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Self harm ***trigger***

I have struggled with self harm for the past couple of years, when my mum first found out she was shocked and didn't understand, she doesn't know I still turn to self harm in difficult situations and time. It's been almost 3 years since mum thinked I stopped, but I don't want to tell her I still do it in fear of being a failure. She is an amazing an supporting mum and I feel bad for keeping this from her. Can anyone give me any advice on how to stop  or how to tell her please. 

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

Hi @Maryhadalittlelamb, welcome to the forums.

Self harm is really difficult, and many people just.. don't understand why people do it..

I'll come back to respond in a bit more detail when I can, but for now; we actually have a thread for self harm alternatives here:

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

@Maryhadalittlelamb I'm not brilliant with communication, but I have gone a fairly long while without self harming, and I know others on the forums have as well. 


Firstly, you're not a failure - giving up self harm is really difficult, especially if it starts to become an addiction. 


Make any objects you use to self harm as hard to reach as you can, while making healthier coping methods easy to reach when you need them. 


What helped me most was to hold off self harming, even if only for a few minutes, and try to use safer/ healthier coping strategies in that time, until I either couldn't hold off or the urges eventually left by themselves.

I made a small booklet with different coping methods, and whenever I wanted to self harm, I'd flip to a random page and try that instead.

It didn't work every time, but the idea is more to teach yourself other strategies to go to first.

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

Hey there @Maryhadalittlelamb and welcome to the forums,


Thank you for being open about how you've been feeling recently, it takes a lot of courage to open up Smiley Happy 

As @Tiny_leaf has already said, you are absolutely not a failure. It's okay to not want to tell your mum that you still self-harm. Is there anyone else you can turn to for support, aside from your mum? Such as another family member, friend or counselor? 


Along with the Self harm coping strategies thread already shared, we also have an excellent list of coping strategies and distractions that might have some suggestions for you. 


Keeping a list of coping strategies, such as a safety plan, that work best for you can be really helpful for when you are in that difficult time. 


I am finishing with ReachOut this week, say good-bye here. I'll miss you all!

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

hi @Maryhadalittlelamb Smiley Happy

@Tiny_leaf has shared some amazing advice that has definitely helped me!

Making your environment as safe as can be by removing any objects you would use to self harm while also making your coping strategies/distractions easy to access is a big one

Some strategies might work better for you than others, but like @Tiny_leaf mentioned if you can hold off on your urge to act on your thoughts for just a few minutes even you might find that those feelings/thoughts become less and less strong

Personally what works for me best is changing my environment (going for a walk, the gym - intense physical activity makes me nice and exhausted!), having a rubber band around my wrist that I can flick, tensing up all my muscles (face/body/fists/everything) really hard and then completely letting go and relaxing- and if I still feel the urge after exhausting these I contact someone that I can trust to talk my thoughts out or contact a crisis hotline/echat

Opening up to anyone about self harm is difficult and I can relate to that feeling of letting people down which is so understandable but at the same time not the case! Recovery, especially recovery from self harm is an up and down journey with twists and turns. Someone once told me that a lapse is just that, a lapse, and it doesn't erase any of the progress that you have made Smiley Happy

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

Sorry I haven't been on much, but thank you for you help and your advice on how to stop self harming, they are a big help. And I will try and be more open about how I feel, and I will find a person I can confide in. Thank you again.😊

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

Thank you @Tiny_leaf  for your suggestions I will try them and try and distract myself you were a great help 😊

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

Hey @Maryhadalittlelamb, great to hear that you found some of these suggestions helpful. Is there anyone in your life that you would feel comfortable talking to about self-harm? If you don't feel like you have someone to confide in, we have services here that you can chat to. Have you used any of these services before? Heart

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

Thank you @Taylor-RO  for the service I use the khl web chat every now and then when I feel like I'm struggling bad and I can talk to the school counselor when times get tough thank you for your support 🦕

Re: Self harm ***trigger***

Hi @Maryhadalittlelamb,


It is really good to hear you are reaching out for support through the KHL web chat when you need it Heart Having someone or a service you can turn to when times get tough is super important. 


@Tiny_leaf and @linkinpark13 have mentioned using some strategies when you are struggling. Have you had a think about these strategies and tips? Are there any that you think may be helpful for you when feelings become painful or overwhelming? 


We are always happy to brainstorm with you too! Smiley Happy