I hurt myself

Self-injury might make you feel better for a little while, but the overpowering emotions usually come back. Ask yourself: Am I in control, or is the self-injuring controlling me? You might feel isolated from your friends and family right now. Many teens who self-injure are terrified that their parents will find out.

Things are rough right now

It might be difficult to explain why you’re self-injuring. Here are some words that might describe how you feel:

  • Angry
  • Afraid
  • Lonely
  • Ashamed
  • Frustrated
  • Sad
  • Depressed
  • Guilty
  • Bored

It’s a good sign that you’re reading this, because it probably means that you want to stop, or have thought about stopping. The key to recovery is finding better ways to deal with your pain. And guess what? You can.

Getting help

Self-injury can spiral out of control really quickly, and it can be very hard to stop. That’s why you need help. The thought of telling someone might scare you, so start small. Think of one person who you can talk to. It could be a friend, counsellor, teacher, parent, or coach. You can also call Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or chat with us when Live Chat is available.

If you’re not ready to talk, try writing in a journal. Keep track of what goes through your mind before and after you self-injure. Is there anything in your life that you’d like to change? If you could write a letter to explain your feelings to one person, who would it be? Try writing the letter. You don’t have to send it.

Breaking the silence

You’ve decided to open up about your self-injuring, but where do you start? Planning out what you want to say can help you feel a lot less nervous:

1Who’s it going to be? It can be anyone you trust.

2Say that you have something you need to get off your chest. Sit down and get comfortable.

3Say something like, “It’s hard for me to talk about this, but I need help with something. I have been self-injuring and I am ready to stop.”

4Keep in mind that you might shock or surprise the person you tell. Give them time to take it in, even if it means you have to pick up the conversation later.

5Try to understand that the person you tell might not be able to help you right away.

Talking about it is important though, because you need support right now. After talking to someone you trust, you might feel more comfortable about talking to someone else who can help you, like a counsellor.

Last Reviewed September 2012 by the Kids Help Phone Counselling Team

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