Amber's Story of Self-Injury and a Suicide Pact
by Kevin Caruso
Amber, a high school junior, first cut herself one day because she was depressed and frustrated. So she grabbed a razor and cut her arm. She then put on a long-sleeve shirt to hide the cut.
Amber then began to cut herself on a regular basis.
Her parents found out about the self-injury problem when they received a call from Amber's guidance counselor who said that he had been told by another student that Amber was cutting herself.
When Amber's parents confronted her about the problem, she said that she had just cut herself one time, and would never do it again.
Her parents believed her.
But she was actually cutting herself up to twice a day.
A few weeks later, Amber's mother found a note from Amber's friend in Amber's room that read, "Please don't do this anymore." Amber's mother knew what it meant.
This time Amber's parents confronted Amber and told her to roll up the sleeves of her long-sleeve shirt. Her left arm was covered with cut scars.
Amber's parents took her to a see a doctor and got her into therapy.
But she did not stop cutting herself.
So two months later, they brought her to an outpatient program that she went to on an ongoing basis, five days a week.
After a month of the outpatient treatment, Amber returned to school. On her second day back to school, three students called her mother saying that Amber had made a suicide pact with another girl.
Amber's parents were shocked, and immediately brought Amber in for treatment.
They also took Amber out of school and home schooled her for the rest of the year.
Amber is now in a new school and has not cut herself for several months. She is still
in therapy and receiving treatment.
Amber's story is unfortunately a very common one for young people. Self-injury is an activity that many young people use to try to stop their pain.
Amber was depressed and needed treatment. She received treatment but did not get better right away.
She became suicidal, and had made a suicide pact with a fellow student. But, again, she was receiving
treatment all along.
Unfortunately, everybody responds to treatment in a different way. No single treatment works for everyone. And we must be very careful to monitor people who are cutting themselves, who have depression, or who are suicidal to ensure that they actually are getting better.
Let me be very clear with this -- Just because someone is getting treatment does not mean that they are getting better. They can still die by suicide.
But with persistence, almost everyone will find a treatment that will work for him or her.
(And keep in mind that many people get better with their first treatment.)
If you are cutting yourself or engaging in self-injury of any kind, please reach out for help.
Tell your parents or a teacher or someone you trust about what is going on. Please
reach out for help. People care about you and want to help you, but cannot help you
if you don't reach out.
You can also call the self-injury hotline at 1-800-DONTCUT (1-800-366-8288).
Call now if you need to. Please. People want to help you.
Again, the self-injury hotline is:
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
I love you.