"Well why don't you just stop?"

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Dancer60

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May 19, 2017
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#1
I have heard the words "why don't you just stop" from the two people in this world who I reached out to about my self-harm.
One is my mom. Once she found out I was doing it she just told me "you need to stop there's no reason for you to be doing this", discussed me going to a therapist, and then ultimately dropped it once it appeared as though I was getting better. She's a great mom, I just don't think she quite understands.
The other person is one of my friends. Bless her soul for letting me vent to her, but all I get from her is "honestly please just stop, it's not worth it".
I can't blame either of them, what are they supposed to say? They aren't professionals. It's just definitely frustrating to hear when it's not as simple as just stopping. Who else has experienced this?
 
J

Jack29

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May 9, 2017
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#2
I've never had any experience with self harm, in terms of my depression and anxiety I've heard countless times 'come on, cheer up' or 'why don't you just get out there'. People just aren't educated enough in mental health and often mean it with the intent of helping you but it always sounds so easy doesn't it. It's very frustrating at times if the people you most rely on can't seem to grasp what you're going through, but from my experience it's also very hard on them to feel helpless as someone they care about is struggling and they don't know what to say so that just comes out. I've stopped expecting people (except people going through similar stuff or professionals) to truly understand.
 
Foxjo

Foxjo

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#3
Unless you've self harmed yourself its hard to truly understand.
My mum keeps saying to me "you wont do that again" and i always agree with her because its pointless trying to explain to her that i cant help it and feel the urge to do it.
My therapist understands that i self harm and doesnt brush over the subject, he doesnt try and beg me to stop. He lets me acknowledge that i feel the need to do it and trys to give me ways of reducing the urges. he knows that just telling me to stop is not the way forward and i respect him for that.

For me its about identifying the triggers. This can help me prepare for when the urges might occur.
I write down my thought processes and then try to challenge these negative and intrusive thoughts. This can help me reduce the need to self harm.

If i do self harm i try not to be too hard on myself. This will make you feel more worthless. Its ok to relapse. Accept that and move forward. Just make sure that you keep yourself safe in respect of infection control.

If you ever want to talk more you can message me, im here to listen and help if i can.
Hugs
Fox
 
R_Sxo

R_Sxo

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Apr 24, 2017
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1,991
#4
I have heard the words "why don't you just stop" from the two people in this world who I reached out to about my self-harm.
One is my mom. Once she found out I was doing it she just told me "you need to stop there's no reason for you to be doing this", discussed me going to a therapist, and then ultimately dropped it once it appeared as though I was getting better. She's a great mom, I just don't think she quite understands.
The other person is one of my friends. Bless her soul for letting me vent to her, but all I get from her is "honestly please just stop, it's not worth it".
I can't blame either of them, what are they supposed to say? They aren't professionals. It's just definitely frustrating to hear when it's not as simple as just stopping. Who else has experienced this?
The important thing to realise is that self harming is a short-term "fix" that doesn't address the problem. You need to find a more long-term solution, such as medication and/or therapy.

I agree, it's not as easy to just stop, but you're the only one who can stop. This starts with you, so you need to actively stop yourself to actually reduce and stop it once and for all!
 
D

Dancer60

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May 19, 2017
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#5
I've had the same experience with my anxiety. Often times people will just say okay you need to calm down or say that I am being completely irrational or say that I'm acting like a crazy person. Deep down I know that I am being completely irrational but my anxiety doesn't allow for any form of rationality. I know everyone around me really does their best it just feels good for someone to understand every once in awhile.
 
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happyhappy

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#6
I can kind of sit on the fence here. I self harm.....and I have a child who self harms.

I have never confided in my mum because I know she would not be able to deal with it. I only confided in my husband after I had been doing it for years. No one knew because it was always hidden. Thankfully I have never really have anyone say to me to just stop doing it but I am very aware of it being said to other people....and I have often felt the attitudes of society in general. I have given support to others who self harm, online and in real life. I did DBT so spent 18 months with others who self harmed.

When I discovered my child was self harming......I KNEW that she couldn't just stop it, I knew the possible reasons for her doing it, I KNEW it was an expression of her feelings.....but you know what? All my knowledge and understanding went out of the window. This was my baby. I saw wounds on the beautiful body of my baby and I was devastated. I tried really hard to be sympathetic and understanding but fear took over. I found myself saying all the things that I just knew were wrong. I found myself trying to hide anything that she could hurt herself with. I heard myself saying things to her that I hoped would make her stop like "How are you going to get a job with those marks on your arms?" and I knew it was of no help.......but I couldn't stop it. I just desperately, desperately wanted her to stop harming herself. I also felt anger. I knew it was irrational but it ran through my mind "I made you. I made your body. How dare you ruin it?" I even dismissed her pain (in my head, not to her) by thinking "What have you got so bad that you need to self harm?"
It took me a long time to come to terms with it. I blamed myself even though she has no knowledge of my self harm.
Sorry, I am taking a long way to explain myself. I love my daughter soooooo much. I would take every hurt and pain that she has if it meant that she could be happy. I would put my life on the line for her without a second thought. Sometimes.....that makes my vision clouded. I think I am a good mum, a loving mum.....but sometimes I get things wrong and I think I get them wrong BECAUSE I love her so much.
 
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SuZQ154

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May 21, 2017
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#7
You are at the beginning of looking for help with self-harm. That is optimistic! I would encourage you to continue to do that because the longer we wait the harder it is to have positive results. I want to encourage you...getting help will help! My self-harm was secretive for many years. By the time I acknowledged it was a problem and sought help, self-harm was my main coping mechanism. Admitting the problem and identifying the triggers were my first steps toward recovery. Christian counseling and faith-based support groups were the next steps. Have you considered either of these? It has been hard and painful at times, and there are ups and downs, but there is hope and freedom. Praying for you to continue to search for your next steps.
 
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