This is the final in a 3-part series on self harm. Please read the other 2 articles here.
Our bodies are designed by God and we are incredible creations! But God didn’t just make us and then leave us to fend for ourselves. He gave us His Spirit to live in us, His word in the Bible, and people around us to love and cherish us.
If you self harm I encourage you to find support. Make sure that people you know and trust are standing with you. Our God is all about community and He invented the Church as a family in which we help each other grow and flourish. Is there a wise and loving Christian in your church who you could share with and who will pray for you? Someone willing to listen, walk the journey with you and point you to God’s love and truth.
It is also important to get professional help if you need it. This could be a school counsellor or your GP. There are links at the bottom of this page to help you find the right help for you. If you are under 13 professionals may have to speak to your parents about what you’ve told them. This is in line with what the law says about safeguarding children.
This can be really tough, but don’t let it stop you getting support. It may be that you’d rather tell your parents yourself. If you’re worried, have a friend or sibling with you who will help you feel safe if your parents react badly. Finding out that their child is harming can be very hard for parents. Remember that you are not responsible for their reaction, and that God is your perfect Father who will always love you. If you can, work with them to involve them in your recovery.
Our bodies and minds are very complex and it’s ok to get specialist help for both our emotional and physical needs when things aren’t going right. One of these complexities is that when we harm ourselves our body goes into overdrive to create endorphins – the body’s natural happy chemical – to soften the pain. It is possible to get addicted to this rush of endorphins which makes stopping a lot harder. Having a professional who understands this stuff, alongside good mates who can hug you and pray with you, is a good combination.
There are also techniques that can help; including what’s known as “safe harming” such as pinging an elastic band against your arm or squeezing ice cubes in your fists; and stress reliving techniques such as exercise and pampering yourself. Some people find the 15 Minute Rule helpful!
In my previous article I explored the truth in Psalm 139 that we can use as a weapon against the battles we face. Pick out a verse from this Psalm. What does it tell you about what God thinks about you? And what does that mean for your life?
I’ve heard it said that if we hear one negative thing about ourselves, we believe it straight away, but we have to hear a positive thing three times before we accept it.
Write your favourite verse on a post-it note and stick it on your mirror. The more we surround ourselves with truth, the more it will sink in.
For more information, professional advice and guidance on how to get support, you can visit: