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Is it classed as self-harm??!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi my names Kate.
When I was in year 10/11 at school, I suddenly became very aware of my appearance/body image compared to other girls. I've also always had a very low self-esteem/opinion of myself which doesn't and hasn't helped with things over the years. Well anyway during year 10/11, I developed an eating disorder, i'm 5'8 and at 10stone believed I was fat and subsequently in a matter of weeks dropped down to 8stone. I'm a healthier weight now, but i've never seeked help for the eating disorder, so it's still always there.
I also have issues with guys and intimacy due to something that happened to me when I was 16 and I have several other issues surrounding me and taking over my life which are making me feel really depressed etc.
I've recently been prescribed anti-depressants, which kind of seem to be helping, but I still get so many thoughts running through my mind of ending my life and ways in which I can do it, that it's kinda scary.
But yeah my main reason for this post is with regards to my eating habits/problems, somtimes I eat hardly anything at all and I hide food in carrier bags in my room or put it down the toilet and then other days I will eat large amounts and then because I feel guilty I will take laxatives. I started off just taking the recommended 2 laxatives a night, but now I will take at least 6, sometimes 9 or I could easily get through the whole pack if I wanted to. Is that a form of self-harm?
I'm fed up of being trapped in this endless circle :(!!!!

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To me i wouldnt say it was self harming..as long as it didnt hurt you?
    id think of it as more of an overdose on laxatives..or taking more than neccesary.

    I wish the best for you.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Many people do distinguish between self-injury and self-harm; classing eating disorders as self-harm but not self-injury (which is cutting, burning, etc.)

    B-eat is a good peer-support organisation (formerly the Eating Disorders Association) www.b-eat.org.

    It's worthwhile getting help from a GP or a nurse, someone you can trust. There may be risks you weren't aware of associated with overdosing on laxatives.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hiya Kate

    When you were perscribed anti-depressants were you offered any sort of talking therapy... like counselling? Also, how old are you? NICE guidelines for young people and depression (which are clinical guidelines informing people on how they should expect to be treated, what services they should be offered etc) state that:
    Step 3: Mild depression
    ● Antidepressant medication should not be used for the initial treatment of children and young
    people with mild depression.
    Steps 4 and 5: Moderate to severe depression
    ● Children and young people with moderate to severe depression should be offered, as a first-line
    treatment, a specific psychological therapy (individual cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT],
    interpersonal therapy or shorter-term family therapy; it is suggested that this should be of at
    least 3 months’ duration).
    ● Antidepressant medication should not be offered to a child or young person with moderate to
    severe depression except in combination with a concurrent psychological therapy.

    Of course these are only guidelines, but I think its really bad if you weren't even given the option. If you're over 18, the 'guidelines' are a bit different, but you are perfectly within your rights to ask to be referred for a different type of therapy or counselling.

    Like Piccolo said, self-harm can cover a wide range of things. And this is why when people are talking about self-harm (cutting, burning etc.) they often use self-injury instead. Have a look at this diagram from FirstSigns (previously LifeSIGNS) http://www.firstsigns.org.uk/images/self-harm-map.png. It is found on their "What self-injury is" page.

    Above all though, it really doesn't matter if you can't put a label on what you are doing, or fit it into a box. Concentrate on the reasons why you think you do what you do, and hopefully others will support you in this. If you can get a chance, talk to your GP about exactly how you feel, and be as honest as possible with him/her about what you're doing so that hopefully they can find the best way possible to help you.

    BEAT is a good organisation, and they also have helplines. Helpline = 0845 634 1414, beat Youthline = 0845 634 7650.

    All the best with it,
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's the thing though taking lots of laxatives, does hurt and causes really painful cramps in my stomach etc, but then when i'm feeling really low, I don't care about the pain and in fact see the pain as a good thing alot of the time!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To me i wouldnt say it was self harming..as long as it didnt hurt you?
    id think of it as more of an overdose on laxatives..or taking more than neccesary.

    I wish the best for you.

    Overdose is self harm. It's nothing to od whether it hurts someone. Whilst there won't be any physical scars, (like there is with self injury) they are harming themself.

    Kate - can you talk to the person who gave you the ADs? Explaining how you feel. And prehaps see if there's anything else they can suggest to help you.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi K8tus

    Welcome to Thesite community. :wave: You have been given some fantastic advice and support on your thread, I hope that you check some of the links out.

    You may also want to have a look at the information pages on here, if you haven't done already? The ones on what is self-harm and eating disorders may be worth a look?

    We hope that you find the support and tools you need to get out of the cycle you are in.

    Good luck and keep posting :)
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