I just recently started school. Soccer season is in full swing. Everything has been going normally, except for the fact that I’m not normal. I’ve struggled with self harm for over four years. I started it in 5th grade. I thought I was getting better about it but it just kept getting worse and worse as I kept telling myself I was getting better. So school starts and I see some people I haven’t seen in a while. They point out I’ve lost weight. Apparently it’s a lot of weight. They haven’t seen me eat at school. Yea, I restrict my eating but it’s because of soccer and I only restrict junk foods. I’ve lost 26 pounds since July 1st and it’s August 14th now. I don’t think I have a problem but everyone else thinks I do. Just because I’m eating healthier and losing weight doesn’t mean I have a problem. I don’t want to be put in a hospital again. I’ve already done that too many times.
- Having serious issues with self-harm and being judged can make you feel worried and alone. You are strong for admitting you have problems and trying to find solutions.
- If you need someone to talk to, you can go to the Teen Central website and click the Help tab to call a hotline or text line. Click the Stories tab to read stories submitted by other teens. You may also speak to a trusted therapist, school counselor or religious leader.
- There’s a difference between eating healthier and not eating enough. For example, you could begin to have an eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia, binge eating or others. These might give you worse problems later in life or even lead to death. Know the dangers of losing weight too quickly, skipping meals and others. For example, problems you may encounter with skipping meals are moodiness, hormonal changes, muscle loss and overeating. You can educate yourself on how to eat healthy meals by reading educational websites or books on the subject.
- If you want to make sure you won’t have to be hospitalized again, you have to prove you’re healthier through your actions. Hiding your issues from yourself or others will only make them come out in other ways. A trusted therapist will likely help you figure out why you use self-harm or something else to cope with your problems. If people feel like you were losing weight too quickly, they may be showing concern for your well-being. A healthy adult can safely lose four to eight pounds per month so for teens it may be even less. There are useful resources online to help teens lose weight safely. You can commit to taking genuine care of yourself by becoming educated on health, self-care and self-love by reading educational websites or books on the subjects.
- You can stop using self-harm to deal with your issues by figuring out why you do this to yourself and finding healthy ways to deal with your issues. Knowledge is power. You can head to the Teen Central website and click the Learn tab then Self Injury to learn more. You can learn about how to stop harming yourself by looking this article up online: “Cutting and Self Harm” from Helpguide.org. If you don’t get help now or help yourself, your problems will come out in other ways or get worse.
- Self-harm is dangerous and can lead to suicide. You could also accidentally hurt yourself more than you mean to and cause a serious injury. Getting help now can save you from dealing with more or even worse problems in the future.
- You can benefit from learning to keep appropriate boundaries and have healthy relationships. You have the right to say no when you feel like it. If someone doesn’t accept this, you don’t have to have a relationship with them. If you’re forced to see them, it’s probably best for your health and well-being to get away from them as often as possible. Learn more by heading to the Teen Central website then clicking the Tools tab to download resources called 8 Signs of Healthy Relationships and 8 Signs of Unhealthy Relationships.
- Instead of using self-harm to cope, you can use creativity to express your feelings in a healthy way. Creative writing, coloring in a coloring book, painting, drawing, listening to music, playing a musical instrument and others are some activities to try.
- You can write your feelings down in a daily journal to let any tension or anger you may feel out. Be yourself by doing the things you enjoy and expressing your feelings in healthy ways. If someone doesn’t like you as yourself, this only leaves room for someone better to come along.
- You can repeat positive affirmations to yourself when you begin to feel down. Have hope by always having something to look forward to so you don’t spiral out of control. You can find something healthy to laugh at by reading comics or watching cartoons. On the Teen Central website under the Tools tab, you can download resources called Positive Reminder, Positive Talk and Yoga Pose.
- Volunteering is a meaningful way to forget about your problems for a while and focus on helping others with theirs. You can volunteer at your local animal shelter, library, hospital, church or from home. Plant a native garden, plant trees or recycle to help the environment. Find opportunities in your area or online by visiting websites like Volunteermatch.org. Giving unconditional love by fostering or adopting a pet can help you feel loved as well.
- Being more spiritual can make your life more meaningful and maybe even give you a purpose. Everything happens for a reason. For example, maybe you self-harm or feel down because life is trying teach you that you deserve to love yourself more. Spiritual techniques you can try are prayer, meditation or yoga. These can help you have peace of mind, focus better and be healthier in mind, body and spirit. You may also attend church services.
- In what ways can having a positive mindset help you live a better life now and in the future?
- If you made a list of the many ways you deserve to love yourself and your body what would it look like?
- How can focusing on goals, homework, hobbies and other positive activities help take the place of self-harm?
- How can you make sure to stay committed to take care of yourself in the best way possible?