Alex's Answer

How do I stop self-harming

Your Question

I keep self-harming. I can stop for months on end then I just feel the urge to do it again and I go spiraling back down again 


Hi there and welcome to Ask Alex, 

Thanks for reaching out to us. We understand that it is not always easy to talk about self-harm, so it was really brave of you to contact us.  

You mentioned that you are struggling to stop self-harming. It is very understandable that you would be struggling with this, as it can be very difficult to stop. It is common to go through this process of stopping and starting. However, it is possible to resist the urge to harm, you just need to find a solution that works best for you.   

Sometimes people find it helpful to try and understand what triggers their urge to self-harm. Triggers can be anything from specific thoughts, sensations, feelings, people or even situations. You could write down what you notice about your urges, to help you identify them more quickly the next time they arise. Some young people find it useful to use different distraction techniques which can help to reduce the intensity of the urge. You can use these techniques as soon as you feel the urge to harm coming along.  You can find relevant articles on this at this link: .  

You have the right to get support with how you are feeling and it is important to know that you do not have to go through this on your own. Is there anyone in your life that you feel you can talk to? It could be a friend, a family member or a friend’s parent. If you wanted to speak to someone in confidence, Childline is here 24/7 on 1800 66 66 66. If you don’t want to speak over the phone, you can also use our chat service on  (click on the orange Live Chat tab to start a chat) where there is always someone to listen to you and speak with you about your thoughts and feelings. Pieta House would also be another great support option. They offer free support for young people that do self-harm. The website is here: if you want to have a look at it, and their phone number is 1800 247 247.   

Thanks again for contacting us today. You have shown great courage by getting in touch. Remember, you are not alone, we at Childline are always here for you, to listen and chat with you about what is going on in your life.   

Take care of yourself, you would like to hear from you when you feel ready to chat, 


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