Unfortunately it’s fairly common to have thoughts of self-harm. Many people don’t act on them, which is a good thing, but some do. Generally, the underlying reason for self harm is when you feel so much emotional pain, you’re just going to explode and you’ll do anything to get rid of it – so you change the pain into physical instead. Physical pain is easier to feel than emotional pain. Typically that’s the idea behind cutting or scratching or burning or picking or something like that – the idea is you’re trying to turn your emotional pain physical. What you would want to do about it: when you have so much emotional pain and you feel like you’re crawling out of your skin, the best thing to do is try to get it out. You can get it out in multiple ways: you can talk to a friend about it. You can scream into your pillow. You can go to a boxing class – that really helps with anger. You can create something with art. Whether that means that you write a whole bunch of journal pages or you paint a picture that you’re trying to get intentionally, like how can I get this feeling that’s in me portrayed on paper? How do I get it out of me? If you’re not the type of person who wants to create anything, go looking at what other people have created. Look for music where the lyrics describe how you’re feeling. Look for music that matches your feeling – sometimes if you feel super amped up and you find amped up music, it makes you feel relaxed. Go looking for things that can help you get rid of the feeling inside your head. Another thing that you’d want to look at is if you do have a constant urge to cut – so you cut your wrists – not for suicide, but just across – you can put a hairband there and you can snap your hair band. That’s not my favorite go-to, but it can help if you do really have the urge of I need to do something that physically hurts.
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