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Tips to overcome Self-harm

If you harm yourself when feeling stressed, you are in a vicious cycle and deserve to feel better.

Harming yourself when feeling sad, lonely, depressed, etc is a dangerous phenomenon in teens. No matter how relieved one feels after harming themselves, remember you deserve to feel better and you can feel better without harming yourself. Know about self-harm, its consequences and how to overcome it.

What is self-harm?

To many people, self-harm is a way of dealing with emotional pain and stress. It helps them in expressing their feelings they can’t put into words, release emotional pain and distract from what’s causing them trouble. They feel relieved after harming themselves and return to doing the same when they feel hurt again forming a continuous cycle.

Several forms of self-harm include:

  • Severely cutting your skin
  • Burning yourself
  • Banging your Head or hitting yourself
  • Throwing or punching things
  • Intentionally preventing wounds from healing
  • Swallowing inappropriate objects or poisonous substances
  • Driving recklessly, binge drinking

Consequences of cutting and self-

  • The relief that comes from cutting or self-harming is only temporary and creates far more problems than solving it
  • Relief is short-lived and followed by other feelings like guilt and shame
  • Keeping self-harm as a secret is a tedious task
  • You may hurt yourself badly unintentionally
  • You can become addictive to self-harm

How to stop cutting and self-harm

1. Find your confidant

If you’re ready to get help for cutting or self-harm, the first step is to confide in another person. It can be scary to talk about the very thing you have worked so hard to hide, but it can also be a huge relief to finally let go of your secret and share what you’re going through.

Find someone whom you can trust with such personal information, someone who won’t gossip behind your back or try to take control over life. When you are talking about self-harming yourself, focus on your feelings and not the situations that led you into doing self-harm. Communicate in the way you are most comfortable with, it could be in person, through telephone, email text, etc.

2. Identify your triggers of self-harm

Try to figure out what leads you to self-harm. It could be sadness, anger, anxiety, shame, emptiness, etc. If you are unable to point your triggers then you need to work on your emotional awareness. How to do it? Start by understanding what emotional awareness it. It is knowing what feelings you are going through and why. Identify what you are feeling from moment to moment and try to understand the connection between your feelings and your actions. If you let them go, emotions and feelings come and go quickly. Only when you obsess over any particular feeling, it persists in your mind.

3. Find new coping techniques

If you want to stop self-harm, you have to also find alternative ways of coping with difficult situations and unpleasant feelings. You could try these:

  • Scribble, paint or draw
  • Start maintaining a journal to express your feelings
  • Write all your negative feelings and then rip the paper up (Jab We Mat style)
  • Listen to music
  • Take a shower
  • Dance, run, jump, whichever you like
  • Punch a pillow
  • Make some noise by playing an instrument of your choice

If still nothing works, feel free to chat with our expert or send an email to [email protected]

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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The Psychology behind Suicide

Why did their friend, child, parent, spouse, or sibling take their own life? Even when a note explaining the reasons is found, many long lasting questions usually remains.

What could be the possible reason why a person felt enough misery to want to die? Why did they feel that way? A person's suicide often takes the people it leaves behind by surprise. In general, people try to kill themselves for the following reasons:

1. They're depressed: Severe depression is always accompanied by a pervasive sense of suffering as well as the belief that escapes from it is hopeless. 

2. They're impulsive: Often related to drugs and alcohol, some people make an impulsive attempt to end their lives. Once sobered and calmed, these people usually feel emphatically ashamed. 

3. A philosophical desire to die: The decision to commit suicide for some is based on a reasoned decision, often motivated by the presence of a painful terminal illness from which little to no hope exists.

4. They've made a mistake: This is a recent, tragic phenomenon in which typically young people get trapped.

Here is a psychological intervention that is needed to deal with all the above mentioned issue:

Get in touch with a counselor: Only a qualified mental health professional can give you the advice and diagnosis you need to figure out what is happening and how to resolve it. There is absolutely no shame in getting help, so do it right now – today, before things get worse.

Talk to friends: Be honest with your friends about your feelings. If you are feeling down, tell them that. If you need someone to talk to, tell them that, too.

Join support groups: There are numerous groups online and in person that can help you through your issue by offering up stories of those who have already walked this path.

Take medication as directed: If you are prescribed medications, take them exactly as directed. Never stop them simply because you are “feeling better.” This can lead to a rebound effect, which can make your case even more severe.

The wounds suicide leaves in the lives of those left behind by it are often deep and long lasting. It can be very difficult to understand suicide. Sometimes there is no way to understand – the person who dies by suicide has a very deep pain that defies explanation, even to them. However, trying to understand what drives someone to such a desperate act might lead to help for others.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.