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    #1

    I've been self harming for a few months now and I'm on a long waiting list for a counsellor. Has anyone got any ideas of what I can do until I get my counsellor sorted please?
    Thank you in advance.
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    Hey,
    I know these sound ridiculous, but they do work for me.

    -If you cut/scratch, get a red pen and draw on yourself instead. Sounds insane, but sometimes just seeing the marks 'helps'
    - An elastic band around the wrist, if you feel the urge to hurt yourself, pull it back slightly and you'll get that 'twang' that hurts a bit, but is still much better than cutting!

    I've also heard advice about getting an ice cube and placing it on the area you feel the desire to self harm, the intense cold is supposed to give you the same 'relief' feeling, but again is much better than permanently injuring yourself.

    Obviously, where possible try to do things like distract yourself. Maybe watch some funny cat gifs (ferrets are also super stupid and funny) or a youtube video, or watch an episode of your favourite cartoon, read a chapter from your favourite book. Often if you can just push past that initial feeling that you 'have' to hurt yourself, it will fade.

    Get a cuddly toy or pillow (I have a bear that has been a pretttty good punch bag!) and hit it if you have to.

    I find the thing that helps me the most is the thought of wearing my favourite band t-shirts which is kinda tricky if I've got visible cuts! And I hattttte long sleeves!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hey,
    I know these sound ridiculous, but they do work for me.

    -If you cut/scratch, get a red pen and draw on yourself instead. Sounds insane, but sometimes just seeing the marks 'helps'
    - An elastic band around the wrist, if you feel the urge to hurt yourself, pull it back slightly and you'll get that 'twang' that hurts a bit, but is still much better than cutting!

    I've also heard advice about getting an ice cube and placing it on the area you feel the desire to self harm, the intense cold is supposed to give you the same 'relief' feeling, but again is much better than permanently injuring yourself.

    Obviously, where possible try to do things like distract yourself. Maybe watch some funny cat gifs (ferrets are also super stupid and funny) or a youtube video, or watch an episode of your favourite cartoon, read a chapter from your favourite book. Often if you can just push past that initial feeling that you 'have' to hurt yourself, it will fade.

    Get a cuddly toy or pillow (I have a bear that has been a pretttty good punch bag!) and hit it if you have to.

    I find the thing that helps me the most is the thought of wearing my favourite band t-shirts which is kinda tricky if I've got visible cuts! And I hattttte long sleeves!
    This seems to be treating the symptoms, not the cause.

    My advice is to figure out why you feel the need to hurt yourself. What's put you in this position? Is there anything you can do to change the situation? What can you do to fix what's wrong? If there is nothing you can do, the only advice someone without professional experience can say is to figure out how to move on. Best of luck.
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    For me, putting an ice cube in my mouth helped stop the triggers. The coldness in my mouth distracted me a lot.
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    (Original post by AlexLawrence1453)
    This seems to be treating the symptoms, not the cause.

    My advice is to figure out why you feel the need to hurt yourself. What's put you in this position? Is there anything you can do to change the situation? What can you do to fix what's wrong? If there is nothing you can do, the only advice someone without professional experience can say is to figure out how to move on. Best of luck.
    Unfortunately with no mental health training I am in no real position to offer advice on treating the cause, for different people it's a different thing. That's where the specialist would come in. When you're 'in that moment' it's very hard to think rational thoughts and think 'why am I doing this' which is why distractions are important in the meantime. Once you're thinking more rationally you can tackle the 'why'
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Unfortunately with no mental health training I am in no real position to offer advice on treating the cause, for different people it's a different thing. That's where the specialist would come in. When you're 'in that moment' it's very hard to think rational thoughts and think 'why am I doing this' which is why distractions are important in the meantime. Once you're thinking more rationally you can tackle the 'why'
    Treating the symptoms are useful to buy you time and to prevent injuries. I'm not disputing this. It will just never stop the urges. I was making an addendum to your good advice.
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    Thank you I will take the advice.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've been self harming for a few months now and I'm on a long waiting list for a counsellor. Has anyone got any ideas of what I can do until I get my counsellor sorted please?
    Thank you in advance.
    Hopefully the counsellor will be able to go a bit deeper and find out what is driving you to self harm.

    Distraction techniques can be very good. DBT is a form of therapy and can be helpful with self harm. This link contains some useful distraction techniques - http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/accepts.html

    Have you got any hobbies? - it may be good to pursue them.

    Try and remember that, like everything else, the urge will pass. Try and bear with it minute by minute, and don't get too focused on the future.

    If you have anyone you can talk to who is supportive, that may be useful too.
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    I'm really sorry to hear this. I've had a similar problem, and to be completely honest, the urges never fully go away, even with a lot of medication and therapy.
    What I have found useful is delaying it - set an alarm for 15 mins time and go and start doing something completely different, saying that at the end of that 15 mins if you still feel the need to self harm, then you can. Very often, I could keep pushing it for several episodes of 15 mins because I had the will to prevent myself from doing it.
    I find using the commonsense methods to avoid it help too - what I used to do was get an intimate lube (I know, cringe!), and put it all over my arm, ribs, thighs, where I self harmed. So if I broke down and ended up trying to hurt myself then it would be difficult to do any damage or get the grip on the skin. Also, handing in a box of the things I wanted to use to the security guards on the student halls I was in, then sitting in the smoking area talking to people for a bit until the feelings went. Samaritans were really helpful, as were the police when I became suicidal.
    Taking care of the wounds was one of the hardest things to try to convince myself to do, but the simple act of self care made a big difference in discouraging me to break the skin any more,
    Distraction techniques are really indivual but here are some of mine - sucking a cold mint, having a cold/very hot shower (using a dry brush to scratch my skin helped to reduce the urges), making a coffee,phoning your mum, phoning Samaritans, colouring in using one of those mindfulness colouring books, blogging, watching an episode of crap TV.
    I used to find putting a pack of peas on my body put me off it too. Plus you get the discomfort.
    Lastly, the obvious - please try to find a CBT counsellor and some medication if you feel you need it. They will help. Also, find something you really like doing (trying something new can really help when you're feeling unwell), and do it every day, or as often as you can. For me, that's yoga and reading, and some creative output. I start each day with a set or 10 of sun salutations to calm me down, and wind down with some mindfulness and a book.
    All the best, you got this x
 
 
 
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