You sound like you’re on the right track. We’re glad to hear how much research you’ve put into everything that’s bothering you. This productive outlook will help you overcome the negative emotions and behaviors you’re struggling with.
Writing your mom a note is an excellent idea. Once she knows you’re struggling, she can help you find solutions and get you in a professional’s care if that’s necessary. For your letter, you can include whatever you want as long as you make sure to convey two things: 1) how you’re suffering, and 2) you want her help.
That can be summed up very briefly, like, “I’ve been having really low feelings and started cutting to cope with them. I’m not sure how to stop or how to feel better, so I could use your help.” Make it as long or as short as you’d like. Some kids include poetry in their letters to their parents. Others just write short, memo-like notes. It’s up to you. Say whatever you need to say.
Since we’re not doctors, we can’t tell you too much about anti-depressants. One thing we can warn you about, though, is that there are many different kinds of anti-depressants out there, and they don’t all work the same. If you and your doctor decide to try them, keep in mind that the first pill and the first dosage may not work. It may only work a little, or it may actually make you feel worse. Don’t despair! Keep going back to the doctor with feedback. Tell him what works and what doesn’t. Eventually, he’ll get you on the correct medicine. The science right now, unfortunately, isn’t very precise, so it often takes trial-and-error to find out what helps.
In the meantime, start battling the urge to cut. We aren’t going to lie: this is going to be hard. Your best bet is to develop coping skills and stick to them. Write down a list of things you can do when you feel like cutting. For instance, right when you start noticing that urge to hurt yourself, turn on a funny DVD and start painting your toenails. Is this going to make you feel happy?
No. You’ll probably be pretty uncomfortable, but that discomfort you feel is an indication that you’re succeeding! Grit your teeth and keep your mind occupied on other things. When you’re feeling better, take the opportunity to remove all sharp objects from your room and put them under your mom’s bed (or somewhere equally hard to access.) Call us if you have to: 1-800-448-3000. We’re here 24/7. When a counselor picks up, just say, “Yeah, I’m sixteen, struggling with a cutting problem, and I was wondering if I could talk for a few minutes.” We’d be more than happy to help!
Hopefully you get some good ideas from this email. Contact us again any time you need to!