Hi everyone! This is going to be a video about self-harm and suicidal thoughts and behavior. I’m going to discuss my experience with it, as well as what to do about it. I want to apologize in advance if it appears that I am smiling or grinning at any of this. If you are not aware, it is because it is mostly involuntary because I have inappropriate smiling which I cannot control many times. Plus, I also smile to hide the fact of how much I am hurting on the inside. But nonetheless, I am doing this very serious video to help those who have or are deliberately hurting themselves or have contemplated or attempted suicide. Please note that this may be triggering to some individuals. So, please be careful.
I have experience with both self-injury and suicide. Most of this was prior to truly loving and accepting myself. If you are not aware, I am a male to female transgender person and before I transitioned to be who I really was on the inside, it was very difficult for me. Most of the issues were related to my gender identity and hatred I had towards myself. After transitioning, things definitely got better, but the thoughts and behavior are still there, but are no longer related to my gender identity.
Regarding self-harm, I have intentionally injured myself, both past and present. This includes things like cutting, hitting myself, or just about anything that would cause physical pain. In the past, before I learned how important my health was, I did things to myself, even ingested things that could’ve hurt me, made me sick, or even killed me. When I learned that my health was important, I stopped doing these things.
I remember, before I transitioned, coming home from high school, and getting a pin and started scratching up my arm. It was never severe, like there was no blood. But I did it, and I guess it was because I hated myself and felt so alone because I felt that everyone hated me. It’s not like I really had any friends I could talk with because I really didn’t. I was depressed all the time, even if I didn’t show it. That is still quite true actually. However, prior to transitioning there was a lot of lack of emotion. I was so apathetic, and I think that contributed to the self-harm as well since I had no emotions and could not express them or knew how to express them. This still is a problem for me, but it certainly has changed.
After transitioning, I have hurt myself. I have cut myself worse than before. I have cut enough to the point where I have bled and created scars, which luckily went away after a few months. I feel so emotional and depressed that I become impulsive and cut myself. Other times, I hear a voice telling me to do it, implanting the thought in my mind. And, other times I feel like someone takes over my body and begins to cut me, laughing in amusement as they enjoy cutting my body and it feels like I am just sitting back and watching myself do it, but it’s like not me doing it.
Whatever the case may be, whenever I return to a more rational frame of mind, usually the following day, I realize what I did and am so disappointed with myself. It’s unacceptable. I feel so ashamed and embarrassed by what I did and whenever I would look at the result of my impulsive behavior, I am in utter disgust by what I did to myself.
None of this was for attention. I hid it and didn’t discuss it with anyone. After transitioning however, I think subconsciously it was for attention because I did mention it to some people, but I was still ashamed of it. I guess it was my way of saying that I needed help without it being direct.
Regarding suicide, to this day I say how lucky I am to still be alive. There is so much I have dealt with that has contributed and stacked to make the suicide rate for me very high. What I mean is, being transgender has a very high suicide rate, supposedly more than most other groups of people. On top of that, I struggle with many mental health problems as well including severe trauma both past and present. So, PTSD. Schizoaffective disorder which is bipolar and schizophrenia which has certainly amplified after transitioning. I’ve dealt with dissociation, again both past and present. As well as perhaps some borderline characteristic, more so in the past, it is a little different now. Plus, all the obsessive and compulsive thoughts and behavior I have that becomes so, so annoying and frustrating. All of those disorders have decent suicide rates. Add them all together and mix in being transgender and the suicide rate would be pretty much inevitable. So, that is why I think I am very grateful that I am still alive for all that I have been through.
So yes, I have thought about suicide a lot. Practically everyday prior to transitioning I thought about it. Now, it happens a lot less frequently and is mostly related to severe depression or psychosis or something else entirely, I don’t even know. I just think about ways I could go about doing it. Looking around the house for what I could do to myself that would end it all right then and there. Hearing voices in my head saying, “Just do it. Get it over with already. You think about it all the time, why not just go through with it? You would be much better off if your miserable life was over already.” And at that time I am just like, “You’re right. I should.”
I have had suicidal tendencies. It was never anything I could fully go through with of course. One reason being how scared I am about doing something to myself, like overdosing on medication for example, and it not working and instead of dying I severely damaged part of my body. That is what I fear. I rather it just end immediately without exception or waiting. I have never overdosed, but I have thought about it and was on the verge of doing it. I’ve tried choking myself, starving myself. Just ridiculous things.
I remember when I was about to enter high school, I said to myself so many times, “I’m killing myself before I get into high school, because I wanted no part of it or the association with others.” I wanted to be 100% alone and distant.
At this stage, I realize how self-centered I am at thinking about actually going through with it because of my family. Why would I want to make my family upset? For me to be so self-centered and not think about how upset my family would be if I actually did go through with it is another factor that saves me. If I didn’t have anything to look forward to in my life, and was alone by myself, then I probably would’ve gone through with it by now. But, I didn’t and will continue to fight off those thoughts so I can have a happy future.
How to Deal With It
So, let’s discuss how to deal with these impulses and thoughts. The first thing is that it is never ok to hurt yourself or commit suicide. You are worth much more than that, despite what you may think. You also have to take into consideration the feelings of others. How would others feel if you committed suicide? You’re family, friends, who ever is in your life. If you do not have anyone in your life, then this may not apply.
Instead, you want to have something to look forward to in life. Each of us has a purpose and something to live for, we just have to discover what that is. What are you passionate about? What would you love to do with your life? Whatever it is, work hard to accomplish that. Of course it is difficult and challenging, but the hard work does pay off one day and then you will be able to look back and realize how much you have changed. It is all about developing a positive frame of mind. Positive thinking! Positive attitude! [Positive Thinking]
Personally, I have done this. I reflect back to when my life was very chaotic and I see how far I’ve come and changed, and how much stronger I am now. That makes me very happy since I know that there is so much more change that will happen in the future. Of course, I will struggle with many ups and downs, but I am taking the necessary steps, very slowly, to work on my issues and overcome them. And, I think one day I will overcome them and be able to live a happy life.
On the topic of impulses, such as cutting oneself, this is something that many people struggle with. Once you begin cutting, it starts to become a habit and way of release negativity and emotions. The only positive thing about it is that you are releasing the negativity. That is good to let your emotions go, but hurting yourself is not the answer. One needs to learn to find a different outlet for releasing emotions. Just like breaking a habit, this can be difficult.
Personally for me, I find meditation to be very helpful. [Meditation & Self-Hypnosis] When I begin to feel those impulses, or hear voices, or begin to feel very negative and want to hurt myself or end my own life, having some kind of release that is positive, such as meditation, music, exercise, is what is beneficial. You may not be able to rid yourself of those thoughts completely, and you shouldn’t repress them since that can be very disastrous. Rather, it is about channeling that negativity into something positive to release those negative feelings. This is difficult if you are already accustomed to hurting yourself as a form of releasing stress. As I said, it’s like breaking a habit, because that’s what it is. You have to break the habit of hurting yourself and form a new, positive one.
When you feel the urge to hurt yourself, or do something impulsive, take a step back and rethink it all. Ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?” No, it’s not. Look for a way to release those feeling you have. It’s not bad to have those feelings since all of us do at some point, but each of us releases the stress differently. And finding a positive outlet will be greatly beneficial. Repression is also not the answer since repressing emotions can be very disastrous as well. Find a positive way, that doesn’t hurt you or anyone else, to let out those feeling. That is when you will begin to notice a positive change.
I hope this video was helpful. Thanks for watching!