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Our Mental Health Blogs

Effects of New Psychiatric Medication on Self-Injury

Effects of New Psychiatric Medication on Self-Injury

Starting new psychiatric medication can affect self-injurious behavior. Starting when I was in my early teens, I was given many different combinations of medications to take for my mental illness. The medication side effects ranged from hives to hallucinations. The worst part about taking a different pill every couple of months was the uncertainty of how it was going to affect my mood. Most of the medications simply failed to make me better, but a few had severe adverse effects on my mood and overall health that were impossible to ignore. As a self-harmer, handling the stress and mood changes that comes along with new medications is vital to recovery. In short, you need to know the effects that new psychiatric medication may have on your self-harming.

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Self-Talk is Crucial in Stopping Self-Harm

Self-Talk is Crucial in Stopping Self-Harm

When I was working at a residence for youth with mental illness, every day was a struggle. Not only were the youth struggling to stop their negative behaviors, but I, too, was learning to push away my past and work on helping the future of others by using past experience.

We would often focus on coping skills that were necessary to move past these urges. Yes, I know I talk about coping skills like a broken record, but once you know the positive ways to redirect yourself, it becomes a little easier to sway away from the sharp objects around you. We always hear about the common coping skills: listening to music, going for a walk or writing in a journal.

However, one coping skill that has always stuck out in my mind is self-talk.

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Pets Help Prevent Self-Harm Urges

Pets Help Prevent Self-Harm Urges

When you feel the need to self-injure, it takes a lot of self-control to push away the emotions and temptations connected to those urges. When you’re angry or upset and you turn to cutting or burning, your mind focuses on that mark and it is difficult to see anything else clearly.

Sometimes, all you need to prevent self-harm urges is a few minutes with a pet.

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You Are Your Own Pill to Stop Self-Harming

You Are Your Own Pill to Stop Self-Harming

I’ve always been cursed with really painful headaches and occasional dizziness. Typically, I try to push through the pain. However, recently I experienced the worst dizzy spell of my life, which sent me to the doctors. My whole body felt disoriented and my eyes were constantly in and out of focus. I felt nauseous and everything around me would not stop spinning, even when I closed my eyes.

This dreadful feeling reminded me of how our minds feel when we are trying to tell ourselves not to self-harm – our thoughts keep on spinning and twisting and all it leads to is pain.

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Self-Harm and Sticking with Therapy

Self-Harm and Sticking with Therapy

When it comes to counseling and therapy, almost everyone feels anxiety. Before stepping into an office for the first time, you feel unsure and stressed. Some people don’t think they need to be going to therapy and feel forced. Some people don’t believe that therapy will help and that it is simply a waste of time. Sometimes, it takes numerous sessions before any kind of opening up happens.

One thing that is concrete about therapy is that it never hurts to try.

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Self-Harm and Exercise: Get That Positive Energy Moving

Self-Harm and Exercise: Get That Positive Energy Moving

I’ve never been a huge fan of running or lifting or going to a gym. For me, it takes a lot, and I mean a lot, of motivation to get my butt out of bed to work out for an hour. My family, on the other hand, almost obsesses with working out. Half of my relatives are P.E. teachers or Physical Therapists and have raced in half or full marathons. Many are now into CrossFit, which scares the living crap out of me.

During high school, when I was struggling with self-harm, I was a serious dancer. I went to a strict ballet school, which kept me busy almost every night of the week. It was good, staying fit and pushing my focus onto something else. However, when dancing I could not wear bracelets and no matter how much make-up I put on my scars, the sweat would eat it away.

Then, questions would be asked and lies would be spit out.

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Self-Harm and Motivation: Where Can It Be Found?

Self-Harm and Motivation: Where Can It Be Found?

Sometimes, people telling you to just stop cutting or burning or scratching is not enough motivation to actually stop the self-injury behavior. It is like asking someone not to text their ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend when they’re staring at a message. It is something they should not do, but they can’t help themselves, so they do it.

It is much more difficult to find a motivating factor to help stop self-harm than many believe. Of course, there is therapy and family and friendships (self-injury treatment), but in the mind of a severe self-injurer, sometimes that is not enough.

It often takes time to find motivation to end this addictive struggle.

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Healthy Alternatives for Self-Harmers: Books, Blogs and the Big Screen

Healthy Alternatives for Self-Harmers: Books, Blogs and the Big Screen

Finding healthy alternatives to self-injury can be stressful. Sometimes, it’s tough finding someone who understands the emotions and thoughts connected with self-harm. Many people hate thinking about counseling or talking about their self-harm because, well, it is too personal.

So, if you’re too nervous to jump into therapy or tell someone you self-injure, where can you go? What can you do?

Why not dive into a good book? A TV show? A movie?

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Healthy Alternatives to Self-Injury

Healthy Alternatives to Self-Injury

This week, I’m focusing on healthy alternatives to self-injury as a followup to my previous article about using natural supplements to calm anxiety and self-injury urges.

Contrary to popular opinion, I do not believe that cathartic techniques suggested by many treatment centers, books and websites are beneficial to coping with self-injury urges. These techniques can include:

  • snapping a rubber band against the wrist
  • coloring on your arms with a red pen
  • holding an ice cube to your skin
  • hitting, punching or breaking items.
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Reducing Anxiety, Self-Injury Urges With Natural Supplements

Reducing Anxiety, Self-Injury Urges With Natural Supplements

In my last video blog post, I explained how and why anxiety can lead to self-injury; how many people who suffer from anxiety often engage in self-harming behaviors in order to cope with their anxiety symptoms. In this video, I focus on natural vitamins and supplements you can use to combat your anxiety, and therefore lessen your urge to self-injure when triggered by anxiety and panic.

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