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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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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Rhizzy Offline
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Exclamation Scratching? - March 2nd 2015, 07:15 PM

I often will scratch my arms up and down from stress.
Either when I feel so overwhelmed I have to do it or when I'm crying.
My family, unfortunately aren't very supportive and often told me "that isn't a form of self harm you're just attention seeking" and things like that.
The marks will last for about a day, I've never drawn blood.
Is this still a problem? I can't see it being "normal".
I've also, in the past, scratched my face.
Also, I'd really like to stop in case it turns into something more serious.

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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Scratching? - March 2nd 2015, 07:36 PM

I would say that yes, this is still a problem and yes, this still counts as self harm. The severity of the self harm shouldn't be what matters. The point is that you ARE leaving marks on your skin, even if they don't last long, and you ARE injuring yourself.

You are also right about wanting to stop before it turns into something more serious. The thing with self harm is that it becomes an addiction, and like anything else that is addictive, you may come to a point where you need to do more or go deeper to get the same affect. That is not what you want.

You said that a lot of the reason why you do it is stress. It is good that you can identify the feeling that makes you want to scratch, but do you think you can identify what triggers you to be stressed? One way to do this is to keep a journal where you document the times where your stress level starts to rise so you can see if you can identify any patterns or events.

That being said, maybe you can find ways to release stress before it starts to build up to a bad point. For example, you can take a warm bath or shower then curl up with a good book or movie, paint your nails, do your hair, or use a nice smelling lotion in order to relax. Write, do art, or listen to/make music in order to get out pent up emotions. Exercise is also a good way to release stress. Take breaks when you need to take breaks, because you don't deserve to get burned out.

Try to find fun things to do to balance out the stress. For example, you can hang out with friends, play games, join a club or social group, or do a hobby you really like. These are ways to lift your mood and stop you from thinking of stressful things for a while.

I know that I am the type of person who needs to do things with my hands when these feelings arise, so maybe you can do something like carry around a stress ball or a Rubik's Cube that you can play with when you are feeling triggered.

This is a link to a list of alternatives to self harm. There may be some there that you can use in the place of self harming.

Is there anyone you can talk to about some of what is going on, such as a friend, teacher, guidance counselor, school nurse, or doctor? They can help you cope.

You can do this!


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Re: Scratching? - March 4th 2015, 12:03 AM

Although I can't give as detailed or brilliant advice as Dez (<3 you Dez) I can say that this is primarily how I self harmed. It's serious, it is as real as any other type of self harm. You're hurting yourself, so literally, you are self harming. If that makes sense. And that's a problem that you need to tackle head on. If your parents aren't supportive you're probably going to have to either try to make them understand or seek support elsewhere. My parents weren't great at the whole support thing either, they had a more heads on approach that hindered at times. It was because they were so worried they couldn't help or listen to me without becoming distressed and this really didn't help them see logically what would help. So with that being said, seek help outside your family. Speak to a teacher, a counselor, people on here. You deserve support and understanding, and if you seek, you will find (is that a quotation from somewhere? Sounds familiar).

Dez gave you some great advice, seriously read it and consider what she's said. It'll really help <3 I just mainly wanted to stress how important it can be to talk to people outside the situation, as they can often provide more logical and thought out advice without emotions interfering too much.

Be brave x

Take as long as you need.
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Re: Scratching? - March 4th 2015, 02:36 AM

Like Dez and Laura said, this is a form of self-harm. Anything that you do to intentionally hurt yourself is considered self-harm. Here is a page that might help you out a little bit with this.

I also like to keep things in my hands to avoid from harming myself. I've found that wearing a hair tie around my wrist is useful. I also just kind of hold whatever I have around me in my hands to keep them busy. If you're into making threaded bracelets or key chains with vinyl string that's something to try too.

Definitely check out the alternatives page that has been given to you. The list is large so I know it can be overwhelming so just try a few at a time! A few from that list are bound to work for you.

I agree with what was already mentioned in that you should consider talking to someone outside of your family such as a teacher, school counselor, or a friend.

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