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What happens when...?

Lately, after some events have occured where I've lost all my friends, some of the best ones I've ever had because my insecurities about our friendship drove them away, and I, simply, have not been able to stop crying, except in class where it's too embarrassing (although i have walked in with red eyes having finished crying). I've 'dabbled' in self harm, it started around a month+ ago when my friends first started to reject me.  Since this has occured, my favourite teacher has been very supportive of me (she doesn't know of self-harm) and let's me talk to her about anything despite my 'friends' being among her most favourite students as well. I think I want to tell her about my self-harm, or maybe not all that because i don't want to hurt her, but I want to tell someone and she is the most help at the moment. However, I don't want my parents to find out, nor many others within the school as I am school captain. I've been trying to research this, but I was wondering, in Qld, what are the requirements of teachers? What would happen when if/when I tell her?

Re: What happens when...?

Hey @Madame 

 

Welcome to ReachOut.com. I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling insecure at the moment and that your friends have not been supportive. It's great to hear that your favourite teacher has been supportive of you and has been willing to listen to what's been going on. 

 

Speaking to a teacher or a school counsellor about your ongoing behaviour, particularly if it is harmful to you and to others, then they will have to tell your parents for health and safety concerns. I do believe this applies to all states. Have you spoken to your friends why they've been behaving this way? If you feel comfortable with talking to your teacher or a school counsellor, it is worth asking them what their confidentiality policy is and what their role as staff requires them to do. 

 

If you are not willing to share, there are other services that you can visit or call to talk it out. You can make an appointment at your nearest headspace centre as well as access beyondblue via webchat, their forums or by phone. You could also ring into Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 and Lifeline on 13 11 14. You can also visit your local GP and they can provide you with a referral to a suitable psychologist too. On R.O, we also have some fact sheets on self-help for self-harm and on other support services that you can check out. 

 

Stay strong and keep reaching out!

 

Hope this helps and let us know how you go. 

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Re: What happens when...?

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Re: What happens when...?

Hey @Madame 

 

Welcome to Reach Out!

I'm so sorry to hear how tough things have been for you lately. Losing friends can be devastating. It's a huge trauma to go through and you shouldn;t have to do it alone. It sounds like the support you're getting from your teacher is very valuable to you and it may effect how you feel about her if you disclose your self harming and she has to then inform the principal or your parents. It would only be for your safety but it would be terrible if you lost the comfort you feel in talking to her. It might be more appealing to you to talk to strangers, online or on the phone. Sometimes the anonymity of phone chat can help you talk about things you wouldn't normally talk about.

If you don't feel ready for that yet, have a look here. This is a whole range of info on self harming and personal stories of people that have gone through it. I hope you get something from this.

 

Let us know how you go. 

Re: What happens when...?

Hey @Madame

Welcome to RO! Smiley Very Happy
I agree with NigioC that losing friendships can be devastating and traumatic! At the start of this year I also lost some friendships, and I didn't talk about it, which only dragged the pain on. I think that if I talked about it with at least someone I would have felt a bit better. Now though, I don't really mind that the friendships aren't there anymore.

As Myvo said if you do tell your teacher they will need to tell someone, eg school counsellor or principal or your parents. They have a legal obligation to do so as it directly relates to your health & safety.

However I do think you should tell someone, purely for your benefit and to help support you through it. Self-harm can be an incredibly hard thing to face alone. For me, I told my counsellor at Kids HelpLine. She was incredibly supportive and understanding and helped me through the whole process of understanding why I was self-harming, and encouraged and supported me to find alternate ways of releasing the inner feelings. Today I no longer self-harm, but occasionally I will have the thought and urge to. I have the skills and knowledge now, to distract myself and release those feelings another way. i hope one day you can find those skills and knowledge to help yourself too.

I really hope this helps you in some way, & I look forward to hear how you get on.
Bee Smiley Happy

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: What happens when...?

Hi all, 
 
Thank you for your answers, I feel so alone now but reading that others know how I feel and I'm not emotionally overreacting is comforting in a way. 
 
I contacted the Kids HelpLine, only through email. A month ago I did originally contact them because I was falling apart but then one of my friends helped me, she's gone now though. I like the email because lately I can't remember a thing and my mind is fuzzy, so although it takes a while to get a reply, I can think slowly about my messages. They do not yet know about my self harm because I was scared to tell them, I might tell them next time. My friends knew of my self harm, but they couldn't stand being my friend because of it as well as my insecurities which began the self harm. 
 
As with my teacher, I'm not sure if I should bog her down with my problems despite her being the only person I can talk to about my feelings face to face, I don't want to pressure or force her. She did tell me she's there if I need her and I spoke to her for a while today, she was understanding of me as she's had similar and worse experiences, I think I do need her, but again, I don't want to force her. I also don't want to grow a reliance, so far I don't rely on her, she's just very understanding. Any suggestions maybe? 
 
Thank you all again! 

Re: What happens when...?

Hey Madame, I just wanted to chime in to say that your teacher is there for you because she wants to! She's experienced and that's what teachers should be there for - to support their students. So I don't think you should worry about pressuring or forcing her - she's probably very pleased that you feel comfortable enough to talk to her about it. 

 

I'm also really pleased for you that you have found someone you trust to talk to, and also that you have emailed KHL. Be proud of yourself for taking that step.

 

I also wanted to talk to you a little bit more about privacy & your teacher. I've done a bit of researching for you (as it's different in every state and from what I have found out if you let your teacher know that you are self-harming she will definitely have to tell the principle. Then it will up to the principle to make a decision on how to best support you and get you help and that might include telling your parents. So while it's not definite that they will have to tell your parents, they might. 

 

As the workers at KHL are counsellors, they have different rules about privacy and everything you say to them is confidential, except in certain circumstances, you can read about them here.

 

hope that helps a bit!

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

Re: What happens when...?

Hi @Sophie-RO,

 

Thank you for spending time in researching that for me, I found it difficult to find definitive info, so I appreciate it a lot! I found out today that my teacher has been depressed in the past, and so that's why she is so understanding. Although I do find it hard to stop crying all the time, I don't believe I am depressed. Except my appetite has changed, I can't sleep well or I sleep through TWO alarms, I'm very forgetful as of late and find it hard concentrating in school, would all of these factors be attributed to stress?

 

On a curious note, why do we (or I) find it easy to speak to a teacher about these things more than parents?

 

I haven't hurt myself since last Thursday (I can only do it when I'm very angry/sad and since then I've just been sad) if I were to tell the Kids HelpLine counsellors that, it would be ok? 

 

Thank you, I get so stuck that I appreciate any ounce of caring!

Re: What happens when...?

Hi Madame - it sucks how hard it is to find out that info, huh? Even for me it wasn't easy and I've been working in this area for a long time....

Whether or not you are depressed I couldn't say but from what you have described in your last post it does sound like something is up and it would be worth getting it checked out by a professional, and you could start with KHL. But for you to get the proper help you need to tell them everything. (you could cut and paste your posts from here if you didn't want to write it all out again)

I can not guarantee you anything but from my understanding, KHL would not have to tell anyone if you told them that you self-harmed last Thursday, but the best way to find out is to ask first. Have you tried doing webchat with them? I know you like email but with webchat at least you get an answer straight away. You could ask: "what sort of things are not confidential between us?"

And lastly, it actually makes a lot of sense that you feel more comfortable talking to your teacher - for lots of reasons. You only see your teacher at certain times 5 days a week, but you have to live with your parents. It makes sense to try out how it feels talking about it with someone a little bit removed from your everyday life, and have control about when you talk about it. Second, you might be afraid of how your parents might react, maybe they won't listen, won't understand... but you already know your teacher does these things.

What do you think? Why do you think you have opened up to your teacher instead of your parents?

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

Re: What happens when...?

Hey Sophie-RO,
I spoke with my teacher today and she was worried that things could develop into things like depression and so she is encouraging me to see the school counsellor. I'm a little confused because I'm so open with my teacher, but not my parents not do I want to speak to the counsellor?

Today however, my ex-bestfriends mum came over and spoke to my mum. She told my mum that she was worried that I had been self harming (I had told my ex bestfriend in confidence and she said she respected the fact that I would get help but didn't want parents to know). I feel bad but I lied to my mum and said that I wouldn't/haven't harmed myself because I couldn't stand to see her upset and I'd feel like I let her down.

The school counsellor also rang my mum presumably after my ex friends mum told her, and is making me see her in the morning. And so I've kind of been forced to let my parents know almost everything that has gone on, that I was upset about my dads illness, and I'm only going to see the counsellor because of my parents, but mostly because I still don't want to bother my teacher too much, I respect her a lot and she doesn't deserve to have to talk to me about these things often. I will continue communication with her because I feel comfortable with her but I want to show her respect and space.

I have an appt with a GP tomorrow to change the pill I'm on (to essentially help my emotions) but my teacher also suggested I tell the doctor about things such as forgetfulness, fuzzy mind, appetite change, and sleep change as well as my emotions to se wid there's anything in them or not. Should I ask my mum to see the GP alone (I'm 16 going on 17), or should I stick with the counsellor at school?

Thank you very much again!