Dealing with Self-Harm

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Tips and alternatives to help ease the process to quiting self-harm.

Submitted: May 30, 2013

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Submitted: May 30, 2013



If you are reading this, than you are either a self-harmer, or you know someone who self-harms and you want to know more, or how to help them.

For this article, I am going to be focusing on cutting because the tips I learned are somewhat specific to cutting.

Consider this taking the first step. Much like with addiction, you need to be able to admit you want to get better.

Now that you know what you want, you need to to know how to get it. There is 3 ways to stops cutting.

1. Slowing get less and less intense until you are able to go long periods of time without the urge to cut.

2. Using alternatives to cutting, eg: less destructive types of self-harm. (this is best used when combined with other ways to quit)

3. Quitting all at once. (Can be difficult depending on the person, usually pretty effective)


For number 1, this can sometimes not work as well as intended. This one also will take a long time to achieve. A lot of cutters have trouble monitoring how much they cut in one session so this can interfere with this technique. But, this method does have less risk of relapse, than other methods.

I do not encourage the use of the second techique by itself. By switching to a less extreme method of self-harm, you can help deal with your urges without completely stifling them, but if used by itself, this technique could possibly get you hooked on another form of self-harm.

The last one is the most commonly used one, but also the most risky. With this method, you are bottling up all of your cutting urges over time, and, if triggered, can potentially do more harm than good. Because you could relapse back into cutting even worse than before. But, if successfully completed, it is very unlikely for you to relapse without being triggered. One way to help aid this process, is giving away your blades to someone who you trust. Or you can send them to many places in the mail that will take good care of them. 


No matter what method you use, it is Important to know your triggers. Being able to identify a situation or image or topic that could set you off is an important skill to learn. If identified before it becomes hazardous, it can mean the difference between relapse and recovery. Many common triggers are:

- Witnessing someone in pain or self-harming

- Being in the presence of blades or other utensils used for self-harm.

- The site of blood. Whether in person or in a movie or picture. Cutters who are trying to quit should stay away from gory movies.

- Discussing the topic of depression, cutting, or suicide,

- Being insulted, or having their mentality questioned.


All cutters can be triggered by any number of things, so once you learn what triggers you, try your hardest to stay away from it. I hope  this helped anybody trying to quit. Congratulations on taking the step towards getting better. Thanks! -AC


© Copyright 2018 Alana Claire. All rights reserved.

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