Alex's Answer

How do I tell someone I am self-harming

Your Question

How do I tell someone I self harm? 


Hi and welcome to Ask Alex,
Thanks for trusting us with your deepest thoughts and feelings. We hope that this message will help you find what you are looking for at this time.
You have asked, ‘How do I tell someone I self-harm?’ To start, we would like to say that we are sorry to hear that this is something you are going through at present. You have taken a very important step by sending your message and reaching out for the help you need and deserve. It is important that you recognise that and praise yourself for making that step.
Self-harming can be a negative coping strategy that is turned to in order to help through stressful and difficult times. Like with most things, there are different levels of severity, and it is so important that you remember to contact emergency services on 112 or 999 if you ever find yourself in a life-threatening situation due to self-harming.
You want to know how to tell someone; it is important that you find an individual whom you trust will listen, support, and care for you as best they can. The first thing is finding that person which, by the sounds of your message, you have already done. Now, what to say? Words can be extremely hard to come by when it comes to discussing the subject of self-harm with someone close to us, or anyone for that matter. Trying to get it clear in your own head and then explain that to someone is very daunting. So, it can be helpful to write out what is going on for you and how you want to word it. Go through it in front of the mirror to build yourself up to it. Then ask the person you want to tell for their time to talk in a place that is comfortable to you, and you know you won’t be disturbed by anything. In that moment, let the words flow; if they don’t come out, that’s okay, it’s hard. You could have the written piece with you and hand it to the individual while they are there beside you. Stay with them while they read it, give them the space to ask questions they may have. They will be processing it and want to help you as best they can, but they might have a question or two.
Going forward, you will have the support of that person. They will walk with you in finding the supports/services that are right for you and building better coping strategies. An important step may be discussing it with your local GP. You have the option of many different services and supports that offer help around self-harming:, and, along with many more websites and hotlines that would support you.
If you feel that you need to talk it out a little more, you can always phone Childline on 1800 66 66 66 or through our Live Chat on Childline is here for you anytime, and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a free and confidential service. It could be a place where you run through what you want to say to the individual you are ready to tell.
Thank you for using the Ask Alex service, and we hope that some of the above made sense to you and will help you going forward to talk about the self-harming.
Look after yourself,

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