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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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mindflower Offline
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Quick question.... - October 15th 2013, 05:25 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

...If I'm flicking a rubber band on my arm/wrist to feel pain and to leave marks... is it self harm or an alternative?
I'm really confused about and I kind of feel like an idiot...
I can last a good two hours before urges come back. If I'm ever so lucky to get passed those... I can go like. A couple weeks. At most. And then... well...this is a really long time for me. Let's just leave it at that.
Last night I found a rubber band and one thing led to another and... soon I had marks all over my arms... and I can't control the urges now. Not for more rubber band of course. Just for... pain. To feel something...

... did I relapse? I just want to know if I should start over my count...
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Re: Quick question.... - October 15th 2013, 07:09 PM

Hiya Tay

I found that for a lot of people, the rubber band isn't a good alternative because people flick it too hard. If you did it purposely, then you might want to restart your count. But since you did it while trying not to self harm as an alternative, you don't have to restart your count. In the future, maybe you can try another alternative. There's tons on the Sticky. Hang in there, girl <3

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Re: Quick question.... - October 15th 2013, 08:01 PM

To me, I consider elastic bands as an alternative. It won't leave permanent marks, and is a lot safer.
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Re: Quick question.... - October 16th 2013, 05:39 AM

I don't consider the rubber band as a good alternative because people are more likely to turn it into a means of self harm. However, it doesn't seem like you were intentionally trying to harm yourself with the rubber band (and you need intention for self harm, yeah?) so I don't think you have to start recounting. I would suggest that you try using a different alternative in the future though because you shouldn't be leaving marks on your body. You could try using hair ties (the ones without metal). It might not give the same exact sensation of rubber bands but it could be something that would distract you enough from the urges and help you work on getting to a better place.

I hope this helped and wishing you the best of luck.

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Re: Quick question.... - October 16th 2013, 07:25 AM

I don't believe, like .:BreakingBeautifully:. that rubber bands are a good alternative. It's still a form of self harm, but much milder than cutting. Like cutting you should try to resist snapping a rubber band on yourself, but for now, it doesn't count as a relapse.

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Re: Quick question.... - October 16th 2013, 11:37 AM

I think that since using a rubber band still leaves marks and gives you a sense of pain (and I've noticed on myself can lead to bigger urges to do more) it's not the best alternative to use. But, I agree with Jenna that you don't have to count it as a relapse because you didn't know that it could be harmful and you weren't doing it to intentionally harm yourself. I think that the fact you are trying to use an alternative at all is really great, and I'm sure you'll find ones that work for you!

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Re: Quick question.... - October 16th 2013, 12:16 PM

Hi, Tay!

I think it's great you're trying to use alternatives to get past this. But since you were trying to get past an urge, I wouldn't say you should restart your count. It's different for different people, sometimes it makes urges worse, and sometimes it really helps. So experiment with it and see if it helps you because even though rubber bands hurt, it doesn't do any damage. It might help you be able to stop actually. My opinion.
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Re: Quick question.... - October 19th 2013, 06:13 AM

Generally the rubber band isn't considered a great alternative for many self-harmers. It's kind of like giving chewing tobacco to someone trying to quit smoking: they aren't inhaling carcinogens anymore, but it's still not a healthy habit. Using the rubber band, while it works for a few, sometimes only serves as a re-triggering mechanism. Yes, the idea is to keep one from self-injuring, and for a while, it does. But at the same time, it's reinforcing the idea that pain can feel good. So it sends mixed messages. That's why I personally don't recommend it.

I wouldn't restart your count, though. You're simply going through a trial and error phase of what does and doesn't work for you: you have just happened to realize that the rubber band method isn't a good alternative for you.

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question, quick

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