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Self harm

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Q. I have self harmed in many different ways since i was 6, first starting out by picking my lip til it bled, to cutting, burning and ODing now. But I have never wanted to actually kill myself. My goal was always just to be able to go to sleep and somehow, magically, I would wake up and this awful depression would have gone and I would be well. But now, at the time I MOST do not want to kill myself- I could never ever do that to my girls- I have had overwhelming urges to strangle myself for about 3 weeks. I haven’t been able to talk to my support worker (nurse) about it altho we have talked about other things. Last year I worked out how many hours sleep I needed to get on top of things (with a newborn baby), worked out how long my sleeping tablets would each work for, then took then all at once. I ended up in hospital for 4 months with my baby and my other girl ended up in state care. I never ever want to see her go into care again and I never want to hurt either of the girls again but these strangulation urges have become so intense I tie a sash around my neck for a while, then take it off and feel a bit better. Only this morning, I tied it round my neck then dozed back off to sleep. My 5 yr old found me in bed with it round my neck, and my husband found a bruise this afternoon. No-one knows the truth and I don’t know how manic this is?! What is my best option. Keep going and thinking of my girls and hope that I can work it out or what? I just don’t know…

A. You need to go to the hospital right away and tell them what you have been doing. What you are doing is extremely dangerous. The thoughts you are having and the actions you are taking are suicidal. If you are actively suicidal, then you need to be hospitalized until you can get your thoughts and actions under control. Do not just hope things will work out. Get help right away. I know you mentioned being hospitalized before and having your daughter end up in state care. I know you do not want this to happen again. If you commit suicide, your girls might live in state care. You not only need to do this for your girls but for yourself. You need help right away. Please go get help. Let me know how you are doing.

Self harm

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Self harm

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Self harm. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 26, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.