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Self harm

I don't know why but I can't stop self harming. Nothing bad has happened in my life but I've just started feeling numb. My friends know but they all act really weirdly around me now and the first time I did it about 4 months ago my parents found out which made everything so much worse, so I don't want to tell them I've relapsed. What do I do?

Ask Sam



Hi there,

Self-harm is something that lots of people struggle with. It can take some time to recover from and it’s normal for that recovery to involve relapsing. Coping with self-harm is sometimes very difficult but with the right support it’s possible for things to change.

Everyone experiences self-harm differently and has different reasons and feelings about it. For some people it's a distraction from other difficult things in their life, for others it can be a way to feel “something” when they have stopped feeling anything else. Whatever the reasons, it’s not a long-term solution and it’s good to work towards stopping eventually.

Stopping self-harm can sometimes take a long time. Some people can stop right away but others need to stop a little bit at a time. They key is to find the right way for you and to make sure you have the right support around you. We've got more advice about coping with self-harm.

Your parents finding out that you harmed yourself the first time may not have been a positive experience, but it might work out differently this time. There could be a big difference in their reaction if you go to them and ask for help, instead of letting them find out on their own. Having their support might make it easier to change things, instead of having to hide your feelings. You could also try talking to another adult you trust.

For many people it needs to be the right time for them to make a change. If you’re not in that place yet, it’s okay and it’s not your fault. Be kind to yourself and understand that working towards a goal is often lots of little steps.

I hope this has helped, and you can always get support from our counsellors.

Take care,


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