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Obscurethinktank's avatar

What should I do to prevent cutting myself?

Asked by Obscurethinktank (73 points ) February 26th, 2014

I’ve done it a few times and I don’t like doing it. I just can’t help it sometimes. I was wondering if there’s something I could do to stop myself.

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12 Answers

josie's avatar

Do you do it in public places? Assuming you do not, you already know how to stop yourself.

Seek's avatar

I find having something else to do with my hands helps.

When I’m really really pissed off, I clean. Loudly. With music and door-slamming and shit.
When I’m a bit angry or frustrated, I bake bread. You have complete control over bread. And you get to punch it.
When I’m feeling depressed, I paint. Or sew. The steady “whirrr” of the sewing machine is soothing. And again, there’s an instant gratification factor – as you go, you can see the results of your labor.

The main reason I have ever self-harmed was because I felt out of control of my own circumstances. The thought was “If I’m going to be in pain, I will decide just how much and when it stops”. But there are other ways to be in control of your situation than manipulating your own nervous system. Manipulate clay, or paint, or the varnish on some old furniture you found on the side of the road (power tools are fun!). Anything you like, really.

It helps to not allow yourself to be bored. Even when I’m sitting down with the family watching TV, I usually have a crochet project or some hand-stitching going. See my profile image for the Flying Spaghetti Monster hat I recently made!

I don’t know if you’re male or female, but I do want to interject that textile arts are not a solely female thing. I have good, very manly friends who crochet and knit and sew as well. And their wives say there’s nothing feminine about them. ^_^

Basically find something to do that isn’t sitting around thinking about how fucked up your life is, and make an effort to make that life more bearable. Life is actually pretty cool, once you figure out how to be proud of yourself.

hearkat's avatar

The best way to find methods that work for you is to work with a qualified professional who can get to know you and your personal concerns and situations, and the things that trigger your compulsion to self-harm.

You can also do a web search for support groups for people who self-injure – there are likely to be online and in-person groups, as this is something society has become more aware of.

I hope you find coping strategies and effective ways to treat the root problems that cause those feelings.

crushingandreaming's avatar

Have you ever done the butterfly project? Well I am here to tell you about it, you will take your wrist and draw a butterfly with a sharpie, name it after someone you love and if they knew about you cutting would want you to get better, no washing it off or scrubbing it off, if you cut yourself or wash it off it dies, when it wares off it knows you are better.

Cruiser's avatar

Get help. Most people on a self-destructive path know what the are doing is wrong but don’t know really why they are because they are too consumed by fear and pain. They have their reasons for why they are doing this but these reason’s are rarely valid and until they take time to be open and honest about what it is that they are fearful of and often resentful of, they will never break free of these self destructive often addictive behaviors.

I know from my own addiction to alcohol I thought then my anger and frustrations were valid reasons to drink and erase that pain, anger and frustrations until I got help from AA and did the step 4 and “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself” that I was able to see clearly that the reasons I thought were my problems causing me to drink were actually all about me. I was the problem and I created those problems in my life and AA helped me find the tools, strength and courage to fix and undo the things I did to create these problems.

People like you and me are consumed by thoughts of the things we don’t want to do or the pain we don’t want to feel and change can happen for the better when we instead focus on how we want to feel.

JHUstudent's avatar

Just know that you’re better than that. If you feel guilt afterwards or during that process, that should be enough. Don’t stoop to that level.

Being better leads to getting better.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Tell your parent or guardian, it could actually be life-threatening if you infect your blood.

You need to see a shrink or go to free group therapy and figure out the pyschological reason you’re cutting. If you’re just being a silly emo, then stop, it’s really not cute or cool at all, it’s generally attention-seeking behavior or a cry for help.

gorillapaws's avatar

Self mutilation can be an indicator of past sexual abuse or other major psychological issues (self-hate). Please talk to a professional, you need to get help.

Buttonstc's avatar

There is a lot of good advice here. But in going to place emphasis upon what will work long term. A lot of the advice about distraction techniques is helpful, but until/unless you get down to the root causes here it will be like trying to swim upstream against a strong current. Its exhausting and will seem never ending. You need help to get down to the root causes here.

People don’t usually self harm for no reason at all. For most there is tremendous inner pain. The cutting is an outward manifestation of that.

Find a competent professional person who knows how to get you in touch with the inner pain so that it doesn’t completely overwhelm you. Start working on those root causes.

Finding a local support group would also help. Someone else’s sharing of their experience may prove helpful to you

If you don’t have much money, there are professionals who will work with you on a sliding fee scale.

Get professional help. One day you’ll look back and realize that was the best decision you ever made. Take care of yourself. You deserve it.

hearkat's avatar

As it turns out, this Saturday – March 1st – is Self-Injury Awareness Day.
Here are a couple online resources:
http://www.harmless.org.uk/
http://www.lifesigns.org.uk/
I have not found similar sites in the US, but I am still working on it.

hearkat's avatar

Here’s a site in the US – with a toll-free helpline: http://www.selfinjury.com/
I got the information from an acquaintance who went through one of their programs.

Chey97's avatar

Talk to someone you are really close to. They might understand what you’re going through. Or maybe a psychiatrist. Write whatever is bothering you on a piece on of paper and throws it away. Hope this can help. I’m not great on giving advice, but I do try.

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