Why do I want to hurt myself?

Why do I want to hurt myself?

I have no desire but to hurt myself. I often think of suicide, but nobody knows it. I feel empty and at the same time, full of suffering. I cry a lot. I want to be anorexic, I'm never hungry. I often feel like I'm dead. I stay all day locked in my room except to go to school (I'm first class and it bothers me). I feel like the puppet of my unconscious. I do not understand what's happening to me. Lucie, 15 years old

Gérard Apfeldorfer

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist


My dear Lucie,

Your email is my pleasure. The fact that you wrote it means to me that you are in need of outside advice, support, help, someone who understands you. There is nothing worse than shutting oneself up in isolation and cultivating one's misery. The latter, if we take a little too much care, grows like a forced plant in a greenhouse: it becomes huge, invading, overflowing, too good to be true.

Anorexia is often a way to cultivate one's misfortune, to practice a policy of the worst. This growing bad is sometimes a message addressed to some people ... It is also, for oneself, a way to reinforce a feeling of lacking existence. It's still a form of control drunkenness, mastery, a lack of mastery for many things.

Of course, I have no idea why you used this strategy. I just know you're unhappy, deeply unhappy. I also know that you are devilishly intelligent, but that this intelligence is of little use to you in the present situation.

The symptoms you describe are due, in part to your depression, and partly to the fact that you are not eating enough.

You must be helped by a health professional who is familiar with the problems of anorexia. It can be a psychiatrist or a psychologist. The best, of course, is to entrust your pain to one of your parents. If this is not possible, you must find an adult person who can support you. It can be an uncle or an aunt, a teacher, the family doctor. This family doctor, precisely, is probably best placed if you do not want to talk directly to your parents. Go see him. He will help you and guide you.

Good luck, because you will need to take these steps.


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