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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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Jess~ Offline
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does this count as self harm? - December 5th 2017, 07:51 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.

god, i'm so mad at myself right now. i've been clean from cutting ever since february of this year.
a couple nights ago i just couldn't take all the emotion, panic, and stress that was flooding my brain. i had one of the most intense urges to self harm in a looong time.
i think it's important to note that my goal here wasn't to hurt myself, it was to get the urge to go away, because that was making everything even more painful. but getting rid of the pain is always a plus too, and i'd be lying if i said i didn't want that as well.

i didn't cut, necessarily. i just ran the blade against my skin as if i was going to cut. but i didn't do it hard enough to break the skin. there was never any bleeding.
in the past when i self-harmed, bleeding was kind of my goal. i remember feeling disappointed and mad at myself if i didn't have the "balls" to make myself bleed, because i felt like it didn't count. it wasn't as bad of an injury.

so i didn't bleed, but i guess i did scratch the first one or two layers of skin. as i was scratching it, there were no marks whatsoever and not really any pain either. but in a few minutes, all the scratches turned red and puffy. again, still no blood, still no pain, but now there were marks.

in the morning there were little red lines. the night i did it and saw the marks, actually the act of just "faking" self harm and then seeing the little marks, that helped me calm down a LOT.
and even now, a couple days after, there are still faint, barely there, little super thin red lines. they're not noticeable to anyone but me, unless someone else was looking for them.

i'm actually tempted to do it again, because it gave me all the benefits without the actual "act" of self harming, the way i see it.
but i just need to know, would this count as self harm? i'm going to really be pissed at myself if i broke my clean streak this far into it. i'm scared too, because i told my friends that next february will be a year, and they want to do something to celebrate. so now i have them holding me accountable, and if i tell them we can't do anything anymore everyone's going to know i self-harmed and they'll all be so disappointed in me.


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Re: does this count as self harm? - December 5th 2017, 11:50 AM

You said the goal wasn’t to hurt yourself, but to get the urge to go away because it felt really intense. I think that anything you do to harm yourself is self-harm even if you aren’t completely aware that you’re doing it (e.g. self-harm in a dissociative state). It is positive that it made the urge go away but unfortunate that it made marks, even though those marks are what feel calming.

Have you tried drawing fake cuts on your skin with red marker? You don’t feel pain, nor will you scratch yourself but you will be able to see the marks in the red color that they would have been if you harmed yourself. Some people greatly benefit from occasionally emulating blood in their recovery.

While it may not be self-harm the first time around, it may be considered self-harm the second time around if you to it specifically to get those marks. Even though you don’t see those marks as a big deal, people do scratch themselves as a form of self-harm and you are harming your body by doing that to yourself.

Know that what is considered self-harm can sometimes be subjective so when in doubt, you can always think it through and make a decision on your own if you don’t feel like the advice you’ve been given fully relates to your particular situation and experience.


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