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What’s the real reason people SH - TW

Hi, I’ve been thinking, does self harm actually give you a break from emotional pain? If so I really need it. I would like to know the purpose of self harming and what it actually does. I know it will leave scars and stuff like that but I really do want to get rid of this emotional pain. Even if it means I have to make it physical pain. 


Re: What’s the real reason people SH

Hi Heart


In answer to your question, I believe there are a number of reasons people sometimes sh. I can only speak to my experiences, but yes to me it was because the physical pain gave me a sense of emotional relief.


I started when I was in a similar place to you (overwhelmed and desperately looking for something to make it feel better).


I'd like to give you a few words of caution though... It doesn't fix the problems behind the feelings, and it's only a short term fix (the feelings don't just stay away). For me I found it really addictive too, and it ended up being this reminder of how bad I felt other than those brief moments of respite. And for me there was an element of shame/fear of others finding out.


So while for some people it can make them feel better in the moment it can also cause its own problems...


It sounds like things are really tough for you and I'm sorry you're feeling like this. We're here to support you Heart I'd really recommend trying out other ways of feeling better that have less risks attached first... Some things that might be helpful instead could be exercise, talking things over with friends or a professional, listening to or creating music, drawing, journalling, meditating, watching a movie... Do any of those sound like they might help? Is there anything you already do that helps a little?

Re: What’s the real reason people SH

Hey @Bananatime04

First of all a big welcome to RO Smiley Happy I'm so glad you found these forums Smiley Happy

I've got a little bit to add on to @Anonymous's excellent advice!


I'm really sorry to hear that you've been thinking about self harming. I know firsthand the battle between 'should I?' or 'shouldn't I?' It may seem like the only answer, the coping mechanism but in the long run it really isn't. Lots of people, including myself, get to a really dark place and there mind is so overwhelmed that SH feels like it is the only answer. It's only after tht they may see it as a mistake Smiley Sad The emotional pain may seem to much to handle at times and that is when our thoughts are at there highest Smiley Sad Bear in mind this is just my personal experience and definitely doesn't apply to everyone Smiley Happy


I wonder, have you seen a psychologist/counsellor before? I think they'll be really beneficial because they often can give you great strategies to counter the urges to self harm. 

Some strategies I often used are:

1. Holding ice in your hands can give the uncomfortable feeling

2. Slapping an elastic band/hair tie against your wrist can make you uncomfortable.

These often allow the thoughts to ease or lessen without causing any long-lasting, physical marks/pain on your body.


That's all for me Smiley Happy Take care and let us know how you are going Smiley Happy


Re: What’s the real reason people SH

hi @hellofriend 
I am a gymnast so gymnastics really helps clear my head a little bit but I haven’t be to training for a while and holiday training starts soon so I’m pretty keen for than. I have also been watching movies lately because it distracts me but also it makes me really stressed. I feel like this isn’t enough tho and I really want to know how SH would be for me. I’m so tempted.

Hey @annabethxchase
I’ve never seen someone in person but I do have a counsellor at kids helpline and she makes me feel a bit more ‘positive’ when I am talking to her but when She has to leave, the negative thoughts and feelings come back. I talk to her twice a week, one on the phone and one on the web. I cannot see someone face to face though, nope. It’s too hard and I’m too scared.

Re: What’s the real reason people SH

Hi @Bananatime04 I'm sorry you've been in so much emotional pain recently. It's good to hear that you have some things in your life that bring you happiness (gymnastics and movies) and you have a counsellor you can talk to. 


I have self harmed in the past, and all I can really say about it is that it doesn't really "work" for anyone. Yes, very brief relief may occur, but as @Anonymous and @annabethxchase already mentioned, there is a host of negative side effects of it. Particularly, I found my emotional pain worsening as I SH more, as it was like adding fuel to the fire. 


Could you explain why you find talking to someone face to face scary? I know I have found seeing a psychologist to be intimidating in the past. I would love to hear how you're feeling. Seeking professional help would be more beneficial than SH, even if it is the harder thing to do. 

Re: What’s the real reason people SH

Hi @Libellule
There are a number of reasons I cannot speak to someone face to face. I have a fear they will judge me, I’m scared because I don’t know what to say and I could say the wrong thing, I get away with saying more to my counsellor at KHL than what I would for someone in person, my mum would have to know for me to see a psychologist because I’m only 14 and I really don’t want her to know about my mental health issues, it’s really hard for me to talk to someone out loud and it’s really hard for me to have phone sessions with my counsellor and I just get so nervous and freak out. I’m more open in web chats


Re: What’s the real reason people SH

Hey @Bananatime04 I'm really proud of you for the ways you're already looking after yourself Smiley Happy It's sounding like those are no longer enough for you to deal with what's going on though, and I've been there and it was really scary Smiley Sad


It's great that you've reached out to talk about these urges. Have you spoken to your khl counselor about this at all?


I won't judge you whatever choice you make and I definitely understand the temptation. But I found that I couldn't see a lot of the negative ways it was affecting me until it was already something I relied on and really hard to stop. If I could go back, I would do whatever I could not to start.


That's great about gymnastics! (I love it as well). Is there gymnastics you can do at home while you're waiting for holiday training? Like strength training, stretching, floor stuff, or some playgrounds have appropriate bars... Also are there any movies that don't make you feel stressed?


And if you want to talk/vent about anything going on that's making you feel this way then we're here. Let us know if there's anything we can do to help

Re: What’s the real reason people SH

Hey @Anonymous
Holiday training is in 2 days now and I also do gymnastics at home like tumbling, my strength and body alignment programs, I have a bar at home so I go on that and I stretch. It’s cool that you love it too, are you a gymnast?

Re: What’s the real reason people SH

Oh and I forgot to mention, I just got off the phone with my KHL counsellor and it is getting easier to talk to her

Re: What’s the real reason people SH

@Bananatime04 Nice! That's great to hear that training's starting up again and you can do it at home, and it's really good you're feeling more comfortable with your counselor too. Yeah I am, but a very amateur one Smiley Tongue it's super fun though!