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Maricela Estrada


Maricela Estrada is the author of Bipolar Girl: My Psychotic Self. Estrada received her Associates of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Rio Hondo College in Whittier, CA and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. She works for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health as a Peer Advocate. A Peer Advocate is a trained professional with life experience that is now able to reach out to others by providing peer support. Estrada believes that Bipolar Disorder is a gift of challenge that has made her stronger, resilient, loving, compassionate and caring. She does not see it is a disability but as a strength. Through this gift, she has become a motivational speaker on hope, wellness and recovery. After years thirteen years of being in and out of mental hospitals, she has found the ultimate strength to persevere and shine. Estrada’s mission is to reach out and share her story, spreading a message of hope all over the world. 


For the past twelve years, I have been engaging in self injury using either a razor blade or a sharp needle, although at times, I have burned myself using a lighter. This isn't something that I tend to advertise to any of my friends (I generally wear long sleeves and jeans to cover up the cuts) or to anyone in my family.
Unfortunately about a week ago, my twin sister barged into my room without knocking and caught me cutting. Of course, my twin sister threatened to tell our parents who are too busy arguing to notice anything my three brothers and two sisters and I do.
A few days ago, my mother had came into my room to tell me that I am being forced to see a therapist because my twin sister told her what I had been doing to myself. This is also when my mother made me show her my arms and legs only to be told by my mother how destructive my behavior was, and if she saw one more cut that I would be forced to go to a hospital.
I don't cut every single day or anything like that but I do cut several times a week just to deal with certain things.
What should I do

You might think that your self injury is not that bad because you don't do it every day. But even if the actual cutting is not that bad or not very often, the fact that you feel that badly in the first place is something that needs to be fixed, and something that can be fixed with the right help.

Your family is acting that way because they are worried about you and want to help you feel better. It is a good idea that your mom wants you to see a therapist, although forcing you to go is not the best way. A therapist can help you work through the feelings that make you want to hurt yourself so that you can find a better way to deal with those things.  

Sometimes people don't want to go to therapy because they don't like their therapist or their strategy. If that happens to you, you should find a different one who you can trust. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to find the right therapist, but it is definitely worth it. If you need help finding a therapist, email 

You might also want to read some of our blogs from people who have been in a similar situation. Here are some links to check out:

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