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Does the urge to self harm ever go away?


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I've struggled with self harm issues since 5th grade. At first, it was something I did because I was a dumb kid who didn't know any better and at the time I didn't have any idea how to cope with my mental illnesses (which I can remember having since kindergarten) and nobody cared enough to stop me. It became an addiction really fast, in a matter of months I was doing it 3 times a day for about a year. Then slowly I weaned off, from once a day to once a week. When I was in 8th grade I felt horribly suicidal again and as a result the self harm was worse than ever.


When High School came around, it was still happening at least once week. People were starting to catch on though. So I was in some sense, forced to quit so nobody would find out my secret. Since then, I've had relapses. It would only happen about once a year. But when it did happen, it was really bad.


Closer to the end of Sophomore year I took a razor blade cutting tool into the shower with me and came out with over 45 scars all over my legs, after about a year of being clean. The worst part about that incident was that I knew I was going to relapse, I felt the urges and tried desperately to fight them. After it happened, I tried to reach out for help, nobody cared enough. It took about 7 months for my legs to heal. I've had relapses here and there, but I've been clean for almost 3 years now.


..The urges came back 2 weeks ago and they are getting harder and harder to fight. Today was stressful for me. I drove an hour and half out of my way for work (plus another hour and half back) and ended up getting nothing out of it. On the way home there was traffic and I was already stressed out as it was. I found myself compulsively thinking about that same cutting blade I used 5 years ago.


I really wanted to see a therapist or a psychiatrist because I know these are not the thoughts of a mentally well person, and I should not remain unmedicated knowing I have some serious mental health issues. However, the deductible my insurance wants me to pay to see a doctor is far too high. I'm somewhat developmentally delayed, I worry that I don't know what I can to do help myself. When I asked for help recently the response I got was that I must help myself first, then others can help me after. How do I start doing that ? I really don't want to relapse, the guilt afterwords feels just as bad as the urge..

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You usually turn to cutting during stressful periods in your life. It's great that you were clean for 3 years. Stress in your life must has caused this recent bout.


Your best bet is to contact a doctor and get some medicine. If you can't afford this, you can call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE. They deal with self harm as well as suicide. You can also call the self-harm hotline at 1-800-334-HELP. Also try 1-877-332-7333 which is the Real Help for Teens hotline. These organizations can refer you to doctors and agencies who can help you here in the real world.


If you go the self-help route, you have to get out of your depression or eliminate what's causing stress in your life. You need to find a distraction. Something to keep you busy. This would include taking a walk or go running when you feel the need to cut, hanging out with your friends a lot so you're not alone, or getting rid of everything that you can cut yourself with. But it probably would be best to find someone who can get you through this time.

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It's an addiction just like drug and alcohol use. Addiction tends to occur mostly because people are missing something in their life and they are unhappy. You become addicted to the means of removing the unhappiness and not necessarily to the drug or cutting, it is more of a side effect.


Recovering from addiction is often about finding the cause of why you are unhappy and becoming addicted to something positive as opposed to the negatives of cuttting or alochol/drug abuse. Find you happiness in your passions. We all have them. Yes, sometimes when we are down we can revert, but picking yourself up again and pushing back into the positive is the goal.

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