October 17, 2006 5:45am CST
Do any of you self harm or have you self harmed? Do you have friends who self harm? How do you help them to stop and shoudl you even try to help them to stop? I have a friend who self harms and I've been trying to support her, so I'm just hoping for people to share their experiences. Please, no graphic descriptions of cutting/harming.
• United States
2 Nov 06
I self-harm. Have since third or fourth grade. I don't do it to try and kill myself. It helps me to refocus on something else and I actually enjoy it. Good luck on supporting your friend. The only thing that I can say is not to be upset or get angry at her for doing it. Just let her know that if she wants to talk that you are there for her. You also might want to find out why she does it (ie, to hurt-hurt herself or 'cause she kinda likes it).
2 Nov 06
It's a lot of "don'ts" really. Don't criticize, don't psychoanalyze, don't push etc. Try to assess for yourself the damage... get a relationship with your friend where they can talk to you. If it looks like the person might REALLY be in danger, then you might want to consider asking a counsellor confidentially. If not, just try to be there.
20 Aug 07
When I was growing up I went through a very dark patch and at times still do, the only difference is I dont self harm anymore. I guess the reason for that is I learnt along the way to express the pain and confusion I was feeling in different ways. I think that's what self harm is, it is a way of saying hey im hurting but I dont know why or exactly where but I am in pain. No one sees internal pain and even for me I felt better seeing a physical pain more so as I knew I was real and what I felt was real. I think that self harm can also be a form of someone punishing themselves as they feel they have done soemthing wrong, or just that they feel like they have or others treat them as though they are dirt so they end up believing it. I think the best kind of support is to be there for a person who self harms to talk to and not to judge, or tell them off. Let them know there are other ways to feel better and to let out whats inside, they may not realise it for a while but keep reminding them, without making them feel bad. It is the pain inside that needs attention and then I think the pysichal harming should go away. I hope your friend is ok, sometimes even if we dont understand something, just being there and accepting someone for who they are and letting them know that can help a lot. All the best. :)