Self-harm - Self Help
How can I help myself?
It can be hard to stop self-harming, especially if you don’t have another way of coping with your emotions at the moment. But it is possible. The first step is deciding you want to stop and you are doing this for you. You shouldn’t agree to stop just because other people think that you should.
You could keep a list of reasons you want to stop and why you don’t want to stop.
There are things you can do to control your self-harm if you decide to stop. Everybody is different and what works for someone else may not work for you. Try different things. Whatever you choose isn’t going to work over night. Give yourself time.
Tell friends and family that you are trying to stop or reduce your self harm. Let them know if there is anything that they can do to help you.
You may self-harm straight away when you are distressed. Try to delay your self-harm. With this technique, you might not self-harm as badly or as often. This may work because self-harm can be an impulsive coping technique.
Give yourself an aim. For example, ‘I am going to wait 15 minutes before I self-harm.’ In this time use distraction techniques, such as making contact with someone or go somewhere different such as your garden. Over time wait for longer periods of time.
Non-harmful ways to manage how I feel
Talk to someone who understands. This could be a friend, a relative or another person who self-harms. There may be a local support group you can join or a helpline you can ring.
If you feel that you have to self-harm, try the following instead:
- Write down how you are feeling and then tear it up or rip it up.
- Punch a punch bag or kick something soft.
- Scream into a pillow.
- Play a sport, exercise or go to the gym.
- Bite into a piece of ginger or a chilli.
- Squeeze an ice cube as hard as you can.
- Snap elastic bands on your wrist.
If you are feeling low or anxious you could try the following:
- Go to a friend or relative’s house.
- Pamper yourself. Have a bath with bath oil.
- Do something active. Clean up or clear out your wardrobe.
- Go for a walk.
- Choose a random object and think of 30 different uses for it.
Before harming, write down the answers to these questions:
- Why do I feel I need to hurt myself?
- What has happened to make me feel like this?
- How do I feel right now?
- Have I been here before?
- What did I do to deal with it?
- How did I feel then?
- What have I done to make myself feel better before?
- What else can I do that won't hurt me?
- Do I need to hurt myself?
- How will I feel when I am hurting myself?
- How will I feel after hurting myself?
- How will I feel tomorrow morning?
- Can I avoid what has made me feel like this, or deal with it better in the future?
The NHS make free self-help guide you can use to help you. Here is the link.
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