do it again in a couple of

    days.”

    œ

    “I don’t want to end up in hospital”

    œ

    “If I can hang on the need to self-harm sometimes passes”

    œ

    “There may be consequences I don’t want e.g. brain damage, paralysis”

    œ

    “Self-harm affects my relationships”

    When you’re feeling good write yourself a letter you can read when you want to self-harm

    3. Write down why you do not deserve to be hurt

    MAKING YOURSELF SAFE:

    Try to identify things that prompt you to self-harm.

    If possible avoid them or prepare for

    them

    Avoid shops that sell things you might use to harm yourself

    Stay with a friend

    Ask GP to give you weekly prescriptions or pick up medication for two days at a time from

    the chemist

    Do not stockpile medication (prescribed or over the counter)

    Reducing stress

    • Do some relaxation exercises / listen to a relaxation tape

    • Ask a friend to look after the children for a few hours

    • Reduce your commitments in the next few days

    Rewarding yourself for not self-harming

    • Keep a chart – add a star for each day / hour you have not self-harmed

    • If you do self-harm, just leave a space and start again

    DELAYING SELF HARM

    Keep things you harm yourself with in a locked cupboard or in a box with sello-tape

    around it. It gives you time to think between wanting to self-harm and doing it.

    Phone The Samaritans – arrange to ring again in an hour/ two hours and promise yourself

    you will not harm before then

    Use any of the suggestions for avoiding self-harm to try and delay it for a while.

    "You're not alone in feeling like this."Some days you'll have setbacks, but just know that tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities."Even if it doesn't seem that way right now, this feeling won't last forever.

    "Just do the best you can because that's enough."

    A BIG HUG from me and all of us here on the forum. xxx

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