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How do I stop self harming -if it's a addiction- without telling someone?

23 Answers
Last Updated: 07/02/2019 at 6:51pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Andrea Tuck, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I tackle and discuss a multitude of social and emotional health issues. I have a belief that through empowerment and non-judgmental support clients' can thrive.

Top Rated Answers
February 23rd, 2015 4:24am
You can stop harming yourself by changing your thought pattern, distracting your negative thoughts and replacing the self harm with positive coping strategies!!
February 26th, 2015 7:26pm
Find something that distracts you from these thoughts because it's never a good solution. But also, think about talking to someone you really trust. Having someone who supports and helps you is the best way to get rid of dark thoughts.
March 15th, 2015 1:26pm
Okay so I've dealt with this sort of thing before and no one knew. The best way to stop is to find another way to deal with struggles you are having, find a hobby that will preoccupy your thoughts. Also, throw away whatever you are using to harm yourself with if you can (if you are harming yourself in another way this may not be applicable to you). Getting rid of the object will make you unable to do anything, it will also means you are able to go through a difficult time without relying on the object. This is a big step however and it may be best to just isolate yourself from the object to stop the trigger and need. Hope this helped. If you need anymore advice please check out the 7 cups self help guides.
April 4th, 2015 9:17am
I do not self-injure but a dear friend of mine does. I am not sure if I can say this within the 7Cups rules but I am an admin of a board which supports people who self-injure - I joined to learn how to learn how to support my friend. My impression from what other members of the board have written is that Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) can be effective with a therapist who has experience of using that approach with people who self-injure.
April 8th, 2015 10:18pm
You can stop self harming by discarding any of your supplies in a place that you can't get them again, (Flushing them down the toilet, throwing them out on trash day, ect.) or restrict yourself by putting a reminder or "stopper" in a commonly used harming area. once you have gotten rid of your tools, think about your triggers. fears, places, people, what ever makes you want to hurt yourself and tell yourself why it bothers you. Then find an alternative. This could be snapping a rubber band on your wrist, drawing, tearing paper, or doing something you enjoy to take your mind off of harm. I read, go outside, practice my instrument, sing, do yoga, ect.
May 6th, 2015 12:43pm
It will be hard, but there are many techniques. Drawing wounds with red pens, rubber bands on your wrist, writing the names of your loved ones instead of cutting, and dedicating this day without cutting to them. Ice cubes are a way, but for me too close to actual self harm. It can also help to call a support line and venting to them.
May 9th, 2015 8:27pm
If you can't tell someone in person, talk to someone online who would understand what you're going through and would be willing to help you keep yourself accountable. It's hard, but you can do it!
June 7th, 2015 1:27am
I would check out Kati Morton's free self harm work book. I will link her page, and the website will help you from there. I also find that DBT can help and at the bottom of Kati Morton's website is her recommendation for a DBT workbook.
July 28th, 2015 8:39pm
I keep telling myself that I am stronger than that. In the end, hurting myself does not change anything at all. That view makes it at least a little bit easier for me to stop. But I still struggle. Relapse is a part of recovery I gues.. You have to try to understand yourself and your life, even if it's not perfect or never may be. It is hard but not impossible. You're stronger than you think you are.
August 11th, 2015 6:45pm
throw away everything you use to self harm. when you think of it just breath. breathing methods help
August 31st, 2015 3:14am
without telling someone you wont be able to stop on you own its best if you reach out and get help.
September 1st, 2015 1:53am
Try to pin point when the urge to self harm is the strongest and think of something else you could do instead. Like crafts, music, games, anything like that and keep your mind off dangerous thoughts like self harm
November 3rd, 2015 7:47pm
This can be very challenge to do however that does not mean that this is impossible. I find it helpful to focus on other activities when I feel like self-harming. So when you want to self-harm try reading a book, going on a walk, biking, swimming, listening to music, journalling (anything that allows you to focus on something other than wanting to self-harm). In a way, you are not going through this alone and you do not have to at all either. You are telling people when you reach out here to 7Cups. You are letting in a whole group of listeners that want to support and that are willing to be here to listen when you are struggling. Try talking to a listener when you are struggling as well. Self-harm is addicting to some degree but it is mainly about developing new habits to replace the old habit of using self-harm to achieve temporary relief trom what is triggering you. You can do this!
December 29th, 2015 7:10am
You can't , there is no possible way you have to tell someone you trust and if you can't then go see a therapist . But you have to talk to someone
January 18th, 2016 9:28pm
For me, I just stick my nails into my palm because it won't cut you as bad. And for cutting, remember those scars will never heal.
May 24th, 2016 10:40am
Well you should tell someone. I understand you think it may hurt them but cutting themselves is hurting them even more.. If you don't want said person to know you told someone try going to a guidance counselor and telling him/her that you want to keep in anonymous and you don't want them to know you told.
July 4th, 2016 8:48pm
You could try to find your triggers. What makes you need to self-harm? And then either try to avoid them or find something you can do when they come. Also, finding something like going on a bike ride or writing when you feel the need to self-harm could be helpful.
August 16th, 2016 7:44pm
Self-harm, from a psychological perspective, is a distraction and emotional release. The best traits for a person to have when they decide to stop harming themselves self-control and resolve, as having more control over your impulses (i.e. the impulse to self-harm) will make the road to recovery smoother and less prone to relapse. As for physical alternatives to self harm, in the early stages of recovery if you feel like you're going to relapse, there are a couple methods to curb your impulse. One common one is to clench an ice cube in your hand, while another simpler one is to snap a rubber band on your wrist.
February 21st, 2017 10:23pm
Self harm can be an addiction, but it isn't for everybody! Either way, being able to recognize what sort of thoughts or situations lead to self harm can really help, so that you know what to avoid, and what you should look out for. There are all sorts of alternatives depending on why you self harm--I know writing has helped me a lot, but you could also heat up food coloring and drip it over your arm where you would want to self harm, or you could talk to somebody, or do something you really enjoy. Usually distraction can help, and there are a lot of ideas online
August 28th, 2017 12:18am
Keeping your hands busy can help sometimes. Making something, writing, drawing, doing a puzzle of some sort. Keeping your hands busy can help take your mind off the urge to self harm. Exercise also helps some people.
February 27th, 2018 12:25am
Self harm won't make the pain go away, I've tried it many times and I realized it only makes things worse, it only makes the pain go away for awhile but it doesn't help, trust me, your only going to feel regret and anger with yourself if you continue
June 12th, 2018 2:22pm
I started by trying to reduce the amount of times I did it each week, and replacing it with something to distract myself from the feeling. For example, if I had the urge to cut, I'd bake some cookies instead or go for a run. Obviously the addiction doesn't go overnight and you may still relapse a few time but overtime you find other ways to cope with the feeling that work for you.
July 2nd, 2019 6:51pm
It'll be harder to overcome it without telling people. Could you tell someone online even (like on 7cups)? Having someone, anyone, there to be a motivator for you (even someone online!) will help you a whole bunch because you'll have someone to talk through it with you when you feel like self-harming. That's my number one recommendation. If you don't feel comfortable telling people online then maybe you could have reminders and other reasons to not self-harm. Something like "my dog would want me to be my healthiest and not self-harm" and that could work for "my friend wouldn't want me to...", "my parents wouldn't want me to...", etc. That way you still have the motivation without people having to know!