Abandoned and self-mutilating

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

For the past couple months I’ve been feeling depressed and started self injuring in the form of cutting. So far nobody knows about this.
When i was twleve (i’m currently thirteen) i started seeing a counselor for family issues. Later my parents saw no need to continue with couseling so we stopped attending. This is when i started feeling depressed and started cutting.
I have always been afraid of talking to people but now since this has been going on i am afraid to even be around people for fear of them finding out.My parents have been asking me why i isolate myself.
I had a boyfriend who moved away but we kept contact and he always told me he loved me and he would never leave me. but then one day never replied to any of my calls and i’ve never heard from hime since. This happened about a day before i started cutting.
I’ve always heard of being abandoned could cause self injury. Could this be part of why i self injure. Also i want to start seeing a counselor or therapist but how do i get my parents to take me if they see no point. I didn’t ever feel comfortable talking to my old couselor but how would i even get them to find a new one?

A: Thank you for writing. Although I’m sure it hurt to have your boyfriend drop out of your life, I doubt very much that it was that that caused you to get in the habit of cutting. From what you wrote, it looks to me like you are feeling like your parents don’t see you clearly and don’t take you seriously. You want to get them to pay attention but you don’t know how to go about it. Either they are too caught up in other things to get the message or your message isn’t “loud” enough. If you find it too hard to talk directly to them, why not just show them this letter and your scars? You can then tell them that you understand that they may not think you all need counseling but you do. Your school guidance counselor or your doctor could give you a list of counselors who specialize in teen issues.

Meanwhile, if you feel the urge to cut, I suggest that you give the counselors at the Boys and Girls Town Hotline a call. Their number is 800-448-3000. There are counselors available 24/7 to talk to teens like you. A sympathetic ear and some practical advice may help you find other ways to manage your stress besides hurting yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 May 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Abandoned and self-mutilating. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/05/26/abandoned-and-self-mutilating/