Feeling the urge to harm yourself?
Here is a master post on coping with urges to self harm:
Here are some more links:
- Feeling the need to self injure? Please take a look at these posts: 24 ways to avoid self injury & Alternatives to self harm.
- Check out this support community for individuals who self harm recover your life.
- Help Guide A site containing articles to help understand, help numbers, “tool kits”, and self help.
- Understanding self injury is a text post that explains that self injury is an addiction and the different forms of self injury.
- Mental Support Community A forum to talk about self harm and how it affects your life.
- Here is a post about understanding self-injury, the reasons why it occurs and the forms it can take.
- Here are some Alternatives For Self-Harm
- Here are some instructions on how to make a Glitter Jar
- Here are some Safety Plan printable wallet cards
- Here are some instructions on how to make a Comfort Box
- How to care for cuts
- How to care for burns
- Helping to calm down: 1, 2, 3
- Alternatives to self-harm
- Natural antidepressants
- How to fade and cover scars
- What to say when someone sees
- Helpful websites
- Tips for stopping
- Friend self-harms?
- How to tell someone
How to respond when someone asks you about your self harm scars..
- "I battle with sharks in my spare time"
- "I was attacked by an evil cheese grater"
- "IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHO THE HELL ASKS WHY SOMEONE HAS A LOAD OF SCARS IT’S OBVIOUSLY GOING TO BE A TOUCHY SUBJECT YOU MORON"
- "I’m slowly transforming into a zebra"
- LifeSIGNS: Self-Injury Guidance and Network Support
- S.A.F.E. Alternatives: Self Abuse Finally Ends
- Mental Health America: Self-Injury
- The Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery
- How Does Self-Injury Change Feelings?
- Alternative Posts on Recovery Is Beautiful
- Alternatives to Self-Harm and Distraction Techniques
- Choose Recovery’s Alternatives and Distractions
- Sirius Project Distractions and Alternatives
- Why Self-Harm Feels Good in the Brain
- Self-Harm: Limiting the Damage
- Caring for Cuts
- Caring for Second Degree Burns
- Minor Burns - Aftercare
- Wound Infection Signs & Symptoms
- Motivation for Change Chart
- Recovery Resources (worksheets and links)
- Relapse Plan
- When I Recover
- Topical Care
- Bio-Oil / Kelo-Cote / Merderma
- Aloe Vera / Cocoa Butter / Cortisone / Lavender Oil
- Fitness Magazine: Best Scar Treatments
- Vitamin E Oil
- -Protein: rebuild skin, collagen, and blood vessels
- -Vitamin C: allows protein to rebuild collagen
- -Vitamin A: boosts the initial inflammatory response (to prevent infection)
- -Zinc and Iron: produce and bring oxygen to protein and collagen
The Butterfly Project:
- when you feel like you want to cut, take a marker or pen and draw a butterfly on wherever the self-harm occurs.
- name the butterfly after a loved one, or someone that really wants you to get better.
- NO scrubbing the butterfly off.
- if you cut before the butterfly is gone, it dies. if you don’t cut, it lives.
- if you have more than one, cutting kills them all.
- another person may draw them on you. these butterflies are extra special. take good care of them.
- even if you don’t cut, feel free to draw a butterfly anyways, to show your support. if you do this, name it after someone you know that is suffering right now, and tell them. it could help.
The Paper Chain Project:
- For every day you go without self harming or purging, add a colorful link to the paper chain
- If you relapse, just add a white link to to the chain and carry on the chain without any disruption
- Over time the paper chain will grow in length and you can see your progress, and see that even if you do relapse, the are still days you go without hurting yourself. The colorful links.
- Over time and through your recovery watch the amount of colored links begin to increase, and the amount of white links begin to decrease.
- If you feel like hurting yourself, look at the paper chain and realize just how far you’ve made it, and realise that if you’ve resisted before you can do it again
- DELAY: delay giving in to the urge for a set amount of time. Write down this amount of time and set a timer.
- DISTRACT: do an activity that will occupy your thoughts and use your physical energy. Write a list of things you could do.
- DECIDE: after the set time period, decide how you’re going to respond to the urge. Write down: advantages, disadvantages, reasons you want to stop, life goals.
You can also try distracting your mind. Do something where you are able to focus you mind on and be physical at the same time whenever you feel the urge to cut coming on.
- Exercise: yoga, Pilates zumba, dance, jogging, and if you have a gym membership go there.
- Take a leisurely stroll through a park or even your neighborhood.
- If you have a pet, try to teach them a trick.
- Watch a crappy movie marathon, or have a marathon of your favorite show.
- Take a nice relaxing bubble bath
- read a book
- listen to loud music and sing along to it and dance around if you have to
- go out with friends, or call up your boyfriend and see if you can spend some time together (nothing special just hang out).
- play video games
- try tetris, a crossword puzzle, mind games
Self-harm includes anything you do to intentionally injure yourself. Some of the more common ways include:
- cutting or severely scratching your skin
- burning or scalding yourself
- hitting yourself or banging your head
- punching things or throwing your body against walls and hard objects
- sticking objects into your skin
- intentionally preventing wounds from healing
- swallowing poisonous substances or inappropriate objects
Coping skills for any addiction, self harm included:
Need to express pain and intense emotions
- Paint, draw, or scribble on a big piece of paper with red ink or paint
- Express your feelings in a journal
- Compose a poem or song to say what you feel
- Write down any negative feelings and then rip the paper up
- Listen to music that expresses what you’re feeling
If you need to calm and soothe yourself
- Take a bath or hot shower
- Pet or cuddle with a dog or cat
- Wrap yourself in a warm blanket
- Massage your neck, hands, and feet
- Listen to calming music
- Color in a coloring book
- Plant flowers
If you feel disconnected and numb
- Call a friend (you don’t have to talk about self-harm)
- Take a cold shower
- Hold an ice cube in the crook of your arm or leg
- Chew something with a very strong taste, like chili peppers, peppermint, or a grapefruit peel.
- Go online to a self-help website, chat room, or message board
If you need to release tension or vent anger
- Exercise vigorously—run, dance, jump rope, or hit a punching bag
- Punch a cushion or mattress or scream into your pillow
- Squeeze a stress ball or squish Play-Doh or clay
- Rip something up (sheets of paper, a magazine)
- Make some noise (play an instrument, bang on pots and pans)
Substitutes for the cutting sensation
- Use a red felt tip pen to mark where you might usually cut
- Rub ice across your skin where you might usually cut
- Put rubber bands on wrists, arms, or legs and snap them instead of cutting or hitting
- Cut an apple with your blades, scissors, knife, etc