How do I deal with my friends finding out I self harm? I don't want my parents to know but I know I should ask for help.
Hi Bryan. First of all, I’m glad you’ve acknowledged that you do need to tell someone. That’s often the hardest step and I’m actually really pleased you can do that!!
Secondly, I assume you’re asking because your friends have been fairly concerned. This is a good sign and it means they truly care. If you feel able to, maybe pick 1 or 2 friends you’re comfortable with and try to talk to them. Tell them as much or as little as you’re comfortable with for the first time, it’s just good you’ve opened up those lines of conversation.
Now, about your parents. Firstly, ask yourself why you don’t want them to find out. Are you scared of their reaction? Will they hate you? Will they not support you? The truth is, you won’t truly know how they’ll react until you try. It is the scariest thing but in 99% of cases all your parents want to do is support you. Remember also their initial reaction won’t be their reaction forever, it’s a hard situation for everyone involved but they’ll learn to adjust often.
If you know your parents finding out puts you at risk/safety at risk, then talk to another trusted adults. Teachers are wonderful. Your Giidance system is vital in a situation like this as they can help you in school and can also help you access the help you deserve - whether it be in school therapy, out of school counselling or medication. It’s also good to have someone you know you can go to. If you dislike your Guidance staff, pick a favourite teacher and chat to them. They’re always willing to help and they can e more than you’ll expect!! They are also a good bridge between your parents and you, if you do t know how to start the conversation maybe.
If you feel you can’t do any of these things, go to your GP. If you’re in the UK & over 16 they can’t share your info with anyone else.
Or try online services: YoungMinds, SelfHarn.co.uk, Samaritans, Childline etc etc.
Also remember next time you want to hurt yourself, you don’t deserve it no matter what you believe. There’s other alternatives (check out the articles on our website for 50+ alternatives to self harm).
Take care! - Rebecca x
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