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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi. I have a huge problem with self-harm OKMH3222013

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Hi. I have a huge problem with self-harm and am finding it very difficult to find help with stopping this. Does anyone have any ideas on how this may be achieved??

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Cutting gives you a way to not only control the pain you feel inside, but inflict it on yourself under own your control. Cutting occurs when you feel so much pain that you need to "let it out" by hurting yourself. And it does work, but only temporarily. Then the shame and hurt come back, maybe even worse.

Cutting also distracts you from the pain you feel and makes you feel alive at the same time. The numbness you feel when hurt by others is a learned behavior, most likely from when you were a child and was reinforced as an adult. Feeling that amount of pain as a child would be overwhelming, so you would shut off your feelings in order to cope. It is very common with children who are abused to do this. As adults, they manifest the numbness and deep pain underneath by many behaviors, including fears and phobias, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and cutting behavior.

One of the first steps in dealing with cutting is to see a therapist to help you get to the root of why you cut. That can help you stop all together. Here are some other solutions to help you:

Keep a rubber band around your wrist. Snap it when you think of cutting.

Use a piece of ice to "cut" with when you have the urge. Both of these ideas will give you the immediate sensation of pain but without the actual cutting.

Express your feelings before you cut by keeping a journal or even just writing them out on a piece of paper. That can help you get them out before they become too much to deal with.

Call a hotline to talk to someone about how you feel. Just the act of reaching out can distract you and give you some relief. It also makes you feel less alone.

Identify what makes you feel like cutting. Make a list of triggers so you can be more aware of what might make you feel like hurting yourself. Then list alternative behaviors you can try such as going for a walk, calling a friend or watching a favorite program.

Learn more about cutting/self harm so you can have resources to pull from when you feel like hurting yourself. Here are some to help you:

I hope this has helped you,
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