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Fact Sheet

Self-harm and cutting

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What is deliberate self harm?

Deliberate self harm (also known as self-injury) is when you deliberately inflict physical harm on yourself, usually in secret. Some examples are cutting, burning, biting or hitting your body, pulling out hair or scratching and picking at sores on your skin.

Deliberate self harm is not necessarily a suicide attempt, and engaging in self harm may not mean that someone wants to die. Most commonly, deliberate self harm is a behavior that is used to cope with difficult or painful feelings.

Why do people deliberately harm themselves?

People who deliberately harm themselves have often had tough experiences or relationships in their lives. They may have:

  • Been bullied or discriminated against
  • Lost someone close to them, such as a parent, sibling or friend
  • Broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Been physically or sexually abused
  • Experienced a serious illness or disability that affects the way you feel about yourself
  • Experienced problems with family, school or peer groups

Deliberate self harm may be used as a way to cope with experiences and strong feelings. Self harm might:

  • Provide a way to express difficult or hidden feelings. It’s not uncommon to feel numb or empty as a result of overwhelming feelings you may be experiencing. Engaging in deliberate self harm may provide you with a temporary sense of feeling again. It may also provide a way to express anger, sadness, grief or emotional pain
  • Be a way of communicating to people that you need some support when you feel unable to use words or any other way to do so
  • Be a way of proving to yourself that you are not invisible
  • Provide you with a feeling of control: You might feel that self harm is one way you can have a sense of control over your life, feelings or body, especially if you feel as if other things in your life are out of control.

Deliberate self harm can bring an immediate sense of relief, but it is only a temporary solution. It can cause permanent damage to your body, and like many habits, the sense of relief may last for less time as the body grows accustomed to the sensations. Psychologically, it may be associated with a sense of guilt, depression, low self-esteem or self-hatred along with a tendency to isolate yourself from others.

Strategies to stop or cope with self-harm

Along with support from a friend, family member or health professional, it might also be helpful to write a list of alternative strategies to self harm for managing your emotions.

If you feel like you want to harm yourself, there are a number of things that you can try to distract yourself until the feelings become more manageable. If you can, make sure that you’re around other people and remove any sharp objects from the area.

Some ideas for releasing energy or feelings include:

  • Choose to put off harming yourself until you’ve spoken to someone else or waited for 15 minutes. See if you can extend it for another 15 minutes beyond that, continue to do it again until the feelings pass
  • Write in a journal. You might try to use an online journal that is password protected
  • Draw or write in marker over your body instead of cutting. Expressing difficult feelings through actions can be helpful. However, if you are able to verbalize and symbolize difficult feelings through words and/or artwork on the page (versus your body), this can be a healthier, more sophisticated way of coping
  • Exercise. Go for a run or walk in the park to use up excess energy
  • Play video games. This might be a good way to distract yourself and help until the anxiety passes
  • Yell or sing at the top of your lungs on your own or to music. You might do this into a pillow if you don’t want other people in the house to hear
  • Use Relaxation techniques. Activities like yoga or meditation are often helpful in reducing anxiety
  • Cry. Crying is a healthy and normal way to express your sadness or frustrations
  • Talk to someone, like a trusted friend, or call a helpline

If the above suggestions don’t help and you still feel the need to self harm, there are a number of things that you can do that won’t cause injury like:

  • Punching a pillow or punching bag
  • Squeezing ice cubes until your fingers go numb
  • Eating a chili, or something really spicy
  • Taking a cold shower
  • Putting vapor rub under your nose (it stings and makes you cry)
  • Waxing your legs (or getting them waxed)

This video also has more specific ideas around stopping:

Using a balance of distractions and emotional releases

If you've stopped self-harming and are struggling, that's a normal response. Sometimes when you try and stop self harming you may notice you feel worse at times. The feelings and emotions that made you want to self harm in the first place can build back up and create an urge to harm again. If you haven’t worked through the triggers and developed other coping behaviors you might feel worse without the habit. This is one reason why it's important to not just distract yourself from harming (eg. holding ice cubes etc), but to also address the actual trigger that causes you to self harm. It will help to learn new ways to achieve emotional releases, like journaling, talking with friend or exercising (in moderation). Think of using distractions for short term solutions and finding ways to deal with the triggers and learning new ways for emotional releases as longer term solutions. Along with the tips, it will also help to lean on your support network or a mental health professional, if you can, to get the support you deserve.

Getting the help you deserve

Although it might seem hard, it’s important that you reach out to someone who can help you find healthier, positive alternatives to alleviate the pain you feel inside.  It may take time, but it’s important to remember that you can move to a happier and healthier outlook. Speaking to someone about your self harm might be hard, and it’s important to trust the person you’re speaking with. If you’re having a hard time talking about what you’re going through, you might start with sentences such as ”Right now, I’m feeling…”; ”I think it started when…”; “I’ve been feeling this for…”; ”My sleep has been…”; “‘Lately school/work has been…”

Like any relationship, building trust with your counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist may take time and it is important you find someone you feel comfortable with. This may mean seeing several people before finding the one that you “click” with.

If there is a family member you feel comfortable telling, it might be helpful for you to have their support in finding a counselor that is right for you. It’s likely that the person you feel comfortable telling will already be worried about you and will be relieved to have the opportunity to listen and help.

If you don’t get a positive response, try to remember that it’s not because you’ve done something wrong, but because the person you have told may not know how to respond to what you have told them, or might not understand much about deliberate self harm.
Don’t give up! Either try again or speak to someone else you think you might receive a more supportive response from.

If talking with someone is too overwhelming, an alternative is to e-mail or write down what you want to say. Otherwise, a first step might be to call a 24/7 helpline, such as National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) if you are feeling in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, or youth helpline Your Life Your Voice at 1-800 -448-3000, run by Boys Town for everyone.

If you or a friend are harming yourselves, it’s also important that you take care of the injuries caused and if necessary, seek medical help through your doctor or, if it’s serious, a hospital’s emergency department. In most situations, doctors and other health professionals must keep your information confidential. However, they are required to report information they receive if they have serious concerns about your safety. See the Confidentiality fact sheet for more info.

Take care of yourself

It’s important to eat well, exercise and be kind to yourself. While not a solution in itself, doing all these things contribute to a higher sense of self-worth, increased stability of moods, and a general better sense of well being — making you feel more happy on the outside and the inside.

Where to Next?

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

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    You_Can_Get_Better

    I started cutting when i was about 10 and have been since then. I’ve tried to stop and I succeeded once for about a month but then someone very close to me left… It’s crazy how the one person you thought were going to be there forever is the one who leaves you in the dust. I need help… but I’m scared to get it…

    • avatar2

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      queenofangelz

      These past year and half has been the rough for me. My step-Dad was murdered in February 2014. I also lost both my great-grand parents whom I had the pleasure to take care of for the past two years. Since I was 10 years old I have suffered with depression, suicidal thoughts, and Schizophrenia.I had a rough childhood, my biological father was an alcoholic and abused my brothers and I. For years I suffered in the darkness and all alone. Just recently I have been dealing with the loss of my Dad, on August 15, 2015 I took [...] enough to shutdown my kidneys and liver. But I survived and was sent to a mental hospital. Only to be sent back another 2 times in one month. Since coming back from the hospital I rarely leave my room, I started cutting my skin and when that did’t help. I turned to [...] myself. Now I have scars on my legs and wrists. I know my family loves me, and I wish I could only get a grip on the visions that play in my head. My life has been nothing but pain and sorrow. But there is a small part of me that believes that I have a chance to make it out of this. I still see my therapist once a week, but even she is worried about me. My mom wants me to go back to the hospital. But I don’t think it’s going to help me.

      • avatar1

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        ReachOut

        We are so sorry for the losses that you have experienced in the last few years.  That is a lot for anyone to handle.

        It’s important that you’re honest with your therapist about the self-harm, and the depth of your feelings.  It is also possible that a different therapist would be a better match for you, at this point, to help you move forward.  Sometimes a fresh perspective can help a lot.

        Sometimes it helps to discuss things with a helpline.  We always recommend Your Life Your Voice.  They can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-448-3000, and the call is free and confidential.  They can also be reached by text, email, or online chat.  Check out this page, for more information:  http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/ways-to-get-help.aspx

        This is something you could talk about with your (anonymous) peer group in our forums.  To get there, just click “Forums” at the top of this page, or go to http://us.reachout.com/forums/forum.php

        We care about you,
        The ReachOut Crew

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Self harm is a difficult thing to overcome, but it’s certainly possible!  Surely you know that it’s not the healthiest way of coping.  Perhaps you have someone that you could talk to about the way you’re feeling, or someone else that might support you as you seek to get better?

      One way you could talk to someone is by calling the helpline at Your Life Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000.  They’re really great, and the call is free and confidential. 

      You could also talk to people in your peer group by just joining our forums!  To get there, all you have to do is click the word “Forums” at the top of this page, and you’re there. 

      Please take care of yourself!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    FearMeHumans

    So I am 14 since February. I started self-harming at the age of 10. By the time 2013 came around, I was extremely suicidal. I was admitted into four different mental hospitals. The whole year was me trying to kill myself. Attempted suicide 17 times. I got a new boyfriend January 2nd of 2014 and I am still with him and he has helped a lot. I stopped cutting because of him and I am happier. Recently, I just moved to a different school than him and we haven’t seen each other since I moved (exactly a month ago today) and I started cutting again. I used to live with a friend but I then moved in with my mom. When I was living with my friend, i was extremely depressed because I only had two friends and they both hated me. They said it themselves and they would talk bad about me to each other all the time. The reason why I moved in with my friend was because my mom beat me and told me I was worthless and I ruined her life so I ran away. I decided to move back in with my mom but I didn’t really have a choice anyway. Twice now she has threatened to put me in juvenile detention. One time she even beat me and then called the police and told them that I was the one that attacked her.  I don’t even know what to do anymore. I just cut a couple of minutes ago and I have really bad insomnia so I barely sleep. The police wont believe me and I have no idea how to get and escape. I have tried hitting things. I have tried to read. I have tried to do almost any alternative and it just makes it worse because it makes me think of what I am trying to escape.

    • avatar2

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      AllisonWonderland33

      Okay…I have had an okay childhood. I was a smart kid, didn’t get in trouble that much…I was happy. I moved a while back and everything went downhill. My parents and I started fighting more and I started cutting. I finally stopped and decided to take [...]...and my parents drove me to the hospital. Being unconscious and barely breathing scared the hell out of them. We all were fine until now. We argue all the time, even more and I cant help but feel awful. I feel sad and want to cry all the time, and I think of [...]. To end it all now. My friends are my family now…and I cant trust them or anyone. I’m 15…and I have been through a lot. My family and friends don’t understand me. I also don’t expect that any of you would too…but I hope you read this and know that even if I’m suffering inside…I can still help. Writing is perfect. I write poetry and I great positive criticism. I suggest you write down what you feel and see if anyone else does too….
      Listen…[...] is the greatest. If you ever wanna talk to me, Look up [...]. I’m the first girl on the top. Read my poems…copy them down, anything. Just…feel better. I hope you all do

      • avatar1

        Reply - Quote

        ReachOut

        Is there anyone in your life that you could talk to about all of this?  Sounds like you’re not really getting along with your parents, but maybe there’s a school counselor, an older family member, or some other trusted adult?  It can really help to talk things over, get a new perspective on things.

        You could also talk to the people at the helpline at Your Life Your Voice.  They’re really great.  The number (by phone) is 1-800-448-3000, and they can be reached any time, 24/7.  You can also text them by sending VOICE to 20121, or email them or start an online chat.  See this site for more info about all of that:  http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/ways-to-get-help.aspx

        If you want to talk to your peers about anything, just click the word “Forums” at the top of this page, or go to http://us.reachout.com/forums/forum.php  We’d love to see you there!

        Take care of yourself,
        The ReachOut Crew

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      We are so sorry that you’ve been having these problems with your mom.  Do you feel safe, in general?  If you ever don’t feel safe, please just call 911, so you can get some immediate help.

      Another thing you can do is to make contact with the helpline at Your Life Your Voice.  The number, by phone, is 1-800-448-3000, and they’re available that way any time, 24/7.  You can also text VOICE to 20121, and you’ll either hear back from someone via text, or get a message telling you when they’re “open” next.  See this page for more info about other ways to contact them:  http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/ways-to-get-help.aspx  Calling them is really helpful when you’re feeling that urge to self-harm.

      Another thing you can do is to join the forums, and talk things over with your peers there.  You can get there by just clicking “FORUMS” at the top of this page.  It’s a pretty awesome place.

      This fact sheet can give your more info about self-harm, and it includes some good ideas for ways to stop, or to cope with self-harm.  Take a look at it, if you can!
      http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/deliberate-self-harm

      Take care of yourself,
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    Savannah_Jo

    So I am a 15 year old girl and all my life i have been bullied, and sexually abused. My life is crap, i feel like shit constantly and i even started getting suicidal thought and cutting.I need help. Nothing helps, my “friends” try to but nothing works.

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Is there someone you can talk to about these things?  What about a counselor at school, an older family member, or some other adult that you trust?  It’s important to let people know when you’re really struggling, so they can help you stay safe.

      One thing you could do is to join our forums.  Just click the “Forums” button at the top of this page, and you’ll be there.  You can talk more with your own peers about these things, and maybe get some more insight.

      Another thing you can do is call the helpline at Your Life Your Voice, at 1-800-448-3000.  They’re always available, day and night.  They are super helpful!

      Hope to see you in the forums soon!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    Mints2001

    Hi, I am a 13 year old girl. I don’t know why. But one day I scrated [...]. nnd now I do it a lot. I use [...] now. I don’t even know why I started. It just felt right. nnd now I can’t stop. What do I do.

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      It’s important to talk to someone about the things that are bothering you and making you want to self-harm.  One way you can do that is to call the youth helpline at Your Life Your Voice, 1-800-448-3000.  They’re always available, 24/7.  You could even call right now!

      Read the fact sheet above carefully—there are some good ideas to help you distract yourself at times when you feel like self harming, or ways to cope.

      We’re on your side.  Stay safe.
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    centipedequeen

    I hadn’t self harmed in so long but lately I’ve been falling back into it again, I’m not sure what to do? It really stinks because I had such a good recovery streak going, that I basically just threw away, but I’m starting to realize just how dependent on it I am anymore. I used to think I was depressed, but I think I might actually have BPD and it scares me. I want to get better but I always seem to hurt people in the process, so I’m scared to seek help or talk to anyone about my problems. I don’t even know the process for getting diagnosed and treated for stuff like that?


    I just want to know a way to take care of myself after its all over- it’s the only thing that helps and it makes everything better for a bit, but now I’m just tired and everything hurts. I wish I wasn’t so bad at this whole recovery thing. :(

    • avatar2

      Reply - Quote

      feelbetter

      Okay I realized maybe my msg didnt send so iv been harming myself since I was 11 12 I use to go thru phases at that age where ill barricage my room with my bed and never leave for like 1 2 days id take a bottle or cordial and bread with spread with me so I didnt have to leave my room I would pee or anything if I couldn’t find someting to harm myself with[...] , at the age if 18 I found out I had bipolar and bpd started taking meds well actually abusing rhem [...], at the age of 19 I was in a anorexia unit because I refused to eat and at the age of 20 I was in a phyc ward from trying to [...], after that I refused to take any pills a f just decided to deal with myself, everything has been good up u tiL now for the first time in four years I cut myself coz I felt crying wasnt working im so disappointed in myself, your not alone we can get thru this together, fort id give u the downlow on me, how are you today

      • avatar1

        Reply - Quote

        ReachOut

        Hi feelbetter,

        It seems like you’ve really been struggling lately. Is there someone in your life that you can talk to about everything that’s going on?  Someone that can help you?  Maybe you have a therapist that you could talk to.

        The people at Your Life Your Voice are always willing to help, as well.  There are several ways to contact them, such as phone, email, and online chat.  You can find out more about that by visiting this page:  http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/sitepages/ways-to-get-help.aspx

        It’s upsetting to relapse, but it is also part of the recovery process.  Read through the information provided on this page for some great tips on other ways to cope, and keep letting those around you know when you need help.

        We care about you,
        The ReachOut Crew

    • avatar2

      Reply - Quote

      feelbetter

      Umm how do I see my own comment did I even comment? If not letbme know. Just want to say hi now how arebu feeling today

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Relapse is sometimes part of the recovery process, and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself when it happens. Maybe that’s why they say “recovery” instead of “recovered,” ya know? It’s a process!

      When you feel the urge to self-harm, why not make a call to the helpline at Your Life Your Voice (1-800-448-3000) and just talk things over with them?  Many people have told us that it’s the perfect time to call them.  Or, you could call right now.  They’re always available, 24/7, and super helpful.

      We wish you the best.  Be strong!
      —The ReachOut Crew

      • avatar2

        Reply - Quote

        feelbetter

        Hello your not alone, iv been cutting myself since I was 12 I stopped when I was 20 but yesterday I was so emotional that I felt like crying wasnt doing it and I was crying for hours where I couldnt cry anymore and still felt the same so I cut myself, I also have bipolar and bpd so my emotions run like the wind, I really regret cutting myself now I have to deal with long jumpers in 30 degree plus heat as im in Australia. I dont take medications I refuse to because when I was 19 I decided to try take my own life and [...] and ended up in hospital,  is there something going on in ur life atm for you to feel like this and do this. I also [...] im 24 now so it was 4 years since I did harm myself and im quiet disappointed in myself. Chip up we could get thru this together

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    badgirl14

    hi, I have been self-harming for 2 years now, i have help but it don’t help, i seem to be getting worse not better [..], i have been tlking to someone but it aint helping also i have been starving myself, and because of this i have been leaving my friends also i think i am suffering from depression as i cry myself to sleep, i cry during the day. i hide myself away, i never seem to be happy anymore, as self harm as change me and when my mates are sad i dunno what to do, like if i give them a hug it seems to cause me more pain. i always seem sad im never happy like i used to be the girl whos happy loves a laugh but now im a girl who sits the crying or sad all the time. i do not know what to do? what do i do?

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hi badgirl14,

      First of all, please keep talking even if it doesn’t seem like it helps right now. Reaching out for support and letting others know what you are going through is an important step. I’m glad you are already doing that and I hope you will continue to do so. If you feel comfortable giving it a try, we have a youth helpline called Your Life Your Voice which is operated by Boys Town. The number is 1-800-448-3000 and they’re available any time, and totally free. The people on the other end are waiting to talk, provide support, listen, and help you find resources to get well and be happy again.

      Right now, please try not to harm, try to figure out what is triggering these feelings, then when you feel that happening - distract yourself away from negative thoughts. Get yourself somewhere safe, or speak to someone, or even just listen to some music, watch TV, or go for a walk. Remember that it’s one minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. You can do this and you can get through this.

      I hope you will keep talking about this, and never stop reaching out for help. It’s okay to ask for help, that makes you strong! Take care.

      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    RealBandsSaveFans

    ..well, I’ve been doing this for 1 1/2 years now. It started out as small scratches that never bleed, never even left a scar, but then it got worse. It got to where they bleed for a long time, and leave scars, and they don’t seem to heal very fast. Anyway, I want to quit, but I can’t tell my mom, I told her a long time ago that I did quit, and she and my therapist believes me. Sometimes I show my friends my scars, just because I think they might care enough to help me, but they never do. Some of them even do it too. I want help so bad, but I just.. Don’t want to disappoint my mom even more, she already thinks I’m such a troubled child.. Please.. Help me??

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Do you think you could be honest with your therapist about it?  They’re there to help you with your situations, and you don’t have to try to look stronger than you really are! 

      One thing that might help you is to call the Your Life Your Voice helpline at 1-800-448-3000 and talk this over with them.  They’re really helpful, and they’re available 24/7, so you can even call right now! 

      Also, be sure to visit our forums for peer-to-peer support—just click the “Forums” button at the top of the page.

      We care about you!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    SomeoneSomewhere

    I’ve been hiding my self harm from everyone and I know that they say your supposed to tell somebody and get help but I can’t let them find out. My mom has a history of suicidal behavior and has tried to kill herself on multiple occasions, I don’t want to worsen her load and play a part in her death.She has received some help but I don’t want to be the reason she relapses. I’m scared she’ll see them and it’ll be all my fault if something happens to her. What do I do when summer comes around again and hiding becomes nearly impossible? I’m trying really hard to stop and recover by then, but even if somehow I manage to do that, the old might still be visible. What do i do?

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hi there,

      I am so sorry you are going through this right now. I really hope that you will consider telling someone about what is going on. It sounds like your mother could use some professional help, that burden shouldn’t be yours alone to shoulder. If you can’t tell anyone close to you right now, please consider telling someone. An adult, a teacher, a counselor at school, please talk to someone about this.

      Harming yourself is not an answer. Please call our youth helpline Your Life Your Voice which is available any time, night or day, and has helpful people on the other end who just want to support you and can provide resources to help you through this. The number is 1-800-448-3000. Write that down or program it into your phone and when you start feeling urges to self-harm, call them instead.

      You can do this, you need some support and that’s okay, reach out for that support, hang onto it, and use that help to get yourself well. You need to make sure you are okay before you can be strong and support your mother too. If you are feeling urges to harm, please find a safe place, get away from temptations, distract yourself, and talk to someone…any one.

      Take care.

      Rachel
      ReachOut Crew

      • avatar2

        Reply - Quote

        SomeoneSomewhere

        Thank you so much for the advice. I did as you said and talked to someone about it. Since then I’ve thrown out all of my blades and have been trying to keep clean, thankfully with success.I’m not going to waste your time on a long-winded thank you, but I just felt the need to express my gratitude for getting me to where I am. Its gonna be a long road on recovery and it won’t be easy, but because of you I finally got the help I needed. God bless you, and I hope you help many more people like you did me.

        • avatar1

          Reply - Quote

          ReachOut

          We are so glad you’re doing better!  Keep fighting—you’ve got this!

          Stay strong!
          —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    gmk791

    i recently have started to self harm. i don’t really know why i started, but now i cant stop. i want to tell someone, but im scared. I feel like if i tell someone, like a friend or my parents, that they will look at me like im crazy. i also dont know what to tell my parents if they ask why i am doing it if i were to tell them. what should i do?

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hi gmk. I’m sorry to hear you’re going through such a rough time right now, but I’m glad you decided to reach out for support. That is a great first step. I can see that you’re already reading over some of our factsheets, but I also want you to know that we have a youth helpline called Your Life Your Voice which is free and available any time. The number is 1-800-448-3000 and I’d really like for you to program that into your phone so you can call them any time you’re feeling like self-harming. Try distraction techniques like calming breaths and then watching a movie, reading a book, or getting out of the house and away from temptation for awhile.

      Just remember that you’re not alone and help is only as far as asking for it. It’s scary to think about but I really believe your family and friends would prefer to help you through this than know that you were suffering through it alone because you were afraid to tell them. Take hold of the help that is out there, utilize it, and be happier and healthier. smile Check out our forums for more support and a great community too.

      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    juggalette21014

    if you need anyone to talk to that has self harmed just text me at [...] or email me at [...]

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      It’s really cool that you want to help others who are in this situation!  While we can’t publish personal info, we can encourage you to use the ReachOut Forums to continue your support and encouragement for other people.  The forums can be found here:  http://us.reachout.com/forums/forum.php  Or, there’s a link at the top of this page, where it says “Forums.”  Your registration here will work there, as well!

      See you there!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    Breathingnotalive

    I’ve been suicidal before I even knew the word. I started cutting in fourth grade. I get teased both in real life and online. I’m sort of addicted to cutting.

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      I’m sorry that you’ve been struggling so long with self-harm.  Have you ever talked to anyone about it, like a counselor or a therapist?  Talking can really help you get a different perspective on matters.  One way you can easily talk to someone is to call the youth helpline Your Life Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000.  They’re run by Boys Town (but aren’t just for boys) and are available 24/7 to talk to you.  Think you can call them?  It’s free and confidential.

      We care about you and want you to start getting better.
      —The ReachOut Crew

      • avatar2

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        Breathingnotalive

        I don’t really have access to phones. I just use iMessages and FaceTime on my iPad. I talk to random people okie from Instagram about it, but not really real life people.

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    MarTIga182

    Hi my name is Gabriel and I’ve been self harming(cutting myself) since 7th grade and haven’t been able to quit. There are days that I can be alright and some when I just break down.

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      ReachOut

      Hi Gabriel. I’m sorry you are feeling down today, but I think it shows strength to come here to talk to someone instead of harming yourself. I have faith in you, you are strong enough to get through this. I want you to know that any time you feel this way you can call the youth helpline Your Life Your Voice which is operated by BoysTown but it’s for anyone. It’s free, they’re available any time, the number to call is 1-800-448-3000. It sounds like you should call them right now, give them a chance to help you, that’s all they want.

      You can also read over these factsheets:

      http://us.reachout.com/facts/factshe…s-and-symptoms
      http://us.reachout.com/facts/factshe…rate-self-harm
      http://us.reachout.com/facts/factshe…meone-can-help

      I hope that you will make the call to the helpline, it’s okay to reach out for support, and it’s even more okay to accept it. We wish you the best Gabriel!

      The ReachOut Crew

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    danaye

    Hi there,
    I’ve been self harming since the 9th grade. Last week was the last time I self harmed because I promised my sister that I wouldn’t do it anymore but it’s getting very hard for me to keep my promise. I am a new member hear so maybe these ideas will help.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      It’s great that you’ve been clean for a whole week!  Congratulations!  Maybe you could talk to your sister, and tell her that you’re starting to have trouble with the promise, and ask her to help you come up with some ways to distract yourself.  Did you see the suggestion in this fact sheet about joining the forums?  That might be a great place for you.  You can also make a call to the Your Life Your Voice helpline at 1-800-448-3000, and talk to them about how you’re doing.

      We’re glad you’re here, and hope you continue to get better and better.
      —the ReachOut Crew

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    BrokenBandLover

    I used to think that people who self harmed just didn’t know how to deal with their emotions. Then, in 7th grade, I tried it, just barely scratching [...], and I felt sort of better. Then it got worse. Now, 2 years later, I am trying to stop but I don’t know how. I find myself contemplating killing myself a lot. I hate feeling this way but I don’t know how to get help. I tried going to a counselor but it didn’t help me that much, having to go just made me feel worse. I don’t know what to do anymore.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      It sounds like you’ve been struggling for a long time, and that things are escalating. Is there someone that you can talk to about it, like a friend, a parent, a teacher, or some other trusted adult? If you’re concerned about remaining anonymous, you could call the helpline Your Life Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000.  They’re run by Boys Town (which is not just for boys!) and are always available to talk to you about this, or anything.  This fact sheet gives information about how talking to someone can really help you a lot:
      http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/how-talking-to-someone-can-help

      We care about you, and are concerned!  Please take care.
      —The ReachOut Crew

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    kcnomore

    Hello, I’ve had a problem with self harming for a long time. But lately I’ve been trying to recover and quit. Get better. I’m even going to therapy and trying to trust my counselor more. I told him I would tell him if I happened to cut again. And tonight I did. I knew it wasn’t the way to go and I delayed it for hours. But I ended up messing up and ruining my recovery. This may sound dumb, but I can’t recover in this house where I have no one to talk and comfort me during the nights. Do you think I should tell my counselor I cut and ask to go to a hospital to stay for a few days?

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      Skind33p

      I feel like that all the time and it really sucks. My mom told me to never do it again, when she found out. I told her I wouldn’t and went a week without selfharming. Then, I relapsed and have been really suicidal alot lately. My mom said to talk to her if I feel like harming myself again or suicidal but I just can’t. I go to therapy every week and my therapist knows that I’ve been trying to stop but I haven’t told her that I’ve gotten worse. Sometimes I feel like nobody understands or has the time to care about me. But, I want to be able to talk to you if you ever feel like talking. I know I’m dealing with probably some of the same stuff you are. My mom freaked out when I told her I was transgender and I got grounded and alot of my friends said I was too much of a freak to be friends with me anymore. I hope you start realizing that you are amazing and are worth so much!

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        ReachOut

        Hey there,

        We’re sorry you’ve been going through such a rough time.  It’s hard when you feel like you aren’t understood.  It sounds like your mom wishes she could help, but just doesn’t quite know what to do.

        Two suggestions:  First, you could make a call to the helpline at Your Life Your Voice.  The number is 1-800-448-3000.  It’s run by Boys Town, and it’s free and confidential, available 24/7, and open for everyone.  You can talk to them about anything, any time.

        Second, join the ReachOut forums!  It’s a place to talk to other people your age who have similar issues, in a safe, non-judgmental environment.  Just go here:  http://us.reachout.com/forums/forum.php or click on the “Forums” button at the top of this page.  Your registration here at ReachOut.com is also valid there.

        Hope to see you soon!
        —The ReachOut Crew

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      ReachOut

      Hey, we’re really sorry that you’re having this struggle!  It definitely seems like a good idea to be completely truthful with your counselor. Then you can talk things over, and figure out the best course of action. Another thing you can do now, or when you feel troubled, is to make a call to the helpline Your Life Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000. It’s run by Boys Town (which is for everyone), and they’re available 24/7 to talk to you. 

      Take care of yourself!
      —The ReachOut Crew

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    wistful

    I have depression. Recently to help get rid of the pain I have been using my nails and scratching my wrists. I dont cut. I never go very deep with my nails but the pain helps. Is this self harm? Do I need help?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Yes, using self-inflicted physical pain to deal with emotional pain is considered unhealthy.  Are you in therapy, or is there someone you can talk to about the way you’re feeling that is causing you to do this?  It sounds like you’re having a hard time, and we’re really sorry about that. Another thing you could do is make a call to the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000, and talk to them about all of this.  The hotline is free and confidential (and it’s not just for boys!)... they’re available 24/7, and I really think talking to them might help you change things before they go too far.

      Take care of yourself!
      —The ReachOut Crew

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    brokenpromise

    umm these comments are help full but i sometimes feel really like i need to just (...) myself but i cant bring myself to do it so i blame myself more so instead of (...) i hit my right hand on things it’s bruised b4 and it’s swelled it even turned purple it feels good the numbness sometimes i wish itd break just so i know what it’d feel like… im scared to talk to anyone about my problem for fear of rejection and id tell my best friend but i don’t want to lose her or my other one (girl too)  my first bff she’s not like me fully were both silly and i love her like a sister truely but my other friend is like a twin she gets my struggle but i don’t want to feel pitied on honestley some times i just want to cry my life away but i dont want to be this way i want to be healthy normal and pretty i look up to Jennifer Lawrence she’s amazing

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi brokenpromise. It sounds like you’re dealing with some tough stuff and we encourage you to seek help to find a healthier alternative to coping than hurting yourself. It can be really hard to talk to someone, but people who love you won’t judge you; they’ll want to help you. Please think about calling the Boys Town Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. It’s free, confidential, available 24/7, and not just for boys. You can talk to them and they will support you.

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    brokenballerina4

    I self-harmed when I was younger. My dad was extremely controlling, bipolar, obsessive compulsive and verbally abusive. Childhood was difficult because I often felt like I was walking on eggshells, trying desperately not to upset him because he was so unpredictable. It led to a lot of constant anxiety. I would press on bruises until they grew larger and larger or scratch myself with my nails, I guess I did it because I felt such low self worth and as a way to distract myself. This was when I was between the ages of 8 and 11. My parents got divorced when I was 12 and I’m 16 now, and I’m happy to say that my life is 1000000 times better:) But I still feel my anxiety and depression come back every so often in certain situations which has lead me to want to self harm again. The singing at the top of my lungs definitely helps me haha! I feel so much better after listening to my favorite music for an hour. Its nearly impossible to harm yourself when your dancing around the house belting out beyonce (when I’m home alone of course lol). Cold showers are good too, thanks for the tips!

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi brokenballerina4. It’s great to hear that you’ve emerged so strongly from such a difficult situation. It’s good that you’ve developed healthy coping mechanisms. We hope you continue on the road to good health and happiness. Remember, if you need someone to talk to right away, there’s always the Boys Town Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. It’s free, confidential, available 24/7, and not just for boys.

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    aki3659

    Twp years ago I started cutting, then my boyfriend came along and eased me out of it, or so I thought he did… But a week ago we broke up and I had a major relapse and started cutting again, worse then before.

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      ReachOut

      Hey there aki. We’re really sorry to hear that your relationship with your boyfriend has ended. Break-ups can be really tough, and we’re very concerned for your self-harm. We strongly encourage you to seek help for your cutting. It’s really important that you develop healthier ways to cope with challenging situations and difficult emotions. Please consider talking to your parents, your doctor, or other trusted adult that can help you. If you’d rather be anonymous, please call the counselors at BoysTown (not just for boys) at 1-800-448-3000 24/7. Talking to someone will help, so please talk to someone soon.
      Thinking of you, The ReachOut Crew

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    TheInsecureBandLover

    I started [...] myself with [...] about a week ago. I have so many insecurities and it’s painful. I don’t know how to get that pain out, so I found [...]. I hate myself. I get so confused. I’m a cheerleader, and I run with the so called “popular crowd.” I get all As except that pesky B in biology. Why do I have such bad feelings about myself when my life is pretty positive? Well, some of these friends I have love to point out what’s wrong with me, things I can’t change like how I smile, or boys will call me chubby when I only weigh 116 pounds. My brothers target me with rude remarks. School is so stressful I can’t even handle it. Help.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi TheInsecureBandLover. We strongly encourage you to talk to someone you trust about what’s going on and seek help from your doctor or mental health professional. It’s really important that you develop a healthier way to cope with the stress and other difficult situations. Remember, self-harm is a temporary solution that can cause permanent damage. Please take care of yourself. If you need someone to talk to right away, you can call the Boys Town Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. It’s free, confidential, available 24/7, and not just for boys.

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    JustAnotherLonelyGirl

    I always thought I would be the perfect successful girl. Then when I told my mom I was bi, she started to hate me, and didn’t treat me the same. Then, my very religious friend hated me for it and started cyber bullying me. I started scratching myself, but not bad. It gradually got worse and almost addicting until one day my whole arm was [...] throughout the school day, and it didn’t stop for a day. I’ve been clean for a little over a week now, because I have to because of basketball, but I can’t hold this up much longer and that’s why I got an account here.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Welcome JustAnotherLonelyGirl. We’re really sorry you’re going through a rough time. Congrats on not cutting for a week though; that’s a big accomplishment.

      It’s really unlikely that your mom hates you. She’s probably just struggling to accept your sexuality. Give her time and make yourself available to talk to her about it if she wants to. She may have questions and concerns. If you can, try to talk to her about the bullying.

      If you haven’t already, check out our forums. You’ll find other people who share your experience and you can talk to. Below are some Fact Sheets that address some of the issues you’re going through:

      http://us.reachout.com/facts/self-harm

      http://us.reachout.com/facts/romance-sexuality-and-pregnancy/glbt

      http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/what-to-do-if-you-are-being-bullied

      Keep trying to talk to your mom and remember you can always call the Boys Town Hotline at 1-800-448-3000 if you need someone to talk to right away. It’s free, available 24/7, confidential, and not just for boys.

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    tomlinmysun

    I always used to feel bad for people who self harmed and think it was not a way out. But last year i was going through a lot and i used to scratch myself with scissors. No blood just feeling. Then recently I used a [...] to actually cut myself. Where there was actual blood and more feeling. It felt good and i liked it. I’ve done it a couple times since then and I really like it. I’ve tried some techniques that I’ve read, and online chats have told me about and sometimes they work, while other times they don’t. I have no intention on suicide It just gives me a way to feel something that I’m not feeling…. My best friend, he has been trying to help me and has helped somewhat but nothing really stops the urges.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi there tomlinmysun. Self-harm is often a way of coping with difficult or painful situations and emotions. Remember that it’s only a temporary solution, but it could have long-lasting harmful effects. It’s important that you reach out to someone who can help you find a healthier way to cope with what you’re going through. We encourage you to talk to your parents about it or another trusted adult and seek help from a mental health professional.

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