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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate, I am sorry to bother you again but my depression is

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Kate, I am sorry to bother you again but my depression is really bad at the moment and I am desperately trying to fight the urge to self harm. Have you got any suggestions on how to stop this pattern because I always hate myself so much afterwards. Thanks. Sue

Hi Sue,

I am glad you wrote me. Yes, there are ways you can stop from harming yourself.

First, understanding that cutting yourself is a way to express your deep pain and emotional distress. It feels that hurting yourself is the only choice because for a while, it makes you feel better. But the feeling only lasts a short time then you are back to where you were.

Second, take a look at your triggers. Why do you feel the need to cut? What are your feelings right now?

Third, find a new way to cope. List things you can do instead that you feel would help. Yelling into a pillow, crying, going out for coffee, calling up a friend, etc. Make a list and keep it where you can see it.

Fourth, develop support. You reached out to me which was a very healthy step. You want to stop, which is also good. Take the next step and have "backups" in case you feel you need to cut again. You can have one or two people you trust that you can call and confide in, or try a hotline. Talking to someone can make a big difference. Or find an on line forum where you feel comfortable. Sign on when you start feeling the need to cut. Talk it out.

Five, therapy. Talking this out will help you solidify new ways to handle your feelings.

All of your feelings are very normal. You just need to change how you handle your feelings so you can find healthier ways to cope.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The feelings certainly don't feel normal and I was told by a cpn once that what I was doing was very unhealthy and that I needed to stop! If only ......

I have one friend that knows what I do and she told me that she doesn't understand why anyone would do that to themselves.

Triggers include the anniversary of my son's death, childhood memories, stress ......

As for therapy, I am due to start at group therapy in a few weeks. I did have 1:1 but was encouraged to stop that to attend 12 weeks of abuse therapy. I wish I'd never done it.

I cannot have a list of alternatives up as I hide this from all of my family. It's my dirty secret that I'm not ready to share!

I feel like I am on an emotional rollercoaster and I want to get off. I can't take much more :(

Start one step at a time. If you have no supports now, start building them through the group you will attend. Also, you may want to consider one on one therapy any way. Set it up for when your group is done. This is an ongoing issue that you need to address until you feel better, not when the doctor tells you that you feel better.

If you have suffered through a child's death and you have childhood issues, you could also have PTSD along with your depression. Abuse therapy might be a good idea along with individual therapy afterwords. Learning more about PTSD is also good. Try this site:

Keep trying to push forward. You will get there if you can take it slowly.


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