I want to hurt myself, what can I do?
It often helps to think about the emotion you’re feeling when you want to self-harm. This can help you come up with a different way of dealing with it.
On this page we have information about some of the reasons why people self-harm. Do you identify with any of these? You can use these feelings to help think about new ways to cope:
Feeling alone or isolated?
You could try: talking to someone, writing down how you feel, chatting on our message boards to other young people experiencing self-harm, walking the dog, wrapping a blanket around yourself, meeting up with a friend, or doing some exercise.
You could try: punching something like a pillow, doing some exercise, running, screwing up paper and throwing it, snapping twigs, squeezing clay, hitting a rolled up newspaper on a door frame, screaming, crying, or having a cold shower.
Do you feel like you hate yourself or that you’re not good enough (low self-esteem)?
You could try: listening to music, having a bath, burning incense, phoning a friend, writing, painting, or listing good things about yourself.
Do you feel like you can’t control things in your life?
You could try: organising something, cleaning or tidying, solving a puzzle, setting a target time (e.g. saying you won’t harm for 15 minutes, and then if you can last, try another 15 minutes).
Do you feel numb or like a ‘zombie’?
You could try: focusing on something like breathing, being around people who make you feel good, craft activities, make a photo collage, playing an instrument, baking, playing computer games.
Do you feel like you want to escape from your life or a difficult situation?
You could try a hot or cold shower, drawing on the body with red pen, massaging lotion into the places you would normally harm, squeezing ice cubes or biting on lemon for the “shock factor,” or painting nails.
You can talk to ChildLine any time you feel out of control or that you might self-harm. We will be here anytime you feel like hurting yourself and you can talk to us about anything.