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How to stop self-harming? watch

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    Is there any quick fix without the need of a therapist or telling friends/family/the teacher? I don't really want to deal with people knowing but I really do need to stop as I think it's going to scar and look really ugly. I'm really sorry if this triggers anyone
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Is there any quick fix without the need of a therapist or telling friends/family/the teacher? I don't really want to deal with people knowing but I really do need to stop as I think it's going to scar and look really ugly. I'm really sorry if this triggers anyone
    Unfortionately there isn't really a quick fix. There are some things you can do to try to manage it while dealing with the underlying cause, but you will probably need to see a doctor and get therapy. You don't have to tell family or friends if you don't want to (though I do suggest telling at least somebody you know) and you can always wait until you feel ready if you do want to tell them.

    I would suggest you look at sites like mind.org and samaritans for advice on how to manage it as much as possible and see a doctor about getting more help. When you see a doctor it is completely confidential and they will not tell anybody other than doctors involved in your care. If you feel awkward about seeing your usual doctor about it you coould go to a walk-in.

    What help you get will depend on the underlying cause so there isn't a one size fits all solution. Therapy helps you work out why you feel how you do and work on ways to stop you feeling like that. If that is not enough you can get medication which helps level you out a bit so you are more responsive to things like therapy. You can try various things to distract yourself and try to pervent individual incidents, but that is only a temopry measuer and will not help deal with why you are doing it. Telling family, friends and teachers means they can be more understanding and supportive, but it takes a lot of guts to tell them so it's okay to take your time building courage and maybe starting off with just one person.

    The only real solution is to see a doctor and get treatment which I know sucks because it's more anxiety about people knowing and involves having appointments and things, but it is a lot better than trying to do it alone. Things like sh and mh issues have a habbit of spiraling out of control and get really difficult to deal with by yourself.
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    talking to a stranger can help.

    I have an old tinychat room.

    You dont have to cam up or sign up, and you can use a sudo name.

    Im free most times to talk, just quote this message and I will come on as soon as possible:

    I can promise you I will try my best to help you while you keep your anonymity.
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    Don't try to stop - IF, and only if, you commit to two rules: First, have a pre-injury distraction routine: something immersive, like a puzzle, colouring in a colouring book, video game, a long shower, repairing something, weeding, swimming a number of laps, 50 push ups. Second, have a pre injury sanitation ritual, to ensure you do it responsibly (sanitize razors, cleanse skin, etc.)

    The point is to distract yourself, but to take away the sting of of overtly denying the impulse. You might find that the urge to self harm declines, even subtly. Notice that. And don't do it anyway.
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    Distraction techniques are useful but overstated. There are three things that stop self destructive behaviours: 1. Breaking the link between pain and pain relief (including all manners of emotion regulation) 2. Learning that you can survive your emotions. Really you will. 3. Learning to value yourself ~ especially if self harm is used as a punishment.

    You can reduce your self harm without a therapist but you get better results with one. When you see a therapist they are not obligated to let anyone know you are self harming unless it falls under a safeguarding issue. Confidentiality protects your right to autonomy until your safety becomes more paramount. For example the method you use becomes extremely dangerous. There are slight variances dependent on your age and ability to consent but generally, what you say would be kept between you and your therapist.

    Avoid any self harm "recovery sites" that post pictures of self harm. That encourage in depth descriptions of self harm and really don't focus towards recovery. They don't help and they often, over time, actually make self harm more prevalent.

    If you experience withdrawal symptoms, these are normal and will pass too. You can survive the withdrawal and you can live a life without self harm. Relapses are par for the course, don't blame and shame yourself. Dust yourself off and try again. Self harm has lied to you. It hasn't helped you to cope. It's actually reduced your ability to self regulate your emotions, it usually reduces your range of emotions and empathy becomes reduced too. It reduces your perceived resilience (sometimes your actual resilience) and the longer you do it, the more dangerous it potentially comes and it takes more to get the fix. The emotional turmoil it creates even if you can't feel that, can make suicide feel like a more reasonable choice

    I self harmed for 12 years and I've been self harm free for 2. It can be done but you have to want it enough
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    Tara's step 2 is bang on. Distraction/coping techniques can help a little (you can easily find a list of these online) but honestly they just won't help as much as self harming will. If you decide not to self harm once you feel the urge to do so sitting through that and not following through will feel like absolute hell, the only way to push through it is to force yourself to sit through the feelings. Then the next time you will feel a little more able to do so and the next a little more and so on. You'll always have super tough days that suddenly make you feel like you have no other choice again but every one of those will make the next one easier as well.

    Also try and look after yourself generally, eat well, exercise, drink water, avoid caffeine/alcohol/nicotine/etc

    If you have any other problems going on either stuff like anxiety or past trauma then you should work on dealing with those too.
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    distract yourself, maybe read a book? enjoy a tv show? but the vital thing is to keep the sharp items away, if you feel tense, go for a jog or walk around the park but just remember, when you look back, you'll realise it wasn't worth it, you 100% perfect, dont let yourself down, my friend went through the same thing as you, and shes recovered now, so if you want you can always pop up for a chat, im mostly on this website pretending to study so im always here! if you're worried about your identity, i wont give you away or you can make a fake account, i do that a lot.

    xx
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    I wouldn't advise reading that. It's way too triggering so it makes any positive point at the end invalid - someone who is triggered or dissociating due to the content above that won't take anything else in.

    Well meaning but really inappropriate
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    There is no quick or immediate fix to something like this. Speaking to someone about this is always a big help. First identify why you're self harming. Express how you feel about that identified issue or try and solve it with help of others. Hopefully there won't be a need to self harm? there must be an external issue that has triggered you to start self harming. Once you tackle that you should eventually stop?.. (I'm speaking from personal experience)

    I strongly feel like speaking to someone that you're comfortable with is a huge step in the right direction!
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    Sometimes the reason isn't obvious. It's okay to say to a therapist that you don't know why you do it.

    Any therapist worth their salt will understand this. Sometimes we don't know why we self harm because it's something we avoid. Sometimes we've been doing it so long with little self awareness, we really don't know.

    I didn't know why I self harmed for about 4 years of doing it. It turned out to be an external reason but I thought I was just bad and crazy.
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    (Original post by ~Tara~)
    Well meaning but really inappropriate
    Fair enough, sorry.
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    2 years self harm free These are some of the things that I have found beneficial in my recovery...
    Preparation for self harm urges is so important. Have in place distractions which you know will help. For example, changing your physiological state works really well at helping with urges, so go for a run/walk, have a super cold shower etc. If that fails, try and do as non-harmful self harm as possible. I know that sounds stupid but I personally found that when trying to overcome self harm, cold turkey didnt help. I'd end up with so much pent up anxiety and distress that eventually i'd cave and do more damage than normal. So I gradually scaled down the severity as well as implementing distraction techniques.

    Self harm is for many people a coping strategy - So try and find another coping strategy, preferably a healthy one! I do yoga and have lots of creative projects on the go- Its just something that gives me a different focus. If Im really feeling distressed, I go for a run and that usually helps keep the distress under control.

    If there is someone who you can talk to, telling them that you have urges can help. They can try and calm you down and I can't find the words to explain it but somehow having someone know about your urges, makes it harder to actually do. It sometimes felt like I was letting them down if I had told them and then self harmed.

    Think long term if you can - Think of the consequences you will suffer if you do self harm. Pros and cons lists were really helpful for me. It made it very obvious that the pros of self harm were only very brief and ultimately ended up in the cons list. Having a body covered in scars is a consequence that I will always have to live with. Simple things that may not seem like a big deal like being able to wear short sleeve t-shirts or skirts is something that I dont feel comfortable doing. At the time when I was very ill, I didnt care about that. I didnt care much for life, let alone what I would wear in 4 years time. But if you're able to think ahead, that can be quite powerful. Having to cover up is something that I find frustrating and having the scars is a constant reminder of a painful past.

    Finally, the hardest but ultimately the most effective method is understanding your need to self harm. If you can identify the reason and your triggers then you can work on these root problems. Self harm is a bit like a weed growing - distraction and other coping mechanisms are like cutting the weed. It sorts it out short term, but it grows back and the urges return. Remove the root and you remove the weed as a whole. Sadly not as simple as that but sorting out the root cause of the self harm is the best way to overcome self harm.

    Good luck, recovery is always possible
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    Thank you so much everyone. I went a whole week without self-harming and my arm was really healing very well - I could go to my friend's birthday party with a short sleeve top and no one noticed a thing. But earlier today I got really bad again and went a bit overboard and I've undone all week's worth of healing. I hate myself so much but I really hope next week will be different. I need to try harder to stop.

    The thing is, the scars suck a lot. This whole week, nearly every day I had some form of urge or another to cut but kept telling myself that prom is soon and that I really won't want to walk around with them and that's what deterred me from relapsing, but today I was just SO frustrated and tense and sad that I just made a small cut which followed several bigger ones, and it's literally worse than I've ever done it before. I regret it so much but I honestly felt possessed and like there was no other release. I don't know what to do apart from tell myself tomorrow will be different.
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    (Original post by Joel 96)
    Stop self-harming.
    No, seriously. Just stop - That's it. There's no trick, no secret, no nothing.
    It's not that simple.
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    Thanks so much to everyone who replied, by the way.

    I just feel so alone because I hate talking about any of this and there's no chance I'll ever tell my friends (since most of them have self-harmed in the past and I don't want to trigger/upset them) and my family just won't react in a way that will improve my situation. I really just need someone to talk to but someone who doesn't know me, because I really cannot face people knowing. It makes me cringe at myself and I hate when people feel sorry for me.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks so much to everyone who replied, by the way.

    I just feel so alone because I hate talking about any of this and there's no chance I'll ever tell my friends (since most of them have self-harmed in the past and I don't want to trigger/upset them) and my family just won't react in a way that will improve my situation. I really just need someone to talk to but someone who doesn't know me, because I really cannot face people knowing. It makes me cringe at myself and I hate when people feel sorry for me.
    I just wanted to signpost you to the National Self-Harm Network They have a forum like TSR where people affected by self harm can seek information and advice I just thought it might help to have somewhere other than TSR where you could talk about it safely?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you so much everyone. I went a whole week without self-harming and my arm was really healing very well - I could go to my friend's birthday party with a short sleeve top and no one noticed a thing. But earlier today I got really bad again and went a bit overboard and I've undone all week's worth of healing. I hate myself so much but I really hope next week will be different. I need to try harder to stop.

    The thing is, the scars suck a lot. This whole week, nearly every day I had some form of urge or another to cut but kept telling myself that prom is soon and that I really won't want to walk around with them and that's what deterred me from relapsing, but today I was just SO frustrated and tense and sad that I just made a small cut which followed several bigger ones, and it's literally worse than I've ever done it before. I regret it so much but I honestly felt possessed and like there was no other release. I don't know what to do apart from tell myself tomorrow will be different.
    That's great! One of the most important things I found when trying to tackle my OCD and thins was remembering to be proud of when you have done well and trying to hold onto that more than any times you may have slipped up.
    It's great to have a motivator like prom but just remember not to put too much pressure on yourself. SH comes from emotion and being hard on yourself for slipping up is just going to make it worse. If you slip up just think of all the times you have done well and tell yourself you can do that again. It takes time so try your best to be patient with yourself. You will slip up but eventually they will become smaller and smaller and then some day you'll realise that they're gone.

    Maybe prom would be a good motivator to get support? Give yourself until then to build up the courage and prepare for talking to somebody or going to the doctor or something. Make it something you think you can achieve. Small steps make it easier. Suddenly stopping forever is nearly impossible, but building up seemingly small achievements will build to big progress.
    Things like a week free or opening up on a forum may seem small but they take a lot of courage and perseverance. Be proud of yourself for what you have managed to achieve so far and try to build on that.

    This is something I was taught for my OCD. You don't have to do it all the time if you don't feel you can and it doesn't matter if you fail a few times- it's about progress.
    When you get an urge try to hold off for an ammount of time. You can distract yourself or even count down the seconds- however you can manage it. It trains your ability to fight the urge and you can build up the time gradually.
    Something that helps me a bit when I get upset is to do something that stimulates your body in the same way (like I would sometimes bite, so i'll bite on something else). You can also try replacing the pain with a different type of pain that doesn't hurt you. Rubbing on ice, having a freezing cold shower, pinging an elastic band etc.
    Try a few things and see if they help. Remember that it's about the long term so as much as holding off in the immediate is great, if you do slip up it doesn't mean you can't keep progressing.

    Stay strong and keep working at it. You are doing really well and you can stop eventually
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    (Original post by Deyesy)
    I just wanted to signpost you to the National Self-Harm Network They have a forum like TSR where people affected by self harm can seek information and advice I just thought it might help to have somewhere other than TSR where you could talk about it safely?
    Thank you for directing me to that. To be honest, it kinda triggers me, so I think I'll hold off until I'm well enough to talk about it on there (hopefully tomorrow). Again thanks so much
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    (Original post by Kindred)
    That's great! One of the most important things I found when trying to tackle my OCD and thins was remembering to be proud of when you have done well and trying to hold onto that more than any times you may have slipped up.
    It's great to have a motivator like prom but just remember not to put too much pressure on yourself. SH comes from emotion and being hard on yourself for slipping up is just going to make it worse. If you slip up just think of all the times you have done well and tell yourself you can do that again. It takes time so try your best to be patient with yourself. You will slip up but eventually they will become smaller and smaller and then some day you'll realise that they're gone.

    Maybe prom would be a good motivator to get support? Give yourself until then to build up the courage and prepare for talking to somebody or going to the doctor or something. Make it something you think you can achieve. Small steps make it easier. Suddenly stopping forever is nearly impossible, but building up seemingly small achievements will build to big progress.
    Things like a week free or opening up on a forum may seem small but they take a lot of courage and perseverance. Be proud of yourself for what you have managed to achieve so far and try to build on that.

    This is something I was taught for my OCD. You don't have to do it all the time if you don't feel you can and it doesn't matter if you fail a few times- it's about progress.
    When you get an urge try to hold off for an ammount of time. You can distract yourself or even count down the seconds- however you can manage it. It trains your ability to fight the urge and you can build up the time gradually.
    Something that helps me a bit when I get upset is to do something that stimulates your body in the same way (like I would sometimes bite, so i'll bite on something else). You can also try replacing the pain with a different type of pain that doesn't hurt you. Rubbing on ice, having a freezing cold shower, pinging an elastic band etc.
    Try a few things and see if they help. Remember that it's about the long term so as much as holding off in the immediate is great, if you do slip up it doesn't mean you can't keep progressing.

    Stay strong and keep working at it. You are doing really well and you can stop eventually
    Thank you so much and I'm glad you're recovering.
    In all honestly I feel so stupid for having ever started it at all. The first time I did it, I scratched myself a bit because I just felt a bit *****y and I'd had a bad day - it was really nothing serious and nothing that warranted doing it. And now it's just a clutch and I keep coming back to it. What a silly thing - it could so easily have been prevented
 
 
 
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