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What you can try to do Instead of Self-Injuring

razor blade

What you can try to do Instead of Self-Injuring

If you are a self-injurer and you are looking for alternatives to your method of harming (we’ll say cutting since that is my first choice) here is a list of alternatives to try before picking, let’s say, a razor.

  • Use the S.A.F.E. Alternatives App (or Paper version—which can be found on the S.A.F.E. Alternatives Website) for their Impulse Control Log—which can be purchased on Google Play for Android for $0.99.
  • Wear a rubber band or elastic hair tie around your wrist and snap it against your skin whenever you get the urge to cut.
  • Put an ice cube against your skin to numb it to help mimic the sensation of cutting.
  • Text the Crisis text line and you can tell them that you have the urge to self-harm and that you just need to be talked through it. The number to text is: 741741. (You DO NOT need to worry about anyone showing up to your house to “save you” they will just walk you through the urges.)
  • Name the things that you see in the room you are in with as much detail as possible to focus on something else.
  • Put lotion in your hand and focus on your senses. How does it feel? How does it smell? How does it look? (The last two are odd but—) What do you think it would sound like? Would do you think it would taste like? (PLEASE DO NOT actually eat the lotion unless it says it’s edible!)
  • Think of the ABC’s and a word that represents each letter. (Ex. A= Apple, B=Banana, etc…)
  • Instead of cutting, draw on your skin with a red marker to simulate blood and cutting.
  • Go to the “Self-Harm” forum at
  • Go to and go to the self-injury forum.
  • Comment on this blog post about your urge to self-harm. You can put anything you want from your triggers, to how your feeling. Remember this is a judgment free zone and I do not judge anyone for any reason because I know how it feels to be judged. After all, I am a cutter myself, and have been for 18 years!
  • If you would like to keep your urges to self-harm more confidential you can always email me.

I hope this helps someone out there to not cut for at least one more moment. I know how it feels and I know the struggle is real.

Samantha View All

Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog

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