Q. Something is not right with me. I have been sexually abused by a teacher in middle school when I was 10, now, last night, I was sexually abused again. I have been cutting myself for about 14 years now, and this week had been the worst. there are cuts all over, I am extremely depressed to the point where I am starting to feel like I should end my life. I just let everyone down, but I want to know what i can do to help myself or to make me feeel better. I’m starting to hear voices again, and I just feel horrible, alone, isolated and depressed and confused. can you tell me what to do to help myself sos maybe i cn stop cutting and thinking about suicide?

A. You need outside professional help. The way in which you handle stress and trauma is to self-harm. This behavior only further causes you pain and suffering and it’s also inappropriate, maladaptive and harmful.

Clearly you are suffering. Many people cut as a way to feel better, or to feel anything at all. Some people are in so much psychological anguish that the cutting actually brings them pleasure. I understand this. But you must know that there are alternative ways to help yourself feel better that do not involve dangerous self-harm.

Consider seeing a therapist for help with these issues. A therapist can help you deal more effectively with the pain you feel. You do not need to punish yourself through self-harm as a way to make yourself feel better. Suicide is not the answer.

A therapist can teach you more appropriate methods for coping and help you to correct your thinking. Please consider getting professional help. I strongly recommend it. Many people who have had very similar problems, have been greatly helped once they decided to reach out for help. Please consider it. You can be helped, never doubt that. Take care.