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How to Stop Cutting Yourself

Self-injuring with knives or razor blades is a dangerous attempt at coping with problems like anger and anxiety. Learn how to get help and deal with your feelings more constructively.


  • Step 1: Seek counseling to explore why you are hurting yourself. Dialectical behavioral therapy – an intense individual as well as group course involving talk therapy and journaling – has proven especially effective in treating self-injurers.
  • Step 2: See a doctor who can determine whether you might benefit from medication. Anti-depressants are sometimes effective in treating self-injurers.
  • TIP: Cutting is common in people with borderline personality disorder.
  • Step 3: If you're one of the approximately 50 percent of self-injurers who have been sexually or physically abused and the situation is ongoing, report it to your parents or the authorities.
  • Step 4: Realize that self-injury is an attempt to self-soothe. Cope with your stress levels by taking up a relaxation technique like yoga or meditation to calm yourself.
  • Step 5: Find substitutes to use when the urge to cut strikes, like snapping a rubber band against your skin, rubbing your arms and legs with an ice cube, or doodling on them.
  • Step 6: Find healthy physical outlets for your anger, like going for a run or putting on loud music and dancing.
  • Step 7: For more information, contact Self Abuse Finally Ends at "": or 800-DONT-CUT.
  • FACT: Most self-injurers are girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26.

You Will Need

  • Therapy
  • A psychiatrist
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Substitutes for self-injury
  • Outlets for your anger

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