Techniques to avoid self harm in a crisis

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by SteakAndChips, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. I think that it is important that people who self harm have a list of what may (or may not) help them overcome the urge to harm. I have found it useful - it sometimes helps..

    * hold some ice cubes in your hands
    * draw pictures of something that is bothering you / who is bothering you
    * draw red lines on the area you want to cut
    * listen to music
    * go for a walk outside
    * wear an elastic band on your wrist and snap it onto skin
    * call a friend or organise going out with a friend
    * use a screwdriver or knife and stab at a piece of wood
    * do sport/exercise
    * scream and shout outside extremely loudly
    * cry - it is allowed
    * if you want to stop self harming - sit down make a list of the reasons why you wish to stop
    * punch a cushion repeatedly until exhausted
    * keep repeating a prayer or poem that you like over and over again
    * break the instrument that you use to harm yourself with - it shows that you have the control over it - it doesn't have control over you
    * try and find creative outlets for your pent up emotions
    * deep breathing techniques coupled with relaxation techniques
    * write a letter to an imaginary person (or on SF) about how you feel - why you feel so upset

    I hope this can help some people. Certainly some of the above have helped me at different times.

    With love
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2006
  2. Wonderstuff

    Wonderstuff Staff Alumni

    Thanks for this post hun :) I hope people find it helpful when they are trying to stop SI-ing.
    I know some of these things have worked for me in the past, I hope they work for others too :)

  3. Lauren :) I hope so too - I know it's not easy- but it's worth trying other options I find beforehand.....

    I've never had a post stickied before!! :D

    Grok likes this.
  4. gothic_spleen

    gothic_spleen Antiquities Friend

    ok im doing some of these now...its not working
  5. gothic_spleen

    gothic_spleen Antiquities Friend

    ok didnt punch a pillow but i leveled the door to my room...punched it so hard i ripped the damn thing off the hinges...does that count
    anya likes this.
  6. Luliby

    Luliby Staff Alumni


    I find I self harm when I am under emotional distress. That is, there is just feelings of paina and hurt and loss or anger.. emotional upheaval, and my mind cannot seem to turn from it. In such cases something that may work is Observation of Emotion. It's seems weird but it really works. It is suggested that the emotional upheaval is made worse by our resistance to it, the more we resist and try to turn from the emotional distress the worse it gets. Finally, we SI to bring out emotional state to a physical state and thereby alleviating the emotional pain. However: Emotional Observation can do this as well and there are no scars. Much of what was written earlier is a way to bbring your mind to focus on something else.. like the icecubes, listen to music, go for walk.. etc. however, if we do these things but are not (or cannot) focus on them intently it doesn't work as well. So, step one is to not resist the feelings or emotions. Whatever you are feeling, the hurt, anguish, pain anger, etc.. allow yourself to feel it. In the past I have sought the refuge of a dark bathroom and I just let myself feel it, crying, silent screams, hurting, rocking, just feel it and not resist. And the part that really makes this work is being AWARE of feeling it, not resisting. Study the feelings. Not the thoughts or worries.. study the emotions. Does your heart race, your breathing get shallow, do you rock, do you cry, how intense is the feeling. Study the emotions but do not judge them. Let yourself feel them. Sometimes I have sat on the brthroom flooor for 20 minutes in anguiush and hurt.. just feeling it and allowing it, like a windmill the emotion goes through you, pushes you, and then it passes. After it passes I have been really tired and slept. But I am aware that I have managed the emotion, survived it, and I have renewed confidence for the nnext one.
    Mercedesgirl and Wiltingone like this.
  7. PressedIn

    PressedIn Well-Known Member

    I dunno about that "stabbing wood with a screw driver" part is a good idea. But heres something I thought of to maybe stop people from cutting.

    Tattoo. I was watching Inked a while ago and I thought "What if someone got a tattoo on their wrists? Would they stop?"

    I hope someone tries a tattoo sometime, to replace the cutting.
  8. therandommike

    therandommike Member


    i don't mean to be a jerk, but breaking the device you use to harm yourself isn't always a good idea.

    i hit a razor with a hammer and a shard of it went deep into my forearm and i cut myself worse than when i tried to.

    just my 2 cents.

  9. oskeylov2007

    oskeylov2007 Guest

    that was very inspiring. keep up the good work
  10. silent_pirate_queen

    silent_pirate_queen New Member

    i second the thought that the idea of a self harmer having a screwdriver and stabbing wood would either make you more angry or want to cut, or, well, god damn, i just wouldn't trust myself with anthing like that.
    plus to the idea of writing red on your wrist.
    ps. if i do stop, i want to get a tatoo on my wrist to cover scars,
    probably a GOOD idea to make you stop like person mentioned.
    but i've heard that it is HARD to tatoo on scars and make it stick. :(
  11. silent_pirate_queen

    silent_pirate_queen New Member

    by "plus" to idea of writing red on wrists,
    i mean that to mean, i thought that was a GOOD idea.
  12. the grey girl

    the grey girl Member

    I´ve got another idea... wax ur legs or whatever :p that hurts! :p it's a pity that i never remember this when i want to harm myself... but hey! i think it'd work :p
    Claire_from_Canada likes this.
  13. kath

    kath Well-Known Member


    i thought that it was a really idea of yours starting this thread GE.Thanks for shairng your list of ideas.i know different things work for different but the more ideas the more chance people will find something that suits them too so thanks for taking the time to write and share!!!!Oh and i think its great it was stickied and im not surprised....its a useful thread well done!!Sorry for hte late reply.i only just seen it.

    i struggle with self harm and i hope i come back to your list sometime and Gothic and the others im sorry your having to battle with htis so much right now.i know its hard but please try and look after yourseflf and keep safe.Best wishes.
    Take care GE and all
  14. I always try to just get out of the house when I want to stop myself self harming. Go for a run or something.

    Some of these ideas sound really helpful.

  15. jane doe

    jane doe Well-Known Member

    i think is i good idea tho make a tatoo where ussualy i cut myself, i didn´t do it yet but i´m sure it will help me.

    but what happends if i don´t want to stop doing it, is it a problem who do you think i should talk about it? because i don´t have any interest of stopping, i think the tatoo would help but i heven´t do it because i don´t want to stop? what level of crazynes do you think i have :laugh: . well that was a little ironic but is what i think.
  16. Allo..

    Allo.. Well-Known Member

    Thanks heaps, ill give it a try x
  17. catb_catb

    catb_catb Member

    I really like the tatto idea, 'cause you know, if you get a tatto where you usually cut, and you really like it(the tatto), then you won't want to cut there and mess up the tatto.

  18. Sa Palomera

    Sa Palomera Well-Known Member

    151 Things To Do Instead Of Self Harming HERE
  19. Lost Disciple

    Lost Disciple Well-Known Member

    Some of those were pretty good... ...and others were crap.

    Oh well, I guess when you're going for over 100 different things, it's going to get like that.
    Grok likes this.
  20. I read this yesterday and I tried it today. It's not AS satisfying, but there are no permanent marks on my arms now. But my arms are red and swollen. :(
    Grok likes this.