We can’t be there in person to help and support you in a moment of crisis, but there are other options available to you if you can’t turn to someone you trust. By giving us your postcode (or one nearby to where you are right now) we can let you know about services in your area. Remember: this moment will pass; you won’t always feel the way you do right now.
If in doubt always call 999.
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What would stop me from telling someone about my self harm? Probably the jokes people make about it - it is frowned upon and often laughed about instead of being taken seriously. A common myth is that only “goths” or “emos” do it, that it's for attention, being part of a trend or belonging to that certain culture involving black clothes, darkness and self hating. I was worried I would be seen as a freak under the assumption I was doing it for the wrong reasons. But you cannot assume someone is doing it for a particular reason, you have no idea what they are feeling or the thoughts happening inside their head. Not everyone who self harms is ‘crazy’, not eveyone who self harms wants to kill themselves, not everyone who self harms is attention seeking.
One of the reasons for me personally, was a way of punishing myself for not being 'good enough'. It was a coping mechanism, and a way to turn those bad feelings into something physical and being able to let the pain out. It was, in truth, probably a cry for help, I was always trying my best to cover up and hide it but also secretly hoping someone might see, just so they knew something was wrong. I was ashamed of doing it, after all, so many people go through undeserving suffering caused by an illness or disease when they would choose not to, and what I was doing was self imposed. I would have pangs of guilt for someone worrying about me for something I'd done to myself on purpose, and this held me back from telling anyone.
However, even though I didn't like talking about it with anyone, the last time I did, the person I spoke to was supportive. They didn't fully understand as it’s hard to grasp the extent of it when you haven't been through it yourself. But despite this, the worries in my head and the myths out there, they were still supportive!
I still find it uncomfortable to talk about sometimes, but, it’s so much better to talk about self harm more to reduce the stigma surrounding it. It is something that should be taken very seriously, and it is important to remember the signs may not be so obvious, and there will be mental pain as well as physical.
It is so important to address it with compassion rather than disgust.
If I could give any advice to someone learning of a person they know self-harming, it would be to listen and take time to respond. Always offer support and words of encouragement instead of reacting negatively.