If you are self-injuring, it is likely that there are underlying issues that are causing you to feel unhappy. You might benefit from some support in considering these issues.
The Wellbeing Service offers confidential, non-judgmental counselling. Talking to someone who is not involved in your life can help you to recognise patterns of behaviour and find your strengths. You can submit a form to our service by clicking here.
As well as providing medical assistance, your doctor (GP) may also be able to refer you to local support services and counselling or therapeutic support. The NHS have a self-help leaflet on Self-Harm you may want to read through. This is entirely accessible with language translation and a variety of accessibility features.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Even if you don't feel ready to talk to anybody about underlying issues, there are practical ways in which you might think about helping yourself. Though feelings involved in self-harm are often strong, you do have choices and you can stop. If you do self-injure again, try not to feel guilty about it, as this runs the risk of amplifying the feelings that lie at the root of the behaviour. Try not to be put off from quitting: it can be hard to stop suddenly if this has been your way of coping with difficult emotions.
- Keep a diary that records when you feel the need to self-injure and the emotions that have led you to that point. You may begin to recognise the build-up towards the need to self-injure, and can consider developing alternative or evasive responses.
- Try to express your feelings in ways that don't result in self-injury. For example, you may want to consider pummelling a punchbag or hitting a cushion; drawing on yourself with face paints, make-up or a marker pen; or placing an ice-cube on your skin (although ice-cubes from the deep freeze can cause freeze burns, so be careful with this one).
- Try to find additional, energetic ways to express your feelings, such as shouting, running, digging the garden, vacuum-cleaning, polishing or kneading bread dough.
- Avoid building your self-esteem on the ability to self-injure - hardening yourself to physical pain is unlikely to harden you to emotional pain.