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 "selfinjury.com":http://selfinjury.com or 800-DONT-CUT.
FACT: Most self-injurers are girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26.