Michael's story

For me it had got to the point where my depression and mental health had completely overtaken my life. I lost all of my interests and personality, and I didn’t see any way of carrying on. I was resorting to old habits that I’d used in the past, one of which was self-harm. This was incredibly dangerous and resulted in hospitalisation. Being a 33-year-old man I was ashamed to be doing this, ashamed to ask for help and confused as to what was wrong with me. My GP and the NHS began to get me on track, and when I first got in contact with Penumbra, I realised that self-harm was not simply attention-seeking and ‘something that teenage girls do’; there were several completely valid reasons behind why I was doing it.

I received 1:1 support from Self-Harm Network Scotland. By the time our sessions were finished I had gone from self-blame and taking no health or safety precautions whatsoever to a point where I believed in my own self-worth and had shifted the blame off of myself. I learned about the way that I was speaking to myself, what I was doing to myself and that I wasn’t broken and that there were a lot of ways I could channel my emotion and passion into positive things like music, song-writing, an interest in psychology and rebuilding my life again.

"I'd encourage anyone that's struggling with self-harm to reach out and be open about it."

I’d encourage anyone that’s struggling with self-harm to reach out and be open about it. There are so many things Self-Harm Network Scotland does that can resonate with different people because they’ve been there themselves. When there’s a part of you that wants to change and get better, it really is worth listening to!

Thank you for sharing your story, Michael.

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