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Our Mental Health Blogs

Three Alternatives to Self-Injury

Three Alternatives to Self-Injury

There are three alternatives to self-injury that I have found helpful. Some of them are well known, while one is new to me (by which I mean I learned it two days ago). Self-injury borders on being an addiction, and sometimes we can feel obligated to self-injure. However, we need to remember that there are at least three alternatives to self-injury.

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Self-Harm and Depression: How do You Handle the Hard Times?

Self-Harm and Depression: How do You Handle the Hard Times?

Recently, I’ve been in a major funk. In my last blog, I brought up that I’ve been in a pretty low state and haven’t felt this way since, well, high school. It’s scary when old emotions come flooding back, especially if those emotions are negative. I’ve been feeling over-tired and unmotivated. I’d rather lie in bed all day than bring my dog for a walk or clean the apartment.

However, over the past week, I have been really trying to push myself forward.

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Stop Self-Harming and Start Believing

Stop Self-Harming and Start Believing

Take a minute to put down the ‘Last Minute Shopping List’ and close your eyes. Try to push away the crazed voices of those around you who are probably just as busy and annoyed as you are during this time of year. Picture a moment from your past – a positive moment. Maybe this moment has a warm fireplace or a big tree or holiday music. Maybe you’re picturing a snowball fight or a night snuggled up with friends drinking hot chocolate.

Feeling a little bit more relaxed? You allowed yourself to escape the stressors and believe in the good of this time of year.

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Self-Harm and Bullying: From School to the Workplace

Self-Harm and Bullying: From School to the Workplace

As human beings, we are bound to be bullied and to bully others. During my teenage years, bullying was something that happened everyday and was talked about quite a bit. Classes talked about it and some teachers made their student’s do projects on the topic. Bullying can definitely trigger those who self-harm and lead to negative behaviors.

However, bullying doesn’t end in high school – it continues through college and you can face workplace bullies, too.

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Self-Harm and “Monsters”: Connecting with Music

Self-Harm and “Monsters”: Connecting with Music

For all of you radio-listeners out there, you have probably heard the song “Monsters” by Rihanna and Eminem being overplayed on the radio. For many people, the popularity of a song dissolves after hearing it numerous times a day for weeks on end. However, over the last week, I haven’t been able to get enough of the song.

Why, you ask?

The song’s lyrics seem to be directed towards those struggling with self-harm and mental illness.

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Self-Harm and Finding Support: Places You Can Go

Self-Harm and Finding Support: Places You Can Go

For those who self-harm, it is important to feel supported. It is important not feel alone during a time of struggle and to be surrounded by people who care and want what is best for you. Sometimes, people aren’t that lucky. Sometimes, people are pushed away or leave a friendship because they are confused about the person’s behaviors or scared for them. Sometimes, feeling alone is all people have.

No matter what, there are places to go where a self-injury support system is waiting. You just have to open your eyes, take a deep breath and look for it.

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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 Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Self-Harm and Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

For self-harmers, cutting or burning or picking is a form of comfort. However, we also know that this is not a safe form of comfort or a coping skill that should stick around. We know that these behaviors are not only hurtful to our bodies, but also hurtful to our minds. Every time a mark is made, your mind becomes frenzied with thoughts – I’m glad I did that. That felt great. Wait, am I glad I did that. I feel much better. Did that really help me? All of a sudden, anxiety rises once the euphoric feeling disappears and that is what leads to more negative behaviors being thought about.

Therefore, stepping out of your comfort zone may be a good step forward.

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Self-Harm and Writing: Expressing Emotions

Self-Harm and Writing: Expressing Emotions

During my self-harming years, writing was my main outlet and focus. All my life, I’ve been writing, but as a teenager dealing with deep depression and a parent’s divorce, writing became more than just a hobby. It became the one coping skill I could really count on.

Well, until my floppy disk would crash (yes, floppy disk).

I’m not trying to push writing onto self-harmers who are seeking a positive coping skill to replace their negative one. I’m just putting it out there as an option. There are many other creative ways that can help you stop harming yourself. But since writing is the skill that practically saved my life, it is the one I know best.

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Self-Harm and “The Baggage Game”

Self-Harm and “The Baggage Game”

Everyone people watches – it is in our nature. Whether you’re at the mall or at a restaurant, you look at people and wonder who they are and why they do what they do. As a kid, I always played a game where I’d look at a person and guess what they’d do ‘when they grew up’. Now, I think we all still play that game, but that game has turned more into judging than a game of Make-Believe.

More than usual, I’ve been people watching and wondering things about the people who walk by. I look at the tall man in the suit, chatting away on the phone and wonder if he really enjoys his job. I look at the woman with seven kids trailing behind her and wonder what she does when she has a moment to herself.

I look at the teenager walking with his head down, bracelets lining his wrists, and wonder if he self-harms.

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