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Embarrassing Bodies, 11:00pm Sunday 20th April 2014 on More 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Trouble With Teens

Self Harm Scars

The first case that the doctor’s see this week is 18-year old Kayley who suffered from depression and is covered in the scars that resulted from her self-harming. One scar in particular is very big and Dr Christian sends her to a surgeon to see if they can remove the scar tissue. Having received counselling, Kayley is on the mend, but it is estimated that 1 in 15 teens might be self-harming. Having removed the scar, Kayley returns to see Dr Christian with a noticeable improvement. She’s also been to a camouflage make-up artist who has been able to recommend a set of make-up that will help her cover up her scars.

Find out more about self-harming and the support groups available >

The EB team would like to thank:

Young Minds
Selfharm.co.uk

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites

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To the teens and kids out there who engage in self harming behavior: I have a son who also engaged in self harming behavior. He is now on 2 medications for depression and sees a psychologist and a psychiatrist on a regular basis. His behaviors began shortly after my ex-wife and I divorced as he had expressed suicidal thoughts and was immediately brought in for professional help. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I know how you feel, because I don't. I am also not going to tell you to just stop because I understand that what you are doing is a type of an addiction that gives you a feeling you crave from the release of endorphins and hormones which occurs when you cut or self harm. What I will say as that there are alternative and safer ways to experience endorphin release without leaving damaging marks on your body. I propose that when you need to feel that release, try engaging in an alternative measure such as running, or push ups, or sit ups, or something physically challenging that may actually also provide a positive benefit for your body and your self. You are all worth so much more than you give yourselves credit for and whatever problems are causing you to have such a self deprecating and self destructive pattern of behavior are likely more common among the masses than you may realize. Look into support groups. Talk to professionals. Get yourself some help before the next cut is just that much deeper than you intended and becomes a fatal mistake. There is so much in this world that is also good. You just have to look for it sometimes in the midst of all the crap that we see via every media outlet and network as it is the sensationalism that sells and creates larger audiences. Think about it this way, how often do you hear about the boy scout eagle project, or the girl scout charity event, or the kids who volunteered to help the elderly? You don't. Instead we hear about the car jackings, the plane crashes, the rapes, the divorces, and all the negative shit in life that would make anybody depressed. I've been divorced. My parents divorced when I was in college. I had my own share of problems in life which included job losses, forceclosed homes, and children with medical conditions that require constant care. My ex wife had to be institutionalized for mental health reasons and the reason I divorced her after 12 years was that I caught her cheating. I am not angry. I am not depressed. I went to counseling and dealt effectively with my emotions. I saw the stories of people losing their mind and shooting, maiming, and engaging in behaviors that represented feelings I harbored at times, but I never acted on those thoughts because I realized that between stimulus and response there is a space where we all make a choice. We are ultimately responsible for our own actions and what we do. Yes, there are outside factors that influence us, but the decision to act is our own. Deep down inside I believe we are all good people. I believe we want to have lives consisting of love, health, close family, good friends, good times, and prosperity. Who would not want those things? Yet, I have observed some of the richest families in life who appear to have everything also have children who are not happy and suffer from depression because they are not getting the parental attention they desperately want. By that I mean they want to feel validated and appreciated by their folks. They don't just want stuff and they don't want to have to be fake around their parents either. Too often I overhear students talking about how much they hate their parents and I often wonder why that is the case. You see, your parents brought you into this world. If you are truly lucky, they put a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back, shoes on your feet, gave you medical attention when needed, saw to you getting an education and hopefully attempted to teach you right from wrong. If you are among the really lucky, they raised you in an environment where you felt nurtured, loved, protected, and empowered to grow and become what you've dreamed of being. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals and many parents make mistakes without even realizing the damage they are doing when making such a mistake. It can be something as innocent as teasing a small child by throwing him in a swimming pool when he is afraid of the water. The parent may think that the method will force the child to face his fears. The parent may not realize that this action may scar the child for life by instilling feelings of inadequacy and the need to please others because that little child will wonder why they are not enough for the rest of their lives and will wonder what they did wrong to be placed into such a terrifying scenario by the very person they look up to and expect to protect them and love them. When it comes to our minds and the factors that influence our behaviors, we have so many layers of complexity and such a lack of understanding about what really occurs that we are faced with a field of medicine that works with cognitive therapy combined with trial and error chemistry that hopes to find the right dosage or combination to make a patient feel better. Sadly, as was the case with my ex-wife, this type of practice can leave a trail of consequences behind if the patient is not truly ready to embrace help and provide honest feedback to the treating professionals as well as include the family members into the treatment program so that they too can discuss their observations with the treating professional without being barred by patient confidentiality. You may not see the negative effects of a medication, so please consider including your family into your team if and when you seek treatment. I hope these heart felt words provide some of you the consolation and help. Remember to love yourself. You deserve it.





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Hi I'm 16 I'll b 17 in a few months but I have bad self harm scars on my leg and I've been using bio oil for a few weeks I have seen a difference but for it to make a big difference it takes like 3 or 4 months and I'm going on holiday soon and I don't want my nan or mum to see them they will be very angry with me so if there's anything else that could make them fade faster or make them white as on my other leg they've gone white but only other leg they've faded a but but there still quite visible I just want them to go now so if there's anything u know that would help a lot thanks! Much appreciated





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I self harmed a few months ago with nail scissors, it was a one off and the only time I've done it but I'm going on holiday in 6 weeks so I'd like to try and fade the scars as much as possible. My mum did ask about them but I told her that I fell over on the football pitcj at school which is astroturf, but I still want to make them fade a bit more, please help? I'm 14 so surgery is out of the question





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Foundation, concealer what ever you can get your hands on doesn't matter if it's a bit orange because you can whiten it with powder. Otherwise there is not much you can do but wait they do fade eventually to go completely is quite a few months but you will see an improvement in 6 weeks as long as you don't pick at them or anything like that. Hope this helps!

I am 13 I have been self harming since I was 10 and I have the scars on my arms still I am going on holiday soon and my mum doesn't know how can I hide them from her





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I'm going on holiday in about six months and my family don't know I self harm is there any chance I can fade them in time I'm in recovery and havnt done it in a while, although I would tell so i didnt have to hide them its also my cousins wedding and I don't won't to rewin it for her????????





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hi i am 14and i have been self harming myself, just because i feel in love with older boy who had no felling for me, please help me get rid of the marks on my arms





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Am 15 and I have been self harming , I really hate it . Last night was the only time in which it started bleeding . I don't know what to do am going swimming with my boyfriend in a few weeks and the scars are at the top of my leg . I know he won't be discusesed by them as he has seen them , and has been helping me stop over the course of the 7 months I have been with him . I am just worried about how people will look at me when they see them . And how they will judge him when he is seen with me . What shall I do ?





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Don't worry about what other people think I their opinion doesn't matter! People rant as judgemental as you think and are probably more worried about themselves more than you.

Hello im 15 and i have self harmed for about a year. I used to self harm lightly and eventually the scars would fade but a few months ago i cute four cuts on my right arm and they are very deep and thick. Its lumpy and im afraid they wont go away. What should i do?





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Hellow. . . . .i am 15 yers old and i 've problem of sore old dark scars on my body and they are annoying me,i cnt even wear a short because im afraid that people might laugh at me. Help plzzzz





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I'm 13 and i found a piece of a mirror and just scratched my wrist a little.it wasnt deep at all and no blood came out,they're kind of red and i only did it once! Will the scars fade?





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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