Self-injury behaviors are any behaviors that a person does with the purpose of hurting oneself. How to stop self-harm once you start though can be a big problem.
Many people go on to years though because they find it so difficult to stop self-harm. (read about Self-Harm in Adults)
But it is possible to change self-harm behaviors – it is possible to stop self-injury. To stop self-mutilation, though, many things need to change, including:
The environment is part of what causes, or allows for, self-harm and changing it can help stop self-injury. The first step is analyzing what role the environment has on self-injury behavior. For example:
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you change those aspects of your environment that contribute to your self-harm behaviors. (Causes of Self-Injury)
Changing the environment can be done once the urge to self-harm strikes, but it's easier to do before the urge comes.
For example, to help stop self-harm, you can:1
Many people battle to stop self-mutilation but lose this battle when fighting alone. It's only once they gain the support of others that they can stop self-harming behaviors. Self-injury help and support can come from professional sources such as a self-harm treatment center, program or psychotherapist, or it can come from friends, family members or others. The important thing is to have supportive people around you who you can turn to for help when you need it. If you feel the urge to self-harm, call one of these supports and have them talk or sit with you. This can be one of the easiest ways to stop self-mutilation.
Changing the way you think is no easy task; that is for sure. However, changing some of the negative thoughts that lead to self-injury is possible and important. Just like with the environment, first it's important to analyze the thoughts surrounding self-harm in order to better understand and challenge them. Some questions to think about might be:
Handling those thoughts can be tricky but there are techniques used to challenge, stop and alter negative thoughts of self-harm.
These self-harm thought-altering techniques may take a lot of practice to work. A therapist can help you with more self-harm stopping techniques.
If you find yourself in a spiral wherein you feel you are about to self-harm, it's important to know self-harm alternatives that can take the place of self-injury. Self-mutilation alternatives can keep you physically safe even when overwhelmed with the urge to self-harm.
Self-injury alternatives include:2
Of course, the best self-harm alternative is likely to reach out and talk to someone about how you are feeling.
Harry Croft, MD (Psychiatrist)
Medical Director, HealthyPlace.com
Created on 15 August 2012 Last Updated on 04 July 2013