Trigger Warning: Self Harm
“You do it for attention” has got to be the most insensitive phrase ever uttered to anyone, especially to a self-harmer. Just so that you understand exactly how bad this horrible accusation can make someone feel, I have delayed writing this article for 3 and a half months just because I knew that if anyone read it, they would lose all respect for me and talk shit behind my back. Everyone who I have confided in, or everyone who has noticed, immediately tore me to pieces when they said “so what, you’re fake depressed now?” or “you literally have no reason to be doing this.” Everyone judges so much that even while I’m writing this, I feel like a joke.
Frankly, I started for a perfectly good reason, many perfectly good reasons to be honest. I managed to successfully conceal my scars from the people I cared about for a whole summer, not even going to the beach and wearing long sleeves in 40 degree weather. Eventually, I did get busted but I was already addicted by that point and those people’s reactions, especially my parents’, just made me feel way worse. After the people who I had tried so hard to hide my cuts from saw them I really couldn’t care less if random people did (except from people who I knew were going to make a big deal out of it) and that’s when it first started.
The first time someone told me that they thought I was cutting for attention, it was one of my best friends and the first person who I had confided in, so obviously it was awful when I found out that this was her opinion of me. In all honesty, I never told her the actual reason why I started, maybe then she would be more understanding, but it still hurt to find out that she thought I would hurt myself for others to pity me or shower me with attention because I’m really not that kind of person. Self-harm is a relieving feeling that is very hard to explain and I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t like my scars. In some sick way I do.
But I’m not here to explain why self harm is so addictive, I’m here to beg that if you know anyone who is cutting, inflicting self harm of any sort, or depressed, then please for the love of God don’t make fun of them. Don’t invalidate their feelings. I honestly believe that every time someone who is depressed is being told that they have nothing to be depressed about or that they do it for attention, they will take one step closer towards proving that person wrong. Taking your own life shouldn’t be the price you have to pay to be taken seriously.
If you are someone struggling with self-harm, we urge you to reach out to seek help in the form of talking to someone reliable. Whether that is on an anonymous hotline or a therapist or counselor, your experiences and emotions are valid and there are networks to support you.
About the author:
My name is Louisa Vichou and I’m a 15 year old aspiring writer who loves painting, pretty much all sports, singing and piano. However, (like all the greats) I have an arch-enemy... maths!