Alex's Answer

I can’t stop self harming, how do i stop..?

Your Question

I can’t stop self harming, how do i stop..? 


Hi there, 

Thank you for contacting us here at Ask Alex with your question. 

You’re wondering how to stop self-harming. We would be concerned to hear that you are finding it difficult to stop self-harming, but you have been really brave to get in touch with us and take the first step in trying to figure out a way for yourself to stop. 

It sounds like you may be using self-harm as a way to cope with something difficult in your life. Self-harm is something that people can use to release difficult emotions but it can be challenging to stop. It is really positive that you want to stop self-harming and you are taking a big step by trying to stop. It may be helpful to consider what can trigger you to self-harm, and to be aware of those in the future. It can take time to understand what could be behind it for you but that’s okay. You could also ask yourself what thoughts are going on for you when you self-harm? It may be tough to think about what is behind the feeling for you but knowing what is behind it may be able to help you find other ways to cope.   

What do you think could help you stop to self-harm or would work as an alternative? A couple of techniques could be something like holding an ice cube (the temperature change gets the mind to focus on something else) and squeeze the ice in your hand or snapping a rubber band on your body (the sting from the snap may work as a distraction) when you get the urge to do it. There is also a really helpful article here, which looks at lots of different ways of dealing with self-harm urges. Perhaps you could take a look at it, and see if any of the suggested alternatives in it would work for you? 

Have you ever shared with anyone in your life about self-harming? It may be a difficult thing to do, which is completely understandable but by telling a trusted person in your life, they may be able to help and support you further. It could also be beneficial to speak to a professional about your self-harm, maybe with a therapist or counsellor. If you felt comfortable with your GP, they may be able to refer you to someone who could help. If you don’t want to speak with someone you know at the moment, there are some other services out there that can help. Pieta House offer support to people who self-harm, their number is 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444. We are also always here 24/7, every day of the year if you wanted to talk to someone. We have a live chat on or you can talk to us over the phone on 1800 66 66 66. 

You sound like a really strong person who can deal with this and find other ways to cope with difficult emotions. We hope some of what we have shared will be valuable for you. 

Take care of yourself, 


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