the user-led self-injury organisation.

  • UK
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We all need a little help, support, and love, while we work through our self-harm. Self-help and self-care can replace self-injury.

We are powerful because we have survived. No pity - no shame - no siilence.Recognising that our self-injury / self-harm isn’t as ‘helpful’ as we’d like to believe is a big step. Everyone needs ways of coping, ways of dealing with the stress and distress, but we can learn other ways of managing our emotions.

While getting support from others and from professional services is often really helpful (if also quite stressing) self-help is the first idea to consider when you’re ready to reduce your reliance on self-injury.

LifeSIGNS is led and managed by people with personal experience of self-harm – everything you read here has been written by someone who struggles with the urge to hurt:

Everyone at LifeSIGNS wants to support you along the recovery journey – join us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.


  • […] LifeSigns: a user-led self-injury guidance and support network; […]

  • […] LifeSigns: a user-led self-injury guidance and support network; […]

  • Alan W

    I have been self-harming (cutting using razor blades and knives) for many decades – relieves a lot of feelings… feeling unwanted, feelings of letting down others and disappointing them. Outwardly, I am very sociable, giving an impression of confidence but actually inside I don’t feel any of that… in fact i feel empty. I wander in and out of the same thoughts – must just get relief from all this (and disappointments I bring others, mainly being I don’t live up to their expectations). As soon as something starts to go wrong or others seem to lose interest in me, that is THE time I start looking for an area on my body to go for. I have cut myself across my knees, my thighs, my calves, my hands, my stomach, my arms (outside and inside), my feet, my chest. Every single time it has come with an incredible sense of relief. I admit I build it up. Could be 2-3 days (it makes for a very powerful ‘rush’ when you actually start the cut!). I like the bruising afterwards. I like to see the blood come trickling out (there is invariably a short delay for this to happen… which makes me hack away even more.. and the cut-area become vast. And so… why do I do it? Well, it is because I feel let down by people, those that I put on a pedestal- and that eventually gets knocked-over. I feel a desperate disappointment (I cannot handle it at all and never have been able to) and feel so badly let down, I cannot function. I cut myself to control these over-consuming thoughts. They take over me and I need to put them back in a box. It’s the only way for me. Despite being an outgoing and sociable person (whatever that really is..!) I find it so hard to trust people (that comes from a very bad parental divorce where the entire family collapsed and I was left to do all the support for my mother and brother and deal with lawyers and affidavits. I was 13. I should have been playing football with my mates in the park. And here’s the crux… whenever I turned around for any help, there was no one there.) I have a very stressful and highly creative career.. Without doubt, fun… but entirely stressful. I have cut at work in the toilets (have a bade in my desk drawer. Try to remember in the summer not to sit back in the chair and cup my hands behind my head… those still-bleeding areas always get noticed ( I only use a plaster for the first hour).i have only confided in one person, who has listened and very supportive and has suggested advancing to further help. But I don’t need help. I need to know where (and then when) I am going to do it next.

  • Kaley

    I am 47 and I still selfharm. I especially do it when my partner criticizes me or gets angry with me. He told me I always find a way to make everything his fault. I criticize him all the time apparently. I hate myself more now than I ever did.

  • Lex

    Hello, I am 12 years old and I have been struggling for self harm for a couple of years now and also other mental health issues like suicidal thought. I just really need some help and someone who understands my situation as nobody in my family does even though they do their best to support me.

  • Rich

    Hi as a 50+ year old that started self-harming when I was 13 and didn’t stop until I was 35 I can honestly say it’s a long battle that I fight daily. I take 1 day at a time I’m open honest and have never been ashamed of my battle and try to talk openly about it. a few months back I gave in and hurt myself but I spoke to my wife and doctor afterward. It’s not easy but worth the effort and you will be surprised by the support out there.

  • Che

    I need help to stop self harming. It is affecting myself and my young daughter and don’t know what else to do. I have tried everything possible and done everything possible to stop but can’t. I am making my arm really sore and sometimes making it infection.

  • Wedge

    Hello Sapphire,

    a lot of people struggle to ‘stop’. We think it’s a journey – sometimes a long journey.

    Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to ‘stop’, instead, learn different ways of coping. Do different things instead of hurting yourself. It won’t be the same, I know, but over time you can reduce the number of times you hurt yourself.

    Try some of the ideas on our website, like the 15 minute rule, and consider joining our Support Forum.

  • sapphire

    hey i need help to try to stop self harm my self because i get worse. i’ve got mental illness – self harm and depression and anxiety and more problems. i was 13 year old i was started to hurt myself i am nearly 22 now, so i try everything to stop it – i take it too far. my mum and my family and my friends dont understand whats going on about my life and i always put a fake smile and mask on and i cant open up about how i feel inside :( and i got disablies and i got speech problems, i would like help about stopping self harm thanks.


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