Self-Harm: A Hidden Addiction, Part I

Brittany Carlton1.jpg

This two-part article was written by Brittany Carlton, a 20-year-old who has been in a long-term battle with depression and self-harm.

It all started when I was really young. I’ve had asthma since I was 6 months old and was in the hospital quite often as a child. I even failed first grade because I missed so much school due to being sick. I remember Children’s Hospital being like a second home to me when I was little. I’ve had pneumonia three times already – once my left lung collapsed on me.

Dealing with Death

I met my first best friend in kindergarten, and she was always by my side. In fifth grade, a few months before winter break, she got sick and went to the hospital. She soon found out she had leukemia. The day I got back from winter break, I found out that she had passed away. I was in complete shock. I couldn’t cry or feel anything.

I got so depressed that I never wanted to go to school in sixth grade. I failed because my depression got the best of me. Then, while taking sixth grade over again, my uncle passed away from liver cancer. I went to school the day of his funeral because I wanted to be away from the pain. I stayed by my favorite teacher as much as possible because she was always there for me and just being around her made me feel a little better.

The summer after sixth grade, my grandma passed away. Going to her funeral was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I barely remember it. It was all just a blur to me. I was trying to stay strong for everyone. After that point, my life was over.

In seventh grade, I was completely on auto-pilot. This was when I started hurting myself. It all started with a cat scratch on my arm. I turned it into a heart by cutting the rest of the shape in.

Wanting to Die

I remember days when I just wanted to die. One day I was in the bath crying my eyes out. I asked God why he would take the best part of my life away. I prayed that God would kill me. I said, “You don’t, then I will.” I remember numerous nights going to sleep wishing, Please don’t wake up in the morning.

My freshman year started out well. I had all honors classes and got good grades during the first two weeks. But when I found out my mom cheated on my dad and said she had a boyfriend, it was the start of something horrible. My parents fought 24/7 and kept me and my brothers up all night, so I missed almost my entire freshman year trying to make sure they didn’t kill each other – literally.

I started keeping track of how many times my mom lied by cutting lines into my arm every time I knew she did. I failed every class that year. Also, my counselor at school knew I was hurting myself. She was one of the first people who knew, and even after my parents found out nothing changed.

Breaking Down and Losing Control

I went back to school in 10th grade and got straight A’s the first semester, despite all of the pain. But I broke down in the middle of the year. There were two reasons: The first was that no one seemed to care about all of the hard work I put into school besides my teachers. I could have come home with straight F’s and gotten the same reaction.

The second reason was that I lost my best friend. She had told me that she just couldn’t be friends with me anymore, and it broke my heart. She was more than my best friend; I was in love with her. After losing her, I went into a downward spiral – and it wasn’t a slow one.

A few days later, I was in the psych hospital. Everything was falling apart. I started seeing a social worker, and she helped me a little. Since I was under age, I couldn’t tell her when I hurt myself because she would have to tell my parents. I finished the school year with straight A’s, but no one caring about it made me spiral downwards again. I was losing control.

Click here to read Part II.

 
disclaimer

The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Yes
50%
No
50%
Total votes: 3979