Deleted User said 8 years ago:

This must be very hard for you to see, watching someone else self-destruct can leave you feeling helpless. You are doing so well by trying to gain knowledge to understand and help them.

The decision to stop self harming has to be made by the self harmer, there really is no way anyone else can persuade them to stop. I think that by being supportive and trying to understand the behavior you can help them feel less tense, there for less at risk of immediate harm.

Self harm is a coping mechanism, all be it a destructive one. This person needs the self harm to help them cope with whatever difficult emotions they’re experiencing or has experienced in the past. If you suddenly stopped this person from self harming or made threats ‘I will tell everyone’ or bargains ‘ stop for me’ things could actually get a lot worse. In some situations self harm may be the only thing stopping someone from making a suicide attempt, so by forcing someone to stop you could actually be putting them more at risk.

It is really something THEY have to overcome and recover from. But there are still things that you can do to help them.

-Don’t ever glorify or give them positive attention for self harming. This reinforces the act. (However still be there for them)
-Get them to agree to try other coping
strategies (I will list them below)
-Be there and offer them support
-Don’t make them promise they will stop, if anything ask if they want to stop, if they say they do then tell them you want to help them and be there for them as they recover, if they are willing to make that promise they will try at least three distractions before self harming.
-Acknowledge their strength when they don’t resort to self injury, take them out for dinner, tell them your proud of them and give them plenty of positive attention when they don’t do it.
-Ask them if they will give you a call when they feel like self harming reinforce the fact that you care and it is upsetting to see them do it and not be able to help, you want to be there and that it would make you happy if they call and will not be annoying you in any way.
-When they call try to distract them, make them laugh, get them to talk about a thing that makes them happy and things they’re looking forward to.

To support them in distractions you could do one of the following and get them to use before self harming-
-Buy them a journal
-Buy them an art journal
-Buy insence and an insence holder
-Make them a CD of their favorite music
-Write up a list of distractions if they’re willing to use them, do it on a piece of lined paper nice and neat, maybe be a bit corny and at the bottom as a distraction write remember how much I love you and care!

Relaxation techniques-
Deep breathing exercises
Burn incense

Strategies to satisfy urge-
-Holding an ice cube and squeezing it in their hand until it hurts.
-Wearing a rubber band around the wrist and flicking it until it hurts.
-Draw red lines with felt pen as though it is their blade and the lines are blood.

Distractions to fight urge-
-Call a friend or you.
-Call a phone counsellor (free,anonymous) and tell them they want to s/h (kids helpline, child line ect, google for one in your state/country)
-Journal writing
-Write a story.
-Draw a picture.
-Go for a walk/run
-Go hang out with someone who cares about them
-Go to their favorite place (Near the water, a park, wherever)
-Have a cold shower
-Have a warm shower
-Put on favorite music
-Sing or dance while listening to music.
-Punching a pillow

These are all techniques I have used. But realistically it is NOT easy to overcome self harm, and battling the urges is a constant struggle that only gets slightly easier over time.
They won’t stop until they truly want to and is ready to. If they aren’t all you can do is be there for them and give them reasons not to!

Finally its really important you look after yourself too, when someone you care about is in great pain its easy to forget you need care too. If you need to see if you can talk to a therapist or someone you trust about how you are feeling. Try to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling and aware of when you need some down time

Good luck x

Deleted User said 7 years ago:

This is really beautiful and insightful honestly :) . Too bad you deleted your account :/ but still Major Props to you ! ^.^