Why do I have the urge to self-harm? | Ask Jigsaw | Jigsaw

Ask Jigsaw: Why do I have the urge to self-harm?

Ask Jigsaw: Why do I have the urge to self-harm?

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Why do I get the urge to cut myself when I amn’t suicidal?

-Iwanttofeelbetter 

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Emma
Jigsaw clinician
We can feel guilty and ashamed of thinking about or carrying out self-harm, which can create a cycle of behaviour.

Hi Iwanttofeelbetter,

I understand why it would be confusing to get the urge to hurt yourself when you aren’t having thoughts of suicide. However, there are many reasons why someone might think about or carry out self-harm.

It can act as a coping mechanism or a way of ‘releasing’ overwhelming feelings. Other reasons people might have the urge to self-harm could include:

  • Finding it difficult to communicate feelings
  • Having a negative body image, or a feeling of ‘hating’ themselves
  • Feeling numb
  • To punish themselves
  • To feel in control
  • To provide a distraction from problems or difficult feelings.

We can feel guilty and ashamed of thinking about or carrying out self-harm, which can create a cycle of behaviour. It can also lead to feeling isolated and alone.

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Speak with one of our clinicians online through our free text-based live chat if you have been experiencing overwhelming feelings.

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What you can do about the urge to self-harm

Having the urge to self-harm can be a distressing experience, and you don’t have to go through it alone. Read more about why people self-harm for ways to manage how you feel and information on support services that can help.

It is really helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, like a family member or a friend. You can also talk to one of our clinicians through our text-based Live Chat service, or send us an email.

If the urge to self-harm becomes overwhelming or difficult to resist, you can link with crisis volunteers by texting HELLO to 50808.

I hope the information goes some way to explain why you might have the urge to self-harm.

Take Care,

Emma

Jigsaw Online Team

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