Coping with self-harming urges

Topic Selected: Self-harm and Suicide

General Article icon Type: General Article

Read with caution

This information has been provided to allow you to think constructively about your self-harming behaviour. However, if you are aware that reading about self-harm practices might feel ‘triggering’ for you then make sure you read this with someone else present or find another way to reduce the risk.

Work on things step by step

If self-harming has become a kind of coping strategy, it is not usually helpful to focus on complete abstinence or banning the behaviour in one sudden step. Instead, it is helpful to build new strategies for dealing with difficult feelings which can gradually take the place of self-harm. In the first instance it can be useful to consider learning first aid and knowing how to take care of yourself practically if you do self-harm.

Creating a personal self-harm safety plan is a useful way to remind yourself of things you can do when you feel an urge to self-harm. These include ways to manage and redu

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