Alex's Answer

I want to stop self-harming

Your Question

How can I keep myself from not doing selfharm? 


Hi there and welcome to Ask Alex,
You have asked us how to keep yourself from self-harming.
We are sorry to hear you are struggling; something must hurt really badly for you to use self-harm as a coping mechanism. We will try to answer your question and support you in this the best we can.
When people self-harm, they do it for a reason. There is pain in them that is too big for them to handle, and self-harm seems to stop it for a brief period of time. Because the relief doesn’t last, people who self-harm get into a cycle that is very difficult to break.
Mind, an organization fighting for everyone’s access to mental health, suggests three steps to help yourself when feeling intense urges to self-harm:
– Understanding your patterns of self-harm can help you work out what gives you the urge to self-harm and recognize when the urge is coming on. Remember, even when you are unable to resist the urge to self-harm, it is helpful to reflect afterward on what happened. This will enable you to better understand the next time you have similar feelings.
– Distracting yourself from self-harm by doing something else. Different distractions work for different people, and the same distraction won’t necessarily work for you every time. For example, distracting yourself from anger feels very different from distracting yourself from fear, so it’s important that you have a few different strategies to choose from.
– Another technique is to wait five minutes before you self-harm. This can feel difficult, so don’t worry if you’re not able to wait that long at first. If you can, slowly increase the time you wait and gradually build up the gaps between each time you self-harm.
Talking to someone we trust could reduce the pain we feel and make us feel readier to try new approaches. You don’t have to do this alone!
If you wouldn’t know where to begin with the people you know, and you would still like to talk to someone who would listen and support you, remember Childline is here for you through the phone number 1800 66 66 66 or the Live Chat on our website
Pieta House also has a range of services to support people who self-harm. There is a 24-hour crisis helpline, 1800 247 247, and a messaging service texting HELP to 51444. They also have therapy services fully dedicated to the matter.
We hope this helps!
Take care,

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