At my current place of employment, a big website, I mainly work on things that get reported by the user. There are different filters in place so you can always work a certain type of report.
One of those is for everything self-harm and depression related. That’s a good thing because that way I can give special attention to people who actually need real help.
The problem here is that the majority of cases I check are 12 year old girls who think that cutting themselves is an acceptable form of “dealing” with the normal issues of growing up and being a teenager.
Anybody remember “cut for bieber”? There are lots of incentives like that.
The fact that parents aren’t there for there kids as much as they should be any-more because of all the distractions of life, doesn’t help. When a child has a problem, the first place for them to turn to should be the family or friends.
When the family is more interested in Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix, then there is a big problem.
When the friends are so lose friends that you cannot really talk to them about your worries and troubles, at some point you sit there and have no idea how to deal.
I do understand that growing up is a bitch! I grew up too. Everything changes. Your body, your thinking, your environment. Your interest in relationships starts, you have to get more and more ready for adulthood. Nowadays the internet plays a huge role in our lives. So bullying attacks as well as self-promotion on the net are a big part of the lives of kids nowadays. Then comes school being more and more pressuring. It all mounts up to something that current adults did not have to deal with when they were teenagers.
So yes, I actually understand what kids are going through.
The problem comes in when I have to treat “real self-harm” and “kiddie self-harm” equally when they are not equal.
Let’s take cutting because it is the most known form of self-harm:
I see a lot of arms that are full of little cuts, not too deep but visible. Kids like to make a photo and post it wherever they get attention. I get it, you need your problems addressed, but cutting into your skin is not the way to do that. What people will react to is the fact that the skin is cut and not why it has been done.
But the other type I see, are the real cuts. The ones that stem from a soul that has been deeply hurt and the only way to silence this psychological pain is to inflict physical pain to overwrite what is happening in the mind. It is to shut up the voices and to stop the thoughts. Even if it is only for 2 minutes of piece, it will be done. Those cuts are very deep, they need medical attention and stitches.
Somehow cutting your skin and saying you are depressed has become a very accepted form of dealing with the problems of life and me being a former self-harmer and highly depressed person find it appalling to see how “I am cutting but I don’t want attention” is just fine and dandy.
Before I met my husband, I cannot remember a time when I was not depressed. I grew up with deep depression and I had enough good reasons for it. There were more and more very valid reasons added throughout the years until at some point, the depression became so unbearable that I had to find ways to free my mind even if it was only for seconds. I became quite good in finding new ways to shut my brain up for a little.
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Originally I had a very descriptive paragraph here where I described the things I used to do in order to stop my brain. In order to stop circular thoughts that kept me awake. In order to turn off memories that I did not want to remember. In order to just have my damn mind shut up for just a minute.
I removed this list because I don’t want to give the kids ideas.
I did a lot of things that were very harmful for my health and those things helped short term but they did not help long term.
At some point I broke down in tears in front of my boss because I was unable to deal any longer and I was sent to the doctor. My GP sent me straight to the psychosomatic clinic to be checked there.
The doctor there had me fill out a questionnaire and after talking to me, she was determined to put me on the closed psych-ward because I was suicidal at that point. I agreed to go to the day clinic instead.
I actually took the help that was offered to me instead of laughing it off and saying that no one will stop me from doing what I did. I did not WANT to harm myself and the second someone offered to help me I was there ready to heal and ready to learn dealing with my problems in a healthy way.
Once I had worked out my traumata, the self-harm stopped as well. It is all connected. Nowadays I am not the happiest person alive but I know how to deal with my problems, with memories I don’t want to have, and with everything in-between. I still have the tendency to get depressed, simply because my brain is wired that way, after all I grew up depressed and my brain adjusted physically. But the good thing is, I learnt to identify when I am getting there and I can stop it.
If you do have troubles other than the normal stuff about growing up, you should seek professional help instead of jumping into this trend of “I am cutting because Tim broke up with me”.
As I said, I know growing up is a bitch. Puberty is a bitch, School is very stressful. The other kids are mean. First love and first breakup are really shitty. The body and mind changing is scary. Knowing that you have to prepare for being an adult is scary.
All of this is normal and what you need is > talk to your parents, a trusted teacher, a good friend.
When I had no one to talk to, I found people on the internet who, on the long run, turned out to be very good real friends and I talked to them.
Here another tip: A good friend is not defined by “we can cry together”. A good friend listens to your problems without judging you and without telling you what to do. A good friend is just there for you if you need them.
At all the parents: Shame on you if you are unavailable for you kids. Don’t be surprised when they start doing stupid things if you never taught them any better! Do you think that your kids will be able to function in live if you miss educating them during the most important years of their lives? Shame on you!
This is for the ones who need to talk but have no one:
I am offering my ear/eye and a virtual hug, if you need someone to talk to and you have no one else. If you need someone, you can always comment or send me a mail to clos3rlook at gmail dot com
I promise I will read it and if you want, I will answer as well. Just don’t do something that hurts your body in order to deal with your mental pain.