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Old 05-11-2015, 09:19 PM   #1
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Graphic - why don't you see 30-40yr olds with scars?

it's something that has been bugging me. I'm 24 now, having been cutting for over ten years. I don't wanna be a 30 year old cutter. You don't see adultier adults with scars... or at least i haven't. Is it because we succumb to suicide?

I always told myself I'd kill myself by 23 if I weren't better. Hurt, pain, grief, disappointment, never being good enough, failing, so much fighting with no breaks or victories. The "happy" moments aren't worth it. I truly want to be dead, to give up caring and pretending. to just give it all up. give up with the coping mechanisms. just die and get it over with. Thing is, because i don't go attempting suicide left righta nd center and I'm "logical" no body listens. it's my own fault. I get up, go to my part time job, sleep. even when in my deepest depression and eating disorder i was functional. somehow. they say I'm a "survivalist", "stubborn", an "odd" one.

It's too much, too confusing, too wordy. maybe I'm just complicating everything, pretending. Who or what is the real me? the self harming, restricting and purging adult or the tiny broken 4 year old who waits so that one day things will be better? I don't feel 24. I feel 16. Life is wasting away and before I know it, I might even be a 30+ year old covered in scars still stuck as a 16 year old.

I don't know what I want from this. Just to get out some of these thoughts because they feel weird and they make so much sense but they are confusing as well. Nobody does anything because I don't go (or rarely) through with anything with suicide. But it doesn't mean the reality of the distress isn't there. Don't even know if I want somebody to do anything. I just hate being this weird functional mentally ill woman who can't not do anything but can't do everything everyone else can. I don't wanna be a 30 year old self harmer / eating disorder victim / whatever. I just don't want to be anymore.

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Old 05-11-2015, 09:31 PM   #2
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Hey there.

I'm 28 and things are a lot better now than when I was 24. Things aren't perfect, but I'm much more self-aware and I certainly feel my age, rather than feeling like a child trapped in an adults body. Things can and will get better, but I know that doesn't take away from the distress of what you're feeling right now.

Have you ever had any support for how you've felt/are feeling? This could be from the NHS or from private or charity organisations. As you're 24, you may be able to access some charities that are designed for young people if there are any in your area or close by.

I don't think that it's all your fault at all. I can completely get that people might think that because you're logical and because you're not acting on your suicidal feelings. That doesn't mean that you're feelings aren't valid though and it certainly doesn't mean that you are not entitled to a decent support network.

Keep waiting, but don't do it passively. Fight for yourself. Fight to feel better, because it can happen. I'm going to be 30 in 18 months and, though I will be a 30 year old with scars, the scars will be old and I'll be in a different place in life. Same can happen for you.

“Our defeats are softened and our victories are sweetened because we did it together.” - Toby Ziegler.

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Old 06-11-2015, 12:07 AM   #3
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*hugs* I know a 60 year old who SHs, but I know plenty of people (of all ages) who have managed to stop and find life without self harm.

I'm sorry I dont have much more to say, but just wanted to say you're not alone xx

F r e d d i e

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Old 06-11-2015, 12:58 AM   #4
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I don't have many words other than I am 34 and I have scars. Although I am currently not SIING I was still cutting in my thirties. Maybe people who are older but not currently SIing have had scar revision surgery? It's a option to those who have recovered.

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Old 06-11-2015, 01:14 AM   #5
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Hey, you sound in such distress & I want you to know that it can & does improve with time, perseverance & support plus meds if you're prescribed them.

I'm going to be 42 next year & I have burn & cutting scars quite severely all over both arms. It's a personal choice that I decide not to show my scars as I don't want to have to deal with comments & stares. Believe me, there are plenty of older self harmers/ex self harmers who don't show their scars for a variety of reasons.

Things can & will get better.

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Old 06-11-2015, 02:03 AM   #6
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Hey, I am 33 and I have scars.

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Old 06-11-2015, 08:07 AM   #7
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I have scars. And although I don't still harm myself, I do still want to. Things have gotten more better than I ever thought they would although I am still diagnosable, even with medication. But through a lot of therapy, medication, time, luck, and hard work I'm a lot better. Although, for me it helped a lot to remove the assholes from my life.

My scars aren't too visible in most of my outfits. And most of the time people don't pin them as self harm.

I'm 29.

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Old 06-11-2015, 10:19 AM   #8
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There are a great number of 'older' people with scars. I have certainly met a number of people in their 40s with scars, some of whom don't mind them being visible and some who go to great lengths to hide then.

Self harm is something that seems to affect younger people more but the reason for that is that most people do get better and move on from it. There is far more evidence that supports this than supports the idea that self harmers kill themselves. Things really can get better, even if its been a long standing issue for you.

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Old 06-11-2015, 10:32 PM   #9
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I'm in my 30s and have scars. I still harm myself but far less than whe I was younger.

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Old 07-11-2015, 05:41 PM   #10
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I have a 36 yr old friend who sh'es still. it's always on her legs and she just wears long pants. my guess is if youre over 30 and still doing it there's a good chance that you've moved to a less visible place just because it's so stigmatized.

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Old 07-11-2015, 09:48 PM   #11
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I just want to let you know that you are so incredibly not alone in feeling this way. I turn twenty-five in a couple months (scary!) and I swore I would never turn 20. I smile through everything, and I don't mean that in a "I'm so brave" type of way, I mean even when I'm dying inside I can;t figure out how to have any face other than smiling because I'm terrified people won't like me unless I'm smiling. This has carried on to medical professionals and in emergency rooms talking to Residents and staff Psychiatrists who don't know me I get told to "use my DBT skills" and that I'll "be okay" when I'm telling them that I want to do brutal things to myself, have done things to myself in the past and have a history of acting impulsively. They don't care because I don't *look* depressed so I can definitely empathize with you about them not understanding you not "acting the part" of someone who wants to hurt themselves. I think this becomes our personal mission to advocate for ourselves to the best of our ability and if we get someone who just doesn't get it, find other ways of staying safe. The hospital is only one way of staying safe, after all.

I've seen a fair number of "over 30s" with scars. I think they just wear them with more confidence so they aren't as noticeable. And with that much time they fade away so much that you really have to look.

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Old 07-11-2015, 11:31 PM   #12
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I'm 32 with scars but they aren't hugely visible.

I know self harmers of all ages but I do think life does get easier as you get older to a degree.


When we lose twenty pounds... we may be losing the twenty best pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty. ~Woody Allen
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:53 PM   #13
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I know people who self harm in there 30s who have many scars

I know what it's like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can't. How you hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside. ~ Girl Interrupted

When you dont want to feel, death seems like a dream. ~ Girl Interrupted

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Old 08-11-2015, 09:41 PM   #14
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I am 36 and have older scars on my arms from SH in my 20s. I still self harm but use my thighs as is easier to cover up for work.

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current mental health diagnoses: depression, PTSD, GAD, self harm, bpd

current meds (as at Feb 2017): , thyroxine, metformin, iron, b12, vit d, atenolol, Butec, Naproxen, Nefopam, Lanzoprazole, Bupropion, quetiapine (prn)

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Old 08-11-2015, 09:49 PM   #15
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I'm nearly 29 and have scars which will always be there. Occasionally I still self harm but it's rare and much much less severe than it used to be. Things usually get better.

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Old 08-11-2015, 11:04 PM   #16
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I'm 32 and mostly do it in places i thought i could hide like my thighs and shoulders however people have seen my shoulders and they do ask sometimes as i think they don't realise what it is because of the place its in so its awkward hate the questions.
I do my best to cover any recent ones.

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Old 08-11-2015, 11:35 PM   #17
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Thank you all for your kindness. In retrospect the question may be seen as insensitive, even rude... I'm really sorry if anybody did get offended or hurt by it. Guess part of me has been thinking do you ever really get over self harming.

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Old 09-11-2015, 01:57 PM   #18
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Some people do recover. Sadly I'm not one of those. I'm 33 and still self harm, but a lot of people do recover and you could be one of those.
I wasn't offended by your question. I think it's understandable to wonder about the future. You say you don't want to be the same in your 30s, so perhaps that is motivation to work on recovery and get help. It can happen. Do you have any support or professional help?

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Old 10-11-2015, 12:00 AM   #19
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Yes but only from my care coordinator who admits he isn't "skilled" enough. There have been funding cuts and many therapists are on sick leave as well

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Old 10-11-2015, 12:42 AM   #20
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keep talking to your care coordinator. If you feel your care coordinator can't help then maybe it would be an idea to see your gp and explain that you are not getting the help you feel you need.
Keep fighting, because you can recover. Many people here have shown that.

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