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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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LEliz Offline
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Cutting - August 14th 2015, 12:13 AM

Okay, so I don't know how to ease into this nicely, so I'm just going to type it bluntly. Every time I get in a conflict, even rather minor ones, with my mother or my sister, I feel like cutting myself, and often do. It can be something very minor, like my mother will ask about a not-so-good grade I got or my sister will tell me that I didn't clean something up well enough. Even minor things like that make me get this panicky feeling. Usually I end up crying and go off to my room and cut a few times. I used to do the same thing except just dig my fingernails into my arm, it only escalated to cutting within this past year. I guess I just want to know why exactly I do this and how to stop. It happens fairly often, to be honest, and the cutting seems like such an easy and quick fix. I feel panicked during the conflict, snd if I just go to my room and don't cut, I keep thinking about the conflict. Cutting just makes me feel better, and less panicky. I just want to know the exact reason I do this, and maybe that will help me stop? Thanks to anyone who reads this. It's very appreciated.
   
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Re: Cutting - August 14th 2015, 02:36 AM

Hey there.

First of all, I'm very sorry you struggle with self-harm but honestly, reaching out here was a huge step towards recovery; a step you should be so proud of yourself for. I'm so glad you're reaching out and looking for ways to help you recover from self-harm.

Many who struggle with self-harm can relate to you a lot. Self-harm can become a quick fix because it releases endorphins which is what makes you feel better afterwards and that's also what makes it an addictive and unhealthy coping mechanism. You end up resorting to that when you feel upset as you know it'll help most of the time. Thing is, it isn't healthy to rely on it and it can begin drowning out healthier ways of coping and also progress to being dangerous but I'm sure you know that especially since you're trying to find ways to stop yourself and understand it better. Which is really great!

Sounds like you're having trouble finding better ways of dealing with your feelings and many have that problem. When you feel upset about conflicts and go to your room, how about doing different things to help you express your emotions then distract yourself from the conflict? Journaling can be very therapeutic as you can write down conflicts, feelings, thoughts and things going on in your life. You can also start your own blog here on TeenHelp! You may also find an outlet in art, creative writing, music and certain hobbies. Healthy outlets and coping skills are very important in self-harm recovery. Having emotional outlets is good because it keeps you from bottling up your feelings but at the same time allows you to get them out somewhere, you know? Focusing on calming things such as your breathing, watching fish or even watching the wind blow tree leaves can help you feel less panicky while you sort through thoughts and feelings.

Doing something that occupies your thoughts and hands could help, such as crafts, a jigsaw puzzle or doodling etc. Going out for walks to catch a break from things or making a hot beverage when you feel upset may be a good idea. On that note, moderate exercise and daily sunlight may be beneficial as it releases endorphins which is what self-harm does. When you feel urges to self-harm or feel sad, angry and/or restless, you can try out some of the things on the list of self-harm alternatives (here) till you find some things that work for you.

I can imagine it must be hard for you to struggle with this and how tempting it can be to just resort to self-harm, but remember that you deserve better than that, okay? You deserve to be able to handle your feelings in a way that involves being kind to yourself and others. When you get in a conflict with those you're close to, you're allowed to express your feelings in a polite way right there so the problem can be resolved rather than you keeping your feelings inside. Speaking of, how would you feel about opening up to your mom or sister about your self-harm or even seeking help by going to therapy? Having support and someone to talk to about this could be really helpful for you. You could even write out what you'd like to say in a note if that'd help.

Try not to think of going without self-harm forever; take baby steps and work on getting through each urge as they come, you know what I mean? It can feel overwhelming but whenever you feel upset, do your very best to find any healthier way of resolving and coping with that in a way that makes you feel better. Be proud of every negative feeling and every urge you get through without resorting to self-harm and remind yourself of those accomplishments when recovery feels impossible. Because you can do this, okay? Recovery is possible and you're more than welcome to continue seeking support and advice here. Let me know if you need anything.
   
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Re: Cutting - August 14th 2015, 03:07 AM

Music and writing helps me the most, but I understand how hard it can be to stop. When you start, as weird as it sounds, you realize it helps. Like Nala said, because of endorphins it makes you feel relieved. At least for me it's like being under a wave for a long time and finally let up for a breath. It also distracts you from your emotional pain to deal with the physical pain. So, it's really just a distraction. To stop, you really just need to find something non self destructive to distract yourself. I hope things get better for you, and you can always message me.
   
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