Self-harming in second lockdown | Ask Jigsaw | Jigsaw

Ask Jigsaw: Self-harming in second lockdown

Ask Jigsaw: Self-harming in second lockdown

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Hi, I’ve just started first year in college and I’m trying to study from home. I can’t see my friends or boyfriend anymore and I haven’t been able to make real friends yet in college due to being at home.

Despite this I thought that I was coping okay with the situation of another lockdown, but I have recently started self-harming again and I can’t really understand why, it just feels like something I need to do.

I don’t have a great track record of always understanding or even realising what I’m actually feeling. So I was wondering if you could help me please. I know that thing will end eventually and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel but knowing and really believing are different things. 

-Niamh  

Hi Niamh,  

It is a difficult situation when, to protect our physical health, we can’t access some of things that help our mental health.  

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background
Linda
Jigsaw clinician
You have coped through the first lockdown, which shows that you have resilience and strength. 

The importance of relationships in our lives should not be underestimated. Meaningful connection with partners, friends, and even strangerslifts our mood. Restricted contact with the people we love to spend time with, will naturally make us feel lonely and low.  

You talk about hope that this will pass, and you are right –it will. You have coped through the first lockdown, which shows that you have resilience and strength

Self-harm

It sounds like you may have started using self-harm as a coping strategy. In a difficult circumstance, we can try to avoid feelings that are too painful to deal with directlySome of us may self-harm as a way to express this pain. Self-harm can feel like a way of feeling more in control of a situation that feels out of control.

As you are aware, self-harm is a dangerous coping strategy that doesn’t work in the long term. Stopping selfharm is hard, but it’s possible when we learn to replace it with healthier coping strategies. Calm harm is an app that you can use when you feel an urge to selfharm. It helps you to choose another way to express your emotions in the moment.  

Support

Speaking to someone you trust about how your feeling can help you to cope and reduce self-harming.  This could be a family member, a friend, or a professional. Pieta House offer free counselling for people who self-harm, and they also have a 24/7 free call line (1800247247) to provide direct support when you need it.  

Linda
Jigsaw clinician
Keep yourself safe by sharing what you’re going through, rather than keeping it bottled up inside.  

Coping with isolation

I hear how hard it is for you to not be able to see your boyfriend, or friends. It‘s not the same, but connecting over a phone call or zoom can help you to maintain the connection you miss 

Starting college from home is a completely different experience, with less opportunity to make new friends. Allow yourself to feel disappointment, sadness or anger as a natural response to what’s happened. Take care of yourself by treating yourself extra kindly over this hard time. Keep yourself safe by sharing what you’re going through, rather than keeping it bottled up inside.  

Although it’s tough, hold on to what you know-  this time will pass, and there are better days to come.  

Take care,  

Linda

Jigsaw clinician

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