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Ashton’s Struggles With Self Harm

What have you struggled with? When did it become too much?

I’ve struggled with my mental health since the age of 12. It started out with just being sad and unhappy with myself but than it got worse. I started to hate everyone and myself, self harm, have panic attacks, restricting food, purging, running away and suicide attempts. I attempted suicide 7 times between the ages of 12-14. None of them were major which in turn made me feel worse. I thought I was worthless. I couldn’t even end my life right. My self harm and restricting and purging got really bad. At one inpatient they diagnosed me with C-PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD. At age 14 I started smoking weed, vaping, and taking and snorting pills (Xanax, perks, vyvance and a horse muscle relaxer). I started doing a little better but still smoking and vaping at ages 14-15. That was until October of 2021. I was depressed and started hating myself again and relapsed with everything. I ended up taking around 50 horse muscle relaxers. My mom and little sister found me unconscious on my bedroom floor. When EMTs arrived I wasn’t breathing and my heart wasn’t beating. They resuscitated me and I somehow made it without many long term issues from it. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and than went to an impatient for 12 days. I than went to rehab for 3 months. While I was there they did a neuropsych test and I am diagnosed with C-PTSD, Severe Major Depressive Disorder, Sever Anxiety, Avoidant Restrictant Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Bulimia, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and substance abuse. I was doing very well but they wanted me to have longer term care. Due to that I was sent to a residential program all the way on Missouri. I did horrible there. I wasn’t eating, I tried to kill myself there I ran away and I started self harming to the point I needed stitches on 6 occasions. My parents decided to gamble and pulled me from the program. That was my turning point.

Were there any turning points where things really started to change for the better?

My turning point was when my parents took me home from Missouri. I haven’t self harmed in 108 days and haven’t purged or restricted in 5 months.

What’s your life like now? What have you been able to accomplish, and what are you working towards?

My life now is great. I am back in public and at school without having panic attacks. My meds have helped so much. I was prescribed Seroquil, vyvance, and hydroxizine. I’m also in therapy once a week and see a psych APRN once a month.

What would you say to people who are having a tough time? What’s helped you that you wish you had known earlier

It doesn’t matter how “bad” your coping skills (self harm, purging, suicide attempts, smoking, vaping, drugs, etc.) are; you are valid and deserve help.

I’ve struggled with my mental health since the age of 12. It started out with just being sad and unhappy with myself but than it got worse.

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