I’m a (age) year old girl, (age) in high school. About two years ago when I was ( age) I accidently found myself squeezing my arm when I was frustrated at something small. I didn’t know how detrimental that one day would be for the rest of my life, but the next time I was upset, I started to dig my fingernails into my arm. Then it got worse, and I was using the backside of a pencil without an eraser on it to dig into my skin. That was when my family started noticing, so I started with a therapist and I eventually went on a medication. But it kept getting worse as I started to get overworked, and caring about what others think. I had some friends, but other people were mean to me, and my whole group of friends I had earlier in middle school ghosted me because I was in my schools morning announcements which made me weird i guess. For the rest of middle school, self harm was my only coping skill. Before starting high school, i started to get really bad nightmares which would keep me up all night and I would have to fall asleep with my eyes open, not letting them close until I blinked and was asleep. High school was scary at first, but I was able to be fine earlier on in 9th grade. I play lacrosse, so come lacrosse season in the spring, I was pretty stressed. I had 1 study hall 3rd marking period and no study halls fourth marking period. I became obsessive about lacrosse and school, that whenever I would see my grade drop, or I would not play as well as id hoped in a game, I would hurt myself. The end of the school year, I was having worse thoughts and wanting to kill myself. It was mainly passive for a while until I told my therapist that I’d look up what medications people shouldn’t take too many of or else they would accidentally overdose. I was put in an outpatient program for the end of the school year when lacrosse season was over and finals were just about to begin. I got exempt from the finals and stayed with that program from 8am to 3pm every day of the week till a couple weeks into summer. This program helped me a lot and I really thought once I got out of there that I would never go back to my old ways. I met so many good people there, and switched my meds, and left feeling good. There, they diagnosed me with severe anxiety and severe depression. Before going into 10th grade, I tried sleeping medications for my nightmares. The first one I tried made them more vivid, and traumatized me with the most vivid nightmare I ever had and I spent the following day crying. I tried that medication once more but ended up with the same results. Through 10th grade so far, i’ve tried a couple different sleeping medications, none of which seem to help except benadryl. This school year started off great, but lacrosse seems to have gotten more competitive. I thought i’d be starting varsity this year and was ecstatic about it, until a girl who used to be on our team that moved away, moved back. She plays my position and is a year older than me and started varsity for a team that went to states where she moved too before. So quickly I realized I wouldn’t be starting. I feel like everything I have been working so hard for is going to waste. I put so many tears into this sport and got my hopes up only to be let down. I started cutting myself in different ways this school year, but my family always found out. I switched medications a month or two ago, but they don’t seem to be working well. A group of lacrosse friends that I used to be really close too has started drifting away from me, and one girl in particular who just started lacrosse three years ago is going to be starting varsity this year and shes in my grade. I know it seems selfish of me to be jealous, but I started playing in kindergarten and i am still worse than people who played less than me. Everyone in my grade who started the same time I did is going to be starting varsity this year except me, and I feel so defeated. Worst of all, I thought over the summer that I would never fall back to my old habits. I feel like I did last year at this time, and am having bad thoughts again. There have been boy troubles as well this year, but I worked through that, and now I just feel lonely. I have VCD (vocal cord dysfunction), which occurs when I run and play lacrosse and it’s because of my anxiety. When it flares up, I have to stop running and come off the field because I can’t breathe, and this just makes me feel worse after each game. I feel like my coach doesn’t seem to understand the struggles I am going through, and I want to tell her but that would seem selfish of me. So now I am just at a place where I don’t know any solutions to my struggles. I love my family and I care about them deeply, but I am trying so so hard to keep myself together for them and it’s becoming unbearable. There are many other little things and details that contribute to my feelings, which is what makes it seem so confusing to other people and myself as well. My brother just shared this card with me for this website which he had shared with me before but I never used it. I guess i’m just hoping for anything to help me at this point because I am getting desperate and this seems like a good place to start. I hope I did this right and I am sorry if this was too much writing. Oh and I forgot to mention that I have a twin sister who runs as well, and we used to be really competitive with each other because of how similar our paces were. We are constantly compared to each other, which is another big part of my low self esteem and self harm. Ok thanks.
- Thank you for taking this step and writing to us here at TeenCentral! It can be scary reaching out to new people for help and a bit overwhelming. You are probably way more brave than you think!
- There are many resources available for you to use &/or call upon when experiencing these challenging moments. A great option is the National Suicide Hotline. There are counselors Available 24/7 to text, chat, or speak with you during a these times. Simply text or dial 988 from your phone to get started. You can also visit their website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
- Another great option is to reach out to the Crisis Textline. They are also Available 24/7 to text and provide Support to all individuals in crisis. You can reach them by texting “HOME” to 741741 or visiting their website at www.crisistextline.org.
- You mentioned that you attended an outpatient program that was very helpful for you, are you still attending any programs? Do you speak regularly with a professional therapist? If you do not, consider speaking with your parents about setting it up for you.
- TeenCentral offers many Tools and resources for learning and better understanding yourself, your diagnosis, your situation. Head over to the Tools page on the TeenCentral website and take some time to complete the “My Support Plan” activity sheets. This can be a very useful activity for you to identify your triggers and ways to coping during these moments.
- Another great resource would be checking out the “Depression“, “Anxiety”, and “Wellness” tabs in the Learn section. The Depression and Anxiety sections can better help you understand what is going on where the Wellness section teaches balance of exercise and diet in relation to mental health.
- How do you spend your down time? Consider filling any down time with learning new hobbies. Learning new skills/hobbies helps to keep our minds and motor skills sharp, and provides focus on positive tasks.