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Transcript: Dateline
26 Oct 1998. Full show.

>> Announcer: THIS IS
"DATELINE," MONDAY,
OCTOBER 26th, 1998.
TONIGHT!

>>> SHE STRUGGLED AGAINST DARK
FEELINGS OF DESPAIR, HUMILIATION
AND A DEEP, PUNISHING
SELF-HATRED.

>> I THOUGHT NOBODY COULD
POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M
GOING THROUGH.
THEY'RE GOING TO THINK I'M NUTS.

>> Announcer: LIKE MILLIONS
OF OTHERS SUFFERING FROM THIS
PROBLEM, HER PAIN WAS HIDDEN,
AND WORSE, SO WAS THE DANGEROUS
WAY IN WHICH SHE FOUND RELIEF.

>> SHE COULD BE DOING IT RIGHT
NOW, AND I DON'T KNOW THAT SHE'S
DOING IT BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T
SHARE THAT WITH ME.

>> Announcer: WOULD ANYTHING
STOP THIS SECRET,
SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR?
DAWN FRATANGELO ON A WOUNDING
CRY FOR HELP.

***********************************


>>> DATELINE, WITH --
>> Announcer: FROM STUDIO 3B
IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER, HERE IS
STONE PHILLIPS.

>>> GOOD EVENING.
IN AN AGE WHEN NOTHING, IT
SEEMS, IS TOO PAINFUL TO TALK
ABOUT, WHAT YOU'RE ABOUT TO SEE
REMAINS AN EXCEPTION.
IT'S A PROBLEM RARELY DISCUSSED,
EVEN THOUGH MILLIONS STRUGGLE
WITH IT, USUALLY BEGINNING
IN ADOLESCENCE.
AND BECAUSE NO ONE TALKS
ABOUT IT, MANY BELIEVE THEY ARE
SUFFERING ALONE.
THAT'S HOW ONE YOUNG WOMAN FELT
WHEN IT HAPPENED TO HER SHE LOST
HER EMOTIONAL FOOTING
AND PLUNGED INTO A BLACK HOLE
OF ANXIETY AND DESPAIR.
"DATELINE" FOLLOWED
HER FOR NEARLY A YEAR
THROUGH A REMARKABLE JOURNEY
FROM THE PATH OF
SELF-DESTRUCTION TO THE PROMISE
OF RECOVERY.
HERE'S DAWN FRATANGELO.

>> "SATURDAY, MAY 18th, 1996.
I FELT LIKE I WAS READY
TO EXPLODE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
TONIGHT."

>> Reporter: THERE ARE NO EASY
EXPLANATIONS FOR THE KIND
OF PAIN JAMIE MATHEWS HAS
EXPERIENCED AND WILLFULLY
CONQUERED.
HERS WAS AN ALMOST UNTHINKABLE
SECRET.
A SECRET THAT, ONCE EXPOSED,
SOME WOULD DIAGNOSE
AS UNTREATABLE.
HERE WAS A YOUNG WOMAN, SOME
PREDICTED, DESTINED TO LIVE
A LIFE OF DESPAIR IF SHE LIVED
AT ALL.
SOMETIMES, THERE'S NO TELLING
WHEN A CHILDHOOD VEERS OFF
TRACK, ESPECIALLY WHEN A CHILD
SHOWS NO SIGNS OF TROUBLE.
SO IT WAS WITH JAMIE MATHEWS,
BORN IN JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK,
THE OLDEST OF THREE.
JAMIE LIKES TO REMEMBER HERSELF
AS THE SPUNKY 7-YEAR-OLD
IN THIS, HER FAVORITE PHOTO.
FIERCELY INDEPENDENT, YET
UNNERVINGLY RESPONSIBLE,
HER MOTHER, RINDY BARMORE, SAYS
JAMIE ACTED MORE LIKE A PARENT
THAN A CHILD.

>> ALWAYS VERY CONFIDENT.
ALWAYS THE LEADER OF EVERYTHING.
ALWAYS HAD TO BE THE BEST
AT EVERYTHING.
GET GOOD GRADES.
BE THE BEST CHEERLEADER.
ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

>> Reporter: IT NEVER OCCURRED
TO RINDY TO WORRY WHEN
HER SELF-ASSURED, OVERACHIEVING
DAUGHTER HEADED TO HOUGHTON
COLLEGE, IN WESTERN NEW YORK.

[ BELLS RINGING ]

>> Reporter: AND IT NEVER
OCCURRED TO JAMIE EITHER.
BUT HER SOPHOMORE YEAR, JAMIE
SAYS, SHE SLIPPED
INTO A PROFOUND DEPRESSION.

>> I WAS MISERABLE.
I JUST STARTED TO SLEEP ALL
THE TIME, I JUST CRIED ALL
THE TIME.
I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THIS WAS
HAPPENING TO ME.

>> Reporter: ONLY LATER WOULD
JAMIE LEARN SHE HAD FALLEN
ON THE JAGGED EDGE
OF LONG-BURIED EMOTIONS.
AND AS SHE STRUGGLED TO DULL
THE SEARING PAIN, SHE STUMBLED
ON A REMEDY SO DISTURBING
SHE DIDN'T DARE TELL ANYONE
ABOUT IT.

>> I THOUGHT NOBODY CAN POSSIBLY
UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M GOING
THROUGH AND IF I EVEN TRY
TO EXPLAIN TO THEM, THEY'RE
GOING TO THINK I'M NUTS.

>> Reporter: BUT TERRIFIED
HER SECRET WOULD SPIRAL OUT
OF CONTROL, JAMIE RELUCTANTLY
SHOWED HER ROOMMATE WHAT SHE WAS
DOING.
SANDY ZIELINSKI WAS ASTOUNDED.

>> IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
I'VE NEVER EXPERIENCED ANYTHING
LIKE IT BEFORE.

>> Reporter: SANDY WANTED
TO RUSH FOR HELP.
WHAT IF HER FRIEND ACCIDENTALLY
KILLED HERSELF?
BUT SHE HAD PROMISED NOT
TO BETRAY JAMIE'S CONFIDENCE.

>> FOR A LONG TIME, LIKE
SHE DIDN'T WANT ME TO SAY
ANYTHING AND IT WAS SO HARD, IT
WAS SO HARD ON ME.
AND I COULDN'T, I COULDN'T TELL
ANYONE, SHE DIDN'T WANT ME TO.

>> Reporter: UNWILLING TO BE
ANYTHING BUT THAT
SELF-SUFFICIENT DAUGHTER,
FOR MONTHS, JAMIE REFUSED
TO TELL HER PARENTS.
UNTIL FINALLY, DESPERATE,
SHE CALLED HOME.

>> SHE SAID,
"MOM, THIS IS MORE THAN
DEPRESSION, WHEN I CAN'T DEAL
WITH THINGS, THIS IS WHAT I DO."

>> Reporter: HAD YOU EVER HEARD
OF SUCH A THING?

>> NEVER.
I HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE.

>> Reporter: JAMIE SWORE
HER PARENTS TO SECRECY.
NO ONE ELSE WAS TO KNOW
ABOUT HER BEHAVIOR, WHICH WAS
HARD ENOUGH TO IMAGINE, MUCH
LESS EXPLAIN.
BUT, SPOOKED BY JAMIE'S
DISCLOSURE, HER MOTHER INSISTED
SHE GET PROFESSIONAL HELP.
WHEN COUNSELING AND
ANTI-DEPRESSANTS FAILED, JAMIE'S
MOTHER RESORTED TO A DRASTIC
MEASURE.
ON THE ADVICE OF A THERAPIST,
JAMIE COMMITTED HERSELF
TO A HOSPITAL PSYCHIATRIC UNIT.

>> IT WAS ONE OF THE SCARIEST
DAYS OF MY LIFE.

>> THERE WERE DRUG ADDICTS
AND ALCOHOLICS, AND INDIVIDUALS
WHO WERE HEARING VOICES
AND CARRYING DOLLS, THINKING IT
WAS THEIR BABY.
I MEAN, THERE WAS A LOT
OF DIFFERENT DEGREES OF MENTAL
DISORDERS.
SHE DIDN'T BELONG THERE, BUT IT
WAS TOO LATE, WE'D SIGNED
THE PAPERS.

>> Reporter: JAMIE'S MOTHER NOW
HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO LEAVE
HER 19-YEAR-OLD CHILD LOCKED UP
FOR A MANDATORY THREE-DAY STAY.

>> SHE WAS HOLDING
HER TEDDY BEAR AND SHE SAID
"IT'S OKAY MOM, YOU CAN GO, I'LL
BE OKAY."

>> AND THEN SHE SAID GOOD-BYE
AND SHE WALKED OUT THE DOOR
AND THE DOOR SHUT AND I STOOD
THERE AND CRIED.
I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

I WAS ALL ALONE IN THIS STRANGE
PLACE.
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO GO
ABOUT GETTING BETTER, BUT I HOPE
I WILL.

>> Reporter: AFTER HER RELEASE,
BACK AT SCHOOL, JAMIE TRIED
TO BURY HER SECRET
IN HER JOURNAL.
BUT, THE TORMENT OVERWHELMED
HER AGAIN.

>> SOMETIMES I WISH I COULD BE
AT COMPLETE AND TOTAL REST.

>> Reporter: WEARY
OF THE ANGUISH, SHE TWISTED OPEN
A BOTTLE OF EXTRA STRENGTH
TYLENOL IN HER DORM ROOM.

>> NO EMOTION BEHIND IT, JUST
LOOKED MYSELF IN THE MIRROR,
SAID THIS SEEMS PRETTY EASY.

>> Reporter: ONE BY ONE,
SHE SWALLOWED 21 PILLS.
EASY ENOUGH.
BUT SCARY, TOO.
JAMIE THOUGHT SHE'D BETTER TELL
SOMEONE WHAT SHE HAD DONE.
A FRIEND IMMEDIATELY CALLED
AN AMBULANCE.
DOCTORS RACED TO GET
THE ACETAMINOPHEN OUT OF JAMIE'S
SYSTEM.
DID YOU WANT TO COMMIT SUICIDE?

>> NO.
IT WASN'T A SUICIDE ATTEMPT.
I JUST WANTED TO GO TO SLEEP
UNTIL EVERYTHING WAS OKAY.

>> Reporter: ONCE AGAIN, JAMIE
WAS LOCKED IN A PSYCHIATRIC
UNIT, WHERE HER BIZARRE SECRET
DISTURBED EVEN HER DOCTOR.
AND HER MOTHER WAS STUNNED, WHEN
LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER,
HE FORCED HER TO TAKE JAMIE
HOME.

>> HE BASICALLY LOOKED AT ME
AND SAID "I'M REALLY SORRY,
BUT I DON'T THINK THERE'S MUCH
HOPE FOR YOUR DAUGHTER.
SHE'S GOING TO BE IN AND OUT
OF PSYCHIATRIC UNITS, PROBABLY
FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE,
IF SHE DOESN'T KILL HERSELF."

>> Reporter: THIS WAS A DOCTOR
SAYING TO YOU, I CAN'T DO
ANYTHING?

>> RIGHT.

>> Reporter: YOUR DAUGHTER MORE
THAN LIKELY IS GOING TO DIE?

>> RIGHT.

>> Reporter: DID YOU GIVE UP
HOPE?

>> NO.
I WASN'T GOING TO LET HER DIE
AND I TOLD HER THAT, "I'M NOT
GOING TO SIT BY AND WATCH
YOU DIE.
I REFUSE."
I CONTACTED EVERY MENTAL HEALTH
PROFESSIONAL I COULD FIND
IN THE PHONE BOOK AND SAID,
"PLEASE TELL ME OTHER HOSPITALS
THAT CAN DEAL WITH THIS."
I CONTACTED EVERY SINGLE ONE
OF THEM AND SAID "THIS IS
THE PROBLEM.
CAN YOU TAKE MY DAUGHTER?"
AND EVERY ONE OF THEM HAD SAID,
"DON'T SEND HER HERE."

>> I'M NOT GETTING HELP, BUT I'M
ASKING FOR HELP, FINALLY I'M
ASKING FOR HELP AND I'M NOT
GETTING IT.

>> Reporter: NOW, JAMIE WAS
COMPLETELY CONVINCED SHE WAS
A FREAK.
IF HER AGONIZING SECRET
BEWILDERED HER FRIEND,
HER PARENTS, EVEN THE EXPERTS,
HOW COULD SHE EVER BE CURED?
BUT HOPE WOULD SPRING
FROM AN UNLIKELY SOURCE
AND JAMIE WOULD DISCOVER SHE DID
NOT SUFFER ALONE.

>> HOW DOES JAMIE FIND OUT
WHAT'S WRONG WITH HER?
AND IS THERE A CURE?
HER STORY CONTINUES WHEN
WE RETURN.



>> Announcer: HERE NOW IS JANE
PAULEY.

>> RETURNING TO OUR STORY --
JAMIE FELT TRAPPED IN AN ACUTE
STATE OF EMOTIONAL PAIN AND
DOCTORS WANTED TO HELP HER.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS FEARED
FOR HER LIFE.
WAS THERE NO HOPE?
HERE AGAIN IS DAWN FRATANGELO.

>> Reporter: CALL IT
SERENDIPITY.
CALL IT FATE.
IT HAPPENED AS JAMIE'S ROOMMATE,
SANDY, FLIPPED THROUGH
"SEVENTEEN" MAGAZINE.

>> I WAS LOOKING THROUGH, BLAH
BLAH BLAH, YOU KNOW, JUST
A NORMAL MAGAZINE AND I SAW THIS
ARTICLE AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE
IT, 'CAUSE I HAD NEVER REALLY
READ ANYTHING ON IT BEFORE.
AND EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM THAT
THEY TALKED ABOUT, I WAS LIKE,
"THAT'S JAMIE!
THAT'S JAMIE!
THAT'S JAMIE!"

>> Reporter: THERE, IN FULL
DETAIL, JAMIE'S DISTRESSING
SECRET LAY EXPOSED.
SHE SUFFERED FROM A DISORDER
KNOWN AS SELF-INJURY
OR SELF-MUTILATION.
LIKE THE YOUNG WOMEN
IN THE ARTICLE, JAMIE HAD BEEN
CUTTING HERSELF INTENTIONALLY,
NOT AS AN ATTEMPT TO COMMIT
SUICIDE, BUT AS A PECULIAR WAY
TO RELIEVE INTOLERABLE ANXIETY.

>> I WAS LIKE, THERE ARE PEOPLE
OUT THERE THAT ACTUALLY STRUGGLE
WITH THE SAME THING THAT I DO,
AND I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE?
I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

>> Reporter: NEITHER COULD
JAMIE'S MOTHER.
AFTER MONTHS OF SEARCHING,
AT LONG LAST, SHE HELD
THE NUMBER OF A PLACE THAT MIGHT
NOT TURN HER DAUGHTER AWAY.

>> AND I GOT THIS GIRL
ON THE PHONE AND I SAID, "THIS
IS WHAT WE'RE GOING THROUGH,
AND THIS IS WHAT SHE'S DOING,"
AND SHE SAID, "I UNDERSTAND."
AND THAT WAS THE FIRST PERSON
IN THE STRUGGLE THAT WE HAD GONE
THROUGH THAT SAID, "I UNDERSTAND
AND YEAH, WE CAN HELP YOU."

>> Reporter: FINALLY, JUST
OUTSIDE CHICAGO, IN A PROGRAM
CALLED S.A.F.E., JAMIE SAW
HER SECRET ETCHED IN EVERY
PATIENT.

>> I'M TIRED OF PRETENDING THAT
IT DOESN'T EXIST.

>> Reporter: HERE, SHE LEARNED
THAT SELF-INJURY IS BECOMING
SO PREVALENT AMONG TEENAGERS,
EXPERTS DESCRIBE IT
AS THE ANOREXIA OF THE '90s.
AN ESTIMATED 2 MILLION
TO 3 MILLION AMERICANS, MOSTLY
WOMEN, BUT SOME MEN, TOO, HURT
THEMSELVES BY CUTTING
OR BURNING, BREAKING BONES,
PULLING OUT HAIR OR INGESTING
DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES.
EVEN THEY ADMIT IT'S HARD
TO DESCRIBE HOW ANY OF THIS
PROVIDES EMOTIONAL RELIEF.
SOME SAY IT'S SIMILAR
TO THE IMPULSE TO VIOLENTLY HIT
SOMETHING WHEN YOU'RE REALLY
UPSET.
THINK OF IT, TOO,
AS AN ADDICTION.
MANY WHO SELF-INJURE DO IT
FOR THE SAME REASONS OTHERS
ABUSE ALCOHOL, DRUGS OR FOOD.
IN TIMES OF CRISIS, IT HELPS
THEM COPE.
FOR JAMIE, THE INITIAL IMPULSE
TO HURT HERSELF CAME FAST,
WITHOUT ANY FORETHOUGHT.
IT HAPPENED SPONTANEOUSLY.

>> I PICKED UP A PIECE OF BROKEN
GLASS AND CUT ON MY ARM TWICE.

>> Reporter: AND WHAT DID
YOU FEEL LIKE AFTER?

>> IT MADE ME FEEL BETTER.
BECAUSE I COULD FOCUS ON ONE
THING WHICH WAS INJURING MYSELF.
INSTEAD OF THINGS THAT
I COULDN'T CONTROL AROUND ME.
THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT I COULD
CONTROL.

>> Reporter: TWO CUTS SOON
MULTIPLIED, AS JAMIE CHARTED
A MAP OF ANGUISH WELL HIDDEN
FOR MONTHS UNDER LONG SLEEVES.
RINDY REMEMBERS THE SIGHT
OF HER DAUGHTER'S SILENT
SCREAMS.

>> SOMETIMES, WHEN SHE WOULD GO
TO BED AND SHE'D FALL ASLEEP,
I WOULD
SIT BESIDES HER AND I WOULD
COUNT HOW MANY SHE HAD
ON HER ARM.

>> Reporter: HOW MANY DID
YOU COUNT?

>> I THINK THERE WAS ABOUT 30
TO 35.
 WAS VERY DIFFICULT
BECAUSE EACH ONE YOU LOOKED
AT WAS, "I SHOULD HAVE BEEN
THERE."

>> Reporter: LIKE PRIMITIVE
STONE CARVINGS, JAMIE'S SCARS
NOW FADED TOLD A STORY.

>> THEY FEEL SO GRANDIOSELY
HORRIBLE INSIDE.
SO WHAT THEY DO TO THEIR BODIES
IS NEVER ENOUGH TO SHOW HOW MUCH
EMOTIONAL PAIN THEY ARE IN.

>> Reporter: WENDY LADER
AND KAREN CONTERIO ARE
THE AUTHORS OF THE NEW SELF-HELP
BOOK "BODILY HARM"
AND THE DIRECTORS
OF THE S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES
PROGRAM.

>> I DON'T THINK WENDY
AND I COULD BE DOING THIS
FOR 13 YEARS IF WE DID NOT SEE
PEOPLE GET BETTER.
COULDN'T DO IT.

>> Reporter: S.A.F.E., WHICH
STANDS FOR SELF ABUSE FINALLY
ENDS, BROKE GROUND AS THE FIRST
INPATIENT CLINIC TO SPECIALIZE
IN SELF-INJURY IN THE COUNTRY.
THE 30-DAY PROGRAM COMBINES
INNOVATIVE COUNSELING
WITH MEDICATIONS, SUCH
AS ANTI-DEPRESSANTS.

>> IT'S BEEN ABSOLUTE HELL.

>> Reporter: PATIENTS
EXAMINE THE PAINFUL REASONS
THEY DISFIGURE THEIR BODIES
AND LEARN WAYS TO CONTINUE
HEALING ONCE THELEAVE
THE HOSPITAL.
CONTERIO AND LADER ARE JUST
BEGINNING TO STUDY THEIR SUCCESS
RATE.
THEY SAY THEY'VE HAD THE MOST
POSITIVE RESULTS WITH
THE GROWING NUMBER
OF ADOLESCENTS WHO'VE COME
TO S.A.F.E. IN THE PAST
TWO YEARS.
THEY ALSO TREAT MANY PEOPLE
OTHER THERAPISTS HAVE GIVEN UP
ON.
LIKE HEROIN, SELF-INJURY IS
DANGEROUSLY ADDICTIVE.
EVENTUALLY, IT TAKES MORE SEVERE
HARM TO GET THE SAME FIX.
TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA, WE'LL SHOW
YOU ONE EXTREME CASE.
THIS WOMAN MUTILATED HER ARMS
FOR 30 YEARS.

>> ONE OF THE MAJOR REASONS
PEOPLE COME TO US IS THAT
THEY'RE AFRAID THEY'RE GOING
TO GO TOO FAR AND ACCIDENTALLY
KILL THEMSELVES.
THEY'RE CUTTING DEEPER
AND DEEPER, THEY'RE GOING
TO SEVER VEINS AND ARTERIES
AND THEY'RE PETRIFIED OF THAT.

>> Reporter: IT'S A POINT JAMIE
HOPED SHE'D NEVER REACH.
WHEN WE FIRST MET HER, SHE WAS
LIVING ON HER OWN IN CHICAGO
AND WORKING IN A DAY CARE
CENTER.


>> Reporter: AFTER GOING
THROUGH THE S.A.F.E. PROGRAM
TWICE, JAMIE'S DESIRE TO CUT
HERSELF HAD SUBSIDED.
LIKE A TODDLER WHO THROWS
A TANTRUM IN FRUSTRATION,
SHE HAD RELIED ON CUTTING
TO EXPRESS ANGER AND ANXIETY.
AS YOU'LL SEE LATER AS A CHILD,
JAMIE HAD NEVER LEARNED HOW
TO DEAL WITH THESE EMOTIONS,
SO SHE BOTTLED THEM INSIDE.


>> Reporter: AT S.A.F.E., JAMIE
HAD PRACTICED USING WORDS
TO COMMUNICATE.
THE MORE SHE TALKED AND WROTE
ABOUT HER PENT-UP FEELINGS,
THE LESS SHE HURT HERSELF.

>> I HAVE TWO OPTIONS, I CAN LET
IT BUILD UP ANOV
OR I CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING
ON AND HOW I GOT TO THIS POINT.

>> Reporter: NOW, JAMIE WONDERED
IF SHE COULD SHOULDER THE
PRESSURES THAT ONCE CRUSHED HER.
AND THERE WAS ONLY ONE WAY
TO FIND OUT.
SO, SHE PACKED HER BELONGINGS,
WITH A FRIEND AND HEADED EAST,
BACK TO COLLEGE, THE PLACE WHERE
SHE HAD FALLEN APART.
IN THE HOPE OF HELPING OTHERS,
JAMIE BRAVELY ALLOWED "DATELINE"
TO FOLLOW HER FOR THE NEXT
EIGHT MONTHS.
SHE WANTED TO PROVE THAT
SELF-INJURY WOULD NOT CONTINUE
TO SHATTER HER.
BUT, THE NIGHT BEFORE
SHE RETURNED TO SCHOOL, JAMIE
NOW HOME, MADE A STARTLING
ADMISSION.
IN HER WEAKEST MOMENTS,
SHE DIDN'T WANT TO GIVE UP
CUTTING.

>> I SOMETIMES WANT TO HOLD
ON TO IT AND SAY "THIS IS MINE."
I WANT TO KEEP THIS FOR ME
AND I MAY NEED THAT SOME TIME
TO HELP MYSELF DEAL WITH STUFF.
JAMIE HAD TRIED TO GO BACK
TO COLLEGE ONCE BEFORE
AND FAILED, THE DEPRESSION
AND INJURING HAD STILL DOGGED
HER.
HER MOTHER WASN'T SO SURE JAMIE
WAS YET READY TO TACKLE SCHOOL
AGAIN.
SHE KNEW HER DAUGHTER STILL
FLIRTED WITH THE TEMPTATION
TO CUT, BUT SHE COULD ONLY GUESS
IF JAMIE EVER ACTED ON IT.

>> SHE COULD BE DOING IT RIGHT NOW,
AND I DON'T KNOW THAT SHE'S
DOING IT.
BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T SHARE THAT
WITH ME.

>> HI!

>> Reporter: AS SHE GREETED
SANDY, THE FRIEND WITH WHOM
SHE'D FIRST SHARED HER SECRET,
JAMIE HOPED THE PAST WOULD NOT
BE REPEATED.
BUT HER RESOLVE WAS BEGINNING
TO CRUMBLE.

>> I WAS VERY MUCH MORE
CONFIDENT, BEFORE I ACTUALLY GOT
BACK ON CAMPUS.
AND NOW THAT I AM HERE, IT'S
HITTING ME.
AND I'M LIKE PANICKING.

>> Reporter: THIS WOULD BE
JAMIE'S LAST CHANCE TO SUCCEED
HERE.
AND THE PERFECTIONIST,
THE FORMER HIGH ACHIEVER,
DREADED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN
IF SHE FAILED.

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY 

>> Reporter: THE NEXT TIME
WE SAW JAMIE WAS A MONTH LATER
ON OCTOBER 5th AT HOME,
FOR HER 21st BIRTHDAY.
IT WAS A DAY THAT
RINDY HAD FEARED HER DAUGHTER
MIGHT NOT LIVE TO CELEBRATE.

>> MOM!

>> Reporter: BUT JAMIE SEEMED
TO BE ON THE MEND.

>> I SEE A BIG DIFFERENCE
IN HER.
THERE'S THE LAUGHTER AGAIN.

>> YOU'RE GOING TO BE COMING OUT
IN A SECOND.

>> IT'S BACK AND THE OLD JAMIE,
WHAT WE CALL HER "PREDEPRESSION
DAYS."
BUT THERE'S ALWAYS THAT FEAR
THAT IF THINGS GET TOUGH AGAIN
OR IF THERE'S TOO MUCH STRESS,
DOES SHE HAVE ALL THE RIGHT
TOOLS IN PLACE TO DEAL WITH IT?

>> Reporter: DO YOU THINK
SHE HAS SELF-INJURED AGAIN?

>> I DON'T KNOW.
I REALLY DON'T KNOW.
SHE HAD EXAMS ABOUT A WEEK AGO.
I SAID, HOW DID YOU DO?
SHE SAID I THINK I DID OKAY.
I SAID, NO, HOW DID YOU DO?
NOT HOW DID YOU DO ON YOUR
FINALS, HOW DID YOU DO?
DID YOU GET THROUGH IT?
AND I DIDN'T GET AN ANSWER.

>> Reporter: THAT NIGHT, AFTER
OUR INTERVIEW WITH HER MOM,
WE NOTICED A CUT ON JAMIE'S
THIGH.
SANDY HAD SEEN IT, TOO.
SHE LIKED TO THINK JAMIE WAS
CURED, BUT HAD SUSPECTED
OTHERWISE.
AND THE TRUTH, ALTHOUGH
NO LONGER AS SHOCKING, STILL
DISTURBED HER.
LATER, IN JAMIE'S DORM ROOM,
SANDY, WHO USED TO HIDE SHARP
OBJECTS FROM HER FORMER
ROOMMATE, GRILLED
HER ABOUT THE CUT.
>> HOW?
SCISSORS?
KNIFE?

>> NO.

I DON'T EVEN KNOW LIKE --

>> MY PEN CAP.

>> HOW DID YOU DO IT WITH A PEN
CAP?
IT'S POINTY?

>> IT'S ROUND, METAL.
AND THE NAIL CLIPPERS.

>> Reporter: A MONTH
INTO SCHOOL, JAMIE ADMITTED
TO US WHAT SHE HAD AVOIDED
TELLING HER MOTHER --
SHE HAD WOUNDED HERSELF TWICE.
SHE CONFESSED SHE WASN'T
FOLLOWING THROUGH ON THE WRITING
TECHNIQUES SHE'D LEARNED
AT S.A.F.E.
COUPLED WITH THAT, THE ENORMOUS
PRESSURE SHE WAS PUTTING ON
HERSELF TO SUCCEED AND IT WAS
GETTING HARDER TO RESIST THE
TEMPTATION TO CUT.

>> IT'S A LOT OF THINKING THAT
I'M STUPID AND I'M NOT ADEQUATE,
I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
I'M SCARED OF STARTING TO INJURE
MORE FREQUENTLY, I'M SCARED
OF EVER HAVING TO GO BACK
INTO THE HOSPITAL.
I'M SCARED OF FAILING.
I'M LAYING ON MY BED HERE.
YOU KNOW, IN THE DARK LIKE THIS
AND I'M SCREAMING INSIDE.

>> Reporter: A STRUGGLE,
SHE DOCUMENTED ONE EVENING
ALONE, WITH A VIDEO CAMERA
"DATELINE" LOANED HER.

>> I'M HAVING A LOT OF IMPULSES,
A LOT OF THOUGHTS.
I DON'T REALLY FEEL LIKE
I UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON.
I WANT TO CUT A LOT
WITH SCISSORS.

>> Reporter: IN EARLY NOVEMBER,
JAMIE HAD FALLEN BEHIND
IN HER CLASSES.
AND TORMENTED BY WHAT SHE SAW
AS HER INADEQUACIES, HER WILL
POWER DISINTEGRATED.

>> I'M HAVING A REALLY HARD TIME
RIGHT NOW, LIKE ALL I WANT TO DO
IS STAY IN MY ROOM.

>> Reporter: JAMIE HAD GONE
ON A CUTTING BINGE AND THIS WAS
THE FOURTH NIGHT SHE HAD
RECKLESSLY HURT HERSELF.
SEVERAL HOURS AFTER SHE CUT
HER ARM, A "DATELINE" PRODUCER
ARRIVED.
AS THEY TALKED UNTIL DAWN, JAMIE
REVEALED FOR THE FIRST TIME,
THE SHEER AGONY HER SELF-INJURY
EXPRESSED.

>> IT'S HARD ENOUGH TO LET
MYSELF FEEL, BUT TO LET MYSELF
FEEL IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY?
MAYBE THAT'S WHY I INJURE.
BECAUSE, YOU CAN SEE THIS,
YOU KNOW?
YOU CAN SEE THIS.
WANT TO SEE MY ARM NOW?

>> THE CONCLUSION TO OUR STORY,
WHEN WE RETURN.




>> Announcer: FROM OUR STUDIOS
IN NEW YORK, HERE AGAIN IS STONE
PHILLIPS.

>>> AND NOW, THE CONCLUSION
OF OUR STORY.
AS JAMIE DISCOVERED, SHE WASN'T
ALONE.
OTHERS SUFFERED WITH THE SAME
SELF-DESTRUCTIVE URGES.
AMONG THEM, THE LATE PRINCESS
DIANA WHO PUBLICLY CONFESSED
THAT, AT ONE TIME, SHE TOO
RESORTED TO SELF-INJURY.
BUT IT WOULD TAKE MORE THAN THIS
NEW AWARENESS, AND
THE PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING
JAMIE RECEIVED, TO KEEP
HER FROM CUTTING HERSELF AGAIN.
THE QUESTION WAS --
DID SHE HAVE IT IN
HER TO RECLAIM CONTROL
OF HER LIFE.
ONCE AGAIN, HERE'S
DAWN FRATANGELO.

>> Reporter: A FEW DAYS BEFORE
CHRISTMAS, WE VISITED JAMIE
AT HOME.
JUST BEFORE FINAL EXAMS, SHE HAD
HURT HERSELF LIKE NEVER BEFORE.
SHE CUT HER FACE, BENEATH
HER RIGHT EYE.

>> I WAS FEELING SO AWFUL
ABOUT MYSELF, SO HORRIBLE
INSIDE.
I FIGURED WHY HIDE IT
FROM PEOPLE, I THOUGHT
THEY MIGHT AS WELL KNOW.

>> Reporter: IT WAS A SILENT
SCREAM HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR.
ONE SO DISCONCERTING, COLLEGE
ADMINISTRATORS RECOMMENDED JAMIE
TAKE HER FINAL EXAMS
IN A PSYCHIATRIC UNIT, WHERE
SHE WAS CHECKED EVERY 15 MINUTES
FOR SAFETY.
THIS TIME, HER MOTHER WAS
FURIOUS WITH JAMIE.

>> AND MY REACTION TO THAT WAS,
"YOU DON'T HAVE ANYONE TO BLAME
BUT YOURSELF.
YOU CHOSE TO SELF-INJURE.
YOU CHOSE NOT TO SEEK HELP."

>> Reporter: FOR TWO YEARS,
JAMIE'S FAMILY HAD SPARED
NO EXPENSE, SCRAPING TOGETHER
SOME $30,000 FOR HER TREATMENT.
BUT, IF JAMIE REFUSED TO HELP
HERSELF, THERE WAS NOTHING MORE
THEY COULD DO.
EVEN SO, IT WAS UNBEARABLE
TO WATCH HER SELF-DESTRUCTION.

>> THERE IS A LOT OF GUILT.
AND FOR AS MUCH AS EVERYBODY
SAYS "IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT," IT'S
DIFFICULT TO DETACH, THAT
SOMEHOW YOU DIDN'T HAVE SOME
PART IN THAT.

>> Reporter: WHAT COULD HAVE
HAPPENED TO JAMIE AS A CHILD
TO MAKE HER SUSCEPTIBLE
TO A DISORDER SOME CONSIDER
THE "ANOREXIA OF THE '90s"?
NEARLY 50% OF THOSE WHO
SELF-INJURE SAY THEY WERE
PHYSICALLY OR SEXUALLY ABUSED.
AFTER READING THE ARTICLE
IN "SEVENTEEN" MAGAZINE, JAMIE'S
MOTHER ASKED HER A ONCE
UNTHINKABLE QUESTION.

>> I SAID TO HER, "DID SOMEBODY
RAPE YOU?
DID SOMEBODY MOLEST YOU?"
I HAVE TO KNOW, IS THERE
SOMEBODY WHO DID THIS TO YOU?"
AND SHE CONSTANTLY SAID "NO,
THERE WAS NOBODY WHO EVER DID."

>> Reporter: BUT A PICTURE JAMIE
DREW FALL SEMESTER
FOR A COUNSELOR, WHISPERED
OF A LONG-BURIED PAIN --
SOMETHING ELSE COMMON AMONG
THOSE WHO SELF-INJURE --
DIVORCE.
AT THE AGE OF 4, JAMIE SAYS
SHE WATCHED HER PARENTS GO
THROUGH AN ANGRY BREAKUP
AND OVER TIME, SHE
AND HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER
DRIFTED APART.
THERAPIST WENDY LADER SAYS THIS
KIND OF EXPERIENCE IS A CLASSIC
FACTOR.

>> OFTEN TIMES THE LOSS
OR THE LEAVING OF A PARENT
LEAVES A CHILD BELIEVING THAT
THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG
WITH THEM.
IF THEY WERE JUST BETTER,
IF THEY WERE JUST SMARTER, MAYBE
THESE BAD THINGS WOULDN'T HAVE
HAPPENED.

>> Reporter: HOW MUCH DO
YOU THINK THE DIVORCE AFFECTED
YOUR DAUGHTER?

>> A LOT MORE THAN I EVER
THOUGHT IT DID BEFORE,
BECAUSE SHE NEVER VOICED I NEED
YOU.
I NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS.
I'M HURTING TOO, I ASSUMED THAT
SHE WAS OKAY.
AND I SHOULDN'T HAVE.

>> Reporter: JAMIE'S MOTHER
REMARRIED AND SHE WOULD THINK
OF AND CALL HER STEPFATHER
"DAD."
BUT HER LIFE WOULD CHANGE
DRAMATICALLY YET AGAIN.
WHEN SHE WAS 7, HER LITTLE
BROTHER ERIC ARRIVED.

>> I LOVE MY BROTHER.
I WOULDN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT
HE WAS BORN WAY HE WAS BECAUSE
HE WOULDN'T BE WHO HE IS TODAY.

>> Reporter: ERIC WAS BORN
WITH A GENETIC DISORDER THAT
COMPROMISED HIS PHYSICAL
AND MENTAL HEALTH.
A SIBLING WHO NEEDS SPECIAL
ATTENTION IS ALSO TYPICAL
AMONG THOSE WHO SELF-INJURY.
IN HINDSIGHT, RINDY WOULD
UNDERSTAND WHY JAMIE DIDN'T TURN
TO HER FOR HELP.

>> IF THERE'S A BELIEF WHEN
A CHILD IS YOUNG THAT THEY HAVE
TO BE MATURE BECAUSE
THEIR PARENTS ARE OVERBURDENED
AS IT IS,
WITH OTHER ISSUES, THEN THEY CAN
GROW UP FEELING INVISIBLE THAT
THEIR NEEDS ARE NOT IMPORTANT
AND THEY NEED TO STUFF THEM.
AND THEN THE QUESTION IS, WHERE
DO THEY GO?

>> GROWING UP, I ALWAYS THOUGHT
THAT I WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH.
I STARTED TO FEEL LIKE
EVERYTHING THAT I DID WAS WRONG.
AND THAT THERE'S NOTHING I COULD
DO THAT WAS OKAY.

>> Reporter: A REVELATION THAT
STRUCK JAMIE THREE MONTHS AFTER
CHRISTMAS.
IN MARCH, WE FOUND HER LIVING
IN CHICAGO.
HOUGHTON COLLEGE HAD REFUSED
TO LET HER RETURN
BECAUSE HER SELF-INJURING HAD
ESCALATED TO A POINT THE SCHOOL
SAID IT COULDN'T HANDLE.
THE FAILURE JAMIE HAD FEARED
MOST HAD FINALLY HAPPENED.
AND, REMARKABLY, SHE TOOK
RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT.

>> I WAS ANGRY AT MYSELF
FOR CONTINUING TO INJURE
AND MAKING IT GO SO FAR THAT
THEY WOULD HAVE TO KICK ME OUT
OF SCHOOL.

>> Reporter: TO JAMIE'S
SURPRISE, THAT ANGER DID NOT
UNLEASH ANOTHER BOUT
OF SELF-HATRED AND CUTTING.

>> MAYBE IT GAVE ME AN INCENTIVE
TO KIND OF OVERCOME IT.
IT'S STRANGE BECAUSE I DIDN'T
SAY, "I'M NOT GOING TO INJURE
ANYMORE."
IT WAS JUST LIKE "I'M NOT GOING
TO DO IT RIGHT NOW, LIKE I'M
SO ANGRY I COULD DO IT, BUT I'M
NOT.
FOR RIGHT NOW, I'M NOT GOING
TO."

>> Reporter: INSTEAD,
SHE FOCUSED ON PULLING HERSELF
OUT OF THIS DEEP RUT.

>> IT'S STARTING TO CLICK
AND I FEEL LIKE I'M GETTING
SOMEWHERE.

>> Reporter: IN CHICAGO,
SHE FOUND A JOB AS A NANNY.
MADE NEW FRIENDS.
HERE, FAR FROM COLLEGE PRESSURES
AND FAMILY OBLIGATIONS, SLOWLY,
QUIETLY JAMIE'S WOUNDS BEGAN
TO HEAL.

>> HI, JAMIE!

>> HI.

>> Reporter: IN LATE MARCH,
JAMIE VISITED HER FORMER
THERAPISTS AT S.A.F.E.
SHE WAS ANXIOUS TO SHARE SOME
NEWS.

>> IT'S AMAZING TO THINK THAT
IT'S BEEN 97 DAYS THAT I HAVEN'T
INJURED IN 97 DAYS!

>> Reporter: AN ACCOMPLISHMENT
THAT INSPIRED TEARS OF RELIEF.
IN HER TWO-YEAR STRUGGLE, THIS
WAS THE LONGEST JAMIE HAD EVER
RESISTED CUTTING HERSELF.
WHEN STRESSED, SHE STILL WANTED
TO GRAB SOMETHING SHARP,
BUT THAT CRAVING HIT HER LESS
FREQUENTLY.

>> IS IT GOING TO GO AWAY LIKE,
AM I NOT GOING TO THINK ABOUT IT
FIVE YEARS DOWN THE ROAD?

>> IF YOU CONTINUE TO ALLOW
YOURSELF TO FEEL, INSTEAD
OF IMMEDIATELY WANTING TO THINK
ABOUT INJURING.

>> Reporter: CONTERIO AND LADER
SAY THE LONGER SOMEONE REFRAINS
FROM INJURING, THE GREATER
THE CHANCE OF CONQUERING
THE DISORDER.
SO, AS JAMIE MASTERS HEALTHIER
WAYS TO COPE WITH HER PROBLEMS,
THE DESIRE TO CUT SHOULD
DECLINE.

>> "AND IT WOULD BE AMAZING
TO SAY THAT I MADE IT A YEAR."

>> Reporter: BACK HOME, WHERE
JAMIE HAD ONCE BEGGED
HER PARENTS TO KEEP
HER DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR
A SECRET, A LONG-AWAITED PEACE
ARRIVED.
HER MOTHER, RINDY, COULDN'T WAIT
TO SHARE THE NEWS
OF HER DAUGHTER'S PROGRESS.

>> I WANTED TO TELL EVERYBODY,
JUST LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED.
I'M SO PROUD.
I'M SO HAPPY.
AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT.
YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO MAKE
IT.

>> Reporter: JUST THREE MONTHS
EARLIER, THE DISORDER SEEMED
OVERWHELMING.
WHAT HAD CHANGED IN JAMIE'S
THINKING TO EXPLAIN HER SUDDEN
TURNAROUND?
JAMIE SAYS, NOTHING MAGICAL HAD
HAPPENED.
HER BREAKTHROUGH WAS AS SIMPLE
AND AS COMPLICATED AS THIS --
SHE WAS FINALLY READY TO MOVE
BEYOND HER AGONIZING PAST, READY
TO BEGIN GROWING UP.

>> "COMES THE DAWN" --

>> Reporter: AND A POEM
SHE FOUND SAID IT BEST.

>> "AND YOU BEGIN TO ACCEPT
DEFECTS WITH THE GRACE OF A
WOMAN, NOT THE GRIEF OF A CHILD.
AND YOU LEARN THAT YOU REALLY
CAN ENDURE, THAT YOU REALLY ARE
STRONG AND YOU REALLY DO HAVE
WORTH.
AND YOU LEARN AND YOU LEARN.
WITH EVERY GOOD-BYE YOU LEARN."

>> JAMIE'S TRAVELED A LONG WAY
ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY.
SHE REPORTS THAT SHE HASN'T CUT
HERSELF IN MORE THAN TEN MONTHS.
SHE'S STILL WORKING AS A NANNY
WHILE TAKING COURSES TO COMPLETE
A COLLEGE DEGREE AND HOPES
TO FULFILL A LIFELONG DREAM
OF BECOMING A TEACHER, THOUGH
ONE MIGHT SAY SHE'S ALREADY
TEACHING BY OPENLY SHARING
HER STORY TONIGHT.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
ABOUT SELF-INJURY AND HOW
TO SEEK HELP FOR YOURSELF
OR SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT, VISIT
OUR WEB SITE AT --
WWW.DATELINE.MSNBC.COM.





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