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SELF HARM

 

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to reach a Crisis Counselor that helps those that self-harm or want to self-harm.

 
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WHAT IS SELF HARM?

For some people, when depression and anxiety lead to a tornado of emotions, they turn to self-harm looking for a release. Self-harm and self-injury are any forms of hurting oneself on purpose. Usually, when people self-harm, they do not do so as a suicide attempt. Rather, they self-harm as a way to release painful emotions.

 

SYMPTOMS OF SELF HARM

Self-harm can manifest differently for everyone. And, the ways people may self-harm extend far beyond the usual references to cutting in media. Simply, self-harm is anything and everything someone can do to purposely hurt their body.

Here are some of the most common types of self-injury:​

CUTTING

SCRATCHING

BURNING

CARVING WORDS OR SYMBOLS INTO THE SKIN

HITTING OR PUNCHING ONESELF

PIERCING THE SKIN WITH SHARP OBJECTS

PULLING OUT HAIR

PICKING AT EXISTING WOUNDS

 
Image by Marc-Olivier Jodoin

Demi Lovato

“One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery”

 

RECOVERY

A lot of people who self-harm do so because they are dealing with painful emotions. If this applies to you, hi—we believe in you and recognize your pain. Because painful emotions are at the root of self-harm, quite often recovering from self-harm involves addressing emotions.

Breaking away from the cycle of self-harm can feel like a huge climb. It involves breaking a habit that has once brought comfort from pain. But, it is not impossible. Here are some steps to set you up for success:

  • Name your reason for hurting yourself and your reason for quitting. Ask yourself: “What do I feel before, during, and after self-injury? Which of those emotions do I actively seek out, and which are harmful?”

  • Identify other ways of achieving the same result. For example, if you self-harm for the physical sensation, seek other ways of releasing endorphins, like exercise. For real, try throwing a few punches at a kickboxing class or tapping it back in a spin class with the *perfect* playlist. If you self-harm to express your emotions, practice expressing them in words by writing them down. Grab a pen and your favorite notebook, or start typing away in your notes app.

  • Tackle the underlying emotions. Explore the feelings that lead you to want to hurt yourself. If it’s guilt, where is that guilt coming from? Maybe try finding a therapist—there are pros trained specifically to help with this.

  • Tell someone you trust. Let a friend, family member, or trusted adult know what you’re going through and that you need their support. Opening up to people can be easier said than done. Here’s a place to start: “I’m having a hard time processing some painful emotions and I could use your support right now.”