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I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

I first self-harmed couple months ago, while I was going through a tough depression. I told a couple of friends who supported me and helped me and I had been clean for a month or so.


When I first met my girlfriend I told about it, and she seemed concerned, maybe uncomfortable, she calls suicidal people "stupid", I'm not suicidal but since then I feel like the topic is kind of...I don't know, She asked me if I was ever going to do it again and I said I didn't know.


My girlfriend had anorexia for some time (before I met her) and for some reason she's got back to it. Maybe it's the stress for beginning university (we're both in our freshman year). I'm worried about her, I already told her I'm never leaving her side and that we're going to work it out, that she'll get better.


Today I self-harmed at school, I'm not sure why. I'm stressed for exams and today I just woke up feeling ugly. When I got back home I realized what I had just done and I'm afraid to tell my girlfriend. She's going through a lot right now and I don't know how she'll react. I feel like we're both so broken. How can we like each other if we don't love ourselves first? I never doubt my feelings for her, she's like the best thing that happened to me and I'm sure she feels the same, but I'm afraid I might hurt her if I tell her what I did, but I we agreed we wouldn't hide our feelings and thoughts and anything. 


I want to stop self-harming, but I just can’t. It’s like an addiction. And I want to talk about it with her but I don’t know if it’s the right time and how to introduce the topic.


Thank you.


Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Hey there @Whale lover - you should be so proud of yourself for reaching out to us here today. Infact in sounds like you've taken a few really important steps - like opening up to friends and your girlfriend (even if she didn't have the most understanding reaction, you tried)...

Before I go on, I did just want to mention that I noticed that you might be posting from the USA? Unfortunately you've made it to the Australian version of the website and I wanted to let you know that you could cut and paste your post you made here over on the US site that you can access here:


However before you head over there I wanted to share a few things. Firstly it's really awesome that you've acknowledged that you are self harming to others and that youa re not doing it in secret. Second, it's really important that you have now said that you don't want to do it anymore - but that it's also hard to stop. The next part is - knowing that this is serious and it's not something that you'll be able to fix all on your own and it is important that you speak to a counselor or other professional. That's why it is important you head to the US site - they'll be able to help you find a professional you can talk to. Though I do know that you can call 800-488-3000 from anywhere in the US and speak to someone.

Good luck and keep reaching out...



Online Community Manager

Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Thanks, but the links seems to be broken or something, I can't access, anyway, I guess it doesn't matter, I'm not in the US either.

Again, thanks for your response

Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Hey @Whale lover 


It sounds like you are going through a tough time at the moment and self-harm is a way for you to cope. It is amazing that your friends helped you through this and if you can be clean the first you can definitely do it again.


Self-harm can be a very concerning topic and it is great to see that she cares about you so much and it seems like you care for her as well, You are both going through a difficult time but it is good to see that you are supporting each other. I think communication is very important in a relationship and even though it may be difficult it might be important for you both to understand where you are at the moment. Have you thought of writing her a letter and telling her how you feel? 


I do agree with what you said that you must love yourselves first before loving others but sometimes loving others can make you see that you need love yourself the way you love others maybe more. I think if you both have a positive influence on each other and support each other it is a great start forward to having a healthy relationship. 


I think an addiction as you said, takes time and if you can go one day at a time it might help you slowly but surely, right? I do have a factsheet for building better coping skills something you could try and do instead of self-harming. Have a read of this story about ending self harm it might help motivate you. 


I hope this helps and you are so strong for coming on here and sharing your story with us. 


Take care and Stay strong Smiley Happy 

**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**

Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Hey Whale lover - if not in the US, are you in Australia then? Either way there is a very good self harm specific forum that is run by people who are in recovery from self harm. Would you be interested in giving that a go?

It's important that you remember hat the road ahead will probably be tough on your own - so have people supporting you, online or face to face // formal help or  friend. 


It's also important to acknowledge that you've mentioned you feel self harming is feeling addictive, and lots of other young peopl have told us this too... They say that it may start off as an impulse or something you do to feel more in control, but soon it feels like the self-harming is controlling you. It often turns into a compulsive behavior that seems impossible to stop. that self-harm is a coping stregy that works - it helps peoplecopes with painful emotions. This contributes to it being hard to stop - and perhaps you can relate to this - many say they "feel relieved and less anxious after" self injury. 


But although self-harm and cutting can give you temporary relief, it comes at a cost. In the long term, it causes far more problems than it solves coz as you know the relief is short lived, and is quickly followed by other feelings like shame and guilt. Meanwhile, it keeps you from learning more effective strategies for feeling better. 


Do let us know where you are based so I can try and find the right palce for help...

Online Community Manager

Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Hi @Whale Lover,


First of all, I'm very sorry to hear what you're going through. I went through something similar when I was in a relationship and I can fully appreciate the feelings of wanting to be open but not being sure if it's the right thing.


I too self-harm and have so for a few years and it's not LIKE an addiction, it IS an addiction. It has been proven to be just as addictive as ecstasy. Reducing and stopping self harm is a hard but possible goal. You CAN do it, you might just need some help. Maybe some professional help if that's an option.


As for things between you and your girlfriend, I would say sit down and explain to her that you want to be honest and open with her but you're worried about whether it's too much for her to handle. I did the same thing with my ex, he had lots of things going on but he wanted me to be honest with him, so I sat down and told him I was worried that I was being a burden. Talking and being open with your partner is very important. Not only can you draw strength and support from each other but it allows for a special connection to be built.


I don't know if you like music, but there are some good songs which relate to cutting that can be used as converstaion starters.

Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Thanks, @ruenhonx and

My friends are very supportive, yes. Actually they're the ones I always talk to when I've self-harmed again. 

I already talked with my girlfriend. At first she got a little mad, but when I explained how it felt, how it really feels like when you wanna self-harm and when you do it, she understood. She said we  would work on it, I felt so much better after that.

Thanks for the info you gave me, I'll check it out Smiley Happy


Thanks @Ash_A , I'm thinking on getting a psych, it's just little expensive and I don't know if I'll have the time for it.

We had agreed that we'd be totally honest with eachother actually, I don't care how hard it is to talk about this, I'm not letting this change my relationship with her. We sat down as you said and talked about it. She even gave me a few tips on what I feel when I have the urge to self-harm. She told me that I shouldn't just get distracted (many websites tell you to distract yourself) she told that I had to let it out. Taking a walk or a run (running in the rain helps, I tried yesterday), talking with somebody, scream, cry, laugh (or everything at the same time), she said that kind of stuff would help. what do you think though?

Keep strong, btw (:

Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Hi @Whale lover 

Just a quick note that I had to edit your post. We don't allow details of how you self-harm as that can be triggering to others who are recovering from this behaviour. No big deal but just thought you should know.


It's great to hear you have supportive friends you can talk to about this stuff! Smiley Happy

Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Hi @Whale lover
A psych does not have to cost money, it can be bulked billed and most pyschs will work out a payment plan if you let them know ur struggling. Also it can be whenever you have time, even just once a month.
I agree with your girlfriend with what she says. Yes, most sites tell you to distract yourself. That can work depending on what methods you use.
The "Three D's" method is effective for some and does use distraction as a step. Personally though, I don't like using distraction what so ever. I think that the more you distract yourself and the more you ignore it, the worse it gets. I would say let yourself feel it. Let your mind accept that you have an urge. Let it process it. Let yourself feel the emotions. When you allow yourself to feel, you can deal with it accordingly. But again, just my opinion.
If you would like, I can give you some info on the Three D's method and also some info about unhelpful thinking styles. Let me know. And thank you, you too Smiley Happy

Re: I self-harm and I don't know how to speak about it with my girlfriend.

Hey, Whale lover! Just read your post. Appears that you're having a hard time? I'm sure it's a comfort to have your gf by your side, though. She sounds like a special girl. I've got a friend who is a recovered anorexic. Beautiful, bright, fun - I couldn't understand how she could ever have thought otherwise. I'm telling you, the mind that deceives somebody like her into thinking that she is anything other than beautiful - even if only momentarily - had to be an awesomely powerful one. And I suspect that the same applies to you and your gf. You're a good guy, Whale lover. Your goodness shines through your post. Sometimes, however, I think it's easier to be good to others than to yourself. I certainly find it harder to demand justice for myself than for others. I worry about being thought of as selfish, for example. But I'm not being selfish when I do something for me. I'm just being as good to myself as to others. Be as good to yourself as to your gf, Whale lover. As you recognise in your post when you speak of loving yourself as being necessary if you're to love your gf, you'll have all the more to give to your gf - and whoever else - as a result.