I was heartbroken when my husband died and now I can't stop self-harming

DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE been making destructive decisions since my husband died four months ago.

I’m a 37-year-old guy. He was 46 and died from cancer. It was heartbreaking.


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I thought I was healing but I’m smoking when I had previously quit, drinking too much and talking to men online about fetish sex, where people do humiliating and controlling things to me.

I wasn’t into this when my husband was alive. Lately I have been cutting my legs but I don’t know why.

Usually it’s when I’m drunk but I’ve had thoughts about it when I’m sober too. I wake up the next day with cuts and feel awful about it.

I wouldn’t ever hurt anyone else, so why am I doing this to myself?

DEIDRE SAYS: Your behaviour sounds to be all about punishing yourself. Do you feel guilty, either for not being the perfect partner or because you are still here when your partner has sadly lost his life?

These are common feelings after the loss of a loved one. My e-leaflet on Coping With Bereavement will help you find support.

Lean on friends too. They might be uncertain how best to be helpful, so share your feelings with them.

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