Good Advice for Hard Times
By SDM StaffLast month, one of our teen writers (to keep this confidential, we'll call her "Veronica") wrote me a note asking for some help. Having no personal experience in this area, I forwarded it (withholding her name, of course) to our girls on staff. The team's responses were then forwarded to her. What follows is her original note and our girls' responses.
I was just wondering if maybe someone could help me with a problem I've had for the past couple months? I've been feeling suicidal, and resorted to cutting, and I know some of the writers are experienced in dealing with things like this. I'd be very grateful for any help I can get.
I was just wondering if she said exactly why she's suicidal? Just because I think that would help us to give her better advice. If you know or could ask, I think that would help. =)
Kate, 17, New Hampshire
SDM Team Writer
Well ... why is a good bit of things. My parents purposely make my life a living hell. Not like, y'know, I hate my parents because they won't let me go 'here' Saturday night, but literally a living hell.
I have bipolar disorder which makes me nuts, and I may also have borderline personality disorder. Also, a lot of traumatic things in my past keep piling up. That's mostly it.
SDM Team's Responses:
I'm sorry to hear about this. I am 16 at the moment, and when I was 12-14 I had some issues like this too. I actually attempted to kill myself quite a few times, but was always stopped prior to going through with it, and I am so grateful that I was. The most recent time I attempted to do it, my younger brother walked in on me while a gun was to my head. He got a horror struck emotion on his face, and then cried as long and as loud as he could. He was so terrified of the gun and me.
As I saw him fall to the ground crying I snapped out of my suicidal emotions and ran to go grab him into my arms. He started to push me away like he didn't want me to touch him. He looked up at me eventually and asked me why I would want to be away from him. I told him that it wasn't because of him. It was because of other reasons. He didn't believe me, and began to hit me. He was so small and so weak in strength. His hate towards my thoughts helped me realize how much pain I was putting him through. It seemed so much worse than my own, and I started thinking. I would never want him to do what I am doing. So why should I do it to him, when he wouldn't do it to me?
I went straight to my parents and asked them to find me a psychiatrist, and without questioning it they did. I talked to the psychiatrist for about 6 or 7 months. I was able to find that the root of all my pain wasn't anything to do with anyone but myself. I had hate and anger inside of me. My advice would be to talk to someone, anyone at all, and to realize you're not alone.
Kyleen, 16, Arizona
This Month's Featured Writer
I have been suicidal before. More than once. I've felt the lowest of lows. :(
I've cut because of guys, because of my mother, and because I felt like the entire world had walked out on me and I had no one.
Either a guy I've truly liked has gotten together with one of my best friends, or my mom has talked down to me, which she has done since I can remember, or a guy has kept telling me all these sweet things, then turned around and made me feel not sweet enough, or people who were supposed to be my friends turned their backs on me when I needed them the most.
At times, everything seems like such a far reach. Happiness is so far away. But, in all honesty, whatever is making you feel like you're not worth being on this earth anymore, it's totally not worth it.
In time, you can make it through. Go to someone you trust - I find strangers are so much easier to talk to and trust - and ask them to sit down and listen. Once you just let it all out you'll realize how silly it is to make a big deal about whatever you're going through. Of course, it'll always be a big deal, but you can turn this into a stepping stone to better things in your life. Live it, learn from it. I'm here to support anyone who just needs someone to talk to. I'll do whatever I can to help.
Brittany, 17, Tennessee
One thing that is really important is to find an adult close to you - your parents or someone you can trust completely - and confide in them. They can either help in getting outside help, or help you with talking to your parent(s) or guardian. Even if it's minor, it is still important to find outside help. A therapist can usually do the trick. Talk to them about how you've been feeling and why. And in some cases even just telling someone exactly how you feel and why you think you've been feeling that way.
Also, it is important to find another way to get out your anger and pain. There is one thing I have heard of that produces the same effect as cutting, but is meant to slowly dissolve the need to inflict pain on yourself. Take a rubber band and wear it on your wrist, and when you feel like you're going to hurt yourself, snap the rubber band. I have tried it myself, and it never really worked for me, but I have heard of it helping others. Also, you can call a suicide hotline, or teen hotline, something that will keep your information confidential, unless you are truly in a horrible position. I hope this can help. I know what you're going through, and it is not the right thing to be doing to yourself. Trust me.
Sierra, 16, California
Think about it this way - you were put on this earth for a reason. Whatever that reason is, you have to find it. Think about your future and all the good things it will bring: Your dream career, a family, success. If you take your life, you'll have none of that. And what good things can you get from suicide? Nothing. DEATH. And that's scary.
Chelsea, 15, Virginia
I know saying DON'T DO IT sounds so easy to say compared to actually doing it, but I struggled with the same issues a few years back and suicide isn't the answer. In the end it will only leave you in more pain and leave the ones you would leave behind hurt.
Do you have an outlet? For example, for a while mine was writing and graphic design. Since then, I've moved on to scrapbooking, but no matter what you choose, when you use your pain to create something it helps you in two ways. First, you will focus your pain somewhere else, taking your mind off your immediate pain until you are able to deal with it, and secondly you will create something beautiful. The item you create, whether it be poetry, painting, graphics, a dance, or whatever will be there later, and you will be able to see how talented you are and how special you are.
Also, if you have no one to talk to, call the suicide hot line (1-800-SUICIDE). I know that may be easier said than done, but they are there for you. You have the right to live.
Also, remember, no one can make you feel inferior unless you let them. If anyone is making you believe you aren't worth it realize they are wrong. You were born to be someone. You are unique, and if we were all the same, life would be boring. Be proud of who you are because you ARE worth it.
Lauren, 20, California
I first want to say that you are not alone. There are a ton of people out there who are going through the exact same thing as you.
I was wondering, are you on any kind of medicines? I'm on medicines for my health issues, and they can cause severe depression or even lead to suicide. If you are, you should tell a parent / guardian, and make an appointment with the doctor who prescribed you the medication. Do this right away!
Another thing is that maybe you should get professional help. A psychologist is trained to deal with all kind of issues, even yours. Cutting can be an addiction, as bad as drugs and alcohol. It's a serious matter, and I don't want to see you hurt! You might be diagnosed with depression or something along that line. If you are, they might give you medicine. But make sure, if your symptoms get worse on the meds, to tell an adult.
I'm proud of you for having the courage to speak up. By asking for advice, you gave many other people the courage to do so also. STAY STRONG! I know what you're going through. You will get through this.
Gina, 16, Pennsylvania
I think many of us have heard this line before, but I would just like to emphasize, SUICIDE IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO ALL OUR PROBLEMS. Remember, it's not only YOU who has problems. I have problems, my friends have problems, and the whole world has problems, BUT we don't get suicidal or resort to cutting. We have FRIENDS AND FAMILY who can listen to our problems. Life is too short, but it does not mean you have to end it. Just stay strong and think about your problems. Just try to carry them for a little while, and after some time, you'll realize that the answers to your problems are right there in front of you. Not a blade, but the warm hugs, sweet smiles and hands that pat you on the back when you are feeling down. STAY STRONG and NEVER resort to SUICIDE.
Mona, 17, Philippines