Stories on Depression: How I Overcame 7 Years of Self-Harm

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact your closest friend, family member or search for Rehab centres in Uganda and get yourself admitted.

When someone talks about self-harm, many still believe it’s more of a silly myth and rather a stupid call for attention. But the truth is, it’s not.

In 2013 about 3.3 million cases of self-harm were reported with the most cases happening to young people between the ages of 12 and 24.

For 7 years from 2005 to 2012, I  battled with cutting or intentionally injuring myself for a long time. I never thought it could become something so addictive. I thought addiction to be things that “seemed” pleasurable like drugs, sex, food but not cutting and neither biting!

Trust me, self-harm is real!

Self-harm, also known as self-injury, is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue, done without suicidal intentions.

The most common form of self-harm is using a sharp object to cut one’s skin and also includes a wide range of behaviour’s like burning, scratching, banging or hitting body parts, hair-pulling and the ingestion of toxic substances or objects.

I am often asked these questions whenever someone sees my scars; Did it hurt? Did you learn it from someone? And my answer is always the same, NO!

But there is a greater reality, a greater truth!

Self-harm can be overcome. I have not cut myself for closely 6 years now. But was it easy to break the addiction? No, it wasn’t.

The first years of recovery were not as easy as the urge to self-harm was. But eventually, I overcame. I am finally free.

The desire to self-harm is commonly associated with a borderline personality disorder. People with other mental disorders may also self-harm, including those with depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and several personality disorders.

It can also occur in high-functioning individuals who have no underlying mental health diagnosis.

Reasons behind this troubling act can vary from one person to another. Some use it as a coping mechanism to provide temporary relief of intense feelings such as anxiety, depression, stress, emotional numbness, or a sense of failure.

You should never give up! There is hope for recovery!

Are you struggling with self-harm yourself? Are you feeling lonely, useless, depressed and with no one to turn to? Then hear this, YOU’RE NOT ALONE! Don’t be scared anymore because out there someone has managed to win this battle. If we reach out to another, we can strengthen our bond and help each other through hard times.

My name is Sarah Tushemereirwe and when it comes to mental health, I have suffered multiple disorders which include bipolar disorder, self-harm, depression, low self-esteem, multiple suicide attempts and I have overcome all and I am still overcoming.

Mental health is a lifelong pursuit that needs to be pursued daily by each one of us. I am someone who wants to help end the stigma about mental health. I am willing to talk about it and be an advocate for mental health. Are you? If you are, then please join me in speaking out the truth.

Story by Sarah Tushemereirwe

Every Friday, we share and talk about depression among unemployed young people! Share your story with us via If you don’t want to have your name attached, we promise to share your story anonymously.


2 thoughts on “Stories on Depression: How I Overcame 7 Years of Self-Harm

  1. Pingback: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder – Minding Mental Health

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