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Dealing with Self-Harm Urges

Some individuals who are dealing with extreme feelings cope by self-harming. Self-harm can bring momentary relief for some individuals, but once the relief has subsided, they are left wanting more. Self-harm urges can be a lot to deal with, especially when someone is in a vulnerable state. Self-harm urges indicate that there are deeper emotional issues than what is presenting on the surface. It’s important to get help for those who are struggling with self-harm. 

What is self-harm?

According to Help Guide, self-harm can come in many different forms. It’s important to identify what self-harm is so you can help a loved one who is struggling. Here are some ways that individuals self-harm:

  • Cutting or severely scratching their skin
  • Burning or scalding themselves
  • Hitting themselves or banging their head
  • Punching things or throwing their body against walls and hard objects
  • Sticking objects into their skin
  • Intentionally preventing wounds from healing
  • Swallowing poisonous substances or inappropriate objects
  • Intentionally putting themselves in danger
    • Driving recklessly
    • Binge drinking
    • Taking too many drugs
    • Having unsafe sex

Why self-harm?

Understanding why someone you love self-harms can be a difficult thing. If you have never had self-harm urges, you probably will struggle to understand. It’s important to treat your loved one with compassion. Many individuals self-harm to physically express the pain they are feeling mentally. This may be the only way they know how to display their pain. Self-harm can also be used as a way to control how they are feeling. Oftentimes, an individual with a mental illness or substance use disorder feels like they are a slave to their disease. They may crave control, thus using self-harm as a way to control the pain they are feeling. This lack of coping skills causes someone to self-harm. Self-harming can also be an indicator of a mental illness

Dealing with self-harm urges

If you are struggling with self-harm urges, there are coping skills you can employ to help you get through them safely. You may be feeling embarrassed by your choice to self-harm or disappointed in yourself for giving in to urges. You may even want to stop self-harming, but you aren’t sure how to get through those tough times. Going to therapy and committing to your recovery is a good way to help yourself learn healthy coping skills to deal with your urges. If you’re in the moment, though, you may need a distracting activity to help you get through the urges. Make sure you are breathing deeply, and try to avoid being alone if you can. Immerse yourself in activities such as exercising or getting your feelings out on paper by writing, drawing, or coloring. There are ways to get through your urges. Seek out help immediately if you need it by calling 911.

Villa Tranquil Recovery is here for you. Call our trained and experienced staff today at 214-799-3080. We want to hear from you. Our outpatient programs have groups that can help you. We can’t wait to hear from you.