From Ireland: Sometimes I don’t know how I’m feeling and cut myself. Whenever I cut I don’t go deep at all. I barely cut the surface and I doesn’t even really leave any scars… lately I’ve been punching my arms and leaving these bruises. I’m close with my mum but no I don’t want to tell her. I don’t even know what I’m thinking or what’s wrong so what’s the point, I don’t want to cause any trouble and don’t want anyone to know. My parents can get quite strict and I don’t want to tell any of my friends because they would tell a teacher or my parents and that’s just not what I want. I get in such bad moods and get quite tired and just want it to stop and I think that could be one of the reasons I self harm. I also find my past relationship with my dad and brothers to upset me even thought we get along well now, id say we are quite a vocal and physical family went things get heated sometimes I just feel trapped. Wow I don’t think I’ve ever even looked for advice before so I guess this is a start.

A: A very good start — and I think the right place to begin. You are showing a tremendous amount of courage by explaining yourself here. You also show good insight by linking your bad moods and tiredness to the self-harm. Sometimes, when there is a lot of pain inside, the self-harm moves it to the outside so it can be seen.

I can understand you may not want to tell your friends or a teacher or your parents. But telling a physician would be the next step after writing us here. First of all, the physician can check out the cuts and bruises to make sure they are healing properly. This is when you can talk to him or her and ask what the next thing to do is. Telling a medical professional who has had training in how to help is the best thing you can do for yourself right now. It is time to be brave and continue what you’ve started here.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral