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How to deal with self-harm alone?

230 Answers
Last Updated: 03/27/2021 at 6:18am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Deane Rain Marie, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

I take a holistic approach in working with eating disorders, mood disorders, relationships, and the LGBTQ community. I use EMDR, Dreamwork, Stories, CBT and Cinema therapy.

Top Rated Answers
April 13th, 2017 3:33pm
Remember that you are worth more than whatever outside or internal pain you are dealing with. Hurting yourself only hurts you further, and punishes yourself, which you do not deserve to do. Using coping methods like art, stim/fidget toys, and self soothing videos can help you distract yourself when urges happen.
April 20th, 2017 1:19pm
I have self-harmed before and i can tell you its not easy to stop but it is manageable something you can do when you feel the need to is snap a hairtir on your wrist because it doesnt leave cars or marks but still gives you the pain and release factor
April 26th, 2017 1:39am
You will never fight a battle alone, there will always be people to help you fight it, know that you are better than it, that you don't need it. It is damaging not only to your own state, but to others around you as well. Consider your friends, your family, would they really want you to hurt yourself? If you think you are alone, know you are not. Don't be afraid to contact a therapist, they are not there to judge you for anything. They are there to help you!
April 26th, 2017 6:46pm
Make a strict safety plan for yourself when you feel like you want to self-harm. There are a lot of alternatives to help you step away from self harm and move towards healthier coping methods. Examples would be: slapping an elastic band on your arm/hand, writing on yourself with a pen, holding ice in your hand, clapping your hands together hard. You can try to reach out to people and talk about something completely unrelated, so you're distracting yourself from the urges without having to tell the person that that's what you're doing. Go for a walk in a public place. Don't be too hard on yourself, just try your best!
May 10th, 2017 4:48pm
Dealing with self-harm alone is not easy, or course. However, understanding that is it not the best way to cope with events/life, etc is the first step of dealing with self-harm. Dealing with the visible scars of your actions is a consistent reminder of what one is doing to themselves. It helps to redirect that urge to get wanting to harm yourself onto a more positive and healthy way to cope like exercising, drawing, writing, etc.
May 21st, 2017 2:32pm
First of all, you have reasons to self-harm, pinpoint them! Don't be afraid to analyse your feelings, what is going on? What makes you do this? Secondly, you should not enclose yourself in depreciation and guilt, you did self-harm, you had your reasons, but this is not the solution. So you must be kind with yourself, reduce the times you hurt yourself slowly. Talk to someone who will help without judging (7 cups is there for you). Eventually, when you're in crisis, breath, analyse the situation, accept yourself, do not approach anything that can help you hurting yourself. Try to replace the self-harm by something else (pinch an elastic around your wrist, draw where you want to cut etc...), keep your mind occupied. And when you overcome an urge, reward yourself! Eat your favourite meal, watch a movie... Stay strong and safe :)
June 8th, 2017 4:30pm
I think the best to deal with self-harm is to bear in mind that everything is temporary. Pain, loneliness or the numbness you feel will pass by, and you will start feeling great again
June 13th, 2017 9:33pm
I think you should always reach out to someone as a support system. Wether it be a hotline, a family member or friend, you shouldn't have to go through anything alone!
June 14th, 2017 7:04am
I have always tried to distract myself. The moment I think about self-harm, i urge myself to list why I should not harm myself, and why it is only making things worse. I have a list of things I can do to distract myself from self harming, and persons to contact to self harm, so the worst urge is gone.
June 16th, 2017 9:14am
There is no direct way to deal with self-harm, especially when there are so many different types of people who do it and for so many different reasons. There are strategies to help try to prevent you from self harming such as drawing or focusing on music to draw your mind away from whatever may cause you to harm yourself. It is important to remember that self-harm isn't just cutting and that it comes in many forms, so if you search for methods to help, make sure it will be a method that will suit you for prevention. It's so important to try to see the best in days, which granted is far easier said than done but if you alone, it's really up to your own strength within to help. You are stronger than you realise.
June 24th, 2017 7:29pm
Self harm can make you feel really isolated and distanced from reality. If you can tell someone close to you then that would be a huge step in you being able to talk things out which would hopefully take alway the need for self harm. But if not then their is always doctors and others who are there for the exact reason of being able to help
June 30th, 2017 6:54am
Self harm is extremely hard to deal with alone. It is not impossible, but extremely difficult and near impossible. It is always best to try to seek help, even if it seems scary. However here are some tips to help stop self harm: 1- as hard as it is, put off self harm as long as you can. Like any addiction, it doesnt go away overnight and takes a lot of time, effort and patience. If this is especially hard to do, try setting a rule of time. For example, if I still feel like self harming in an hour, I will allow myself to do it. As you are able to complete the goal and successfully avoid harming, raise the time. 2- distraction is always key. As soon as you get an urge, try to distract yourself. Go watch a movie or show, play som of your davorite music, go on a walk, read a book, meditate, do breathing exercises, cook, anything that sounds fun and distract you from your current thoughts. 3- if distraction is not working out well, do safer things to get what you want. First, identify why you want to harm yourself. Do you want pain? Hold some ice tightly in your hands or snap a hairtye or rubber band around your wrist. Do you want the sight? Draw on your body what you want to do, then wash it off. 4- try out the Butterfly project. You can google it for more information, but basically you draw a butterfly or multiple in the area (s) you self harm or want to. Optional, name them after someone important to you such as an idol, family member or friend. If you harm yourslf in that area, the butterfly (and if you bamed it, that person) dies. The goal is to let the butterfly fade away naturally and not have self harmed while the butterfly remained. 5-Similar to 1, give yourself a goal. For example, if I do not self harm in the next two weeks, I'll treat myself to a movie. 6- understand that relapses can and will occur, wether you have gobe only a few days clean, months or years. As hard and dissapointing as it may be to break your clean streak, that is okay. Just keep trying! You made it this far, and you can make it even further next time!
July 21st, 2017 9:10pm
Dealing with self-harm alone can be hard and often, you would want to keep it to yourself. In order to deal with it, perhaps try alternatives such as using hair bands and snapping it until the urge goes away. Or using a sharpie to create pretend wounds. Sometimes when everything feels too overwhelming, going for a walk to clear your mind is very helpful and a great distraction until the urge disappears.
August 4th, 2017 2:17pm
Self-harm is quite a personal thing. However, it is something that when you feel ready to discover your worthiness is worth sharing with a person that you trust. We do not have to do anything alone. We were never supposed to. We were born into an interconnected world where connection is a necessity. If you don't feel like you are at the point where you are ready to confide in someone and get the help that I hope you know you deserve, then I just implore you to be as careful and as sanitary as you possibly can and think about starting a self-care plan. Because you are worthy of love and belonging.
August 10th, 2017 1:30pm
Try distraction techniques such as drawing where you may want to hurt or snapping an elastic band on your wrist
August 18th, 2017 1:39am
It all starts with you, so to do it alone you have to gain independence and confidence in yourself. Not everyone needs support from others. Others do, others don't.
September 2nd, 2017 11:58am
Try not to harm yourself instead draw on your arm, that way its still the same without the harm. If that doesn't work try to do something you love. Another alternative is getting a ice cube and squeeze it
September 10th, 2017 2:40pm
It's difficult to deal with self-harm alone, but if you must, you must do two things to start with. Firstly, exercise self-discipline. Self-harming doesn't get you better, so you must learn to mentally overcome self harm urges. You are stronger than you think, and to fight such urges requires mental strength and resilience. The other thing is to forgive yourself - that doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong or that it's your fault, but simply that you accept that what has happened is in the past, and you're ready to move on and not let it hold you back. :)
October 1st, 2017 2:45am
The truth is there's no way that you can deal with self-harm alone. This Behavior keeps you isolated and away from each other so you were more inclined to actually self-harm because you feel isolated. Try reaching out to friends or even try finding a therapist that could help you this is the best way that you can deal with your self harm.
October 10th, 2017 3:50pm
Use ice instead of a sharp object, it hurts a little less but is very healthy, also doesn't last a long time so you won't have to worry about anyone finding out
November 9th, 2017 10:11am
It's a long gruelling battle and oftentimes if you deal with it alone, it will only ever cycle back. In my experience, i've always dealt with it alone and if you have to, it's terrible but you can break the cycle if you set certain goals for yourself and just know that you may fail, you probably will fail, but one hour of being clean might become two hours and two hours to a week, and so on. Any goal you reach is a good one and if you relapse, that's not a failure at all.
November 16th, 2017 2:03pm
Remind yourself that you don't have to harm yourself in order to get the feeling you are recieving from it... you can get a rush by exercising or sports, and you can feel emotions by reaching out aand talking to someone, preferably someone who has experienced what you have.
April 11th, 2018 6:26pm
You can try distracting yourself with things you have interest in such as drawing, reading or music.
April 13th, 2018 1:44pm
Try to find another coping mechanism for when you feel like selfharming is the answer. When you have thos impulsive thoughts and feelings we tend to do the most quick things to cope, to escape. But the quick things are usually what hurt us the most. Try some of these things when you feel like self harming: Take a deep breath, say stop and just take a second to try and think of what you are doing. Have a list of things to distract yourself from it - paint, talk to a family member/friend, come on here and chat for a while, do breathing exercises, paint your nails, go for a walk. Hurtin yourself is never the solution and how hard it may sound and I know you don't care about this in the moment - but you will regret it, stop it now while you can. I love you
May 9th, 2018 5:18pm
I personally feel like getting things out helps a lot. I often have a problem with directly facing my feelings, so I do it in a more abstract and lyrical way. Just writing down how you are feeling as if talking to someone might help too.
May 23rd, 2018 6:10pm
Try to distract yourself - either with music, or writing, or venting to a friend. Get out the feelings in other ways, rather than out on yourself. Because that never helps in the end.
May 24th, 2018 10:30pm
Try and think of positive things and make a daily diary on how you are doing. Try to release your feelings in a different way such as poems and music.
May 26th, 2018 4:12pm
You should never have to deal with it alone. Even if you feel like you cannot get support from the people around you, you can always get help through online communities.
May 30th, 2018 7:45pm
You have to find destractions and even if you do slip up once in a while you have to realize it’s not the end of the world.
May 30th, 2018 8:37pm
Try listening to music, try thinking something else, try different things till you find something that works for you.