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Can self injury ever be okay?


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I'm really sorry if this offends anyone. That is really not my intention... But for a number of years I would always hit or bite myself. That part of my life is over, so I'm not going to go into the reasoning there. But right now I am dealing with some chronic illness, and get extremely frustrated and angered by it. Throughout the day I am able to distract myself and do productive things, but at night, that anger and frustration comes back pretty strongly, and I have so much trouble dealing with that. All I want to do is hurt myself when those feelings come... convert the emotional pain into physical pain, which I have a lot easier time dealing with. So what's so wrong with hurting myself then? What else is good to do during those nights of emotion? Angry journaling has not done me well, so any other suggestions to hold me over until we can figure out what's going on with my health would be great.


Thanks guys!

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I think you need another kind of outlet, something physical, since journalling didn't help. Go for a run at night, I always went around midnight when there was hardly anyone on the streets, its always really peaceful and its great excercise. Anykind of physical sport is a great way to let it all out

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I used to cut but haven't done so in a long time because when some people found out they referred me to a psychologist and I really didn't like her so I made myself stop cutting so I wouldn't have to go see her. Also, people would tell me how it wasn't healthy and they wouldn't let me keep doing it.


Honestly, I can see that it's hard to understand how behavior like that ( outside what society says is "normal") may be difficult to understand for people who don't deal with it. However, I think that as long as it's not extreme behavior and not intefering with your life, it can maybe be acceptable? ... As I said, I haven't cut in a very long time, but if I ever got in a situation again where I couldn't deal with the emotional pain, I might do it again ( since like you, I deal better with physical pain).

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"Never engage in any activity unless you are able to tell at least two people of your plans." If you are unable to do this, it is more likely that it is not a good thing for you to do. This rule can apply to many things, including self-injury. And if you talk to two different people you are receiving feedback on your planned activity as well as "increasing the behavior that leads to a decrease in negative feelings- you are connecting with others."


Changing Your Thoughts


Another part of ending or reducing self-injurious behavior is to change the thoughts you have regarding them. It is important that you become aware of your thoughts during a session of self-injury so that you can change them. "By drawing attention to these thoughts and beliefs, you will be able to identify and alter the style of thinking that leads you to hurt yourself."


The thoughts that occur before an act of self-injury are largely responsible for your desire and decision to hurt yourself. Because of the power of these thoughts, it is very important that you break this cycle and change your thoughts before you engage in an act of self-injury. When you are able to alter your negative thoughts, you will be less likely to want to hurt yourself."



Challenging Your Thoughts


You most likely have many negative thoughts before you hurt yourself. And it is how you choose to handle these thoughts that determines your moods, physical sensations, and behaviors. You may accept the thoughts that pass through your mind as true, but this is often not the case.


A good way to change your negative thoughts is to challenge their accuracy. Most likely you will find that the majority of your negative thoughts aren't true. It is important that you question each negative thought you have been able to identify.


When you do not stop and think to assess the accuracy of these negative thoughts you usually ask as though these thoughts are true, which in some cases can actually make these thoughts true.


"The neccesity to identify, challenge, and alter each negative thought that you have cannot be denied. Changing your thoughts will help you to change your behaviors, emotions, and physical sensations and will help you to decrease your desires to hurt yourself."



Stopping Your Thoughts


It is better for you to stop or change your negative thoughts than to permit yourself to continue negative and potentially dangerous styles of thoughts.


For people who hurt themselves there are two ways of changing these types of thoughts that have been found to work particularly well. One of these ways is to stop the negative thoughts as they occur. You first must be able to identify these thoughts. "Once you can recognize them, you can stop these thoughts by simply saying Stop!- aloud or in your mind."


It can take some practice and a lot of repetition to make this technique work. But if you are able to get the hang of it, you will find that it does stop negative thoughts in an effective manner. "If you find this technique helpful, you might also try doing this before or during and episode of [sI]."


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