How Can I Like Myself More?

Published: May 21, 2012
Dear How Can I Like Myself More?,

I am 12 and I hate myself. The way I look, act, feel, and laugh. I just hate everything about me. I tried out for cheerleading and messed up the dance so I didn't make it. I cried for two hours and wanted to kill myself until my crush hugged my and walked me out of the school. I want to kill myself so bad. I banged my wrist on a table until it turned purple and I saw species of blood under my skin. How can I like myself more?

Dear How Can I Like Myself More?,

TeenHealthFX is sorry to hear you feel so negatively about yourself. We truly appreciate how difficult it can be to deal with various situations and different kinds of people when we are feeling poorly about ourselves. Often feelings badly about ourselves can create anxiety, which can then contribute to things not going as we planned (perhaps what happened with cheerleading tryouts) – and this can feel very disappointing and frustrating.

Very often the nature of our relationships with others (especially our parents/guardians, but also our peers) can affect the self-beliefs we have – beliefs like “I am special,” “I am unworthy,” or whatever else. To feel better about yourself, FX thinks it would be helpful for you to meet with a qualified mental health professional (a clinical psychologist or clinical social worker) where you can look at your relationships with others and the self-beliefs you have developed. Given that you had a thought of wanting to kill yourself and you hurt yourself as a result of the sadness and frustration you must have been feeling, it would also be helpful for you to talk with a therapist about coping mechanisms and possible depressed feelings as well.

FX recommends that you speak to someone soon about how you are feeling so that a consultation can be set up with a therapist as soon as possible. You can let your parents know, talk to a staff member at your school, or even call your doctor and talk to him/her about it. There are plenty of caring people out there who will want to be helpful to you in your pursuit to feel better about yourself – so please reach out for help with this soon.  

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Memorial hospital at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), available 24 hours a day, or the Suicide & Crisis Hotline, 1-800-999-9999, 24 hours, 7 days a week.