There are many ways that clinically depressed people self-harm. It may be drinking, doing drugs, or acting out in some way. I was a cutter. That is tough to explain. I’ve heard over and over that I did it for attention. No one but myself knows how many scars I have on my body. If no one else saw the blood and injuries, how can it be for attention? Those comments, however, were very hurtful.
I had a dreadful day that resulted in deep cuts down both of my forearms. That is all that can be seen of my cutting. I recently found out that a family member who knew of my self-harm incidents told another about it. That person accused me of seeking attention in an unrelated issue even though the cutting and other self-harm had been many years ago. I felt betrayed by my family member that such a deeply personal part of my life was thrown my way in a petty argument by someone whose knowledge of it was second hand and misunderstood.
Why would someone take a knife to themselves? Deep depression is so painful, and constant uncontrollable crying is devastating. Cutting seemed to somewhat relieve my inner pain. If I could see something on myself that was painful, for a short time that felt better. For me, it was a necessity. My suicidal thoughts were so strong that I fought it by punishing myself. My thoughts were mostly misplaced guilt. I felt my illness had destroyed my family, so I believed that everyone would be better off if I were gone. I was lucky to survive previous suicide attempts but had since realized the pain it would cause my loved ones.
If you have experiences of self-harm, I urge you to talk with someone you trust that can be objective. Family members sometimes overreact. If you can see a therapist, they may be able to help you, but some have been known to report these incidents believing you are a threat to yourself. I, personally, don’t see it that way because of my experiences, but professionals are charged to alert authorities when someone is seen as a threat to themselves or others.
I send you my prayers for strength, hope, and self-love. You are stronger than you know. Look at what you are doing right now. You are looking for help from the internet. That is a beautiful step toward self-help. Peace be with you.