I Enjoy Self-Harming And Therapy Hasn't Helped Me To Stop

Published: January 23, 2013
Dear I Enjoy Self-Harming And Therapy Hasn't Helped Me To Stop,
i enjoy self harming, no infact i love it. i love running my fingers over the scars, but i dont know why. i know i need to stop, nd i hve tried, but i just cant. its like a drug to me. i just want more and more. my parents know i have self harmed in the past but i just learnt to cut in places that they cant see so they dont know im still doing it. is this normal. am i supposed to enjoy this much, want these scars. its like the scars is my revenge, like they are what i am doing to bide my time, till i can get revenge. i dont know wat to do any more. I've seen councillors, therapists. anyone u culd think of ive seen. but none of them seem to be able to get me to stop. im just so lost, i want to become a normal teen again but i can't find my way back. im scared that if i dont fix this soon ill go to far and won't stop at just hurting myself. please help.

Dear I Enjoy Self-Harming And Therapy Hasn't Helped Me To Stop,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate your concern over this situation. There is clearly a fear of what might happen if you don’t get these impulses to self-harm under control, as well as your frustration that therapy has not yet helped you with this. However, FX does not want you to give up hope and would like you to consider the following things to help address this issue:

  • With these kinds of behaviors, sometimes it can be helpful to approach it as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and consider taking psychotropic medication as appropriate medications can be very helpful in reducing compulsive, repetitive impulses. So if you have not yet met with a psychiatrist to be evaluated for medication, FX would recommend that you do so and that you speak to him/her about the possibility of treating your self-cutting as a symptom of OCD.
  • FX would also recommend that you meet weekly with a reputable, well-trained therapist, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist. It sounds from what you wrote that an overriding issue here is about rage and revenge – so FX thinks it is important to make this a focus of your therapy. Effective therapy is not about a therapist trying to get you to stop something, but about working towards an understanding of what drives and motivates any problematic behaviors. If there is an impulse of wanting revenge on somebody, and you are taking out this impulse on your own body, it would be helpful to understand what this desire for revenge is about and to work through it so you can get to a point where you no longer need to take these emotions out on your own body through self-harming behaviors.  

Again, FX appreciates the concerns you have about what has been going on with you. But we do think there are additional ways of approaching your treatment that could be very helpful to you.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.