3 Tips on How to Help Someone Who Self Harms
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Health and Wellness

3 Tips on How to Help Someone Who Self Harms

Stay calm and listen. Things will get better

3 Tips on How to Help Someone Who Self Harms

It’s a horrible feeling to find out someone you love is harming themselves. It’s easy to get so caught up in your emotions and thoughts that you end up making things worse for your loved one (LO). Here are three tips that can make the process a little easier for everyone.



When you first hear that you LO is hurting themselves, it's so easy to panic and just overwhelm them with your questions, anger and fear. However, the best thing to do is keep calm and listen to them. I know you may be uncomfortable but if you really want to help them, you have to sit in that discomfort for a bit so you can focus on them and their struggles. Listening to you LO and making sure they feel heard and understood is one of the best things you can do for them.

Let them know how their actions affect you but don’t guilt them or ask them to stop


It's definitely a good idea to let your LO know how their self harm affects you. This might make them think twice before doing it again because they care about you and don't want to hurt you. However, when doing this, don't guilt them and make it all about you. They shouldn't feel the need to hide their self harm from you because you'll guilt them about it or get upset that they haven't stopped. You'll have a better chance of getting them to stop if you meet them where they are. Don't guilt them and don't judge them.

Don’t stress them out with your worries


I know the thought of your LO hurting themselves is frightening but if you stress them out about it, they won't feel comfortable coming to you about it. You can recommend resources and mental health services to them but at the end of the day, they have to want to stop. If you keep getting on them about it, they'll just hide things from you and this will make things harder for everyone.

Self harm is a frightening thing. It's so easy to panic and shake your LO by the shoulders demanding they stop such craziness. It may be uncomfortable and stressful to remain calm and listen and seek out the right resources for them. Waiting for things to get better is so frustrating and know you want things to be better RIGHT NOW but that's not how recovery works. I hope these tips can make the waiting and discomfort and, on their end, suffering a little easier for everyone to sit with.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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