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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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Exclamation I don't want to give it up. - August 27th 2017, 05:35 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of self harm, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I've been self harming for a year now and it's the only thing that keeps me somewhat sane. Everyone views it in such a Terrible way and it makes me feel worse but I don't want to give it up it's what's making me feel something else other than the negativity I receive from so many people. Has anyone else got this problem?

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Re: I don't want to give it up. - August 27th 2017, 02:06 PM

Many people have the problem of not wanting to give up self-harm, including me. It's hard to want to give it up because although people may know it is an unhealthy coping skill, it provides emotional relief and makes them feel better temporarily.

It can be difficult to refrain from self-harming if you're not ready to give it up. Additionally, it can be unsuccessful if it is done for other reasons (like a friend or a family member) because then it isn't done for yourself. Although TeenHelp does not encourage unhealthy behavior, know that it is okay not to be ready to give up self-harm. In the meantime, you can work on yourself until you are ready as being ready takes time.

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Re: I don't want to give it up. - August 27th 2017, 07:09 PM

I think it's very normal to feel like you don't want to or can't stop self harming, especially if you've been using it as a coping mechanism for a long time. It can very easily start to feel like your only lifeline.

While it's okay to not feel ready to stop yet, know that self harm isn't a long-term solution. Even if you're not prepared to stop completely right now, it might be a good idea to start shifting into the mindset that you're going to stop at some point, and maybe start looking for new ways to cope and practicing avoiding self harming.

The thing is, you might not ever really get to a point where you just wake up one day and you're 100% ready to stop self harming, and so you just do; but if you start thinking of it as just a coping mechanism, rather than a lifeline, then eventually you may feel like you're ready to try to be less dependent on it than before. And this will be hard! And recovery from self harm (and anything else, really) isn't always perfect! But I believe that you'll get to a place where you're ready to give it a shot.

Best of luck.

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Re: I don't want to give it up. - August 28th 2017, 11:07 AM

Yes that sounds quite typical. I've become surprised at how prevalent this self-harm phenomenon is. You're not the only one. It's actually a lot more common, and worldwide, so apparently there's something to it. I've almost done it myself. Seemed like the thing to do at the time. Now that I'm well I never think of doing that, and if I contemplate it, it sounds like a completely stupid thing to do that doesn't make any sense. Except I know it did make sense at the time. So I don't quite get it.

I suspect it would be beneficial if there was a support group, so we could all get together, and everyone would understand and accept each other, and that comradery would be beneficial to everyone.

I guess that's what we have here in this forum. The closest thing to being there.

I now understand it as just a symptom of a deeper problem that's probably a physical medical problem with the body's chemistry out of balance. I know medication sounded like a stupid idea, until I found the right medication that fixed me, and wow what a difference that made!
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Re: I don't want to give it up. - August 30th 2017, 05:18 AM

The thing about self harm is that it releases certain 'feel good' chemicals in the brain and so it ends up becoming a habit and it can actually help people feel calm. This can lead to people having difficulty giving up self harm. Your experiences are completely normal.

I have struggled with the same thing. I knew it wasn't the best coping skills. I knew that it could become quite dangerous but I needed it to stay sane. I do know that for me, giving up self harm when I was not ready to stop ended up not doing much. I would, maybe, get by without cutting for a while but then the urges would kick in and I would give in. In my opinion, you need to be at a place where you are ready to give up self harm. That doesn't mean you will not still have urges but when you are ready to give up self harm you will be more likely to be willing to fight through some of the more intense urges.

Back when I wanted to try and stop but wasn't quite ready I would kind of test my resolve? What I mean is that I would try and see how long I could actually go without self harm and I would even make challenges for myself. So, when I first started out I would only go 6-12 hours without. As time went on I would challenge myself to a week or something like that. This actually helped me get an idea of what some of my triggers were and it also helped me, slowly, see that there were times when I didn't need to self harm as often. During times of extreme stress I wouldn't make it long but if life wasn't exceptionally stressful I could go a bit longer.

That being said, I eventually got to a place where I was able to recover. I did relapse in December of 2015 but I am not one year self harm free which is a great accomplishment. I can also say that the longer you are able to go without self harm the less often you will get urges. You will always struggle with urges to some extent but the longer you go without the easier it can be to not cave into the urges.

Best of luck.

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