How can I stop a habit of self-harm?
Last Updated: 03/20/2017 at 10:46am
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If you self-harm by cutting to see the blood, try using a red permanent marker or pen to draw on where you usually cut. At the end of the day/week, look at the lines you have. That is how many times you have been stronger than self-harm.
TWLHOA The movie states "secrets make you sick" and honestly I think when you reach out for help from professionals and people that you love it helps. Yes, Im aware that some handle it poorly and says it's attention seeking, but there are plenty of people that would love to help you get better.
Try to pinpoint the reason why you feel the need to self harm. Work on resolving that issue and eventually, you will stop self-harming.
Although I do not self harm myself. You can quit the habit of self harm by occupying yourself with other alternatives to self harm. Here are just I few that I can list: Snap a rubber band on your wrist, draw on yourself, write down how you are feeling whether that's on yourself or in a journal, listen to music, do your makeup, colour in, do puzzles like crosswords, word searches and sudoku, paint on yourself or on a canvas/book/paper etc. If you try these instead of self harm, you might just break your habit. Just distractions I feel would help a lot.
Many people consider it an addiction, so if you have friends and family that are willing to support your recovery, use them. Don't let relapses discourage you. Find something to distract yourself for 15 minutes--text a friend, write, draw, color, read, etc.... anything you find that takes your mind off of things. Also think about why you do it, and try to find a substitution. If you like blood, draw on yourself with red marker. If it's to release your feelings, talk to someone. If you want the pain, hold onto an ice cube for a few minutes (sounds weird, but it can work!)
Realise that even though you find your control with it, that it does more harm than good. You are hiding a part of you from others and that will never allow you to be free. Stopping self-harming is a brilliant step towards recovery and will put you on the right path towards being happy. Methods of stopping could include the butterfly project, where you name a butterfly after someone close to you and if you harm then the butterfly dies.
You can try alternatives to it like playing a sport or hitting a rubber band against where you usually cut
Essentially you need to replace the maladaptive coping strategy (self-harm) with a healthier coping strategy. Until you have developed new strategies or resources to help you it will be incredibly hard to break the habit. Like all habits will-power is also essential for change
you can replace self harm with something you like to do such as go for a walk, draw, or talk to a friend when you feel the urge to self harm.
I've seen multiple people use ice as a substitute. When you feel like you want to self harm, get a piece of ice and rub it where you usually cut. You could also use a red felt tip pen to mark where you might usually cut, or put elastic bands on wrists, arms or legs and flick them instead of cutting or hitting
For many people, if you stop immediately it makes it worse to try and overcome, and the urges are stronger. Think of self harm like an addiction. After all, some people can easily actually get addicted to it. The best way to start this approach is by using something less harmful but still getting what you want. To figure out what might work for you, think of why you self harm. Do you burn? If you burn and like the pain of it, you can try holding an ice cube to where you want to burn. Do you cut? If you do, do you like the pain? If so, you can try the ice cube as well or snap a rubber band or hair ties round your wrists. Maybe the sight is your fix? Draw little cuts onto your body wherever you wish to self harm. Once you are done, you can simply wipe them off.
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