Physical Pain of Cutting "Relieves" Mental Pain of Depression

Lesson:  The kids want your love and help

           Hi. My name is Candace.  I’m 16 years old.  I would really like if you shared my story with other people out there on your webpage.  I feel that by telling my story, and people reading it, it just might have an impact on at least one teen out there who cuts themselves. so…here I go. . .

            I have had severe depression, mood swings, and anxiety disorder since as far back as I can remember.  It started to get worse however, when I was in seventh grade.  I was only 12 years old.  I would flip out on people for no apparent reason.  I would shelter myself away from my family members and often even friends.  And I hardly ever remember talking about being happy.  I stood out from everyone else.  I started to not care about school or myself, or anything else anymore.  I yelled at teachers, got into fights and just basically got into a lot of trouble.

            I was never a real bad kid, I would have never thought of disrespecting a teacher or any elder in the previous years to seventh grade.  The school noticed my change, and informed my Mom that I needed to see a shrink.  I went to him, and he gave me Prozac to take daily.  This worked for awhile . . . but eventually my body became immune to the medication, and he increased the dosage and put me on Adderall.  That seemed to help.  I was doing better in eighth grade, and I was starting to act more and more like a "normal" teenager.

 Signpost pointing to past and to future           Over the past few years, I have been depressed, but never to the point that I am at now.  I’m now 16.  I mean, I would get into trouble, get loud, not listen -- the normal teenage stuff.  But I still felt deep down inside that I was horrible.  I just never let it show to the outside, so people thought I was getting better.  I wasn’t.  If anything,  I was just getting worse over the years.  I have often thought of suicide and have tried it many times.  I tried to overdose a few times, I tried to give myself alcohol poisoning, tried drowning myself, slitting my wrists, jumping out a window, suffocating myself, holding my breath ‘til I nearly passed out.  Basically, you name it and I tried it.  Somehow I never succeeded.

            Anyway, this year everything went downhill . . . and the hill keeps getting steeper.  In the summer, I was dating someone who was homeless and was staying at my friend’s house.  I smoked pot often.  Everyday I usually drank.  I took ecstasy.  I snorted cocaine.  I even took other people’s prescription drugs.  I became more experimental with my body, and I allowed myself to basically be at my boyfriend’s will.  The only thing I never did was have sex with him.  I tried more and more to stay away from him, and the friends that he was staying with . . . cause I wanted to get away from the whole drug scene and from him.  So I ended it.  I rarely go to that house anymore.

            School started and a few of my friends decided that they are now too good for me . . . and gradually it became most of my friends.  So I decided to make new friends.  Or at least tried.  I hung out with different kinds of people, and my depression just made me more and more angry every second of the day.  Sometimes I felt like nothing was ever going to get better for me and that the world would be a much better place without me.  No one would have to deal with me anymore.  I got into a lot of confrontations at school with the way I dress and the people I hang out with.  I eventually got into a fist fight with a girl that was my best friend last year.  That crossed the line.

            I got kicked out of my home school, and was sent to an alternative education program school.  My first day there was hell.  People were already judging me without knowing me.  I hated it.  I went home and cried.  I started to lose my appetite, and I slept a lot.  I would come home and go right to sleep. and wouldn't wake up until I had to go to school the next morning.  I didn't eat breakfast or lunch, and seldom ate dinner. and its not cause I didn't want to . . . it’s because I simply lost my appetite altogether.

            Well, I started to go to my other friend’s house who lives about twenty minutes from my house.  At this house there was always drugs, alcohol, and guys.  So I became what I tried so hard not to be again. and  I started using again.  I met this guy there who I started to like a lot.  We started to date, and the friends that lived at the house didn't like that so they called my Mom and told her how old my boyfriend was.  They told her that I was using drugs, stealing money and doing all kinds of bad things.  I started to cry.  I hadn't cried in almost a month, and just as things were starting to look up, they got worse again.  My boyfriend was ready to go and kill the guy who called my Mom, and I wasn't supposed to see him anymore cause he is 6 years older than me.  I see him anyways.  My Mom got over it and allowed me to.  So things were OK again.

            My boyfriend and I  weren't fighting at all. and we were always together.  We had great talks, and he listened to what I had to say.  He, too, suffers from severe depression and anxiety, so we can relate.  He stayed at another friend of mine’s house.  This house is plain out a party house.  Drugs, sex, and alcohol all the time.  I didn't mind, cause he was enjoying himself.  Then things got ugly.  We started to fight more and more about the littlest things, like him not calling me.  I let everything start to bother me again, and I took everything anyone said to me to heart.  This is when I realized that I am not going to get any better.

            I started to cry every time we fought, and we almost broke up a few times.  But I gave this guy my virginity and I was not about to loose him.  I became very clingy, and he got irritated from that cause sometimes he needs to be with just his friends.  My Mom then found out that he has two children.  She was angry.  She told me I could not  see him.  She called him every name in the book.  She did everything she could in her power to stop me from seeing him, but as a concerned parent I can see why.  So I thought that she was only out to get me and never wanted to see me truly happy.  So I told her that if she wanted to kill my happiness then she could watch her oldest daughter die, too.

            I went to the medicine cabinet and took 26 of the 500 milligrams Tylenols.  Mom called 911 and I was rushed into the emergency room.  I was nearly passed out and dizzy from taking it.  I was in the ER all night.  After 4 blood tests, and a urine test to make sure that I didn't do any liver damage, they finally said that I could go home.  My boyfriend cried to me on the phone about that and said that he loved me and not to do anything that stupid again cause he would die if he lost me.

            Well, things continued to get worse at home and with my boyfriend.  We were always fighting.  I was lying at home crying most of the days away, and never talking to anyone in my house.  It just got to the point where I knew that an overdose wouldn't work, and I didn’t really want to die anymore anyway.  I just wanted the pain to go away.  I fell in love with this guy and we were headed to doom.  I cried all the time, day and night.  I cried myself to sleep.  Luckily, I have friends who care about me, cause if not I may just be in the mental hospital right now, if not dead.  I was cleaningbloody razor blade on edge my room one day and found a broken piece of glass.  I took it to my arm in the midst of me bawling my eyes out over my boyfriend and me, and I proceeded to gash away at my lower arm.  I then found a razor blade.  I used that instead.  I sat there and watched the blood pour out of the newly made cuts, and I just thought to myself what is my life for?  Why am I here?  It would be so much better if I weren’t.  But I didn't want to die.  I covered my arm with a towel and let the blood soak through.  This was not the first time I cut myself however.  I was in the fifth grade the first time I cut myself.  I broke a mirror that time and used the sharp pieces to carve into my leg. cause I was depressed.

            Me and my boyfriend talked it over, and we resolved everything.  Meanwhile I told my Mom and my friends about my cutting.  I told my shrink that I did it and he referred me to the Partners Program.  It’s a therapy class you take instead of school.  It’s at the local mental ward of the hospital.  I start there tomorrow.

            Things with my boyfriend continued to get worse, and whenever I feel like crap, I go and cut myself some more.  I do it on the same arm cause I promised my boyfriend I wouldn't do it anymore. but feeling the razor go through your skin, and seeing the blood pour out, is oddly. soothing.  It makes the mental pain go away for some time, cause you are too concentrated on the physical pain that's inflicted on you.  But this only lasts for so long. I continue to cut my arm up.  It’s an almost an everyday routine for me now.  It’s addicting, and I wish that I could stop, but honestly I don't know how I am going to.  My home life sucks.  My school life sucks.  I have no social life anymore cause I sit around and cry all day cause my boyfriend hasn't taken the time to call me.

            Everything went to hell for me.  I wish that I could get better, but I know that I have a long and hard road ahead of me, and I need all the support that I can get from everyone who does care.  I have to work on it.  Me and my boyfriend are still together, and we both agreed to no fighting, cause if it continues, we have to end the relationship cause we are just going to drive each other crazy.  I hope everything works out and I hope I can stop cutting myself soon.  But once you start, its so addicting.  So, parents, if you have a child who cuts themselves, don't just flip out on them.  Try to talk to them and listen. and understand that cutting yourself is basically a teen’s way of getting rid of the mental pain. It’s not the right way.  If you think your child or a child you know is headed down the road that I took, please, I’m begging you, get them help right away.  The cuts just get deeper, longer and more painful every time you do it.  Help save someone.

            I hope my story helped some people to understand the reality of cutting, and the consequences, and the reasons behind people who cut.  I have a long program of therapy to go through now.  I just hope that it helps me out.  But some kid out there might not be as lucky as me.  They might be ready to leave this world tonight.  Show concern, watch for the signs from your friends, children, and family.  Thank you.   [Return to Personal Stories Page]