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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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Is this self harm? - November 27th 2017, 06:42 PM

Over the last year I've developed the bad habit of snapping a hair bobble against my wrist and pinching my skin when I feel anxious or stressed or overwhelmed. It gives me a sense of relief and reassurance and also makes me feel like I'm in control. I now would never go anywhere without a hair bobble incase I end up in a stressful situation or feel panicky - it's reassuring to have the hair bobble there and also to have bobbles and other hair ties to hide the marks. Is this regarded as self harm since it leaves red marks and a bit of bruising?
But recently I've started leaving scrapes on in my wrist with a razor - it doesn't bleed very much and they're not serious cuts - just scratches. I don't know why I'm doing this - I regularly find myself thinking about hurting myself. What is wrong with me?
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Re: Is this self harm? - November 27th 2017, 06:59 PM

Hello and welcome to teenhelp, we are so glad that you have joined. And you have done a wonderful job saying what's going on with you.

I am so sorry that you are having a hard time with this right now. When you self harm it can be anything that you use that helps you deal with what you are going through. Sometimes when people do this they will start will small things and then keep getting more and other things to use to do this. Everyone will use different things to help them. It's not use one or two things, so try not to get upset.

And I'm sorry you're going through this right now and I hope you will be ok soon.

When you get the feeling to self harm, try to do things to get you're mind off of this. For example going for a walk and putting on music or a funny movie or TV show to make you laugh. Or try to call a friend to talk to for a while. Or try drawing too if you like this.

I hope that you will be okay soon and you can post more when you would like too. Lots of hugs.
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Re: Is this self harm? - November 27th 2017, 09:13 PM

Welcome to TH.

Self-harm is anything you do on purpose to hurt yourself. Snapping a rubber band on your wrist is used as a tool for people to stop cutting or self-harming, but the way you are doing it is considered as self-harm since you do it so hard to leave bruises. Pinching yourself is also self-harm. As for cutting with a razor that is really dangerous and can lead to you self-harming a lot worse.

I know it feels good and helps in the moment but a couple minutes later you usually feel guilty. I think you should talk to someone about this like a parent, or teacher so you can get the help you need. In the mean time I think you should look at THIS forum which is alternatives to self-harm.

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Re: Is this self harm? - November 27th 2017, 10:10 PM


In my opinion, yes, these instances count as self harm because it seems as though you are doing it intentionally to harm yourself. I know that at one point therapists would make the suggestion of snapping a rubber band as an alternative but over the years less and less therapists use this because, more often than not, people use it as a form of self harm.

My suggestion would be that you look over the alternatives to self harm. The important thing to keep in mind is that the alternatives will take time to work and it is unlikely that you will find an alternative that works the same way as self harm does in calming you down. However, it is possible to find alternatives that you can use in place of self harm and still see results.

It might also be helpful to try and work on figuring out the reasons behind your self harm. If you can figure out what your triggers are, you might be able to find ways to cope with them so that the urges to harm yourself will decrease.

I hope that this helped and if you ever need someone to talk to please feel free to message me.

Best regards.

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