I've Been Self-Harming For So Long, How Else Do I Cope?

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by alyssaswoon, Dec 27, 2012.

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  1. alyssaswoon

    alyssaswoon Well-Known Member

    This has been weighing on my mind a lot lately because both of my therapists have told me that in the future they hope that they can help me stop self-harming all together. When I think about it I don't know what else to do with myself to cope besides self-harm because it's always been a constant in my life.
    I've been self-harming since I was 12 years old (I'm 22 now), what else can I do to help myself cope with extreme emotions?
    I frequently have anxiety attacks and break down a lot, and that's usually when I start cutting, hitting, biting, etc. myself. Physical pain has always helped me get over emotional pain effectively, I'm just at a loss as to what to do with my emotions without self-harm.

    Has anyone on here overcome their addiction to self-harming?
    What methods do you use that have helped you?
     
  2. Mayflower7

    Mayflower7 Banned Member

    Hi Alyssaswoon,
    I self-harmed as a child hitting myself, causing fractures to myself. I stopped doing as I realised it hurt me even more and didn't get me the help I needed. I started to feel better about myself I was pre-teen so hormone surges and a lot of changes going on in my body. Have you tried Art as a form of therapy to distract. Try and find what triggers your emotions, and see if can avoid this behaviour by positive thinking and knowing you can cope with your life. Crying does me good, it releases distress and I feel better afterwards. Music can lift mood and be used as therapy for distraction techniques. Reading relaxes the mind maybe try and see which intervention helps the most? Keep a diary so you list your feelings and see what stands out for creating the situation where you feel a need to self-harm?
    Please do seek out other's/maybe the forum when feeling a crisis coming on, so your mind is distracted away. Has anything caused this behaviour? Were you harmed as a child? Bullied maybe? Is your life going forward as you want it to? Please be proud of yourself, you can do this and you can stop this behaviour. Use powerful mind visualisation skills take your mind to somewhere beautiful a favourite place and visualise so you get relief from that and not from hurting yourself.
    Well done for seeking out help.
    Take Care Kate
     
  3. Oceans

    Oceans Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is much else I can add to Mayflower's post.

    Self-harm can be overcome, but it is going to just some time. I have self-harmed for a long time and I still struggle with it but it isn't as intense and frequent as it used to be. So it is possible to get to a place where self-harm is no longer a major coping mechanism. Intense feelings can be managed with tools and skills through therapy. I don't know if you're aware but there is a therapy called, DBT, which helps regulate your emotions so it doesn't feel like you have to turn the emotional pain into physical.

    Distractions have helped alot but also listening to music and getting what's going in my head out through talking or writing.

    It does get better with persistence and assistance from your team. Slipped-ups do occur but those eventually get stretched further apart where it eventually doesn't become your first line of coping mechanism.
     
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