Ask Sam letter


To Sam

its got worse.

help its got worse, im cutting and overdosing and i know i cant keep doing it but its like really hard to stop.
Ask Sam


Hello there,

Thanks for your letter.

It sounds like you need some help to stop harming yourself, so I’m glad you got in touch. Often people tell me that they use self-harm as a way of coping with things that are happening for them in their life. Once they are regularly self-harming, it can be difficult to stop if they don’t find any new ways to cope. I’m wondering if it might feel like this for you.

Cutting and overdosing are dangerous, so it’s important to think about how these things could damage your health over time. I know that doesn’t make it any easier to stop in the short term. When cutting, there can be a risk of cutting too deep or losing too much blood. If you find that your cuts don’t stop bleeding, it’s important to get some medical help either by calling 999 or going to your local walk-in centre or A & E. 

Giving up self-harming can be a really big challenge but it can be done. For that reason, it can be difficult to just stop - so often it is a good idea to reduce gradually and try not to be too hard on yourself if you self-harm when you agreed with yourself you wouldn’t.

When giving up, it’s a really good idea to try to get support to talk through how you are feeling. This could be from someone around you, but if that doesn’t feel comfortable, ChildLine is always there to listen.

Different people find that different things can help them stop self-harming. It can take time to find out if there is anything that helps you. There are some ideas on our self-harm coping techniques page. There are many ways to cope that you could try and you might also develop your own safe way of coping. Sometimes you have to try more than one thing before you find what is right for you - it is also worth remembering that it can take time too, so try to be patient! 

The message boards are a great place for ideas and support and you could also read these inspirational quotes from other young people experiencing self-harm. The message boards are a safe and anonymous place where young people share their experiences and talk about ways they have found to cope. You can just read what others have written or you can post a message yourself.

Many young people find that talking to a counsellor at ChildLine instead of self-harming can help them to cope with some of the difficult feelings they are having, so this is something you could try too. You can talk to a counsellor either on a 1-2-1 chat or call on 0800 1111.

Talking to your doctor can be a good idea to get some more support. Your doctor will be able to tell you a bit more about what support might be available to you.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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