Self Harm

At The Living Room we see self harm as an addictive response to ‘out of control feelings’ of deep distress; just like some people use drugs, alcohol & other addictive behaviours to ‘cope’ with their feelings.

When you are at the point of self harming there seems there is no other way out. We at the Living Room know there are other ways of coping with these feelings. We have had many clients that self harm who have joined our groups & who have become ‘well’ from this behaviour. In fact many of them have brought in their ‘tools’ & given them to us after being in our self helps groups for a time. This to us is amazing & very brave.

We are here to help & not to judge. We understand.

There are many reasons that people self harm, feelings of uncontrollable rage, feeling trapped & helpless, feelings of guilt & shame that become unbearable, feelings of being ‘detached’ from the world & your body & wanting to ‘feel’ again. History of abuse & sexual abuse. Some people can’t even put their finger on why.

To relieve such feelings of deep distress you may cut, burn, bite, hit yourself, pull your hair, stab yourself. The list goes on & you may become very adept at hiding this, (as an alcoholic can ‘hide’ the amount they are drinking.)

What’s the pay off?

You may feel more in control after self harming, it may give you a sense of calm for a while. You may be getting a ‘buzz’ not only from the act but also from the fact that you are doing this & no-one else knows about it. It may be that you need to express self hate & it’s proof of the depths of your distress. You may feel you are paying someone back for the distress they are causing you.

What’s the down side?

The injury markscuts become visible & you desperately try to cover them up, you have to find places on your body that you can cover with clothes leading you to always wear long sleeves etc., even in summer & on holidays.

Self harm can stop you from getting the career you want e.g., if you wanted to join the army, R.A.F. or any career where you may be on ‘show’.

When loved ones find out they don’t understand how you can do this, they become scared & try to get you to stop, this can make you feel massive guilt & shame & you may even want to stop but find you can’t, just as an alcoholic cannot stop drinking as they have become addicted to this way of coping. You may feel “if I have to stop this, how will I cope”.

There is an answer COME TO THE LIVING ROOM.


 If you are unable to get to The Living Room then support may be available via your GP.

 For futher information: