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To Sam

Self Harm

Dear Sam,

You were asking people about self harm so i thought i might reply. I self harm and it has been just over 2 years since i started. I think a huge problem with it is that it becomes addictive and a coping strategy. It affects me and my life after harming it is painful for days after and that affects how you feel and how you live/move/things you do.

I would love advice on how to stop though i feel i have heard alot of it. Ive had counselling and my doctor has recommended a different counsellor which i am going to try but im worried that it wont do anything to help or change my emotions.

Ive been in a dark place for awhile thinking about life and if i want to be here and i struggle with this everyday. Ive found that self harm has been a way to push away them reoccurring thoughts that i cant get rid of.

My mum knows this but she doesnt help. I feel alone i have some friends who try to help and my friends mum i just feel bad about depending on them. Why should they feel like they have to help? It would be great if you could suggest some things?

I feel as though im heading to feeling very depressed which scares me alot. I draw or play music to stop my self from harming but this doesnt always work.

Ask Sam



Hi there,

Some people use self-harm as a way of coping with difficult feelings and unwanted thoughts. People self-harm for lots of reasons including feeling depressed and feeling lonely. There are other safe ways to cope with difficult feelings and it is important to explore those.

Addiction is when you can’t stop doing something even when you want to. It is usually a behaviour that helped when you first started but the longer term effects are negative. Self-harm may have helped you to cope with feelings or situations that were difficult at first. But it can cause more difficulties in the longer term and you may feel that you need to harm more often to get the same affect.

Talking to your doctor can really help to get the right help and support. There are different types of counselling and some may work better for you than others. We are all unique and it can take time to find what works for you.

It's important to take care of wounds and to get medical help. Any injuries that are painful, do not heal well or you are worried about will need to be looked at by a doctor or a nurse at your surgery or a walk in centre. Go to A&E or call 999 if it is an emergency

It is important to try to find other ways to cope outside of hurting yourself. Some people have to try a few things before they find what works best for them.  Keep adding to your list of coping techniques and continue trying to distract yourself by playing music and drawing. Work your way through the list and remember that any length of time of not harming is a success.

Keep a note of all your successes in a diary or calendar and try using the mood journal in your locker.

We all spend a lot of time everyday thinking about what might happen in the future and about what has happened in the past. These thoughts can stop us from noticing what is happening around us. Try looking around you and noticing three things you can see, two things you can hear and one thing that you can smell to get in touch with your surroundings and to slow down your thinking.

When thoughts are distressing it helps to reassure yourself that you are okay and that you have managed these thoughts before.

You can also talk to Childline by calling free on [0800 1111](http://<a href="tel:08001111">0800 1111</a>) or having 1-2-1 chat online with a counsellor who can support 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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