I managed to stop self-harming, but then I relapsed, how can I ever stop for good?
Last Updated: 01/04/2021 at 7:34am
Monique Thompson, LPC, LPC-S
Licensed Professional Counselor
"I never lose, I either win or I learn" (Nelson Mandela). I can help with depression, anxiety, PTSD, survivors of sexual trauma, and infidelity.
Top Rated Answers
Well however you stopped before might be how you can stop again. Focus on positive things that you like and remember the negative affects every time you self harm.
set goals, realize that what you are doing isn't helping and make steps to that you follow every time you want to self-harm before you do. contact 5 friends talk to a family member, write out your issue and approach it as if someone was asking you that question.
I've met a lot of people who have gone/going through what you are, it's a very stressful thing to have in the back of your mind. A lot of people never even get as far as you so that is already an amazing achievement. Usually people with that issue seem to have self loathing and it can help to find the source of the problem. So also just have too much anxiety or stress on them and it can cause A lot of loathing as well. Tell me more, maybe what you think could cause you to want to self harm?
Self harm is very hard to stop because it’s like an addiction. That’s good that you were sh free for so long. But try not to be too hard on yourself for relapsing. Relapses happen and it is part of the recovery process. Don’t let this relapse diminish your success in staying clean from sh for as long as you did. I’d say try to take it one day at a time and celebrate even the tiny milestones because every step towards stopping sh is a success. If you have a support system, then it will be good to rely on them to help hold yourself accountable
The reason why it is so hard to stop self-harming is because it's a coping mechanism. An unhealthy one, yes, but still something we do to cope with our emotions. Self-harm gives us a way to externalize the pain, converting it from emotional pain to physical pain instead, as this is easier to handle. With this in mind, we need to find healthy alternative coping mechanisms to help us stop self-harm. A therapist could help you with this, but there are many coping mechanisms you could try to break this habit. For example, some people recovering from self-harm report that marking the area they want to cut with a red pen is helpful. Alternatively, one could run ice across the area. You can find some more alternative coping skills here: https://www.7cups.com/self-harm/lesson1.html
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