"In addition to cutting, she self-harmed by burning herself, pulling out her hair and overdosing on a cocktail of anti-depressants and paracetamol."
SSRI Stories note: Although this girl engaged in some cutting before being placed on antidepressants, her self-mutilating behavior increased while on the antidepressants. On May 7th, 2000, the Boston Globe reported : "The patent for the new Prozac or R-fluoxetine (US Patent no. 5,708,035), which Lilly will market after the existing patent expires in 2001, contains a wealth of information about the original Prozac. According to the patent, the new Prozac will decrease side effects of the existing Prozac such as headaches, nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as "inner restlessness (akathisia), suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation" – the same effect Lilly has contended has not occurred in any substantial way in some 200 lawsuits against it over the past decade. Most of the suits were settled out of court and the terms kept confidential."
The new Prozac was never marketed.
My battle to stop self-harming
Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 10:37
The number of people being admitted to hospital after harming themselves is on the increase. CLAIRE CARTER speaks to one woman about her battle to stop self-harming
FOR Heather Williams, 2009 marked the first year in nearly a decade that she had the confidence to go swimming.
The 23-year-old had previously avoided baring her arms and legs in public for fear of people seeing where she had cut herself – scars still visible today on her arms, legs and thighs.
"I was cutting my arms, legs, tummy – anywhere," said Heather, of The Meadows.
"I started self-harming when I was about 14 or 15 and that went on right through until I was about 21.
"I've no idea why I started, it just happened. I was doing it every day, once or twice a day.
"It was just a feeling that I needed to do it. Sometimes it was anger that was forcing it to happen.
"It was a release – until the day after, or a few hours later, when everything went back again, and I would get the same feelings and urges."
Heather was diagnosed with depression when she was 17 and put on anti-depressants.
In addition to cutting, she self-harmed by burning herself, pulling out her hair and overdosing on a cocktail of anti-depressants and paracetamol.
She added: "I had to hide my scars from my friends and family. I wore sleeves and wouldn't do PE, I wouldn't do anything that involved me having to show any skin.
"It was hard when I was at school as the teachers would ask why I wouldn't do anything. It just becomes something that is part of you.
"Sometimes I was scared of what I could do, if I let myself go completely I could have done more damage. I was scared of people finding out because it's always social taboo, we don't want to see people hurting themselves and I didn't want to stop.
"This year was the first time I went swimming in about nine years this year. That involved me showing all my scars."
The number of admissions to the Queen's Medical Centre emergency department for self-harm related injuries has increased in the last four years – with 344 admissions last year compared with 192 in 2005.
In the first half of this year there have been 203 admissions already.
Heather said her self-harming increased until she went to university. She added: "I could be anywhere to do it. I did it at home, usually in my bedroom, at school, in the toilets. I would use anything.
"I remember once being at Leeds festival and just scratching into my hand with a fork.
"It started off just being a little bit but it got to the point that I was doing it everywhere, all over my body. It kind of peaked when I was 17 to 19, two years before I went to uni, then it calmed down."
Heather said working with children in a stable job, having goals and a supportive network of family and friends helped her to stop self-harming. She added: "It's hard now. The urges are still there, pretty much every day, when I'm frustrated and things don't seem to be going right.
"I think what has helped me now is that I've settled into a job and a house and I'm working with children.
"My family were very supportive. They didn't want to take everything away all at once.
"You need to find someone that you can talk to and will accept you and won't reject you if you are still cutting, that they are there to listen and support you, and try to help you cut down rather than just stop straight away.
"I think stopping was something I needed to do for myself. I can't say it's never going to happen again, but I can control it now.
"I feel I've got more of a positive outlook now. I've managed to overcome my depression which has helped a lot – now I can see where I'm going. I'm more settled now and am not all over the place any more."
Heather got involved with Harmless, a charity that tries to help people who self-harm, when she was at school and said volunteering for the charity has also helped her stop self-harming and turn her experience into something positive.
Harmless runs drop-in sessions at New College Nottingham for students and staff and is hoping to extend this to the public.
The charity recently won a Community Impact award for the East Midlands and has raised £1,000 from a sponsored head-shave for the charity.
Caroline Roe, director and co-founder of Harmless, said: "We believe in recovery, and demonstrate this in everything we do as everyone at the heart of Harmless has experienced and triumphed over their struggles with self-harm and distress, and is now able to work in a professional capacity to help others overcome their difficulties."
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